Thursday, January 27, 2011

Animated Science of the Deep

Earlier this week was the 50th anniversary of the first manned dive to the deepest point on Earth: the Marianas Trench, south of Japan, near Guam, along the edge of the Philipine Basin. Wired magazine posted this wonderful, animated documentary. They credit the interview to Victor Ozols, and video to Roman Wolter. Featuring the audio recording of an interview with Jacques Piccard, who made the dive, the stylish animation never sacrifices science substance for aesthetics. Information is clearly and elegantly portrayed in illustrations, sufficiently schematic to be easily absorbed, yet really lovely and engaging. If all science museum exhibits were this good, I'd never escape the museum.

Also, I am reminded once again how much I want to go to the seafloor. I was once on a research cruise aboard the R/V Atlantis and got to see ALVIN, but sadly, no dives were included during that trip.

(cross-posted to my other blog)

Friday, January 21, 2011

straight lines

I recently returned from Vancouver Island, where I previously lived for three years. January was the toughest month for me, when I lived there. Not only was it possible to get rain for 40 days straight, the frequent, thick fog made me claustrophobic. In fact, I often feared I would get lost, walking home in the dark and the fog, for about 500 m along a road. Once I did 'get lost'. I mean, I knew I had left work walking in a straight line, and I knew I was not yet home, but I had no clue where I was. I knew sooner or later I would fall in the ditch.

This delightful animation recounts how my fears were justified. We people have no clue how to go in a straight line in the absence of reference points!

A Mystery: Why Can't We Walk Straight? from NPR on Vimeo.

(via swissmiss)

The rest of the year was generally extraordinarily lovely, with perfect weather from February, when the crocuses bloomed, through September, when the rain started.


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