Brain Pickings

Charles & Ray Eames’ Powers of Ten Flipbook

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Yesterday, we featuerd Charles and Ray Eames’ iconic Powers of Ten as one of our five visualizations of the scale of the universe. Today, we were delighted to discover that Pentagram designer Joe Marianek filmed and narrated the original Eames Powers of Ten flipbook.

The book takes you on a journey through 38 powers of ten, at a pace of two pages per power, moving from big to small. This means that every two pages, you see a view ten times smaller than two pages earlier.

Enjoy — and grab a copy of the original flipbook for your own creative perusal.

via Quipsologies

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Cosmic Discoveries: The Universe in Your Pocket

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We love space, so we’re thrilled about the release of Cosmic Discoveries, the third excellent iPhone/iPad app from the American Museum of Natural History.

Fittingly described as “a mosaic of the universe in your pocket,” Cosmic Discoveries is the first app to offer nearly 1,000 breathtaking images of the Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy and beyond on a mobile device. From refreshing social features like sharing and commenting on photos to the home screen picturing a collage of all the photos stitched together into one of the most iconic astronomy images of all time — Saturn and its rings — reminiscent of National Geographic‘s Infinite Photograph, the app is an absolute treat, as visually stunning as it is educationally fascinating.

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Fifty People, One Question

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What world peace has to do with zombie fever and waking up in your own bed.

This past weekend, Vimeo announced the finalists in the first-ever Vimeo Awards for creativity and innovation in online video. While many of our favorites from the past few years made the cut, today we’re looking at one particularly wonderful project: Fifty People One Question.

The brainchild of filmmaker and designer duo Benjamin Reece and Nathan Heleine, the project is based on a simple premise that yields surprisingly rich results: Asking people one question and filming their response.

The project consists of four films, the first of which was shot in New Orleans and conceived by Reece, who later partnered with Heleine to produce the remaining three.

It’s amazing, in a deeply sad kind of way, how self-conscious and timid people become as they communicate a genuine wish for “world peace,” fully aware of the contrived fluff-status the phrase has attained. How disheartening to think that we’ve built ourselves a culture where the prospect of world peace is met with more cynicism than optimism and relayed with more self-derision than bold advocacy.

Filmed in 2008, the project is both brilliantly timeless in its honest humanity and curiously timestamped by the cultural fads and patterns of the day, from the bugeye sunglasses to the dawn of the zombie craze to the common concerns about joblessness at the peak of the economic meltdown.

Where would you like to wake up tomorrow?

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