Brain Pickings

Posts Tagged ‘animation’

10 FEBRUARY, 2012

A Brief Animated History of the Modern Calendar

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Since the dawn of civilization, humanity has been trying to map and understand time. A cornerstone of these timekeeping efforts is the invention of the calendar, but how exactly did it begin? Jeremiah Warren has put together a brief animated history:

For more on the history, sociology, and science of the calendar, see Anthony Aveni’s Empires of Time: Calendars, Clocks, and Cultures.

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09 FEBRUARY, 2012

Six Vintage-Inspired Animations on Critical Thinking

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A field guide to the art and science of the solid argument.

Australian outfit Bridge 8, who have the admirable mission of devising “creative strategies for science and society,” and animator James Hutson have created six fantastic two-minute animations on various aspects of critical thinking, aimed at school ages 8 to 10, or kids between the ages of 13 and 15, but also designed to resonate with grown-ups. Inspired by the animation style of the 1950s, most recognizably Saul Bass, the films are designed to promote a set of educational resources on critical thinking by TechNYou, an emerging technologies public information project funded by the Australian government.

The animations — which are part Minute Physics, part The Dot and the Line, part 60-Second Adventures in Thought — are released under a Creative Commons license and cover the basics of logic and the scientific method, as well as specific psychological pitfalls like confirmation bias and Gambler’s Fallacy.

For more on the art and science of critical thinking, see the excellent primer Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing: A Brief Guide to Argument.

Thanks, Upulie

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07 FEBRUARY, 2012

Why Pink Doesn’t Exist: An Illustrated Stop-Motion Science Explanation in 60 Seconds

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Pretty in minus-green.

If OK Go’s stop-motion color theory for Sesame Street met mathemagician Vi Hart’s hand-drawn math lessons, you’d get Minute Physics — charming and illuminating hand-illustrated science animations, like this fantastic explanation of how the color pink exists even though pink light doesn’t.

Speaking in terms of light, pink should probably be called ‘minus-green,’ because pink is just the leftovers of white light when you take out the green.”

For more on the curiosities and quirks of the science of perception, don’t forget Mark Changizi’s fascinating The Vision Revolution, which explores why we see the way we do.

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