Brain Pickings

Posts Tagged ‘animation’

19 MARCH, 2014

Happy Birthday, Standard Time: How the Railroads Gave Us Time Zones

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How the quest to prevent train collisions forever changed the global clock.

Our internal time, distorted as it is, may dictate a great deal of our lives, but it is external time — the scientific and cultural conventions of timekeeping — that anchors the rhythms of society. One of those most central timekeeping anchors was born on March 19, 1918, when the United States government passed the Standard Time Act — a federal law formalizing the concept of time zones. In this short animation from TED Ed, historian William Heuisler tells the fascinating story of how the railroad revolution led to the establishment of Standard Time, a seemingly simple development the impact of which profoundly shaped our everyday lives:

Complement with the curious psychology of time slows down when we’re afraid, speeds up as we age, and gets all warped when we’re on vacation, then revisit these 7 excellent books about time.

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05 MARCH, 2014

The Science of Our Warped Perception of Time, Animated

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Why the same amount of time can seem to fly or slow to a crawl depending on the context.

In 2013, a mind-bending read on the psychology of why time slows down when we’re afraid, speeds up as we age, and gets warped when we’re on vacation became one of the year’s most popular articles. Now, Australian science communicator Vanessa Hill, mastermind of the wonderful BrainCraft — a series of animated science explainers that fall somewhere between Vi Hart and AsapSCIENCE and yet feel entirely unique — explores the science of our warped time perception in a charming animated synthesis of six major studies that shed light on this cognitive perplexity:

For a deeper dive into the subject, see Claudia Hammond’s excellent Time Warped: Unlocking the Mysteries of Time Perception, one of the best psychology books of 2013.

Thanks, Joe

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23 JANUARY, 2014

The Life-Cycle of a Single Water Drop, in a Pop-Up Book Animated in Stop-Motion

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Nature’s rhythms in masterful paper engineering.

Given my soft spot for pop-up books, I was instantly taken with this collaboration between paper engineer extraordinaire Helen Friel (who brought us those amazing 3D paper sculptures of Euclid’s elements), photographer Chris Turner, and animator Jess Deacon, visualizing the life-cycle of a single drop of water as a pop-up book animated in stop-motion, nearly a year in the making:

To fully appreciate the incredible craftsmanship that went into the project, here is a timelapse of the making-of:

Complement with a different kind of 3D papercraft labor-of-love, celebrating favorite books.

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