Tag Archives: Science

The force is strong with this chap!

TeslaCoil

Apologies for the poor pic, because this clip is too cool!

When I was a kid, I wanted a stylophone. Now, Rolf Harris and his annoying invention can stuff off – THIS is the kit for me!

Fancy a novel way to play the Imperial March from Star Wars? Try dressing up in a Faraday suit, then letting the electric stream from a Tesla Coil pass through your suit whilst it screams out Darth Vadar’s ringtone. If I ever come into money, this is way up on my list of things to buy!

Check it out here.

You’re one in 6.5 Billion…

….ever wondered what that looks like?

Find out here.

The Power of Visuals (Part II)

This guy, Chris Jordan, confronts us with statistics about modern life in a graphical way. Maybe not the first time it’s been done, but probably few other methods have been executed quite as well.

In his own words:

Each image portrays a specific quantity of something: fifteen million sheets of office paper (five minutes of paper use); 106,000 aluminum cans (thirty seconds of can consumption) and so on. My hope is that images representing these quantities might have a different effect than the raw numbers alone, such as we find daily in articles and books. Statistics can feel abstract and anesthetizing, making it difficult to connect with and make meaning of 3.6 million SUV sales in one year, for example, or 2.3 million Americans in prison, or 32,000 breast augmentation surgeries in the U.S. every month.

This project visually examines these vast and bizarre measures of our society, in large intricately detailed prints assembled from thousands of smaller photographs. Employing themes such as the near versus the far, and the one versus the many, I hope to raise some questions about the roles and responsibilities we each play as individuals in a collective that is increasingly enormous, incomprehensible, and overwhelming.

~chris jordan, Seattle, 2008

Here’s a sample of some of his work:

Light Bulbs, 2008
72×96″

Depicts 320,000 light bulbs, equal to the number of kilowatt hours of electricity wasted in the United States every minute from inefficient residential electricity usage (inefficient wiring, computers in sleep mode, etc.). Light1

Ok. Let’s zoom in to get an idea of numbers:

Light2

And again:

Light3

Still more:

Light4

Again?!:

Light5

So – just to remind ourselves, that’s EVERY MINUTE in the States alone.

What about this pic:

Plastic Bottles, 2007
60×120″

Depicts two million plastic beverage bottles, the number used in the US every five minutes.

Bottles1

Zooming in:

Bottles2

And right in for the detail:

Bottles3

Wow. Five minutes worth of plastic bottles.

It gives me some sort of sense of just how big the world is but at the same time a sense of shame at my contribution to this junk.

This guy has done quite a few more like this, but kids PLEASE DO NOT FOLLOW THE LINK. There are some upsetting images that you don’t need to see.

Barrie

Amazing thought

I learned today that scientists believe that the original ‘kernal’ or ‘seed’ of matter that blew up and give birth to the millions of galaxies in our universe may have measured 1cm to the -26th power (I think that’s how you write it), and would have only weighed about 8lbs.

I find this amazing for two reasons.

Firstly, how the heck did all the matter in the planets and stars etc. come from something only weighing 8lbs?!I guess something that small weighing 8lbs is pretty dense!

Secondly, who does this math – and if you’re that clever, how do you cope with inferior minds like the rest of us. ‘Real life’ must be so trivial when you’re wrapping your brain round stuff like that!

I also learned that if any piece of matter was condensed enough it could, in theory, create another universe by way of a tiny black hole . So, I could in theory squash an m&m in my living room if I had the technology and open a tiny black hole, the other side of which would be another universe which I might be able to visit but could never return from.

Awesome!

I have lots of Christian friends and am a Christian myself – if anyone, Christian or otherwise, fancies responding to this i.e. how this stuff fits in with their faith I’d be really interested. This personally does not cause any conflict for me and increases my sense of wonder at creation but then again, I don’t believe in a literal Genesis account of creation. What do people think?