This info graphic demonstrates how small today is in comparison to all of known time. By the way, it’s pretty small.
In Evolution, an online Flash app, you simulate the principles of evolution (well, some of them). You start out with a screen of a few different amoeba-like creatures, each with their own genetic code and characteristics. You designate food zones and the rate at which food is generated. The creatures each seek out food and move toward it as fast as their genetic code will allow them. When they eat, they reproduce (asexually, no she-bang bang going on, so perverts can go elsewhere).
You can draw lines in the sand that trap the creatures in certain areas of the screen and then just test out different scenarios. What will happen if food is dropped plentifully on one side of the stream and not the other? What happens if you bump up the mutation percentage? Will you get different creatures? And will they be able to survive? This simulation is similar to many other simulations online, but it is fun to play around with and serves as an interesting screen saver as well.
Remixers of culture, Negativland, have always been on the forefront of changing copyright laws back to their original intent of promoting creative works as opposed to squashing them. They’ve been leaders in changing people’s views as they move away from corporate control paradigms of production and distribution of art and music into the new digital era of free public domain of culture (the way it used to be before copyright laws came into existence). For anyone interested in exploring this subject further, take a read at this brilliant article by Negativland, “Two Relationships to a Cultural Public Domain”. Also be sure to read more from Negativland on the subject.
Additionally, for all you musicians and artists out there who are struggling to make a buck in the digital age, I highly recommend reading Andrew Dubber’s e-book (available for free or pay-what-you-want download), “Music in the Digital Age”. Dubber truly embraces the new paradigm that has arisen within the internet and will give you many great words of advice on how to prosper and stay afloat in the new model of commerce and creativity.
The Universe is huge, we can all agree on that. You and I are both just tiny little insignificant specks in the cosmos. So maybe it’s time you adjust your attitude and get the Hell over yourself. You’re no better than I in the grand scheme of things. To put things into perspective I’ve compiled a list of online apps and videos that will demonstrate to you how small you really are. Maybe after you’ve had a chance to look at a few of them, you will quit lording over the Fourth of July neighborhood picnic like you’re King Tut and finally return my lawn mower.
In this flash app, designed by the twins Cary and Michael Huang, you slide a slider to the left to view objects that are smaller than a human being and to the right to view objects larger. You can zoom down to the smallest Planck all the way up to the entire known universe in just a moment. But you will want to take your time and compare the thousands of objects that float by. If you are an optimist, this app will make you feel like a supreme being–larger than life. If you’re a pessimist, you’ll find out how small you really are.
There are a few alternate versions of this app as well including a swirly version which will send you spiraling in either direction and a “wrong” version which randomly generates the objects, so you can actually be smaller than the width of a credit card and larger than Pluto at the same time. Trippy. There is also a sequel, but don’t jump the gun yet. Read on.
Stefano Pedretti’s portraiture reminds me of cartoon characters. Pronounced chins, googly eyeballs, overbites, and distorted facial structures all combine to make some unique looking characters.
I found this super detailed image of the history of science fiction, depicted as a giant blob. See if you can find your favorite books and movies in the illustration.