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The Size of Things
July 8, 2009 3:13 PM   Subscribe

Welcome to the Universe - III: The Size of Things . . .we take a breif trip through the Solar System and beyond to see the size of the Universe. A youtube video by AndromedasWake about the scale of the Universe.
posted by nola (20 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
I think it's a long way down the road to the chemist.
posted by i_cola at 3:19 PM on July 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


So, if we ever mount that manned trip to Mars that the video speculates about -- how long would it take to get there if it's another 3 light minutes (I think that's what they said) from Earth?
posted by RavinDave at 3:27 PM on July 8, 2009


The surface of Venus can only be seen by sending landers which don't live very long ...indeed so thick are the clouds on Venus that at the surface its temperature is actually higher than that of Mercury, but if you were to visit the surface this would only be one of your problems, you'd be poisoned, you'd be fried, you'd be squashed flat. A decidedly unappealing place for a holiday.

Venus Board of Tourism's response: "Hey, fuck you too, buddy!"
posted by quin at 3:31 PM on July 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


"In this episode, we take a breif trip through the Solar System and beyond to see the size of the Universe."

BTW -- it's "brief." /nit/
"Images in the video are reproduced with respect to the doctrine of fair use for non-profit, educational purposes....Copying and spreading this video is both permitted and encouraged by the author....Use of images/animations in this video is intended for non-profit, educational purposes. Please contact me via my YouTube account if you are the rightful owner of any material you would like removed from the video."
Is the use of the images, animations, and videos etc. he has included really "fair use?" Isn't it his responsibility to clear them, as opposed to the artists, photographers, videographers, etc. having to "come upon" this 11 minute documentary and then determine such?
posted by ericb at 3:34 PM on July 8, 2009


*screwed up the blockquote HTML formatting of my comment*
posted by ericb at 3:37 PM on July 8, 2009


11,160,000 miles per minute - now the rest is up to you. This isn't a homework assignment is it?
posted by Cranberry at 3:37 PM on July 8, 2009


"you were to visit the surface [of venus] this would only be one of your problems, you'd be poisoned, you'd be fried, you'd be squashed flat"

This caught my attention too - I get poisoned and fried, but I didn't understand squashed flat since Venus is very similar to earth in size and mass such that the resulting acceleration due to gravity at the surface is very similar.

It seems the reason that you'd be squashed is due to the very high air pressure resulting from the dense atmosphere - it's 90 times that of earth!
posted by sloe at 4:16 PM on July 8, 2009


What is the speed of sound? How fast must one travel to outrun Enya?
posted by hal9k at 4:50 PM on July 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


> A decidedly unappealing place for a holiday.

It still sounds better than central Florida.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:50 PM on July 8, 2009


Whenever life gets you down, Mrs. Brown,
And things seem hard or tough,
And people are stupid, obnoxious or daft,
And you feel that you've had quite eno-o-o-o-o-ough...

Just remember that you're standing on a planet that's evolving
And revolving at nine hundred miles an hour,
That's orbiting at nineteen miles a second, so it's reckoned,
A sun that is the source of all our power.
The sun and you and me and all the stars that we can see
Are moving at a million miles a day
In an outer spiral arm, at forty thousand miles an hour,
Of the galaxy we call the "Milky Way".

Our galaxy itself contains a hundred billion stars.
It's a hundred thousand light years side to side.
It bulges in the middle, sixteen thousand light years thick,
But out by us, it's just three thousand light years wide.
We're thirty thousand light years from galactic central point.
We go 'round every two hundred million years,
And our galaxy is only one of millions of billions
In this amazing and expanding universe.

The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding
In all of the directions it can whizz
As fast as it can go, at the speed of light, you know,
Twelve million miles a minute, and that's the fastest speed there is.
So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth,
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space,
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth. (src)

posted by blue_beetle at 4:58 PM on July 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well done. Brings back good memories of 'Nova' on PBS.
posted by uni verse at 5:08 PM on July 8, 2009



Coming to mefi has of late been making me feel particularly small and insignificant.
posted by notreally at 5:26 PM on July 8, 2009


Didn't we just do this?
posted by nonspecialist at 5:55 PM on July 8, 2009


Very nice stuff. Thanks for posting it!
posted by jquinby at 6:58 PM on July 8, 2009


One problem with getting to Mars has been worked out.
posted by tellurian at 8:51 PM on July 8, 2009


That was lovely. A soft, science-y lullaby.
posted by cowbellemoo at 9:34 PM on July 8, 2009


Is the use of the images, animations, and videos etc. he has included really "fair use?" Isn't it his responsibility to clear them, as opposed to the artists, photographers, videographers, etc. having to "come upon" this 11 minute documentary and then determine such?

The copyright police will follow you to the end of the universe. No matter how large it is.
posted by srboisvert at 12:37 AM on July 9, 2009


"they move away faster than we can chase them" coupled with the melancholic music and the generally insigificance-inducing nature of the video made me feel a strange mixture of awe and sadness for all the vast wonders we will never know.
posted by atmosphere at 4:59 AM on July 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is the use of the images, animations, and videos etc. he has included really "fair use?" Isn't it his responsibility to clear them, as opposed to the artists, photographers, videographers, etc. having to "come upon" this 11 minute documentary and then determine such?

Yes, it's his moral responsibility, and most likely his legal responsibility as well.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:33 AM on July 9, 2009


Is the use of the images, animations, and videos etc. he has included really "fair use?" Isn't it his responsibility to clear them, as opposed to the artists, photographers, videographers, etc. having to "come upon" this 11 minute documentary and then determine such?

Yes, it's his moral responsibility, and most likely his legal responsibility as well.


I don't believe this is the case. See 17 U.S.C. 107.

If he wanted a license from the copyright holders, then yes, he would need to ask their permission ahead of time. But "fair use" is a sort of statutory compulsory license which does not require permission of the copyright holder to be exercised. That's kind of the whole point. If you're using a reasonably small portion of a work for sufficiently transformative/educational/newsworthy purposes, the copyright holder need not be contacted and likely can neither prevent the use nor demand compensation.

This is as good an example of fair use as I've come across. Granted, the creator's mere assertion of fair use does not actually make it so, but if you look at the four factors in the statute, this is almost certain to pass the test.
posted by valkyryn at 10:44 AM on July 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


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