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If you plan on taking a trip to Jupiter, this is not the map to use.

If the Moon Were Only 1 Pixel is a tediously accurate model of the Solar System that Josh Worth made to explain to his daughter just how difficult it is to go on holiday to Mars.
posted by Kattullus on Mar 5, 2014 - 69 comments

For Egypt's Startups, Unstable Government Is the Least of Their Worries

Egyptian startup culture vs. Silicon Valley: how to lock down bugfixes & VC funding in midst of military takeover? Via
posted by infini on Feb 28, 2014 - 4 comments

Mind, blown

Experience just how big the Universe is, using this interactive graphic made by 14-year-old Cary Huang. Click on individual objects for factoids.
posted by pjern on Feb 24, 2014 - 23 comments

One pill makes you nano, and one pill makes you giga...

The pressure of a human bite is about 1/9th of the atmospheric pressure on Venus. The fastest bacterium on earth is just outstripping the fastest glacier. A square meter of sunshine in the spring imparts about 1 horsepower. [more inside]
posted by kagredon on Dec 7, 2013 - 20 comments

Distemper

Pitch Battles: How a paranoid fringe group made musical tuning an international issue.
The petition had its origins in one of the strangest conflicts to have overtaken classical music in the past thirty years, and many of these luminaries were completely unaware of what they’d gotten themselves into. The sponsor of both the petition and the conference that featured Tebaldi was an organization called the Schiller Institute, dedicated to, among other things, lowering standard musical pitch. ... But behind this respectable front lurks a strange mélange of conspiracy, demagoguery, and cultish behavior. At its founding in 1984, its chairman Helga Zepp-LaRouche laid out the Institute’s role in surprisingly apocalyptic terms
Originally published at The Believer.
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 9, 2013 - 51 comments

The number of constituent particles in one mole of a given substance.

Avogadro Project - The International Avogadro project relates the kilogram to the mass of a fixed number of atoms by measuring the number of atoms in a sphere of silicon. I'll leave this here.
posted by hypersloth on Jun 8, 2013 - 26 comments

A work of significant scale.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your pleasure please behold Leviathan [click image to advance to next image], a work by Anish Kapoor at the Grand Palais in Paris. Contemporary Art Blog link here. [more inside]
posted by shakespeherian on Apr 17, 2013 - 22 comments

Replacement Key

Hey Jude in Minor Scale. Smells Like Teen Spirit in Major Scale. The Final Countdown in Major. Beat It in Major. Losing My Religion in Major.
posted by spiderskull on Mar 1, 2013 - 66 comments

1 TERABYTE MP3 HARSH NOISE 233 x DVD

1 TERABYTE MP3 HARSH NOISE 233 x DVD [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Aug 2, 2012 - 60 comments

Time To Corner The Market On Passenger Jet Wing Assemblies!

Economies of Scale is a free, web-based multiplayer business/commerce simulation game under development by Scott Rubyton (aka Ratan Joyce). Players use starting capital to build production/wholesale/retail businesses from the ground up in a basic economic model, competing for market share while collaborating through business-to-business trading of goods and materials. It's more fun than getting an MBA! Also much less expensive. [more inside]
posted by cortex on Apr 3, 2012 - 60 comments

The Scale of the Universe

The Scale of The Universe 2 (give it a minute to load)
posted by backseatpilot on Feb 10, 2012 - 27 comments

Supernova Sonata

Supernova Sonata by Alex Parker From April, 2003 until August, 2006, the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope watched four parts of the sky as often as possible. Armed with the largest digital camera in the known universe, CFHT monitored these four fields for a special type of supernova (called Type Ia) which are created by the thermonuclear detonation of one or more white-dwarf stars. Each supernova is assigned a note to be played: The volume of the note is determined by the distance to the supernova, with more distant supernova being quieter and fainter. The pitch of the note was determined by the supernova’s “stretch,” a property of how the supernova brightens and fades. Higher stretch values played higher notes. The pitches were drawn from a Phrygian dominant scale. The instrument the note was played on was determined by the properties of the galaxy which hosted each supernova. Supernovae hosted by massive galaxies are played with a stand-up bass, while supernovae hosted by less massive galaxies are played with a grand piano.
posted by ThenCameNow on May 26, 2011 - 10 comments

Whether they find a life there or not, I think Jupiter should be called an enemy planet.

What if other planets in the Solar System orbited Earth at the same distance as the Moon? (SLVimeo) Full screen highly recommended.
posted by grapesaresour on Jan 29, 2011 - 120 comments

The Scale of the Universe

The Universe, with relative scales. Who knew there were earthworms 7m long? Or that drinking water involves Mickey Mouse heads?
posted by Happy Dave on Oct 6, 2010 - 32 comments

"The planet . . . was scarcely any larger than a house!"

The Planetary Society's Emily Lakdawalla has prepared a scale image of every asteroid and comet ever visited by a spacecraft. [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor on Jul 21, 2010 - 15 comments

1:12 Scale Food

1:12 Scale Food
posted by Joe Beese on Mar 19, 2010 - 38 comments

Cell Size and Scale

Cool app lets you zoom in from a coffee bean to a carbon atom, so that you can compare sizes. Along the way, you see a grain of sand, a skin cell and many other tiny things. This is the first time I've ever had a sense of these objects' sizes. Cells are actually bigger than I thought they were. I wish the zoomer would keep going. I want to see some sub-atomic particles on the scale.
posted by grumblebee on Oct 28, 2009 - 43 comments

It's full of stars

One of the hardest things for people to understand about the universe is just how big it is. There are three approaches typically used in describing its size. The first, the song, was pioneered by Monty Python (NSFWish, wireframe of naked woman) and then done just as masterfully by the Animaniacs. The second, the zoom method has been featured twice before here on the blue. The third method is the comparison method (skip to 1:30, unless you like looking at a image of the solar system with terrible distorted orbits), yielding some truly beautiful videos (this one found via the fantastic Bad Astronomy blog). These videos go, at most, as far as looking at the local cluster or the Virgo Supercluster. There are two videos that attempt to show the size of the entire universe, one unsuccessfully (although with great music) and one successfully. (Warning, all links except the first one, are to YT videos). [more inside]
posted by Hactar on Jul 1, 2009 - 74 comments

"Kids run after us like we're the ice cream man when we take it out"

College student builds a tank. [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan on Apr 8, 2008 - 39 comments

Nanoreisen

Nanoreisen. "A virtual discovery journey into the worlds of micro- and nano-cosmos." [flash] A kind of thematic followup to this.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken on Jul 30, 2007 - 6 comments

Universcale

The universe [flash]. I know, it's on a corporate site, and you have to sit through some pretentious Japanglish while it loads, but being able to use your mousewheel to scroll from femtometers up to the 100 billion lightyear scale is dazzling. I love cosmic zooms. Remember to pray that there's intelligent life in space, because there's bugger-all down here on Earth, except for folks like Metafilter's own kokogiak, who shows us everything in the solar system bigger than 200 miles in diameter.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken on Mar 30, 2007 - 29 comments

The Bohlen-Pierce scale

The Bohlen-Pierce scale is a musical scale which has thirteen notes spread evenly across one and a half octaves, so that the highest note is three times the frequency of the lowest. Compare with the western twelve-tone scale, which has twelve notes spread evenly across one octave, where the highest note is twice the frequency of the lowest. Both are tempered scales, and both have close approximations to 'just intonations', meaning you could play the scales by plucking a string clamped at certain ratios like 1/2, 1/4, 5/3, etc. One of the independant co-inventors of the scale, John Pierce, was also a famous electrical engineer best known for inventing the communications satellite. You can listen to Pachelbel's Canon(midi link) rewritten in this scale.
posted by PercussivePaul on Nov 11, 2006 - 46 comments

all the air and all the water

Here's an interesting series of scale/perspective images showing what all the water on Earth (1.4087 billion cubic kilometres of it), including sea water, ice, lakes, rivers, ground water, clouds, etc. would look like in comparison to the total spherical area of the Earth, and then again showing All the air in the atmosphere (5140 trillion tonnes of it) gathered into a ball at sea-level density. Both illustrations shown on the same scale as the Earth. via
posted by jonson on Nov 13, 2005 - 36 comments

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