Watch a video of the transit of Venus. From 1882.
Today is your last chance to watch Venus cross the face of the Sun before 2117, so don’t miss it. The event occurs so infrequently that the last transit, prior to the one in 2004, occurred all the way back in 1882.
Until relatively recently, the most common way of capturing snapshots the sky was by means of glass, photographic plates. In 1882, astronomer David Peck Todd used a series of these plates to capture the transit of Venus. Over a century later, astronomers Anthony Misch and Bill Sheehan recovered these long-forgotten plates from storage, and combined them to form the video below, reanimating what they call “a moving record of an event seen by no one now living, and a preview of what millions” will soon see for the last time in their lives:
Well, if this doesn’t inspire you to be more productive, what will? What are you doing today?
(via Brain Pickings)
Home Sweet Home
Einstein at his home in Princeton, New Jersey.
Isaac Newton’s Apple Tree
Located in front of Trinity College, to the right of the Great Gate. Although impossible to prove, this is believed to be where Isaac Newton made his famous realization.
Andy Warner and a new approach to graphical journalism
Andy Warner is a great cartoonist. Reading the archive of his blog, you can see that he writes and draws some beautiful stories about people and life (Behind the Stars). Recently he started to realize some political comics, the first for his blog, The man who built Beirut, and two others for the Slate about the syrian uprising: the first about the Assad’s family and the second about the 1949 coup (with the probably collaboration of CIA) that it is the origin of the syrian political situation.
In particular with these syrian comics, Andy experiments a particular type of graphic reportage (or graphic journalism), with a story telling near to the Introducing series, with a large use of explenations, and some ballons
Furthermore the comics about the story of the Assad’s family has an infographical structure that is very useful for this type of web comic
Another interesting tool is the timeline embedded in the second syrian comic:
I think that Andy has a good story telling in general, but the use of infographic and timeline in this type of comics could take the graphical journalism in a more interesting era.
(via Il Giornalaio)
He made science cool, turned bad hair good—and there’s that tongue photo. by Thomas Levenson
Bob Dylan came up with one way to remember Albert Einstein: “Now you would not think to look at him/But he was famous long ago/For playing the electric violin/On Desolation Row.”
This is the pure distillate of celebrity. Dylan’s folk-rock vision of “Einstein, disguised as Robin Hood” is one in which the original man has disappeared into a symbolic fog where more or less any meaning may be found. Nowadays, such content-less fame has become common, though there aren’t many out there who match Einstein for resonance. But when he first exploded into public view, there were no precedents. No scientist before or since has so completely transcended the role of expert to become a universal emblem of reason.
It is possible to fix almost to the day the moment when Einstein became an icon. On November 6, 1919, he was still a private person. But that night, the Royal Society held a special meeting in London to announce the results of observations that seemed to confirm Einstein’s theory of gravity, the general theory of relativity. As The Times of London reported in a headline the next day, the society concluded that the work amounted to a “Revolution in Science—New Theory of the Universe—Newton’s Ideas Overthrown.” Three days later, The New York Times picked the story up, blaring that there were “Lights All Askew in the Heavens…[the] stars [were] not where they seemed or were calculated to be.” From there the word spread around the globe until, by the turn of the year, Albert Einstein had crossed the point of no return: He was and has remained public property. But that raises questions: Why him, why then, why still?