Known space

Paul Raven @ 06-01-2010

First hump-day of the year… sheesh. I don’t know about you, but I’ve a hankering for some sensawunda. And for me, nothing throws that switch quite like being reminded of how tiny and insignificant we are in the greater scheme of things. This video [via Lou Anders] will do exactly that. Enjoy!


Paul Raven @ 11-07-2009

Here’s a bit of sensawunda for your Saturday. Spend ten minutes and think about the size of universe, starting at the home base of our own Sun and moving on out into mind-boggling infinities…

Most of this stuff will be familiar to Futurismic readers, I imagine, but the images are good, and I still get that sf-nal kick from being reminded of the incredible and momentary insignificance of our own existence. [via MetaFilter]

160,000 year journey of man

Tomas Martin @ 24-09-2007

ice in europeA lot can happen in 160,000 years. Back then a handful of human beings scraped out a life in Africa and at various hard times during the centuries catastrophes have pushed the total world population down to barely 10,000 people. This excellent animation by the Bradshaw Foundation shows how the human race expanded and contracted as climate changed, eventually spreading to all the continents after the last ice age. Watching the ice and glaciers advance and retreat and volcanoes erupt and change and the impact this had on human lives is a stark warning to anyone denying climate change. It’s amazing how much the Earth can effect our lives.

And here’s a reminder of just how small even mankind’s efforts are amidst the vastness of the universe. This wonderfully kitsch 1977 video zooms out at a power of ten from the earth out into space. Alternatively, why not go the other way, as in this zooming in animation.

[via Dark Roasted Blend][image courtesy of]