An Animated History of Physics Introduces the Discoveries of Galileo, Newton, Maxwell & Einstein

How can you present scientific ideas to an audience of all ages -- scientists and non-scientists alike -- so that these ideas will stick in people's minds? Since 2012, BBC Two has been trying to answer this question with its series "Dara Ó Briain's Science Club." Irish stand-up comedian and TV presenter Dara Ó Briain invites experts to his show to tackle the biggest concepts in science in a way that is understandable to non-experts as well. Film clips and animations are used to visualize the ideas and concepts dealt with in the show.

In 2012, Åsa Lucander, a London-based animator originally from Finland, was approached by the BBC with the task of creating an animation about the history of physics. The result is as entertaining as it is instructive. The clip deals with the discoveries of four major scientists and the impact of their findings: Galileo Galilei, Isaac Newton, James Clerk Maxwell and Albert Einstein.

Bonus material:

By profession, Matthias Rascher teaches English and History at a High School in northern Bavaria, Germany. In his free time he scours the web for good links and posts the best finds on Twitter.

Related content:

Free Online Physics Courses

Leonard Susskind Teaches You “The Theoretical Minimum” for Understanding Modern Physics

125 Great Science Videos: From Astronomy to Physics and Psychology

Name That Movie: 26 Films in One Animated Minute

Evan Seitz created this one-minute animation in which each letter of the alphabet represents a famous movie. How many can you name? The answers have been shared on Buzzfeed and The High Definite.

Don't miss our collection of 450 Free Movies Online, which includes many great classics, indies, documentaries, noir films and more.

By profession, Matthias Rascher teaches English and History at a High School in northern Bavaria, Germany. In his free time he scours the web for good links and posts the best finds on Twitter.

Address is Approximate: A Lovely Animated Film Made with Google Maps

Next up: a lovely film about a lonely desk toy that longs for adventure. Observing the space around him, a robot finds a toy car and heads off on a road trip across the United States, guided only by Google Maps Street View. We start on the Brooklyn Bridge and finish on the Pacific Coast Highway in California. Parts of the video look like sequences from a Pixar film, they are so well made. In reality, the film was produced, animated, filmed, lit, edited and graded by one person: Tom Jenkins.

A great treat to start the week.

via Flowing Data

Eugene Buchko is a blogger and photographer living in Atlanta, GA. He maintains a photoblog, Erudite Expressions, and writes about what he reads on his reading blog.

Duelity: Creationist and Darwinist Origin Stories Animated

Produced at the Vancouver Film School, this split-screen animation tells the story of Earth’ s origins from a creationist and Darwinist/evolutionist point of view. To make things more interesting (spoiler: stop reading now if you want to maintain the element of surprise), the scientific story is told using religious language, whereas the Biblical version is told as if it were the scientific one. The slightly confusing conclusion (its' a zinger) shows how the language we use to present ideas influences their perception. And the ironic use of infographics tops off this visual and linguistic experiment.

On the homepage of the project, you can watch the videos separately and download them. Also, the YouTube channel of Vancouver Film School is always worth a visit.

By profession, Matthias Rascher teaches English and History at a High School in northern Bavaria, Germany. In his free time he scours the web for good links and posts the best finds on Twitter.

The Mechanical Monsters: Seminal Superman Animated Film from 1941

In 1941, director Dave Fleischer and Paramount Pictures animators Steve Muffati and George Germanetti produced Superman: The Mechanical Monsters -- a big-budget animated adaptation of the popular Superman comics of that period, in which a mad scientist unleashes robots to rob banks and loot museums, and Superman, naturally, saves the day. It was one of seventeen films that raised the bar for theatrical shorts and are even considered by some to have given rise to the entire Anime genre.

More than a mere treat of vintage animation, the film captures the era's characteristic ambivalence in reconciling the need for progress with the fear of technology in a culture on the brink of incredible technological innovation. It was the dawn of the techno-paranoia that persisted through the 1970s, famously captured in the TV series Future Shock narrated by Orson Welles, and even through today. Take for example books like Nicholas Carr's The Shallows and Sherry Turkle's Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other.

Superman: The Mechanical Monsters is available for download on The Internet Archive, and Toonami Digital Arsenal has the complete series of all seventeen films. Find more vintage animation in Open Culture's collection of Free Movies Online.

Maria Popova is the founder and editor in chief of Brain Pickings, a curated inventory of cross-disciplinary interestingness. She writes for Wired UK, The Atlantic and DesignObserver, and spends a great deal of time on Twitter.

A Digital Reconstruction of Washington D.C. in 1814

What did the U.S. capital look like 200 years ago? Finding a satisfactory answer to this question is very difficult since there are very few reliable images, maps and written accounts from Washington's early days. This is why Dan Bailey, director of the Imaging Research Center (IRC) at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, has approached architectural historians, cartographers, engineers, and ecologists to "recreate a 'best guess' glimpse of the early city." The video above is the result of the IRC's work, showing a city that was, they say, "a rough work in progress."

Nothing was polished. The scale of the federal city was that of a person, not of immense marble bureaucracy. There were cabins and barns on the Capital Lawn. The first fence around the Capitol was to keep the cows out. Congressmen came to town for the legislative sessions, many times sleeping 3 to a room in a boarding house, and working in unfinished buildings.

An in-depth article about the ongoing project was published in The Washington Post.

By profession, Matthias Rascher teaches English and History at a High School in northern Bavaria, Germany. In his free time he scours the web for good links and posts the best finds on Twitter.

The Ice Book, a Beautiful Pop-Up Book

The Ice Book, seen above, is a paper theatre brought to life with light. Watch as sheets of paper are illuminated in a dazzling animation display. According to the artists, Davy and Kristin McGuire, The Ice Book tells the story of a mysterious princess who lures a boy into her magical world to warm her heart of ice. It was shot with the Canon 5D Mark II, with the actors superimposed onto the montages using a makeshift green screen, and projections created in Adobe After Effects. A simple yet remarkable achievement. You can learn more about the project here. Don't miss the page describing the behind the scenes work, or this other primo video that savors books in stop motion film.

Eugene Buchko is a blogger and photographer living in Atlanta, GA. He maintains a photoblog, Erudite Expressions, and writes about what he reads on his reading blog.

Quantcast