Arthur C. Clarke Presents the Colors of Infinity

In 1995, Sir Arthur C. Clarke, the futur­ist and sci­ence fic­tion writer most well known for his nov­el 2001: A Space Odyssey, pre­sent­ed a tele­vi­sion doc­u­men­tary on the 1980 dis­cov­ery of the Man­del­brot Set (M‑Set). Frac­tals: The Col­ors of Infin­i­ty brings us inside the world of frac­tal geom­e­try, and soon enough we’re encoun­ter­ing what has been called “the thumbprint of God.” Clarke nar­rates the film, which has a 54 minute run­time. David Gilmour (gui­tarist, vocal­ist and song­writer for Pink Floyd) cre­at­ed the sound­track. Big hat tip to Greg for send­ing along…

Note: You can pur­chase online the DVD of the doc­u­men­tary, along with the orig­i­nal book on which it was based.

Pete Seeger, 91, Performs BP Protest Song

Bless the man. Pete Seeger, now 91, is still doing it, putting protests into song. On July 24th, he appeared at a Gulf Coast Oil Spill fundrais­er at The City Win­ery in New York City. There, he per­formed a song he co-wrote with Lorre Wyatt: “God’s Count­ing on Me, God’s Count­ing on You.” All pro­ceeds went to the Gulf Restora­tion Net­work. This one is for you, Bob…

Zooming Into the World


Last week, a clas­sic film, Pow­ers of Ten, showed us what it looks like when we zoom out into the uni­verse by fac­tors of ten. Hele­na sent us that video. Now, Robert directs our atten­tion to videos that move in the extreme oppo­site direc­tion. They zoom inward, tak­ing us down to the atom­ic lev­el of things that sur­round us – a tooth (above), the human eye and the eye of a fly, an every­day piece of plas­tic, and more. The videos come from John Size­more’s “Weird Weird Sci­ence” col­lec­tion on Dai­ly Motion. Robert gets the copy of The Omni­vore’s Dilem­ma (kind­ly donat­ed by Pen­guin) for send­ing these along.

The 50% off sale on great films in the Cri­te­ri­on Col­lec­tion ends today (August 2)! Vis­it sale here.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.