Thursday, November 3, 2011

Keeper of the Clock at Trinity College, Cambridge

There's something lovely and enchanting about clocks and old British universities.  Maybe it's something about the romance of learning, or the thought of Big Ben tolling away in the fog as London men in black bowler hats carrying umbrellas rush to and fro.  Maybe it's something related to the Britain captured in Roald Dahl and P.G. Wodehouse stories, or the formidable Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series.  Maybe it's something about clockwork machinery and Britain as a whole, where the Industrial Revolution was born.  In any case, I love hearing about the history of ancient machinery, especially clocks and especially when the machines dwell in the British Isles.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

An Orrery Featuring Kepler's Exoplanets

Here is an amazing visualization of the exoplanets discovered by the Kepler space telescope:

There's something mesmerizing and powerful about this simulation.  Actually, there's something powerful about visualizations in general.  Think about Spongelab, a company that creates science visualizations to help students learn.  The merging of artistic, or visual, elements with abstract thinking can help people understand so many things.