The Scale of the Universe – a fun, educational animation

An interactive Flash animation titled “Scale Of The Universe 2“, covering everything in the universe from the fabric of space-time to the estimated size of the universe, was posted earlier this year, and it is awesome. A month or so later, it went viral, but why…so popular?

First, the actual scale of the universe is mind blowing as it spans 62 orders of magnitude (that’s multiplying 62 10′s together).

Second, the animation is very well produced and packed with information.

Third, it was created by a 14-year-old, Cary Huang, and his twin brother, Michael, who worked on it for a year and a half as a fun project…

via The Singularity Hub

 

It’s true, it is really fun to play with, especially with all the weird objects they use for comparisons. I snapped a few screenshots below to show you some of them.

The first one is where the animation starts and the second is after scrolling out a bit. In both, you can see the size of a human in comparison to many objects (in the second one, there is a tiny human in the center).

In the last screenshot, you can see how California, Texas, and Italy are about the size of many moons and Pluto!

The Scale of the Universe 2

The evolution of design, for blogging

This week TechCrunch launched a new design for their site and Michael Arrington, the founder, posted links to the previous designs. Which gives us a unique chance to see the evolution of blog design from 2005 to 2011.

Screenshots of all four changes are provided below and here are the big changes I noticed, what did you see?

  • Ads – most dramatic change, in number (1 ⇒ 8 ⇒ 10 ⇒ 1) and size (wide banner is gone).
  • Admin links – like categories, search, about, have steadily moved up the site, now resting on the very top.
  • RSS – went from prominent placement to completely missing.
  • Content – hasn’t changed, except for picture on left and title font growth.
  • Sidebar – the eternal experimental space with the site going from sidebars at dual surround, dual right, thinner dual right, and single right.

 *TechCrunch runs on WordPress*

2011

2008

2006

2005

Photo credits

2011 – my screenshot

2008 – Digital Inspiration

2006 – CrunchNotes

2005 – Michael Arrington on Flickr