Category Archives: science

NYT’s visualization of Kepler’s tally of planets is beautiful

Just this week, scientists announced they found more planets further away that are supposedly earth-like.  Which is cool and all. But the Visualization of Kepler’s Tally of Planets that the New York Times published is absolutely brilliant.

Yeah, I’m a sucker for good data visualization, but the sheer magnitude of what this is displaying, and the clean and simplistic execution makes my spine tingle. I do wish the star temperature visualization was a touch more lucid, but I can’t really complain. I Love it.

[via informationisbeautiful]


A Dinosaur, Ice Skating, and a Denver museum promo: Unlikely combo?

beautiful. Funny without being outright dumb and clever enough to not feel contrived. A beautiful blend of elements for the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Smoke & Mirrors New York teamed up with Carmichael Lynch Minneapolis to execute the impressive spot.

Here’s the blurb on the creation from Smoke & Mirrors, pulled from the unusually informative description on the YouTube page:

Via our recently ramped up 3D department we were able to create, rig, animate and render the entire project in under a month. Smoke & Mirrors filmed the live-action backgrounds in Central Park, then the Manhattan skyline was replaced with the Denver Museum area in post.

Every detail from the ice cracking under the reptile’s tremendous weight, to ice chips flying from its slipping feet were rendered to create a believable, cohesive scene.

Visual Information Overload: GOOD Magazine on Flickr


It looks like this has been around for a while, but somehow I’ve missed it until now. GOOD magazine has uploaded all of their Transparencies into a set on Flickr… pretty impressive collection of mind-blowing info-graphics. Kind of a shame they restrict the flickr images to small size, forcing you to click through to the GOOD website. But I’ve seen worse. Plus, their infographics are so amazing, I’ll let it slide.

Earth Justice, soot, and stellar animation for a cause

I’m usually not a fan of the way most pro-earth and environmental PSAs come across. They’re usually heavy handed, overbearing, and dip into the realm of scare tactics. This spot, on the otherhand, is refreshingly inoffensive and simply enjoyable.

The animation style is beautiful and captivating, courtesy of Laundry! (who most recently did animation for the new wrigley’s/juicy fruit/big red campaign). The agency behind it is non-profit creative Underground Ads. And to make it even better, the voiceover is absolutely perfect.

I think the blurb about the clip from Laundry!s website hits the nail on the head:

We recently completed a PSA for the global campaign against those nasty little Soot particles. We love mother earth and were totally stoked to chip in and do our part. So watch this shit, get inspired to make some change, and go to to sign up and tell Obama that you’re pissed.

this whole bit actually makes me tempted to pass this one along – which is a rare occurence for me, especially with non-profit PSA-ish stuff. I’m all for it, but rarely do I fall in love with it.

Discovery Channel says the world is awesome

Just incase you haven’t seen it, check out this relatively new spot for the Discovery Channel. It’s pretty catchy in that whole-world sort of a way. And every time I stumble across it, it makes me smile a bit. Pretty simple, but pretty awesome.

Amazing something so small can cause such a stir: the Mongolian Long-eared Jerboa


It’s amazing how far we’ve come in the past few years. YouTube and internet video have become the new tools of environmental scientists attempting to save an endangered species.

And it’s working.

an excerpt from The Guardian:

The first known film of the long-eared jerboa, an endangered Mongolian rodent with legs like a kangaroo, was released today by the owners of London Zoo.

The gerbil-sized mammal with outsize ears was filmed hopping about in the Gobi desert by scientists from the Edge programme, run by the Zoological Society of London, which highlights the plight of animals which are “evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered”.

The scientists took the video with hopes of it spreading, and actually accomplishing something. I saw it across the internet this afternoon, and on the evening national news tonight. So I figured I’d do my part, and help spread the word. Plus, I’ve always been a fan of animals. More info and links at Edge of Existence.

On a side-but-related-note, It’s great to see the Guardian’s revised typeface (I wrote about here) appearing everywhere. It instills confidence and authority. I love it.

Still on Vacay, New Tea Partay, and Monterey Bay with Pepper Spray

So as the title implies, I’m still kickin’ it in California, enjoying some unseasonably moderate and beautiful weather. Not a whole lot of exciting news, except for Barry Bonds (which frankly, I’m not all that enthralled with anyway), and my trip to Monterey. While peacefully enjoying the Aquarium (which is frankly incredible), our trip was abruptly cut short when the aquarium was evacuated because of a pepper spray incident. Fun times. I’ll post pics to my flickr as soon as I figure out how to get pics off of the camera I was borrowing.

And in advertising related news, I’ve come across the second iteration of the music videos promoting Smirnoff Teas. In case you never saw the original Tea Partay, check it out here. This new version is the Boyz in the Hillz west coast answer to the East Coast P(rep)-Unit’s Tea Partay: The Green Tea Partay.

When I was in New York last time, I got a chance to listen to BBH‘s Kevin Roddy discuss the ideas and the success surrounding the Tea Party campaign. I’m glad to see it continue – and I’m glad to see the West Coast puttin’ up a fight.