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Blog Archive for the ‘The Big Here’ Category

An Animated Atlas of The Known World

by Charlotte Hajer on January 28th, 02014

In 01830, English journalist Edward Quin created a historical atlas that illustrated our expanding knowledge of the world. Depicting a time span that stretched from 02348 BC to 01828 AD, or more than four millennia, each successive map showed a slightly larger piece of bright, colorful land, surrounded by the ominous clouds of the unknown….  Read More

David Rumsey’s Historic Maps of San Francisco on Display at SFO

by Charlotte Hajer on December 20th, 02013

There’s no place like an airport to ponder the notion of place in both its microscopic and macroscopic manifestations – in its continuities, and its evolutions. Next time you fly in or out of San Francisco’s International Airport, take a stroll down to Terminal 2 (post-security), where a series of historic local maps and drawings…  Read More

A visit to Star Axis

by Austin Brown on November 11th, 02013

Having climbed the staircase for some time, I stopped on a step that sent me back to the sky of twenty-five hundred years ago, the sky that loomed overhead when the Book of Job was written. I braced myself against the cool stone of the corridor that bracketed the staircase, and looked up through the…  Read More

Humans and nature: It’s complicated.

by Austin Brown on October 25th, 02013

Depending on your point of reference, humanity can seem distinct from and damaging to nature or like an emergent part of a single thriving force. Two interviews with the authors of new books illustrate this elasticity and the multifaceted conceptions of ourselves and nature we shift through depending on the questions we ask and the…  Read More

Harmonic Spheres and the Music of the Cosmos

by Charlotte Hajer on August 21st, 02013

In the 6th century BC, Pythagoras developed the science of harmonics. Legend has it that he was inspired by the sounds emanating from a blacksmith’s shop; producing experimental music with hammers and anvils, Pythagoras realized that the relationship between different musical notes can be expressed in the form of simple mathematical ratios. Pythagoras saw in…  Read More

Leap Seconds and the Nature of Civil Time

by Charlotte Hajer on July 31st, 02013

The U.S. Naval Observatory Alternate Master Clock, located on the 2nd Space Operations Squadron’s operations center, is accurate to within one second every 20 million years. The clock showed 23:59:60 Saturday as 2nd SOPS and USNO professionals added the first leap second in seven years. About two months ago, a group of scholars gathered in…  Read More

The next 50 years of land use planning

by Austin Brown on May 17th, 02013

Since the beginnings of civilization, humans have had reason to think carefully about where to grow food, where to sleep, where to put waste. We call it land use planning and for most of history it’s happened pretty haphazardly. Like other activities, though, we’ve gradually systematized the process, especially as we’ve come up against scarcity…  Read More

Spaceship Earth

by Charlotte Hajer on May 13th, 02013

OVERVIEW from Planetary Collective on Vimeo. In 01963, Buckminster Fuller wrote: Our little Spaceship Earth is only eight thousand miles in diameter, which is almost a negligible dimension in the great vastness of space. Our nearest star – our energy-supplying mother-ship, the Sun – is ninety-two million miles away … Our little Spaceship Earth is right…  Read More

Earth Engine: decades of Landsat photographs, animated

by Austin Brown on May 10th, 02013

Humans have been telling stories about space for generations, but now space is starting to tell stories about us. By putting satellites into orbit pointed not out at the stars, but in at our selves, and simply letting the cameras roll, we can see ourselves in aggregate, growing and changing. NASA’s Landsat program has recorded…  Read More

Whole Earth Psychology

by Charlotte Hajer on April 8th, 02013

Anyone who has traveled abroad or simply eaten at the ethnic restaurant around the corner will appreciate the richness of cross-cultural diversity our world has to offer. Each part of the world has its own cuisine, its own social organization, its own religious practices, and its own fashions. Cognitive research has always assumed that underneath…  Read More