Pale Blue Dot - Animation

Adam Winnik illustrator from Sheridan College in Ontario produced this animation for his final thesis piece.

The first time I heard this excerpt from Carl Sagan's book "Pale Blue Dot" it literally changed my life, and I hope it does for you too. Enjoy, says Adam Winnik.

Written and Narrated: Carl Sagan
Music: Hans Zimmer "You're So Cool"
Art and Animation: Adam Winnik

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Earth's Gravity Revealed

Above image looks like a giant potato, but it is actually our Earth. After just two years in orbit, European Space Agency's GOCE (Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer) satellite has gathered enough data to map Earth's gravity with unrivalled precision. Scientists now have access to the most accurate model of the 'geoid' ever produced to further our understanding of how Earth works.

A precise model of Earth's geoid is crucial for deriving accurate measurements of ocean circulation, sea-level change and terrestrial ice dynamics. The geoid is also used as a reference surface from which to map the topographical features on the planet. In addition, a better understanding of variations in the gravity field will lead to a deeper understanding of Earth's interior, such as the physics and dynamics associated with volcanic activity and earthquakes.

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Look Up! The Billion-Bug Highway You Can't See

Look up at the sky and what do you see? Well, blue, yes. And maybe a plane or a bird, but otherwise ... nothing. Or so you think. It turns out that right above you, totally invisible, is an enormous herd of animal life -- tiny bugs riding the wind currents.

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Into the abyss: The diving suit that turns men into fish

Humans have proven themselves remarkably adept at learning to do what other animals can do naturally. We have taught ourselves to fly like birds, climb like monkeys and burrow like moles. But the one animal that has always proven beyond our reach is the fish.

The invention of scuba diving has allowed us to breathe underwater but only at very shallow depths. Diving below 70m still remains astonishingly dangerous to anyone but a handful of experts.

Now an inventor in the United States believes he has solved the riddle of how to get humans down to serious depths – by getting us to breathe liquid like fish. Arnold Lande, a retired American heart and lung surgeon, has patented a scuba suit that would allow a human to breathe "liquid air", a special solution that has been highly enriched with oxygen molecules.

Liquid ventilation might sound like science fiction – it played a major role in James Cameron’s 1989 sci-fi film The Abyss – but it is already used by a handful of cutting-edge American hospitals for highly premature babies.

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Scientists glimpse universe before the Big Bang

In general, asking what happened before the Big Bang is not really considered a science question. According to Big Bang theory, time did not even exist before this point roughly 13.7 billion years ago. But now, Oxford University physicist Roger Penrose and Vahe Gurzadyan from the Yerevan Physics Institute in Armenia have found an effect in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) that allows them to "see through" the Big Bang into what came before.

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Visualizing Microwaves in a Microwave Oven

Microwaves are absorbed by wires creating current in the wires which can drive a neon lamp. Marc "Zeke" Kossover high school science teacher drilled a grid into a piece of plastic and slipped in the bulbs, leaving the wires to hang out like antennas. As the plate turns, the bulbs go into and out of places where the microwave energy is denser, illuminating the bulbs. No, it doesn't seem to hurt the microwave.


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Life is Found in Deepest Layer of Earth's Crust

It's crawling with life down there. A remote expedition to the deepest layer of the Earth's oceanic crust has revealed a new ecosystem living over a kilometre beneath our feet. It is the first time that life has been found in the crust's deepest layer, and an analysis of the new biosphere suggests life could exist lower still.


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Science R&D Spending in the Federal Budget

Federal funding for basic science, including stem-cell research and climate-change initiatives, could hinge on what happens in the new House of Representatives, which will be controlled by the Republicans. However, if the past is any guide, dollars allocated for science will transcend both politics and the economy. Here's a look at science funding over the years made by Karl Tate from


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