Very nice interactive showing the trajectory of Comet ISON. Move through space in 3d, start and stop the timeline and even switch to Earth perspective to see where the comet will be in the sky. I especially like that they show the planets rotating as they orbit the sun–because the timeline is moving many days per second, it’s like the planets are spinning tops.
With the aid of Russian space authorities, Vancouver-based UrtheCast (pronounced “earthcast”) will launch two cameras into orbit today (Nov. 25) with the immediate goal of streaming images of the Earth back home in near-real time.
Take a Kinect, capture topographic info and translate to a grid of fast-responding actuators to reproduce the 3d shape. Obviously limited to rolling landscape forms, but nice to see it in action. Basically, a robotic version of the classic pin-impression toy.
What if each column was made of individual cubes, and each cube could slide side-to-side in the XY plane? What if you made each column out of a flexible cable, able to be bent and manipulated by electric current?
Really: Must-See. An experimental method to extrude 3D shapes from 2D images by providing just a few hints to the computer. Watch the whole thing. It will give you the unmistakable sensation that the future is upon us.
Thanks to the USGS, an interactive map that lets you trace streams and rivers to their outlets. Click on a blue line and trace it upstream or down. Impressive.
Try clicking on the Chicago River and take a look at the long, improbable red line going all the way down the Mississippi, instead of quickly dumping into Lake Michigan. For those of you who don’t know the story, check out 99% Invisible’s feature. And subscribe to their podcast if you haven’t already.
A (relatively) simple tool to replicate complex 2D motion with cranks and gears. It’s so smooth it made me sit upright so I could see the rotating ellipses better. The implications? You can 3D-print gears to create toys that move as naturally as you want them to. Yes, there’s a video demonstrating this.
And just for good measure, if you haven’t seen the game Disney Infinity, go take a look now. It’s probably unlike any video game you’ve seen before. (There’s Wikipedia, for those of you who want the quick read.)