Saturday, August 30, 2008

saturdays with ted: david griffin and patricia burchat

David Griffin is the photo director for National Geographic (hence why he starts off with one of Frank McCurry's famous photographs), and he uses some really fantastic photos to show how we use images to tell and share stories. I particularly liked his comparison of the pigmy picture to Degas' ballerinas. Griffin points out that we remember moments via a flashbulb memory, where our minds create still images in order for our brains to connect a story. I love his section of amateur photographs; images tell a story. One of my favorite photographs is the baboons at a watering hole because it looks like a family vacation. By the way, if you have a soft spot for penguins, you might want to skip the leopard seals at the end... although the story behind one particularly curious leopard seal is really kind of cute. I advise everyone to check out his breathtaking blog, Editor's Pick. (February 2008, 14:59)


Patricia Burchat studies the structure and distribution of dark matter (26% of the universe!) and dark energy (70% of the universe!). These mysterious ingredients can't be measured in conventional ways, yet form a quarter of the mass of our universe. It's amazing how much we don't know... even galaxy clusters and an ever-expanding universe blow my mind. By the way, the expansion of space is speeding up, and no one can explain why. Something new to worry about. The Einstein ring is particularly noteworthy, the notion that there is a cone of possible galaxies due to light deflecting off of dark matter. Because Burchat is so enthusiastic about her topic (she seems to be constantly catching her breath), it's easy to be seduced by this science. (February 2008, 16:09)

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