Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Powers of Ten Video

There's a chance not everyone has seen this video, so it is my duty to correct that. I've only seen it in college, but my 4-year-old boy's mind has already been blown by the video, and soon it will be his young sister's turn. The video was made 35 years ago, and unlike 35 year old movies with laughable special effects, this one is timeless (well, expect for the clothes the couple in the video wears. Obviously the '70s is the golden-age of fashion).

If your kids like space, this video will be the coolest thing they see today or this year. Don't wait for them to get to high school or to college, where a teacher will show them this video, and they will come home angry at you for depriving them of the experience and of a magical childhood. If you don't want your kids to hate you, show them this video.



  1. Amazingly, I had never seen that before. Pretty cool. I will be showing that to Lukas soon.

    1. Cool. You know, I think I actually mentioned it to you before. Glad you liked it in any case!

  2. Live that video! I just did a post on scientific notation, and rapid estimation you might like. Check it out.

    1. Cool! I guess most people can't help being fascinated more by outer space than by inner space.

  3. thanks for reminding me about this; I hadn't seen it in ages! It still holds up.

    What kind of follow up questions and discussions would you envision having with your kids? I'd be curious how you might inspire children to take these ideas and apply them to their own experiences and perceptions of the world. Some of the things I would envision might include:

    - Do you think that the power of ten has a stopping point going outward? What about inward?
    - What other patterns do you see in the world around you?
    - What fascinated you most about this short film?
    - Other thought provoking discussion questions?

    1. I very rarely teach my kid anything, to be honest. I notice what he likes and try to encourage him to get deeper into it, and I talk to him about things I like, because I think my genuine enthusiasm for a subject will make him enthusiastic, but I don't do the question-thing. Maybe it's because I didn't like it when my dad did that, or maybe it's just intuition (or "my parenting style"), but I feel that way works better for us. He asks questions when something interests him, and he knows he'll get answers, you know?

      I'm not saying that asking kids questions is bad in general (or would have been bad for my kid if I did ask questions), but it's just not me.

  4. That was pretty cool. I hadn't seen this video before.

    The early portion of the video reminded me of a photo that I saw a couple of weeks ago of the "most distant image of Earth, taken from 6 billion km by Voyager 1."

    Makes one wonder, how vast is vast?



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