Video: cosmic time-lapse, ‘Temporal Distortion’

Temporal Distortion” from Randy Halverson on Vimeo.

If you’re in the mood for taking a beautiful, cosmic, time-lapse break, consider this your opportunity. The gorgeous time-lapse images that make up this short film (which is part of a 23 minute expanded version) feature the Milky Way, Aurora, and plenty of other Earthly delights. An original score by renowned composer Bear McCreary accompanies this piece. McCreary has scored “Battlestar Galactica” and “The Walking Dead,” among others. We’ve featured other time-lapse work from Randy Halverson. If you like this video, be sure to check out his Milky Way time-lapse as well as his South Dakota winter time-lapse.

What is the Milky Way?

Subway map for interplanetary travel

Milky Way Transit Authority
Traveling the galaxy? This handy map simplifies the solar system for you.

Well, sort of. You have to know some things about the universe. More than I know. Actually, it makes me want to learn more. How come I don’t know what Norma and Cygnus are, and that there’s an express line that runs between them?

Here’s something else I didn’t know: The first subway map of this style was London’s Tube Map and it was designed by Harry Beck, who, according to Wikipedia, “believed that passengers riding the trains weren’t too bothered about the geographical accuracy.” He was so right.

So, Mr. Arbesman’s map may not be geographically accurate, but that would be pretty tricky to represent on paper anyway, what with the whole 3-D aspect of the galaxy.

There are also now London-style maps to illustrate music (we love that the first comment on this project is “Why did you do this?” — that’s hysterical, Richard), web trends (why’s AOL so small? You made us the same size as WordPress. I mean, seriously), and my personal favorite, a subway map of all the world’s subways, overlaid on a world map.

Thanks, Brian O’Neal, for the tip about Samuel Arbesman’s killer Milky Way Transit Authority Map!

World’s First Space Hotel Plans to Open in 2012

Please pardon the forthcoming cheesiness, but here’s a story that’s quite literally out of this world: The world’s first space hotel is slated to open in 2012. What began as a hobby for Barcelona architect Xavier Claramunt is about to become a reality, thanks to careful planning and perseverance … not to mention $3 billion that he fronted for the project. Guests of the Galactic Suite can fly around the world in 80 minutes, see the sun rise 15 times a day and experience the weightlessness that has until now been limited mostly to astronauts.

Wearing Velcro suits, guests can navigate their way through the luxury hotel. There’s only one problem though — bathrooms. They’ve got the showering part figured out — guests will float through a ‘spa room’ filled with bubbles of water, but they seem to be trying to figure out a way for guests to do ‘other’ duties in a way that is luxurious enough to justify the exorbitant price tag.

Speaking of the price, it’s $4 million for a 3-night stay, including an eight-week training session. And while I think the experience would be amazing, I can’t see myself spending that much money on a hotel unless it has a really nice pool and room service. But then again, I’ve never had the liberty of spending money as a millionaire would, so who knows?

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