Happy Super-Duper-Mega-Maxi-Utra-Omni-Uber Awesome Powers of Ten Day!!!

Posted on 10th October 2010 by Ryan Somma in Ionian Enchantment,science holidays

Happy Super-Duper-Mega-Maxi-Utra-Omni-Uber Awesome Powers of Ten Day!!!

Ten Ten Ten

10/10/10 is not only an entire power of ten more awesome than the other 99 years’ worth of 10/10 days in this century, 101010 is also the meaning of life in binary! Take a moment of silent reflection at 1010 AM, for yet even two more powers of awesomeness (within your timezone)!

The History of Exploring Powers of 10

Begin with the 1957 book Cosmic View, The Universe in 40 Jumps by Dutch educator Kees Boeke, which used illustrations and text to zoom out from a girl holding a cat, inexplicably sitting next to a blue whale. The linked website has all the illustrations and text for exploration.

Cosmic View
Cosmic View

The 1968 Eva Szasz film Cosmic Zoom was an animation contemplating the size of our Universe inspired by Boeke’s work:

The 1977 short film Powers of 10 by Charles and Ray Eames conducted the same exploration as Cosmic Zoom, but began its journey in Chicago and used photography where possible (they also have a Powers of 10 Day Kit for sale for instructors looking for activities):

Narrated by Morgan Freeman, the 1996 IMAX film Cosmic Voyage takes the same exponential path, but with the benefit of computer animation:

My favorite is the intro to the 1997 film Contact based on the book by Carl Sagan, which used radio broadcasts to (inaccurately) illustrate where the viewer was in the Universe:

Today, we don’t just passively consume, we interact. So check out this Scale of the Universe flash demonstration (for a total mind-frak, click on the Wrong Version link after playing with the real one (the Swirly Version is nice too)).

Scale of the Universe
Scale of the Universe

Finally, experience the incredible resolution, detail, scalability, and interactivity of going outside and enjoying life.

Happy Powers of 10 Day!


You can also queue up Carl Sagan’s Cosmos to enjoy, of which the complete series is available on Netflix instant watch and on Hulu.

Carl Sagan Portal
Carl Sagan Portal

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