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Diego Fonstad

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Blog entries categorized under Images that speak for themselves

Mechanical gears found in living creature

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad has not set their biography yet
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on Monday, 16 September 2013
in Images that speak for themselves

insectgearmov

Teachable Moment: This is a great example of inadvertent biomimicry... we didn't even know that insects had already evolved a gear system long before we did!

insect-leg-gears-1Scientists in the United Kingdom have discovered an insect that uses a gear mechanism to jump.  They hypothesize that the mechanical advantage from the gear system enables them to jump quickly with

References:      Popular Mechanics web site  http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/environment/the-first-gear-discovered-in-nature-15916433?click=pm_latest

Periodic table of Periodic Tables

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Wednesday, 10 October 2012
in Images that speak for themselves

 periodic table of periodic talbes

Teachable moment:  just because the basic periodic table format designed by Mendeleev is the most commonly taught format, it doesn't mean it works for everyone, this image explores and illustrates the various ways people have tried to organize the elements.  

Reference: http://www.keaggy.com/periodictable/ 

Tags: Chemistry
Hits: 179576

Global Resources Stock Check

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Sunday, 30 September 2012
in Images that speak for themselves

global resources stock checkTeachable Moment: Most of us have a very narrow understanding of which resources we use are non-renewable.  This highly informative graphic illustrates the range of non-renewable resources and helps initiate a discussion about prioirities.

Reference: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20120618-global-resources-stock-check

Hits: 57468

Birth Certificate of America?

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Wednesday, 04 July 2012
in Images that speak for themselves

waldseemuller mapTeachable Moment: This >500 year old image raises the age old question of credit in discovery: what does it mean to be the first person to document what others know.  The high resolution image can also be printed and cut out as a lesson in how to project a sphere onto a flat surface.

In 1507, German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller made the first known maps naming America.  In 2007 Germany gifted one of the known versions of this map to the Libray of Congress calling it the "Birth Certificate of America."  Recently, another copy was discovered and was "released" by the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) München on the Internet on July 4, 2012.  Here's a link to the high resolution PDF: http://epub.ub.uni-muenchen.de/13138/1/Cim._107-2.pdf

For the press release and more pictures go here: http://www.en.uni-muenchen.de/news/newsarchiv/2012/spotlight/tdw_ub_fund.html

Tags: Math, Random
Hits: 155806

How much water is there on earth?

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Tuesday, 19 June 2012
in Images that speak for themselves

water on earthTeachable Moment: This stunning image from the USGS illustrates shows both the relative scarcity of water on our planet and challenges our thinking of volume.  We all know that the earth is almost 97% covered with water, but how many of us realized how thin a layer that represented and what that was relative to the land mass?  Follow the link to a larger image and the underyling math.

Reference: http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/2010/gallery/global-water-volume.html

Hits: 177430

NASA's OVATION Auroral Forecast

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad has not set their biography yet
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on Sunday, 17 June 2012
in Images that speak for themselves

OVATIONTeachable Moment: The next time you hear about the sun unleashing a solar flare, solar wind a.k.a. a CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) check out this nifty web site to see if you'll have an aurora in your area.  Oh, and if you want to hear about future events, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

From the NASA Web Site:

"OVATION: An empirical model of the intensity of the aurora. The model uses solar wind conditions and the IMF at the L1 point as inputs.

The Display: Shows the intensity and location of the aurora as expected for the time shown at the bottom of the map. This forecast is based on current solar wind conditions and the average time for the solar wind to propagate from the ACE satellite at L1 to Earth.

The model produces an estimate of the intensity of the aurora. In this product a linear relationship between intensity and viewing probability is assumed. This relationship was validated by comparison with data from the UVI instrument on the NASA POLAR Satellite .

The sunlit side of Earth is indicated by the lighter blue of the ocean. The sub-solar point is also shown as a yellow dot but only if the sub-solar point is in the view of the choosen image. The day-night line or terminator is shown as a yellow line. Note that the aurora will not be visible during daylight hours and it may be an hour or more before sunrise or after sunset that the aurora can be seen from the ground."

Reference: http://helios.swpc.noaa.gov/ovation/

Tags: Astronomy
Hits: 87190

Interactive exploration of human microbiome

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad has not set their biography yet
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on Saturday, 16 June 2012
in Images that speak for themselves

microbiomTeachable Moment: Scientists are only now beginning to understand the extent of the importance of the microbiome in our lives.  New research suggests that the bugs in our stomach can even impact our mood. This interactive graphic is a great road map of where the microbiom exists in our bodies.

According to Scientific American: "The body contains 10 times more bacteria, fungi and other micro-organisms than human cells. Most of these species are harmless—although they can still cause illness if they wind up in the wrong place. In addition, researchers are beginning to learn exactly how some microbial species in the body help digestion and contribute to regulation of appetite and the immune system."

Tags: Untagged
Hits: 20071

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO)

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad has not set their biography yet
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on Friday, 15 June 2012
in Images that speak for themselves

Teachable Moment: With new telescopes like Kepler and Hubble capturing stunning images of objects innumerable light years away, it is surprising to realize how little we knew about our closest neightbor: The Moon.  NASA's LOA using the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) has captured stunning images of the moon and significantly enhanced our understanding of it's surface.

 

Tags: Astronomy
Hits: 18479

Thomas Edison's To Do List

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad has not set their biography yet
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on Wednesday, 13 June 2012
in Images that speak for themselves

 

Teachable Moment:  Edison's wonderfully eclectic task list is a reminder that we can risk stifling creativity and innovation if we insist people focus on one task at a time.  Of course, the challenge then becomes competing those tasks.

Reference: http://edison.rutgers.edu/NamesSearch/SingleDoc.php3?DocId=NA021AAF

Tags: Engineering
Hits: 14462

Visualization of pi to 4,000,000 decimals

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad has not set their biography yet
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on Sunday, 10 June 2012
in Images that speak for themselves

Teachable Moment: This is a beautiful and creative way of illustrating Pi.  

An average person can read out approximately 120 digits/min.  Keeping this pace it would take more than 158,000 years to recite the 10 trillion digits discovered this year and roughly 3 weeks to read out the 4 million digits visualized here.

Tags: Math
Hits: 18410