Transcalar Imaginary
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Transcalar Imaginary
mundus imaginalis traversing the micro, meso, and macro...
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Welcome to the Transcalar Imaginary

Welcome to the Transcalar Imaginary | Transcalar Imaginary | Scoop.it

 

"The Universe is made up of stories, not atoms."

Muriel Rukeyser

 

The stories we tell ourselves about the cosmos shape our experiences of reality. We interpret our experiences through ever-shifting lenses of enculturation, embodiment, and enaction, which continually shape the explanatory maps and narratives we create to account for the nature of existence. Recognizing our unique perspectives, as well as how they might be expanded, requires identifying the influences and assumptions within which they are enmeshed. While language can provide conceptual descriptors of these processes, sensuous experience can reveal the more immediate role of sense perception in shaping our understanding and intuition.

 

The Transcalar Imaginary refers to the ever-shifting worlds constructed within the individual and collective minds' eye, imagining connections between everyday experience and realms beyond immediate perception. These visions are the result of the dynamic interplay between empirical observations, ecological contexts, and creative representations of phenomena, reinforcing cultural narratives that inform how we make sense of reality. The extent to which we can recognize patterns and traverse scales of time, space, and frequency within our imaginations greatly influences our abilities to anticipate and adapt to changing environments - a skill that has been essential for human evolution.

 

But since, as Alan Watts suggested, we are apertures through which the Universe is looking at itself, it seems that the capacities afforded by our self-conscious cognitive abilities are increasingly paradoxical. For instance, the scientific revolution was instigated by the enhanced ability to envision the world from an "objective" god's eye view from outside of the realm of immediate experience. However, as the tendency to perceive the human intellect as being separate from nature has been pushed to its logical extreme, our sense of the "real" universe has all but been abstracted into a remote, mathematical oblivion. As physicists construct elaborate machines to search for elusive subatomic particles to account for "dark" forces that apparently permeate the vast cosmos, the accelerating destabilization of the biosphere due to human activity is providing stark reminders that our well-being is intimately connected to the regenerative capacity of our home planet's ecosystems. And even as scientific inquiries reveal the mysteries of creation at an unprecedented pace, our collective imagination continues to be constrained by a global economic system that emphasizes the importance of quarterly profits over all else.

 

Fortunately, the ongoing dissolution of boundaries between the arts, sciences, and humanities are sounding the alarm to wake us up from the hypnotic reductionist story of the modern era. Instead of being entranced by the myths of objective observers, rational actors, and the need for infinite growth, new possibilities are emerging from the accelerated capacity for hyper-networked collaboration. By transcending the limiting confines of hyperspecialized and myopic perspectives, we seem to have the opportunity to more fully realize our potential as symbiotic participants within a sentient and interdependent cosmos. 

 

This collection of sites is an invitation to explore the ways in which our expanded capacity to collectively share our stories and perspectives are informing new ways of seeing, knowing, and acting in the world. But hopefully this is more than an intellectual exercise. Once your Transcalar Imaginary is sufficiently exercised, hop on over to http://www.scoop.it/t/design-science to see how the recurring principles and successful habits of the cosmos are being intentionally applied to design a civilization that synchronizes with the regenerative cycles of the biosphere...

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Pygmy Seahorses: Masters of Camouflage - YouTube

Tiny and delicate, pygmy seahorses survive by attaching to vibrant corals where they become nearly invisible to both predators and researchers. Now, biologists at the California Academy of Sciences have successfully bred them in captivity for the first time. Finally, they're able to study the seahorses' amazing act of camouflage up close. 

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The Diatomist

THE DIATOMIST is a short documentary about Klaus Kemp, master of the Victorian art of diatom arrangement.


Diatoms are single cell algae that create jewel-like glass shells around themselves. Microscopists of the Victorian era would arrange them into complex patterns, invisible to the naked eye but spectacular when viewed under magnification.The best of these arrangements are stunning technical feats that reveal the hidden grandeur of some of the smallest organisms on Earth. Klaus Kemp has devoted his entire life to understanding and perfecting diatom arrangement and he is now acknowledged as the last great practitioner of this beautiful combination of art and science. THE DIATOMIST showcases his incredible work.

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How to Apply Eames's Legendary "Powers of 10" to Real-life Problems

How to Apply Eames's Legendary "Powers of 10" to Real-life Problems | Transcalar Imaginary | Scoop.it

Powers of Ten is arguably more relevant now than it was the year it was released. The simple idea executed in the film has become a powerful construct for thinking through design problems today. In it, Charles and Ray Eames guide us through a deceptively straightforward exercise -- zooming out to 10^24 and then back in to 10^-16 -- re-framing a simple scene by showing it within ever-larger and then smaller contexts.

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The secret life of plankton

New videography techniques have opened up the oceans' microscopic ecosystem, revealing it to be both mesmerizingly beautiful and astoundingly complex. Marine biologist Tierney Thys teamed with Christian Sardet (CNRS/Tara Oceans), Noé Sardet and Sharif Mirshak to use footage from the Plankton Chronicles project to create a film designed to ignite wonder and curiosity about this hidden world that underpins our own food chain.

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Shaped by Time

"Shaped by Time" is a time-lapse film that explore the power of nature trough the erosion of the different landscapes shown on the film. During thousands of years, the wind, the eruptions, the rain, the frost and the water of the rivers, have shaped this wonderful landscapes, going beyond the natural and becoming art work of monumental proportions.
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Hubble: Timelapse of V838 Monocerotis (2002-2006)

The unusual variable star V838 Monocerotis (V838 Mon) continues to puzzle astronomers. This previously inconspicuous star underwent an outburst early in 2002. More: http://petapixel.com/2014/06/10/remarkable-hubble-time-lapse-captures-stars-light-echo-rippling-space/

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Eyes on Earth: The ISS HD Earth Viewing Experiment | I Fucking Love Science

Eyes on Earth: The ISS HD Earth Viewing Experiment | I Fucking Love Science | Transcalar Imaginary | Scoop.it
One of the latest missions from the ISS is kind of amazing. The High Definition Earth Viewing (HDEV) experiment consists of four cameras that have been attached outside of the ISS. Though temperature is controlled, the cameras are exposed to the radiation from the sun, which will allow astronauts to understand how radiation affects the instruments.
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Slow Life

"Slow" marine animals show their secret life under high magnification. Corals and sponges are very mobile creatures, but their motion is only detectable at different time scales compared to ours and requires time lapses to be seen. These animals build coral reefs and play crucial roles in the biosphere, yet we know almost nothing about their daily lives.
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How Big Is The Universe?

'How Big Is The Universe?' shows us the expanding nature of the Universe and how this affects the light reaching us from distant galaxies, some of which will remain forever hidden from our view.

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Trophic Cascade: How Wolves Change Rivers

When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the United States after being absent nearly 70 years, the most remarkable "trophic cascade" occurred. What is a trophic cascade and how exactly do wolves change rivers? George Monbiot explains in this movie remix.

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Our unique 'microbial aura' travels with us wherever we go

Our unique 'microbial aura' travels with us wherever we go | Transcalar Imaginary | Scoop.it

The more scientists learn about the microbiome, the more they understand how influential it is. “We like to think of the world as being compartmentalized, but everything is pretty much in a continuum. [Almost] all of life exists interconnected by the bacteria and the viruses that we constantly shed and pick up,” Gilbert says.

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At Multiverse Impasse, a New Theory of Scale

At Multiverse Impasse, a New Theory of Scale | Transcalar Imaginary | Scoop.it

Though galaxies look larger than atoms and elephants appear to outweigh ants, some physicists have begun to suspect that size differences are illusory. Perhaps the fundamental description of the universe does not include the concepts of “mass” and “length,” implying that at its core, nature lacks a sense of scale.

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Selected superscale survey diagrams by John McHale

Selected superscale survey diagrams by John McHale | Transcalar Imaginary | Scoop.it

John McHale collaborated with R. Buckminster Fuller in the late 1960's to produce a broad set of superscale surveys. These diagrams were unique in their scope and also the inclusion of humanity's sensory capabilities, or receptors, within the surveys themselves.

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insignificant

insignificant | Transcalar Imaginary | Scoop.it
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David Week's curator insight, September 13, 7:24 PM

Time for a poignant and pointed humour break.

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Laniakea: Our home supercluster

Superclusters – regions of space that are densely packed with galaxies – are the biggest structures in the Universe. But scientists have struggled to define exactly where one supercluster ends and another begins. Now, a team based in Hawaii has come up with a new technique that maps the Universe according to the flow of galaxies across space. Redrawing the boundaries of the cosmic map, they redefine our home supercluster and name it Laniakea, which means ‘immeasurable heaven’ in Hawaiian.

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A visual compendium of glowing creatures

A visual compendium of glowing creatures | Transcalar Imaginary | Scoop.it
There's a lot of strange things out there in the dark. These ones are nice enough to let you know when they're around.
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scales of perception

scales of perception | Transcalar Imaginary | Scoop.it

Scale is a vital component to understanding our world, without it, we exist in the abstract. SoP is an investigation. Through disciplines of art, design, photography, science, technology, landscape and architecture, we hope to understand how scale can not only be emphasized to convey meaning, but be a departure point for creation.

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David Week's curator insight, July 30, 7:10 PM

Nice Tumblr on scales. Understanding scale is critical to understanding citizen power.

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xkcd: Electromagnetic Spectrum

xkcd: Electromagnetic Spectrum | Transcalar Imaginary | Scoop.it
This panel is a play on the Electromagnetic spectrum, showing a large piece of the spectrum and examples of phenomena that absorb or emit light along the spectra. Such spectra are commonly used in physics or astronomy education contexts when discussing the nature of light. This comic extends it to absurd lengths by including examples that may be variously hyper-specific, humorous, or non-EM phenomena.
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Timelapse Satellite Images of Earth

Timelapse Satellite Images of Earth | Transcalar Imaginary | Scoop.it
Exclusive timelapse: See climate change, deforestation and urban sprawl unfold as Earth evolves over 30 years.
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Louie Schwartzberg: Hidden miracles of the natural world

We live in a world of unseeable beauty, so subtle and delicate that it is imperceptible to the human eye. To bring this invisible world to light, filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg bends the boundaries of time and space with high-speed cameras, time lapses and microscopes. 

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The hidden life in pond water

We don't need to dive into the deep ocean to find the most unusual lifeforms. This short clip is a journey into a bizarre world of microscopic inhabitants of pond water.
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How Big Is Space?

How Big Is Space? | Transcalar Imaginary | Scoop.it

Buckle up and ride a rocket through our interactive view of the Solar System to explore our cosmic neighbourhood

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Award-Winning Pictures Of The Tiniest Things On Earth

Award-Winning Pictures Of The Tiniest Things On Earth | Transcalar Imaginary | Scoop.it

This incredible image of fern spores is just one of the many mind-blowing images that won the Olympus BioScapes Imaging Competition in 2012. Here are the top ten images and videos captured by life-science researchers.

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