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11 DECEMBER 2012

Dara Ó Briain's Science Club: The Story of the Brain

"Dara traces the brain's journey from a useless organ once ditched by Egyptian embalmers to the centre of everything that makes us human. Science journalist Alok Jha asks whether smart drugs really make you brainier, oceanographer Helen Czerski explores cutting edge therapies allowing the brain to control limbs remotely and materials scientist Mark Miodownik takes apart a smart phone."

(BBC Two, UK)

Fig.1 this animation is from Episode 5 of 6 of Dara Ó Briain's Science Club, Tuesday 04 Dec 2012 at 9pm on BBC Two, voiced by Dara Ó Briain, animated by 12Foot6, Published on YouTube on 5 Dec 2012 by BBC.

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12Foot620122D2D animationAlok Jhaanimated information graphicsanimationBBC TwoBBC2brain • brainier • consciousconsciousness • control limbs • cutting edge therapies • cutting-edge innovationsDara O Briaindissectiondrug takingdrugselectricity • embalming • epileptic • frog • heart • Helen Czerskihippocampushistory of ideas • homunculus • human speciesillustration to visually communicate information • liver • Mark Miodownikmemory • mummification • nervous system • neurosurgeon • organ • physician • reasonscienceScience Club (tv)sequential art • smart drugs • smartphone • spleen • story of sciencesubconscious • surgeon • UKunconsciousvisual representations of scientific concepts • Wilder Penfield

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
16 NOVEMBER 2012

Thomas Allen: whimsical pulp fiction cut-outs

"Playing the role of scientist, [Thomas] Allen enlists mid 20th–century books on the natural phenomenon of science(astronomy, physics, electricity, biology) and presents his research as if through the eyes of his 8–year old daughter. How would she understand and portray these theories and absolutes of science?

Allen's signature use of cutting and repurposing book illustrations has not vanished. Instead of the pulp fiction genre, Allen plays with 50's era versions of clean cut youths and domesticated moms. His unmistakable talent for creating the illusion of 3D in photography with his deft cuts and crimps, establishes a magical world in which a boy and girl play tag creating their own kind of electricity, a milkman makes a very special delivery in space, young toughs play marbles with the solar system and a mother busily sews her own version of 'string theory.'"

(Foley Gallery, 2012, New York NY)

Fig.1 Bearings, 2012. Fig.2 Eclipsed, 2012.

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1950s201220th century2Dartistastronomybiologybookbook illustrations • clean cut • compositioncut-out • cut-out characters • cut-out illustration • cuts and crimps • design craftdomesticatedelectricityexhibition • Foley Gallery • gallerymagical worldmid 20th-century • natural phenomenon • physicspop-uppulp fictionrepurposingsciencescientific illustrationshallow depth of field • theories and absolutes of science • Thomas Allen • through the eyes • vintage books • whimsical interactions

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
14 FEBRUARY 2012

A is for Atom: atomic giants released from within the atom's heart

"Although the 'Atoms for Peace' campaign was formally launched in 1957, corporate America began to promote peaceful uses of atomic energy as early as the first few months after Hiroshima. A Is For Atom, an artifact of this effort, takes this highly loaded and threatening issue straight to the public in an attempt to 'humanize' the figure of the atom.

A Is For Atom speaks of five atomic 'giants' which 'man has released from within the atom's heart': the warrior and destroyer, the farmer, the healer, the engineer and the research worker. Each is pictured as a majestic, shimmering outline figure towering over the earth. 'But all are within man's power – subject to his command,' says the narrator reassuringly, and our future depends 'on man's wisdom, on his firmness in the use of that power.'

General Electric, a long–time manufacturer of electric appliances, power generation plants, and nuclear weapon components, is staking a claim here, asserting their interest in managing and exploiting this new and bewildering technology. Its pitch: this is powerful, frightening, near–apocalyptic technology, but managed with firmness, it can be profitable and promising. This 'Trust us with the control of technology, and we'll give you progress without end' pitch resembles what we've seen in films like General Motors' To New Horizons (on the Ephemeral Films disc). But the automobile, of course, wasn't a weapon of mass destruction.

In its first two years of release, A Is For Atom was seen by over seven million people in this version and a shortened ten–minute theatrical cut. In 1953 it won first prizes in both the Columbus (Ohio) and Turin (Italy) Film Festivals, the Freedoms Foundation Award, an 'oscar' from the Cleveland Film Festival, and a Merit Award from Scholastic Teacher. In 1954 it won first prize in the Stamford Film Festival, a Golden Reel Award from the American Film Assembly, and a second Grand Award from the Venice Film Festival. The film was remade in the mid–sixties and is still available for rental.

Like other John Sutherland films, A Is For Atom presents a portentious message in a visually delightful and often self–deprecating manner. 'Element Town' and its quirky inhabitants, including hyped–up Radium and somnolent Lead, is unforgettable, and the animated chain reaction manages to avoid any suggestion of nuclear fear."

(Internet Archive)

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19572D • A is for Atom • animated presentationanimationapocalypticatomatomic energy • atomic giants • Atoms for Peace • automobilechain reactioncorporate America • destroyer • eduction campaign • electric appliances • electricity • electricty • Element Town • engineer • Ephemeral Films • farmer • future • General Electric • General Motorsgiant • healer • Hiroshima • humanise • Internet Archive • John Sutherland • lead • mass destructionnew horizonsnuclear fearnuclear weapon • portentious • power • power generation • progresspropaganda • radium • science • Sutherland Productions • technologytrusturaniumvisual representations of scientific concepts • visually delightful • warrior

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
25 JULY 2010

Better Place Australia: zero emissions driving

"Better Place Australia is part of a global company dedicated to zero emissions driving. We will enable the mass adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in Australia by providing the infrastructure and services that make it easy, affordable and attractive for motorists to adopt and drive electric vehicles.

The key barriers to the mass adoption of EVs in Australia, and globally, have been 'range anxiety', the cost and risk of battery purchase and the impact of EV charging on the electricity grid.

To overcome 'range anxiety' – the fear of EV drivers that their battery will run out of power – Better Place provides a personal charge spot at home, access to a network of charge spots at work and in public, access to 'instant recharge' through battery swap stations and in–car services to help drivers know when and where to recharge.

The system of battery swapping also helps overcome the cost and risk of battery purchase. The driver's subscription to Better Place covers use of a battery and the ability to swap and go at any swap station. Rather than pay upfront, drivers pay a monthly fee which covers their battery use. Better Place manages the risk and performance of the pool of batteries by tracking their capability and use through the battery swap stations.

Better Place manages the impact of EV charging on the electricity grid by using software that coordinates the charge spots so that the charging needs of customers are met within network capacity constraints. . This helps make the electricity grid more efficient and significantly reduces the need for additional generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure."

(Better Place, 2010)

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20082010Australiabattery • battery swap stations • battery swapping • Better Place • California • Cinema City • cleantech • consumptionDenmarkdesign intelligencedeviceefficiency • electric cars • electric vehicle network • electric vehicles • electricity • emission free • ethics • EV • Haifa • Hawaii • Holon • industrial designinfrastructureinnovationIsraelJerusalem • Kfar Sava • NissanOntarioOregonpeak oil • Pi-Glilot • range anxiety • Renault • Renault-Nissan alliance • renewable energy • Shai Agassi • solar arrays • solutionsustainabilitytechnologyTel Avivtransition • wind farms • zero emissions • zero emissions driving • zero-emission vehicles

CONTRIBUTOR

Lindsay Quennell
27 NOVEMBER 2009

1931: the dangers of electrocution

"diagrams illustrating the dangers of electrocution in typically glorious Weimar fashion. From the book Elektroschutz in 132 Bildern By Stefan Jellinek. I like to think of these as filling a need to acculturate people to the dangers of electricity, and based on these images, I would guess electricity was pretty dangerous technology at the time."

(Frank Sayre, toomanyinterests)

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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