The Uses Of Opera: Why We Love High Speed Photography/Disgusting Video Dept.

It’s Friday, and that means we need some fun stuff, right?

Try this (h/t Sullivan):

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Sneezing In Ultra Slow Motion Video“, posted with vodpod

On the theme of this blog (and of my writing over a long time) — this gets to one of the real drivers of scientific advance that scientists understand intimately, but that the broader audience may not.  And that is the role of instruments, of the tools of the trade, not just in working out ideas investigators may have already had, but in catalyzing new thoughts.

High speed and stop motion photography have provided a world of examples of this, as I should konw, being at Doc Edgerton’s home institution.  But the story goes much deeper than the obvious rewards of recent high technology.  I once wrote a book that argued that instruments are a great way to understand the history of science, because the tools we build make material the questions we want to answer with them — and yet, seemingly always, in doing so create new question and new perspectives.

For example, the telescope, it first seemed, was a device that could make what we already do — look for distant objects, say warships approaching Venice, at greater distances.  Same job, more power.  But then the same man who presented the new instrument to the leaders of the Venetian Republic pointed it in a different direction, and discovered these.

And from thence, much else flowed.  So it may be with the sneeze.  Though I would not, if I may say so, hold my breath.

Image:  Eadward Muybridge, “The Horse in Motion,” animated image made from photographs like these.

Explore posts in the same categories: Art and science, astronomy, Cool Animals, Cool Images, Cool Tech, Cool Video, Mental Health Break

One Comment on “The Uses Of Opera: Why We Love High Speed Photography/Disgusting Video Dept.”

  1. Michelle Says:

    I’m having flashbacks to the piece I wrote for one of the program’s assignments–the one that kicked off with a discussion of Muybridge’s work and segued into the use of high-speed photography to study water striders (John Bush & David Hu’s work @ MIT). Incidentally, I ended up covering Bush’s work twice more for the Globe, and I think I did something else with it for SN, if I remember correctly. Ah, memories…


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