I was just about to go to bed early tonight, and I thought I’d peek at what’s happening on Facebook. My friend Erica posted a link to this neat little interactive site that lets you play around with the scale of things on the Internet. U heard the background music, looked over my shoulder, and identified it as a descendant of the “Power of 10” video from the 1970s. So, I Googled it and watched it:
We started discussing what’s awesome about this: first of all, the accuracy and the clarity of this piece, from 1977, is remarkable. U noted that the narration is not exactly simple, either. I clicked through to other Charles & Ray Eames video and landed on this one, about toy trains, which I sent to P, who once took me on a date (our first date) to a model train show.
Meanwhile, I started wondering about Charles & Ray Eames. As someone who is interested in design stuff and whose social scene tends to adore the modernist style and whose Illinois upbringing gives her a sort of uninformed impression (and therefore smugness) that this important design movement was pretty Midwestern, I know that the Eameses were important, but I knew little about them as people. So, I went to Wikipedia, like you do. (Go ahead, join me.)
As I read, I encountered a reference to the Power of Ten video narration: It was, apparently, performed by physicist Philip Morrison, whose Wikipedia page I (obviously) had to then look at. Neat bio — Berkeley physicist, Manhattan project, anti-nuclear proliferation, etc. This then lead me to the Wikipedia page for the Klumpke-Roberts Awards, which honored Morrison in 1992. The awards website doesn’t say who was awarded in 2012, but it turns out to have been this guy, Ian Ridpath. The press release is dull as dirt, but if you follow enough links on the Internet, you, like me, can go “Wow! Neat!” when you read (starting on Wikipedia, of course) about how he was the guy who explained Rendelsham Forest Incident, a.k.a the “British Roswell.” Which, it turns out, you can do a cycle/hiking tour of if you ever happen to be in that part of the world.
That makes me wonder: Say, you think there’s a travel story about UFO sighting destinations? Answer: Yes, sort of. But I’m sure I could do better… Hmmm….
Aaaaaand that’s how you lose an hour of your life when the Internet happens to you.