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    Video: The Enduring Power of 'Powers of Ten'

    Written by

    Brian Anderson

    If, like me, that animated primer on the size of the universe that's been making the rounds has you longing for more slow-burning reminders of your soberingly inginificant existence, why not return to the touchstone of the this-will-make-you-feel-tiny tradition? By which I mean stop pretening to work, and space out with Charles and Ray Eames' classic Powers of Ten (1977).

    For the uninitiated, PoT is a short film "dealing with the relative size of things in the universe" and the staggering effect of chaining zeroes. From a mere meter above a cheery couple picnincing along Chicago's lake front, out to the further reaches of the (then-) known universe, and then back down to the blood-cell level, the brothers Eames' take us, as only they could, through the limits of time and space. And even though PoT, which the Eames' made for IBM, is just an exercise in the visualization of some pretty basic mathematics, the whole thing jangles with the innocent wonderment of a bygone era. This has cemented its legacy in the annals of science films and education and shitty archival-driven music videos alike. 

    Anyway, it's probably the best thing on a hazy Tuesday morning, when the last thing you want to do is worry about what to do. Or about that death bubble that may be heading our way from out of the past. 

    Reach Brian at brian@motherboard.tv. @thebanderson