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The 10 Most Popular Slide Shows of 2008
Images capture subjects as vast as a nascent ocean and as tiny as carbon nanotubes
Credit: DON DIXON
The 10 Most Popular Slide Shows of 2008
10. Illusions: The Eyes Have It
Eye gaze is critically important to humans, as social primates. Maybe that's why illusions involving eyes are so compelling
What if you double up the features of a portrait in without overlapping them completely? It's relatively easy to create images in Photoshop in which the eyes and the mouth, but no other facial features, have been doubled.
9. Beyond Red and Blue: 7 Ways to View the Presidential Election Map
Images reveal what the country would look like if politics trumped geography
American or Swiss?
When Mark Newman, a physics professor at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, resized each county to reflect its population, a tangled cobweb emerged. Blue counties voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 U.S. presidential election; red counties supported John McCain.
© 2008 M. E. J. Newman
8. Inside the Solar-Hydrogen House: No More Power Bills--Ever
A New Jersey resident generates and stores all the power he needs with solar panels and hydrogen
This house in East Amwell, N.J., looks like a typical suburban dwelling but is actually the first private home to be powered by a solar--hydrogen energy system.
David Biello / © SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN
7. 20 BioScapes Contest Photos--Life Viewed through the Microscope
Winners and other images from the 2008 BioScapes Photo Competition use light microscopes to portray extraordinary images of biological specimens
1st Place -- Mr. Spike Walker
: Fairy fly. Actually a type of wasp, it is one of the smallest insects in the world, at only 0.21 millimeter long. Originally captured using Rheinberg illumination. Spike Walker, Penkridge, Staffordshire, U.K.
2008 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition ®
6. 2008 Gadget Guide: 33 Technology Innovations
Holiday gift list: 13 high-tech toys, plus 20 green gadgets and socially responsible inventions
Flight Motion Simulators, Inc.'s Dreamflyer:
The Dreamflyer is a three-foot (0.9-meter) by six-foot (1.8-meter) virtual-reality flight motion simulator with a black powder-coated aluminum frame and sports seat that faces up to three video monitors portraying images of flight.
Image courtesy of Flight Motion Simulators, Inc.
5. The Neuroscience of Illusion
How tricking the eye reveals the inner workings of the brain
Some stationary patterns generate the illusory perception of motion. The illusory effect is usually stronger if you move your eyes around the figure. For instance, in this illusion, invented by the scientist Akiyoshi Kitaoka, the "snakes" appear to rotate. But nothing is really moving, other than your eyes!
4. Birth of an Ocean: The Evolution of Ethiopia's Afar Depression
Formation of an ocean is a rare event, one few scientists have ever witnessed. Yet this geophysical nativity is unfolding today in one of the hottest and most inhospitable corners of the globe. Visit the site in safety through this extraordinary photographic essay
Ghostly Salt Deposits:
Near Afdera volcano testify to ancient inundations in Ethiopia's Afar region. In the past 200,000 years the Red Sea flooded Afar's lowlands at least three times; the salt stayed behind as the seawater evaporated. One day the ersatz seascape will likely become the real thing.
3. Digital Forensics: Photo Tampering Throughout History
Photography lost its innocence not long after it was born. As early as the 1860s photos were already being manipulated--only a few decades after Joseph Nicéphore Niépce created the first photograph in 1826.
This nearly iconic portrait of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln is a composite of Lincoln's head and the body of Southern politician, John Calhoun.
2. Art as Visual Research: 12 Examples of Kinetic Illusions in Op Art
Art and neuroscience combine in creating fascinating examples of illusory motion
The Enigma Illusion:
Op artist Isia Leviant unknowingly combined the MacKay Rays and the BBC wallboard illusion in the now classic Enigma illusion
The image is courtesy of Jorge Otero-Millan
1. 20 Winning Pictures: It's a Small, Small, Small, Small World
Have a look at the images that won this year's Nikon Small World contest
1st Place -- Michael Stringer:
Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, UK. Pleurosigma (freshwater diatoms) (10x), Polarized Light
Courtesy of Nikon Small World Contest