Friday Fun from Space

Hands down, one of the best decisions I made this week was to follow Chris Hadfield on Twitter. Commander Hadfield is a Canadian astronaut currently on board the International Space Station and takes phenomenal photos of the earth from space, usually with helpful bits of info attached. It was a retweet of this photo of Berlin that alerted me to his presence:

Berlin at night (Hadfield)“Berlin at night. Amazingly, I think the light bulbs still show the East/West division from orbit.”

This morning, in an uncanny coincidence, someone else on Twitter retweeted a video of an experiment he conducted in space – presumably for a school somewhere. It sounds rather simple: ‘what happens when you wring a washcloth in space?’, but if this doesn’t make you go “ooooooh” then I give up on you!

See, proof that my idea of ‘fun’ isn’t always infantile!

Now for the obligatory London Transport Friday Fun segment. Did you know that it’s the tube’s 15oth anniversary this year? (If not, under which rock have you been hiding?) Did you also know that the London Transport Museum is currently hosting an exhibition of the best LT posters of the last century and a half? A perusal of this article reveals many gems, including this one which in many ways seems to be ahead of its times:


In fact, the article reminded me of a joyous moment while in France, when I discovered that our gite was even more perfect for me than I’d first realised (the initial joy had been the discovery of bulging bookshelves holding English books including several favourites) – when I spotted a LT poster in the kitchen:

Hunting on the tube

It has also amused me greatly that not one, but three (possibly four, actually) people have sent me the link to 17 Underground Maps you never knew you needed. Some have been shared before; some are surprisingly informational (like one illustrating life expectancy and another showing the locations of toilets); others are simply fab, like this one that shows what is actually underground…

Actually Underground Tube MapThis map ably demonstrates why I resent referring to the one-time East London Line as ‘the Overground’, because it isn’t.

Finally in this segment, check out this live map that shows trains moving around the tube network. It’s strangely hypnotising. Actually, that’s not quite the final thing – let’s move across the Atlantic and see what it would look like if you connected every subway in North America:

Thanks again, XKCD.

Lastly, in what’s becoming another Friday Fun tradition, here’s some more singing loveliness from the Swingle Singers, in the form of a cover of Mumford & Sons After the Storm:

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