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Pop Chart Lab

Incredible Infographics for Beatles Enthusiasts

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Pop Chart Lab

Fifty years ago today, the Beatles released their first LP, Please Please Me—and the rest, as they say, is history. To celebrate this milestone, Pop Chart Lab has created three incredible infographics that break down the instrumentation of the Fab Four’s songs in incredible detail. Check out the prints, and some details on the creative process behind creating them, below. All three infographics are available to purchase, either on their own or as a box set.

Volume 1: 1963 – 1965

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According to the Pop Chart Lab creative team, "[we were] enjoying a radio-binge of the best Rock N'Roll band in history, when it struck us how complicated things got in the late-LSD period of the Fab Four. Not just complicated, but outright baroque when compared to, say, the straight-forward 4-piece rock tracks of Please Please Me and With the Beatles. We all agreed it would be nearly impossible to map the instrumentation of songs from Sgt Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour—it just seemed like there were too many bells and whistles (perhaps literally). But impossible is one of favorite words, and the best motivator for us to lose ourselves in research and chartography."

Volume 2: 1966 – 1967

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Still, they persevered, and found that "at the height of their experimentation, the Beatles used nearly every instrument imaginable, from sitars and dilrubas to full on brass arrangements to banging on an anvil and having someone count eerily in the background of a track."

Volume 3: 1968 – 1970

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To present the data, the team "turn[ed] the songs on their sides. As we drew the lines from song to instrument, we felt happily lost in the psychedelic swirls of the catalogue, and three distinct Beatle periods presented themselves: The mop-top schoolboy Beatles, the surreal Sgt Pepper marching band, and the roof-top playing, unshaven Let It Be veterans at the end of a long, fruitful career."

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Thomas Quine, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
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Weird
Take a Peek Inside One of Berlin's Strangest Museums
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Thomas Quine, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Vlad Korneev is a man with an obsession. He's spent years collecting technical and industrial objects from the last century—think iron lungs, World War II gas masks, 1930s fans, and vintage medical prostheses. At his Designpanoptikum in Berlin, which bills itself (accurately) as a "surreal museum of industrial objects," Korneev arranges his collection in fascinating, if disturbing, assemblages. (Atlas Obscura warns that it's "half design museum, half horror house of imagination.") Recently, the Midnight Archive caught up with Vlad for a special tour and some insight into the question visitors inevitably ask—"but what is it, really?" You can watch the full video below.

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Courtesy of Nikon
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science
Microscopic Videos Provide a Rare Close-Up Glimpse of the Natural World
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Courtesy of Nikon

Nature’s wonders aren’t always visible to the naked eye. To celebrate the miniature realm, Nikon’s Small World in Motion digital video competition awards prizes to the most stunning microscopic moving images, as filmed and submitted by photographers and scientists. The winners of the seventh annual competition were just announced on September 21—and you can check out the top submissions below.

FIRST PRIZE

Daniel von Wangenheim, a biologist at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria, took first place with a time-lapse video of thale cress root growth. For the uninitiated, thale cress—known to scientists as Arabidopsis thalianais a small flowering plant, considered by many to be a weed. Plant and genetics researchers like thale cress because of its fast growth cycle, abundant seed production, ability to pollinate itself, and wild genes, which haven’t been subjected to breeding and artificial selection.

Von Wangenheim’s footage condenses 17 hours of root tip growth into just 10 seconds. Magnified with a confocal microscope, the root appears neon green and pink—but von Wangenheim’s work shouldn’t be appreciated only for its aesthetics, he explains in a Nikon news release.

"Once we have a better understanding of the behavior of plant roots and its underlying mechanisms, we can help them grow deeper into the soil to reach water, or defy gravity in upper areas of the soil to adjust their root branching angle to areas with richer nutrients," said von Wangenheim, who studies how plants perceive and respond to gravity. "One step further, this could finally help to successfully grow plants under microgravity conditions in outer space—to provide food for astronauts in long-lasting missions."

SECOND PRIZE

Second place went to Tsutomu Tomita and Shun Miyazaki, both seasoned micro-photographers. They used a stereomicroscope to create a time-lapse video of a sweating fingertip, resulting in footage that’s both mesmerizing and gross.

To prompt the scene, "Tomita created tension amongst the subjects by showing them a video of daredevils climbing to the top of a skyscraper," according to Nikon. "Sweating is a common part of daily life, but being able to see it at a microscopic level is equal parts enlightening and cringe-worthy."

THIRD PRIZE

Third prize was awarded to Satoshi Nishimura, a professor from Japan’s Jichi Medical University who’s also a photography hobbyist. He filmed leukocyte accumulations and platelet aggregations in injured mouse cells. The rainbow-hued video "provides a rare look at how the body reacts to a puncture wound and begins the healing process by creating a blood clot," Nikon said.

To view the complete list of winners, visit Nikon’s website.

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