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See a Scale Model of the Solar System in the Nevada Desert


“I have the world in my pocket somewhere.”

Wylie Overstreet was speaking somewhat literally when he uttered that phrase during a 36 hour trip to the middle of nowhere in Black Rock Desert, Nevada. He and fellow filmmaker Alex Gorosh ventured to an expansive dry lake bed in order to build a to-scale model of the solar system, filmed all the while to beautiful effect.

The team started with a blue marble to represent Earth (inspired perhaps by Apollo 15 astronaut James Irwin, who’s quoted at the beginning), then measured the distances and traced the orbits of the planets, with a sun measuring a meter-and-a-half in diameter at the center of it all.

They needed seven full miles of empty space to accurately model the solar system. After putting the planets in place, they used lights to trace the orbits in order to show just how expansive it really is. The resulting time lapse—filmed from the top of a nearby mountain—is a gorgeous and awe-inspiring view of our place in the universe, all from right here on Earth.

To view “To Scale: The Solar System” click here, or check out the video above.

[h/t The Kids Should See This]

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© 2017 USPS
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Pop Culture
Speedy Delivery: Mister Rogers Will Get His Own Stamp in 2018
© 2017 USPS
© 2017 USPS

USPS 2018 Mister Rogers stamp
© 2017 USPS

After weeks of mailing out this year’s holiday cards, postage might be the last thing you want to think about. But the U.S. Postal Service has just given us a sneak peek at the many iconic people, places, and things that will be commemorated with their own stamps in 2018, and one in particular has us excited to send out a few birthday cards: Mister Rogers.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Fred Rogers’s groundbreaking PBS series that the USPS says “inspired and educated young viewers with warmth, sensitivity, and honesty,” the mail service shared a mockup of what the final stamp may look like. On it, Rogers—decked out in one of his trademark colorful cardigans (all of which were hand-knitted by his mom, by the way)—smiles for the camera alongside King Friday XIII, ruler of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

Though no official release date for Fred’s forever stamp has been given, Mister Rogers is just one of many legendary figures whose visages will grace a piece of postage in 2018. Singer/activist Lena Horne will be the 41st figure to appear as part of the USPS’s Black Heritage series, while former Beatle John Lennon will be the face of the newest Music Icons collection. Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, will also be honored.

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Can You Spot the Christmas Pudding?

Whether it’s a sheep hanging out with Santa Claus or a panda bear hiding among some snowmen, regular Mental Floss readers know that hidden picture brainteasers are one of our favorite things. And the optical experts at Lenstore.co.uk have released a delicious one, just in time for Christmas. Somewhere in the midst of all these holiday-themed goodies above, there’s a holiday pudding just waiting to be discovered. Can you spot it? Your time starts … now.

If you give up, or are the kind of person who reads the last page of a book before the first one and just wants to know the answer, scroll down to see where it’s hiding.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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