Directed by Charles and Ray Eames, the legendary husband-and-wife filmmaking and design team, the classic short Powers of Ten (1977) invited viewers to contemplate the edges of our understanding of reality. Starting from a picnic blanket in a Chicago park, that film took viewers on a journey that stretched to the scale of 100 million light years away, and then back down to a single proton. Narrated by the BBC TV presenter Brian Cox – a professor of particle physics in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manchester – this new short pays homage to the Eames classic by transposing its elegantly simple premise to today. This time, the picnic blanket is in Sicily, and the time horizon stretches to a scale of 100 billion light years away; the resulting film integrates updates in astronomy, astronomical imaging and human understanding into its journey far into the cosmos and back again.
Values and beliefs
A funeral director takes in bodies that social stigma leaves unclaimed
Philosophy of religion
What Zen Buddhist riddles reveal about knowledge and the unknowable
It’s a massive, winged Cretaceous beast – could a human ride one?
Dance and theatre
Technology, philosophy, randomness – how Merce Cunningham pushed dance to its limits
History of technology
Behold as a mechanical foghorn in Shetland awakes from its year-long slumber
Philosophy of mind
Embodied cognition seems intuitive, but philosophy can push it to some strange places
Animals and humans
An unflinching look at a provocative public dissection of a ‘surplus’ zoo lion
Models capture the world-warping physics of what happens when stars meet black holes
The astonishing resonances between patterns in nature, microscopic and cosmic