Sometime between February 27th and April 12th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!

  1. 1957: Cosmic View: The Universe in 40 Jumps, by Kees Boeke.

  2. 1968: Cosmic Zoom, a Canadian animated short film inspired by Boeke’s book.

  3. 1977: Powers of Ten, a short film by Charles and Ray Eames, inspired by the prior two pieces. This is the most commonly known version of this presentation.

  4. 2004: The Simpsons parody version (10.3 Mb .mov file), as the couch gag for The Ziff Who Came to Dinner

All links via Kottke.

Prairie bounced into the room this morning as I was scanning headlines while I woke up. “Quick — name all the members of the Simpsons,” she said.

“Um…Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Maggie.”

“Now — what are the five rights given by the first amendment?”

“…um. Oh. Heh…that’s not good. Let’s see,” I fumbled. “Freedom of speech, religion, freedom to assemble….”

She grinned. “That’s three.”

Kind of a sad commentary, isn’t it? At least I’m not alone.

Americans apparently know more about “The Simpsons” than they do about the First Amendment.

Only one in four Americans can name more than one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment (freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly and petition for redress of grievances.) But more than half can name at least two members of the cartoon family, according to a survey.

The study by the new McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum found that 22 percent of Americans could name all five Simpson family members, compared with just one in 1,000 people who could name all five First Amendment freedoms.

For the record, here’s the First Amendment to the Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

iTunesWhat the Hell” by Radioactive Goldfish from the album Rhythm and Rave (1992, 3:16).