This isn’t strictly related to politics or the topic of this blog, but I recently ran across a very useful web site from Nikon. The site is Universcale and it provides a Flash-based interactive demonstration that allows users to navigate through various levels of magnitude to compare the sizes of things. The site’s introduction explains it well:
We are able to view all entities, from the microworld to the universe, from a single perspective. By setting them up against a scale, we are able to compare and understand things which cannot be physically compared.
Today, using the electron microscope and astronomical telescope, we can see the objects which we have not been aware of its existence before. Are you able to fathom, or even roughly grasp, these sizes?
See our Universcale and experience the sizes of various objects.
I would love to see something like this for comparing dollar amounts of, say, United States expenditures. In past posts, I have linked to static images that do a pretty good job of helping us visualize spending (see The 2008 Budget Poster). But wouldn’t it be great to be able to zoom in on the cost of attacking Iraq and to be able to compare that with our spending on education, law enforcement, and healthcare? If anyone’s aware of any such site, please post it in the comments.