'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Well, that's about the size of it all

Click these words (you'll need Flash)  The Scale of the Universe , let it load, click 'Play' and then slide the slider.

Thanks to Andy Holroyd from 'Trousers to Grow Into'

Revision August 2018: If you cannot get the above link to work, use this video version below.  Unfortunately it doesn't have the slider so you can't pause to read, nor go in and out, and it goes too fast (for me, at least) but if you click on the 'settings' cog in the bottom rhs of the youtube control bar, you can set the speed to 25% which slows it down to a goodish speed.


  1. OK, well, the image link is broken, but the words work.

  2. Hi Katherine

    Clickable images can be a pain in Blogger. I find it easiest to edit the HTML to the link I want, otherwise it points to the image itself.

    I can try to explain how if you want.

  3. Andy! They can! Would you explain? Thanks.

  4. Katherine, I was thinking about this. I can read html code and I would normally copy and paste the link directly into the code. Then I realised there's another way that's so obvious I'm kicking myself :)

    Do it the same way as an ordinary hypertext link.

    In 'Compose' mode, instead of highlighting some text, clicking the 'Link' button and pasting in the link address...

    ...click on the image (so it's selected), click the 'Link' button and paste in the address. Bingo!

    Hope this makes sense. Cheers Andy.

  5. Thanks so much Andy. And it all makes perfect, logical sense. Unfortunately that doesn't faze the designers of blogger, bless their cotton socks. They seem to have installed an override when applying links to images, and it just flicks back to the 'make my image bigger' mode.
    But I'll just try it once more.

  6. It's still beyond my comprehension but whoever put this together needs a hefty pat on the back...preferably not from a giant earthworm!

  7. Yes YP. That worm amazed me too! where are they I wonder... Not in my garden I hope!

  8. The worms are from South Africa I guess, if they mean Microchaetus rappi.

    As for image links Katherine, click the image once. It should have a thick, black border (with tiny white squares at the middle of each side). Then click the 'Link' button.

    Try it again, it's hard to explain without pictures but it does work.

  9. Thanks Andy! OK, now here's another question, how do you make a link like that in the comments section!? I can't even do italics or bold. And what about strikethroughs?

  10. Sorry to be slow in getting back and sorry if this is long and rambling.

    You ask about links in comments and suchlike, but let's do the easy ones first like bold and italics.

    How do I do that? Well, there's a code for it. I actually typed <b>bold</b> and <i>italics</i>

    The <b> turns on bold and </b> turns it off - NOTE THE BACKSLASH.

    Italics work in the same way but with the letter 'i'.

    <i> turns on italics and </i> turns them off.

    If you want both, then nest the commands inside each other.
    <b><i> bold and italics </i></b>

    Strikethrough is a bit different, and it seems you use can't use it in comments. I tried it and got an error message.

    Now let's look at the hard one, how do you do a link?

    Here's a link to Oxfam

    Just like bold and italics it's a pair of commands, this time with the letter 'a' (in techy jargon it's an 'anchor') like this <a>I want a link here</a>, that would give

    I want a link here

    But that is not enough, it looks like a link but it doesn't go anywhere. We have to tell it where the link should go and that's just the normal web address ie http://www.oxfam.org/ (or whatever). They call it a 'href' (hypertext reference?) and you type it like this (note the equals sign and the quote marks)

    <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/">please support Oxfam</a> will give

    please support Oxfam

    Finally, remember if you 'turn it on' then always 'turn it off'. It's really easy to forget something like the </a> at the end of a link and then it won't work or it goes weird.

  11. Wow. THat's very comprehensive Andy. And you must have taken ages to set that all out. I really appreciate it. I've pasted it on my desktop for constant reference.
    Thank you!

  12. I learned these tricks long ago, it's all the new code I have trouble deciphering. In the posts we make on Blogger, <b>...</b> is now replaced by <span style="font-weight:bold;">...</span>. Well, that's progress for you :)

    You might have wondered how I can type <b> without things showing up in bold? It's another trick to display the right characters without them being interpreted as code (or you can use it to show some characters which are hard to do on the keyboard). It's quite useful sometimes.

    There are these things called 'entities' and they look like:

    &codeword; - note the ampersand and the semicolon

    the codeword for < is lt (that's the maths symbol 'less than') so &lt; will print < on the screen.

    Then with > the code is gt (or 'greater than') and &gt; will display >.

    That was all I needed for the code examples in my last comment. But entities can be even more useful, try these:

    &frac12; gives ½

    &divide; gives ÷

    &deg; gives ° - as in 27°C (I wish)

    &amp; gives & - which is how I was able to display these codes.

    There's a list here.

    Entity codes will work fine in a post too, just remember to type them in the 'Edit Html' window and not in 'Compose'.


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