Interesting statistics – visualized in a fun way.

Great question at the end.

See and learn more about these awesome timelapse videos here.

“Spacecraft and telescopes are not built by people interested in what’s going on at home. Rockets fly in one direction: up. Telescopes point in one direction: out. Of all the cosmic bodies studied in the long history of astronomy and space travel, the one that got the least attention was the one that ought to matter most to us—Earth.

That changed when NASA created the Landsat program, a series of satellites that would perpetually orbit our planet, looking not out but down. Surveillance spacecraft had done that before, of course, but they paid attention only to military or tactical sites. Landsat was a notable exception, built not for spycraft but for public monitoring of how the human species was altering the surface of the planet. Two generations, eight satellites and millions of pictures later, the space agency, along with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), has accumulated a stunning catalog of images that, when riffled through and stitched together, create a high-definition slide show of our rapidly changing Earth. TIME is proud to host the public unveiling of these images from orbit, which for the first time date all the way back to 1984.

It took the folks at Google to upgrade these choppy visual sequences from crude flip-book quality to true video footage. With the help of massive amounts of computer muscle, they have scrubbed away cloud cover, filled in missing pixels, digitally stitched puzzle-piece pictures together, until the growing, thriving, sometimes dying planet is revealed in all its dynamic churn. The images are striking not just because of their vast sweep of geography and time but also because of their staggering detail. Consider: a standard TV image uses about one-third of a million pixels per frame, while a high-definition image uses 2 million. The Landsat images, by contrast, weigh in at 1.8 trillion pixels per frame, the equivalent of 900,000 high-def TVs assembled into a single mosaic.

These Timelapse pictures tell the pretty and not-so-pretty story of a finite planet and how its residents are treating it — razing even as we build, destroying even as we preserve. It takes a certain amount of courage to look at the videos, but once you start, it’s impossible to look away.”

“Composer and conductor Eric Whitacre has inspired millions by bringing together “virtual choirs,” singers from many countries spliced together on video. Now, for the first time ever, he creates the experience in real time, as 32 singers from around the world Skype in to join an onstage choir (assembled from three local colleges) for an epic performance of Whitacre’s “Cloudburst,” based on a poem by Octavio Paz.”

View more Eric Whitacre videos here.

“Activist and fundraiser Dan Pallotta calls out the double standard that drives our broken relationship to charities. Too many nonprofits, he says, are rewarded for how little they spend — not for what they get done. Instead of equating frugality with morality, he asks us to start rewarding charities for their big goals and big accomplishments (even if that comes with big expenses). In this bold talk, he says: Let’s change the way we think about changing the world.

Everything the donating public has been taught about giving is dysfunctional, says AIDS Ride founder Dan Pallotta. He aims to transform the way society thinks about charity and giving and change.”

View more TED talks here.

Roger Ressmeyer shares what he’s learned over many years working with many brilliant scientists as a science filmmaker and photographer. After a life-long career in science and space photography working with National Geographic and NASA and many others, Ressmeyer is banding together with a group of scientific and spiritual visionaries from around the world to make a film that proves that global solutions to the world’s problems do exist, from climate change to inequality to war. The starting point is hope.

Preview Roger’s ongoing movie project Visions Of Tomorrow.

Find out more about Roger Ressmeyer here.

View more TED talks here.

“TED Fellow Lucianne Walkowicz asks: How often do you see the true beauty of the night sky? At TEDxPhoenix, she shows how light pollution is ruining the extraordinary — and often ignored — experience of seeing directly into space.

Lucianne Walkowicz works on NASA’s Kepler mission, studying starspots and “the tempestuous tantrums of stellar flares.”

Read 13 Essential Tips For Night & Low Light Photography here.

Learn more about night photography in my digital photography workshops.

“Erik Johansson creates realistic photos of impossible scenes — capturing ideas, not moments. In this witty how-to, the Photoshop wizard describes the principles he uses to make these fantastical scenarios come to life, while keeping them visually plausible. Photographer Erik Johannson creates impossible but photorealistic images that capture an idea, not a moment.”

Premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January and opening in New York and Toronto Nov 9, Chasing Ice is a documentary feature, directed by Jeff Orlowski, that reveals the work of photographer James Balog and his Extreme Ice Survey (EIS) project. Balog, once a skeptic about climate change, discovers through EIS undeniable evidence of a warming world. Chasing Ice features hauntingly beautiful, multi-year time-lapse videos of vanishing glaciers, while delivering fragile hope to our carbon-powered planet.

Find out more about the film here.

A companion book is also now available. ICE: Portraits of the World’s Vanishing Glaciers (288 pages),celebrating the stupendous forms, colors and textures in arctic and alpine landscapes, will be released in the fall of 2012 in collaboration with Rizzoli, the world-renowned publisher of art books. Terry Tempest Williams, one of America’s most distinguished environmental writers and thinkers, will contribute the foreword.

Preview the book ICE here.

Find out more about photographer James Balog here.

“As the director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Thomas P. Campbell thinks deeply about curating—not just selecting art objects, but placing them in a setting where the public can learn their stories. With glorious images, he shows how his curation philosophy works for displaying medieval tapestries—and for the over-the-top fashion/art of Alexander McQueen.”

Michael Norton’s research shows you can buy happiness, by spending money on other people. “The specific way that you spend on other people isn’t nearly as important as the fact that you spend on other people.” Whether in big or small ways, this video will change your life and someone else’s too.

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