Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Plushie Powers of Ten

The scale of the universe is almost incomprehensible. Galaxies are so massive it bends the mind, while on the other end of the size spectrum, subatomic particles are so tiny it twists the brain in completely different ways. There's a 1977 short movie, "Powers of Ten," which takes viewers on a journey of scale, showing the size of things in the universe from the building blocks of atoms, to the entire cosmos.

It's a great little film, but I always thought it wasn't really huggable enough. Now you can take the same journey, in stuffed animal form! Starting from the very large....

Hugg-A-Star:You can  have the whole night sky in your hands with this stuffed globe by Peace Toys. The 12-inch diameter ball of sky features 88 constellations labeled in English and Latin as well as the Milky Way. It's the perfect accessory for falling asleep under the stars, with your head atop the very same stars! Also available are Earth, Mars, the Moon and the US of A! (Image: Peace Toys)

Celestial Buddy - Earth: Our beloved home; spaceship Earth. The only planet in the known universe teeming with life, and it never looked so adorable. All of the continents and oceans are there, just fuzzier than on most globes. It's got a line of friends too, with the Moon, the Sun and Mars already available, with more planetary buddies in the works. (Image: Celestial Buddies)

Albert Einstein Little Thinker: In 1905 Albert Einstein revolutionized physics with his theory of special relativity, and what better way to celebrate his work than with his little plushie doppelganger.  He's brought to you by the Unemployed Philosopher's guild, the same folks who make the Nicola Tesla and Thomas Edison finger puppets we've featured on the blog before, along with a whole other line of other stuffed scientists, philosophers artists and other thinkers. Einstein is an easy one for the medium of plushie, he's naturally got a hairdo that looks like he's been consulting with the Muppets for grooming advice. (Image: The Unemployed Philosophers Guild)

I Heart Guts - Big Brain: The brains of the operation. The human cerebral cortex is one of the most complex and intricate feats of engineering in the world. We've all got one, but it spends most of its time safely protected in our heads. This twee little guy you can take out and show your friends, and not have it be a whole big thing! As its name implies, I Heart Guts has just about every human internal organ available in bright colors. (Image: I Heart Guts)

GIANTmicrobes - Brain Cell (Neuron): It's what matters in "gray matter." Neurons make up the brain and are essentially its microprocessors. They function in much the same way that the processors of computers work, by sending information as electrical signals to other neurons in the network. GIANTmicrobes has made a name for themselves for their huge line of darling microorganisms, ranging from  benign li'l amoebas to the cutest flesh eating bacteria I've ever seen. (Image: GIANTmicrobes)

Biochemies - DNA Molecule Plush Dolls: These folks are the newcomers to the science plushie industry. It was started by Jun Axup, a PhD student in in chemical biology, as a project that blew away its funding goal. Kickstarter is an online service that lets people raise money for start-up projects through donor contributions. The DNA molecules are now up for pre-order, and you can get all four base pairs that make up DNA. The best part is that each molecule has  magnets so they can stick to their corresponding base pair just like the actual molecules bond with one another. (Image: Biochemies)

The Particle Zoo - Big Neutron with Mini Quarks and Gluons: It doesn't get much more fundamental than this. Julie Peasley has been hand making any subatomic particle you could possibly think of since 2008. The Neutron here is especially cool because the big blue particle is actually a pocket that holds the fundamental particles that make it up, two down quarks and an up quark held together by a gluon. Each of her particle plushies are weighted with poly fill, sand or gravel to reflect the relative mass of each. Her line of science plushies really do run the gamut of the vast to the itty-bitty, including the cosmic microwave background radiation of the whole universe, to the the strings of string theory. (Image: The Particle Zoo)


  1. Also... you can take the same journey, in stuffed animal form!

  2. Hi, check out this interactive of the universe's scale illustrating the powers of 10: