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Zoom, Zoom, Zoom; Photoshoplifting; Dead Planet?

Very Short List delivers one excellent item to your inbox, daily: Books, films, music, web-things, and dispatches on science and technology. Click through to browse super-mega-resolution paintings, polish images on the web, and learn what we now know about Mars.

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VERY SHORT LIST
Zoom, zoom, zoom
The Museum of Online Museums Gigapxl Project Google Moon
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COLLECTION
Masterpieces of the Prado Museum

Last month, the Prado became the first museum to open its collection to Google’s mapping technology, allowing you to take a virtual trip to Madrid and see super-mega-resolution views of 14 masterpieces.

The paintings include Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, Rubens’s Three Graces, Fra Angelico’s Annunciation, and El Greco’s Nobleman with his Hand on his Chest, and you can zoom in so closely, it’s like putting your nose right up to the canvas (without angering security guards). Other museums, take note: It’s time to Google yourselves.

VIEW Masterpieces of the Prado Museum in Google Earth

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VSL:WEB
Photoshoplifting
The Asylum Microsoft Paint Mona Lisa Shareware
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APPLICATION
Sumo Paint

Sumo Paint is an online image editor that opens in your browser and does most of the things you’d want from Photoshop – free.

Created by Finnish programmers, the app allows you to crop, layer, resize, and perform other essential functions, and its easy-to-use interface is strikingly similar to Photoshop’s. (It’s also well-stocked with painting and drawing tools.) The one drawback? Uploading larger files may take a bit longer than it would if you were working on your desktop. But that’s a small price to pay for not paying at all.

CHECK OUT Sumo Paint

WATCH Sumo Paint 1.0 in action

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VSL:SCIENCE
Dead planet?
The Drake Equation WALL-E The Martian Chronicles
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DISCOVERY
NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander

Distracted by local affairs – wars, presidential campaigns, economic crises – our media have largely ignored a universal story: NASA scientists are quietly transforming our understanding of Mars.

In recent months, the Phoenix Mars Lander has documented the following bombshells: It snows on Mars. Martian soil contains calcium carbonate – a mineral that’s typically formed in the presence of water. And a hard layer of ice, which may have been a liquid sea, lies just beneath the Red Planet’s surface. The discoveries all point to the possibility that several million years ago, Mars was an ideal habitat for developing life forms – and that our lovely little planet may not be as special as we’ve come to believe.

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READ about NASA’s discoveries on Mars

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