The stuff I tend to think about... Like how there was a time when people couldn't read in their heads and those medieval monasteries must have been abuzz with monks mumbling what they were copying. And then there's another easily grasped concept that wasn't known/used until the Renaissance: Perspective!
It seems pretty simple. Things that are far away look smaller than thing that are closer. That's how the sun and moon look to be of similar size, and how the Kids in the Hall can crush each others' heads between their fingers. But there was a time when this wasn't really understood. In the Middle Ages, figures in a portrait would actually be of a size proportional to their importance.Look at those tiny peasants! Heehee!! So for example, you might imagine Medieval Americans drawing weird maps where the US encompasses the entire globe, and all the other countries are slapped together in an area maybe the size of Senegal. Oh, I kid. I kid because I love. And I love because I've been told to... or else!!
But in the Renaissance, something happened that set things right. Perspective was born. So what happened? Well, recently unearthed art treasures stolen by the Nazis have revealed a possible - and disturbing - answer:
Alien intervention! Yes, it seems like time-traveling Daleks came to Earth and forced perspective on us. Why? Unknown. Perhaps they knew that all Daleks in the future would not be properly scaled by our film makers...
Here's a famous example of distorted Daleks from Abducted by the Daleks, an unauthorized soft-core porn where these Giant Saltshakers of Death force their human captives into girl-on-girl action.
That red one's got a totally unauthorized head that defies all sense of perspective.
Over the years, Daleks have been represented in all sorts of sizes, big and small. Thankfully, they licked the problem in 2005 with New Who, and now viewers can immediately tell which Daleks are close and which are far.
Of course, we've sacrificed something. For example, how the hell can we tell which Dalek is the most important? The usual answer is: If it's a different color from the rest, then it's a "boss". But in the above image..?
Ok, I seem to remember this starting as a serious, informative article. I lost it somewhere. Ah well. Maybe next time.