Interactives

Scores of interactives on science and health topics were created for MSNBC.com between 1996 and 2012. Some of them have fallen out of date, but many more are just as useful and entertaining today as they were years ago — that is, if the software works.

Click on these links to give the interactives a spin, bearing in mind that your computer has to be capable of running a Flash player.

You may have to give permission for your browser to download and run the Flash file (technically, it’s known as an SWF file).

In late 2020, many browsers eliminated and blocked Flash plug-ins due to security concerns. But it’s possible to play these interactives even if Flash content is blocked. First, download the SWF file. Then you can use the Ruffle emulator to load and play the interactive, by going to this Ruffle demo webpage, selecting the local SWF file you downloaded, and then hitting the big play-button arrow.

You can also copy and paste the Web URL of the SWF file into the “Open File” box for the Ruffle emulator, and then play the interactive.

Alternatively, you can download a Flash player that works as a standalone program to play the interactive. Here’s the link to Adobe’s software page. Download the Flash Player Projector Content Debugger that’s appropriate for your operating system (Windows, Mac or Linux). Then you can use the content debugger to open the SWF file on your computer.

For the sake of convenience, here are downloadable files for the Flash players. Use the files at your own risk; we make no guarantees, but we’ve found that the Windows version works quite well. (If you’re a Windows user, right-click and save the linked file.)

For more information about playing Flash interactives after late 2020, check out this article from Online Tech Tips. It’s also possible to convert Flash files to up-to-date formats such as HTML5. If you do so, feel free to contact alan@cosmiclog.com.

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