Poet William Blake saw the world in a grain of sand. Tau Rho Alpha sees it in tennis balls.
Alpha, a research cartographer with the U.S. Geological Survey, plans to serve up about 3,000 donated tennis balls during a September 13 and 14 open house at the agency's Menlo Park, Calif., offices. Along with the fuzzballs come Alpha's instructions for people to paste on paper cut-outs of a six-paneled map of the world or one that features its tectonic plates. He says that anybody can cut out the black and white designs, slather them with glue to tennis balls, and color the globes.