^_^ It is Carl Sagan’s birthday in a few days, and today is the first official Carl Sagan Day. For those of you who don’t know, before his death, Carl Sagan was an astronomer and science populariser. On the astronomy side, was heavily involved in the Voyager Spacecraft and SETI among many other things, and on the entertainment side, he created the series Cosmos and wrote Contact, (the book that the Jodie Foster movie was based on) among many other things.
It’s hard to pick among his work for examples, since all of it is so incredible, as far as I’m concerned he was (and remains) the best popular presenter of science. His method of delivery is so direct, uncluttered and clear. Anything he explains is graspable, whether that’s a 4th spatial dimension, or very large numbers and watching Cosmos has moved me close to tears on a number occasions with its insight, scope and depth of humanity. For anyone who wonders why science is relevant, or why we should care about galaxies or atoms when they seem to have nothing to do with our lives, watch Cosmos, and science will for good reason come to seem the most human endeavour we can undertake.
As a little trivia, Hugo Weaving’s riveting performance in The Matrix seems eerily similar to Carl Sagan’s mannerisms. Despite a total 180 in attitude from Sagan to Smith, it’s impossible to take your eyes off either, and the remarkable similarity took me a while to get used to! (section edited, see comments)
So to celebrate his awesome life, how about some music:
This is a really cute little song called Cosmic Carl
And this is a bunch of clips from Cosmos, all edited to a tune XD
So, hail Cosmic Carl, billions and billions of cheers indeed!