Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Cosmic Calendar by Carl Sagan!

Thanks to greybishop for suggesting this very cool 'Cosmic Calendar':

..."Imagine that the entire history of the universe is compressed into one year - with the Big Bang corresponding to the first second of the New Year's Day, and the present time to the last second of December 31st (midnight)."


Greybishop said...


Carl Sagan's insight and passion are sorely missed.

What I've noted in the last few years is a new crop of younger, media savvy scientists that have taken up the very worthy quest to bring a deeper understanding of science to the general public.

Without Carl's contributions in the 70's and 80's with his books and the amazing Cosmos series, that would likely not be the case.

Ah, science.

Sawsee said...

Yes, it seems there are more people able to package complex ideas and findings into an understandable form.

I read Hawkings book, and I confess I understood only a fraction of it. I'm sure, in his mind, he was writing in a very simple manner to allow the layman to grasp all the concepts.

Greybishop said...

Hey Sawsee!

I LOVED "A Brief History of the Universe", but I too had trouble with much of it. Particularly the last 1/3 of the book.

That said, I would gladly carry Stephen Hawking on my back for the rest of my life if he asked. He's the one guy that I might be guilty of hero worshipping.

Sawsee said...

Hey GB!

To have Hawkings as your hero speaks volumes of your character and intellect!

I too, have been in awe of Hawking's abilites! He is in an unique group: da Vinci, michelangelo, einstein, newton, galileo, copernicus, pythagoras, curie, etc.

Greybishop said...

I remember watching him last year when he got the chance to fly in the "weightless" simulator that they use to train astronauts.

Here's a man who has done more to unravel the secrets of the universe than just about anyone else in history, AND write books to make it understandable to the average person, all while trapped in a body that barely sustains his life AND who is only able to speak at all by means of late twentieth century technology.

Had he been born only two decades before he was, he would likely NEVER have been able to contribute anything to society, despite his staggaring intellect. Without modern medicine and technology, the world would be very much poorer for having never known the genius of Stephen Hawking.

Imagine what we might have missed over the millenia, simply for want of an electric wheelchair, a speech synthesising computer or a polio vaccine. Thousands upon thousands of brilliant minds snuffed out before they could contribute or, worse still, trapped in bodies that betrayed them and kept them silent all their lives.

Thinking about how narrowly that tragic fate was avoided in Dr. Hawking's case always makes me both jubilant and depressed. I'm very happy that we have him, but still very sad that we can't do better, yet.