Maybe it is because my youngest child has recently graduated from college that has me once again thinking about time and our place in the universe. And without a doubt when I reflect on the mysterious cosmos I cannot help thinking about Carl Sagan. Carl Sagan has been a major influence of mine since I first watched his TV series “Cosmos” way back in 1980 when I was only 16 years old.
Cosmos is filled with powerful & thought provoking ideas which are rendered simply, so that they are understandable, even if you are only a 16 year old nerdy kid (like I was at the time). That’s why Sagan is such a revered figure to not just me — he gave us a simple way to experience awe and wonder. Even now that I have outgrown the nerd in me – and I am flowing with awesome coolness Sagan’s outlook on our universe continues to engage. And it’s not just his TV show that continues to inspire people but his 20+ engaging books that transverse everything from evolution to space coloniziation that offer thought provoking commentary to those of us looking for it.
Anyway getting back to “Cosmos”. One of his most powerful notions (in that series) is the “cosmic calendar” in which he puts the entire span of human history (which seems like a long time to us humans) into the perspective of the universe. From that perspective, human history is just the blink of an eye and somehow with my youngest graduating college recently Sagan’s “cosmic calendar” actually has me feeiling……well….. young again. You can watch this segment below.
Sadly we lost Carl Sagan on December 20, 1996 and our universe has not quite been the same or as optimistic since. You can learn more about Carl Sagan here.