January 18, 2011 why i ♥ “The Universe”
“In the beginning, there was darkness, and then, bang—giving birth to an endless, expanding existence of time, space and matter. Now, see further than we’ve ever imagined, beyond the limits of our existence, in a place we call The Universe.”
for those who have to put up with my shenanigans on Facebook, you know i have an intense hard-on for all things The Universe (which airs on the History Channel). my fascination for outer-space and the mechanics of how everything works started pretty early and has only really grown since childhood. so much so that there are times when i’ve felt that, in another version of my life, i should’ve ended up being a scientist. but instead i’m a fact-hound on all things bout the ‘verse coupled with my sometimes-soft musings about the interconnectedness of all things, from Earth-bound to space and beyond. mostly i just like having my wig flipped by the science this show drops, and in such an entertaining fashion too.
the narrator, Erik Thompson, is a character himself, presenting everything in that ‘dramatic movie trailer’ voice (“in a LAAANND not their OWWNN…” etc). the show also employs some pretty impressive sfx to educate oneself about all the latest developments relating to Earth and space. they’re especially fond of playing out multiple doomsday scenarios via computer graphics and real footage. i guess u could call it edu-tainment at its finest, instead this show (imo) has probly the most important things to say and report than anything else. the mix of professors, scientists, engineers, writers & thinkers who make regular appearances on the show basically are cosmic detectives who are constantly peeling back more and more of what makes our planet and our Universe exist and function. my utmost respect goes to these people who actively engage in critical thinking and are always searching for the truth that underpins our age-old superstitious knowledge.
two of the regular contributors to the show in particular have been added to my lengthening list of “heroes” that i look up to and am somewhat inspired by, simply for the glee with which they talk about the subject matter, and always ready to back up their findings and assertions by performing simple (and highly amusing) experiments. these are astrophysicist and professor of astronomy at The University Of California, Berkeley Alex Filippenko (always talks science with an eager smile on his face). the other is physicist, professor & best-selling author Dr. Michio Kaku (often waxes poetical about a universal discovery with a sly smile and tone of voice). these two arguably busy minds still find the time to frequent almost every episode of The Universe and talk shop with a child-like zeal, and have taught me more than any cursory class at school did and, as a result, made me constantly think about my place in the Universe and what that even means. the backbone of the show, hell of science in general, is a generally curious disposition that champions facts, and the constant searching for truth within a Universe filled with cosmic phenomena. the show has stated this many times:
“we can’t know everything“
it’s that simple statement which allows someone to broaden their perspective and perhaps think about reality in ways they never imagined before. it doesn’t take much really, just a willingness to try a new or different point of view. i’m not saying this program is the most epiphanous in all of creation, it is however an easy and simply-presented gateway to grander thinking and fresher ways of looking at everyday things in your life.
now instead of just offering a taste of the show (if you are in fact unfamiliar with it), i’m posting an entire 44min episode (there’s more than a few full eps available to watch on YouTube). this is Season 3′s “The Edge Of Space“. kick back and take a look at the modern-day reality that is Earth from distant vantage points in outer-space. and if the irony of humanity polluting the stars the same way we’re polluting the Earth doesn’t hit you over the head with an obvious SHMACK, then perhaps this isn’t your sorta thing (no snark-o, just sayin).