Learning From Carl Sagan: Even Cat Sh*t Is Made of Starstuff

Illustration for article titled Learning From Carl Sagan: Even Cat Sh*t Is Made of Starstuff

I've been re-watching Carl Sagan's Cosmos in Hulu. I watched the series when I was a kid, and it opened my mind in an unforgettable way. I forgot how mesmerizing it can be to listen to his explanations. [Thanks John!]

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DISCUSSION

Back in the day, if you wanted to know what was coming on TV (CBS, NBC, ABC... or PBS), you thumbed through TV Guide. I was 8 years old and stoked when I saw COSMOS on the cover of a TV Guide in the grocery store checkout line, thrilled to see that the book I had read that summer in my school's library was going to be on TV. "Cosmos" the book had beautiful pictures, but was not nearly as accesible as the TV series. The book taught me the word gedankenexperiment and made you think that one day there could be a whole manmade mini-earth in outer space. Yet the TV series packed emotional punches in ways the book couldn't. As Carl explained the ramifications of Einstein's relativistic theories (what if the speed of light was 40 km/h... and what would the world look like if you're going that fast?), I swear I went through denial, anger, depression, and acceptance.

What a cool, bumpy ride.