Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A very orange moon

I'm up at 3:30 am on Tuesday morning admiring the moon during a total lunar eclipse (during the winter solstice).

Monday was also the anniversary of Carl Sagan’s death. Carl was a man who was so passionate about science that he inspired a generation of people to care about the physical sciences (a friend of mine says she had a crush on him, now she helps companies deal with their environmental impacts – coincidence?). Carl had an impact on me too, I vividly remember his visualization of the cosmic calendar, walking across a huge grid and kneeling by the last day in December, pointing to the last second of December 31st as the place that all of human memory resides. It is still powerful: if all of evolutionary history is the size of a football field, all of human history fits into the palm of your hand.

Carl didn’t use Powerpoint, but his impact still resonates 14 years after his death. Oh that our ideas could be so powerful.

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