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Cosmos- A Space time Odyssey

Discussion in 'Other TV' started by Spideyman, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. Grandpa

    Grandpa Well-Known Member

    The original was in a bit of a vacuum. There weren't many other similar shows on. You didn't have something like Internet forums where discussions popped up all over the place. And it presented things in a fairly new way.

    Now you have a bunch of science shows going on (e.g., "Through the Wormhole"), there are Internet forums where geeks pop up and spout off knowledge every day, even (some of) the science fiction is smarter about cosmology, and there's a feeling of this being the same type of thing as the others, just with a bit different focus.

    But I still remember the original Cosmos with Sagan pretty vividly, and I still think this matches up well. I think Neil is as personable as Carl - in some ways, kinda more so - and I like how they're taking more obscure figures in science history and showing their importance, and often how ahead of their time that they were, in the acquisition of knowledge. I don't think that within its particular environment it's better than the original. That would be a very tough call indeed, because the original was superb. But with the exception of an episode or two, it does a really good job for me, an aficionado of the first one.
  2. Grandpa

    Grandpa Well-Known Member

    This week's episode - pretty good. I really wasn't aware of the role that Michael Faraday played, and even more unaware (wait! Unaware is unaware - if you're unaware, you can't be more unaware) further removed from knowing the amazing road that led to his prominence.

    But doggone it, he didn't need a whole episode, and we don't need unceasing vignettes of his life punctuated by commercials every 10 minutes. Tell us what he did in 15 or 20 minutes, and spend the rest of the time going over the ripples and threads through the next century and a half that profoundly affect our life from his work, even today.

    If I have one criticism of the show, and apparently I do, it's that they spend too much languid time on one theme. It's like in On Writing, when Mr. King is telling his primary reader (Tabby) how important it is to tell this one part, and she says, "Yeah, but do you have to bore me with it?"

    It's a good show. As Elmore Leonard (also mentioned in On Writing) advises, they should leave out the boring parts.

    B-. They need to step it up and bring in another solid A. The grader is starting to drift in the chapters.
  3. Grandpa

    Grandpa Well-Known Member

    This week was one of my favorite episodes in a while. It had a lot of science fact and pure imagination about what-may-be and what-may-be-to-come mixed in, with the appropriate disclaimers of, "We don't know this, but it's nice to imagine it."

    There was a well-known piece of music that I just can't quite place in the first half (I think) of the episode. It punctuated the narration wonderfully. And in the telling of the Sumerians (they didn't say Sumerians, but that was it), with the first (pre-Biblical) Deluge story and Gilgamesh, and the admiration of enduring narration, I heard the echoes of (geek alert!!) the lament of Gilgamesh as related in Darmok (STTNG).

    The last quarter hour talked about the devastation of our environment for short-term gain, but it also carried a message that we survive, and we're capable of meeting the challenges that are thrown at us.

    In the spirit of the original Cosmos, with scientific fact mixed in with soaring possibilities and real-world warnings, it did very, very well.
  4. Lord Tyrion

    Lord Tyrion Well-Known Member

    I prefered Through the Wormhole because it asked more provocative questions and talks about stuff that blows people's minds. It looks like Cosmos isn't even going to focus on quantum physics which is a mistake.
  5. Spideyman

    Spideyman Uber Member

  6. I've been taping Cosmos and yesterday I finally sat down to watch a few episodes :) I think maybe my expectations were too high :( I had expected the program to be more informative and aimed at adult audiences. I also found Tyson's constant dramatic pauses after almost every sentence to be annoying :(

    Do any of y'all, who were in school during the late 50s, remember seeing the Bell Laboratory Science Series films? I guess if I watched them now, I'd think they were silly but when I was a kid I loved them :) Dr Frank C Baxter played Dr Research, Richard Carlson played Mr Fiction Writer, and Sterling Halloway played the lab assistant. There was a Magic Screen in the lab in which cartoon characters helped to tell the stories. I can't find a clip for the story that explained the theory of relativity but here's a clip for Hemo the Magnificent :)

    Dana Jean and Neesy like this.
  7. I liked Sunday's episode. We cannot be reminded too often as to how we're screwing up the Earth. I want Earth's future children to have a chance to develop spaceships and a faster than light propulsion system before the Earth becomes uninhabitable.
  8. Bryan James

    Bryan James Well-Known Member

    I consider it "The Idiot's Guide to the Universe."

    Casual, easy-access, informative, edutationing.

    Hopefully Barack is watching.
  9. Dana Jean

    Dana Jean Dirty Pirate Hooker Moderator

    How many total episodes are there?
    Neesy and no bounce no play like this.
  10. Spideyman

    Spideyman Uber Member

    I think there are 13-- last episode is June 8
  11. Grandpa

    Grandpa Well-Known Member

    I liked this week's episode, although it's sad that you can't talk about our pollution effect on the planet without it becoming politicized. Here again, my main criticism is that the episode was a singular focus, and that was here on earth, and I want the show to live up to its name.

    I actually like Tyson's narration just fine. We can argue who has a better delivery, Sagan or Tyson's, but there's no doubt he's got better tonal quality.

    I don't know that it's Science for Dummies. Some of it, sure. But I'm not a complete dummy on science, and I'm a subscriber to Discover magazine (a magazine is an analog medium with print on pages), and the show is teaching me things I didn't know.
  12. I didn't know (or I'd forgotten) that limestone was made up of tiny shells and that it soaked up CO2. The more we discover how we're destroying the Earth, the more we discover how rare the Earth is. I used to think there were probably many planets in our galaxy that could support life, now I'm not so sure :(
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  13. LOL! So that's what a magazine is! hehe... I sometimes pick up an issue of Discover at the grocery store but most of the articles are over my head :( I used to like Omni :)
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  14. Spideyman

    Spideyman Uber Member

    Always learn something new from each show of Cosmos. Good stuff.
  15. Grandpa

    Grandpa Well-Known Member

    The final show was one of my favorites. Loved hearing about dark matter, dark energy, the matter-of-fact statement that we don't know it all and often get it wrong, the "pale blue dot" soliloquy by Sagan, the dissection of Voyager, and even the send-off lecture by deGrasse Tyson.

    Actually, the "pale blue dot" speech rather captivated me.

    I liked all the episodes to some extent although a few were a bit disappointing, liked a few of the shows a whole lot, and the series ended on a strong note.

    Thank you to the show.
  16. I've been so caught up in NOS4A2 and Mr Mercedes I haven't watched the last show yet. I haven't been able to watch much tv at all lol. I have it recorded though and I'm looking forward to watching it :)
    Dana Jean likes this.
  17. I liked the final show too :) Black holes are fascinating. I'm not sure I understood the commentary correctly... was Tyson saying there may be black holes at the center of galaxies?
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  18. Grandpa

    Grandpa Well-Known Member

    Y'know, I don't remember that part of the commentary, but I do know that astophysicists are pretty confident that most galaxies have black holes, or supermassive black holes, at their centers. And that includes ours.
  19. That would make sense, something has to be at the hub of a galaxy. Its been so long since I've been in school, quarks hadn't even been discovered yet :( Most of whatever scientific knowledge I have has come from science fiction so most is more imaginative than real lol. I think the last hard sci-fi novel I read was Dragon's Egg by Robert Forward and the science was way over my head. The ST: Voyager episode "Blink of an Eye" was based on Dragon's Egg.
    Dana Jean and Spideyman like this.
  20. Dana Jean

    Dana Jean Dirty Pirate Hooker Moderator

    I finally have started watching this series. Only 2 left but the thing that is thrilling me the most about it is my remembrances. I am remembering this stuff! Well, not all of it, but an impressive amount anyway. I know what concept he's getting ready to talk about and say it before he does, I know the names of people before he says them. I know what he's about to show us.

    I loved this class in college, but obviously more of the stuff stuck in the old gray matter than I thought. I am proud of myself. :blush:

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