Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Universe, Carl Sagan, and Genies

Hey all! (That was an awkward introduction to this post.)

Today is Tuesday, and on Tuesdays I like to not shave my legs and think hard about things I don't understand. Instead of doing dishes and laundry, which is what I'm actually supposed to be doing on Tuesdays. Or any day for that matter.

This may come as a shock to you, but I am a legitimate fan girl for Carl Sagan. Everything he has written, said, done--all of it instigates massive squeaks that are usually categorized under "Sound Pre-Teens Make Upon Seeing Famous Boys Who May or May Not Sing."
J14 Should Really Consider A Sagan Issue

For instance, "Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar", every "supreme leader", every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there — on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam." 

You guessed right, Carl Sagan wrote that.

Whenever life is getting you down, for whatever reason (my unshaved legs and symmetrical spider bites on both ankles...), remember that all of it is taking place on a "mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam." And if it's just a mote of dust is it that important? Shouldn't us dust-dwellers be focusing on things more important, like dust peace? 

I'm currently reading Broca's Brain by Carl Sagan and I must say, reflecting on the romance of science has never been sexier. 

It's not cheating if it's literature.

He definitely spends a lot of time debunking ridiculous things that people tend to believe when scientists don't speak up and educate people. But in the beginning he writes about Broca, a scientist that specialized in brains. He was a man that sought truth in a world that was intensely backwards. Sagan does let people know that Broca was not perfect and did have many flaws within his character, but he let Broca's accomplishments and influences shine. 

One of my favorite quotes in this book is not even Sagan's, but Broca's: "I would rather be a transformed ape than a degenerate son of Adam."

This will probably keep a lot of reader's away, but it spoke to me in a lot of ways that are difficult to explain. I was born and raised Catholic, my world had a God and a Jesus and angels and really fake people. In fact, I found that there were more fake people and judgmental people than anything else in Christianity. 

Either way, I think we can all agree that our universe is beautiful. Possibly (and probably) infinite, under appreciated, and exquisite. 

Did you know that the Hubble Telescope has a website filled with the most breath taking pictures? 

Here are a few that made my heart skip a beat:

If you're interested, go here.

And if you're still wondering why Genies is in the post title, well, I put my hair up in a super high ponytail today and felt like a genie. It got a little hectic because my cat ignored my offer of three wishes and that obviously upset me, y'know, because I'm a genie today. 

Genies cry too.

Happy Tuesday!


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