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Carl Sagans "Cosmos" book and series.

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#1 Daniel Guzas

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:50 PM

Well I have to say I think I am falling in love with everything Carl Sagan!

I just finished his book Cosmos which I was picking away at on my lunch hour for a few months and I loved it. So naturally I had to rent his 1980 series "Cosmos" and I was not disappointed.

I am about half way thru it and I love each and every episode as it really takes the time to explained subjects in detail. And for some reason I love the demeanor of Carl Sagan. The way he walks, talks, his calm and reserved excitement about what he is talking about just really intrigues me.

So I urge anyone and everyone who hasn't either read the book, or seen the series to do so. It really is a great way to solidify our knowledge about where we really come from and how we got here.

Can't recommend it enough!

#2 lamplight

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 12:13 AM

Pretty sure that is on netflix streaming, too. I ust rewatched that about a year ago.. in parts I found it dry compared to some othermore recent stuff ( and talk about cheesy effects like that space ship lol..), but like you say, the subject matter of our cosmos is fascinating and endlessly mysterious, as we still know so little.. I don't know when the original was but the netflix version had a little addendum at the end where they updatedthe viewer with more recent findings ( which also is old, but just mentionng it). Its neat that voyager has been in the news as it passes out of our solar system so watching this series which talks a bit about that launch in pretty interesting to imagine what it was like back then when they launched, and here we are still tracking it.. (last I saw anyhow).

Another interesting tidbit you probably know but others may not, carl had a romance with one of the women on that voyager project.. I wish I was married to a woman interested in science..even a little.. oops getting off topic ;)

#3 lamplight

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 12:16 AM

Oh.. didn't I read that the woman he was involved with that I mntientioned was going to do some kind of cosmos II series or project? Anyone know about that?

#4 Meadeball

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 01:07 AM

IMHO it's required viewing to watch the movie "Contact" following an indulgence in our old "bullions and bullions" friend. You'll find there's a whole lot of Carl in that movie and a whole lot of that movie in the Cosmos series. Fittingly, there's a tear-jerker (to us astronomers alone, I guess) at the very last fade-out, where we dissolve from Jodie Foster peering heavenward to a black screen with only two words ... "For Carl".

During the course of the movie, Foster's character does an almost verbatim regurgitation of Carl's "formula" for how many intelligent civilizations may be out there, and the method that life makes first contact with us uses the very example Carl gave using the "language of the universe." I won't give up any more of the plot other than by saying you'll readily recognize the opening few moments that came right out of one of the Cosmos episodes. It's a good movie to own if you're into astronomy.

Meade

#5 gravitino

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 01:46 AM

Oh.. didn't I read that the woman he was involved with that I mntientioned was going to do some kind of cosmos II series or project? Anyone know about that?


Sagan's widow, Ann Druyan, is producing a new series with Seth Macfarlane. It will be hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson. It is currently in production, and should air sometime in the next 18 months. Here is a starting point at Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia....ce-Time_Odyssey

Clear skies,
-- Shane

#6 Danzup77

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 02:17 AM

You can watch The Cosmos entire shows on Youtube as well.....not the best quality but free! Have an origional production edition of the Cosmos book and just got Demon Haunted World but finishing Krauss book 1st.

#7 dennyhenke

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 02:22 AM

Agreed on all above. Working my way through both the book and the series. Truly fantastic and has been, in some ways, life changing. The fall of 2012 will be, for me, the time that I discovered Carl Sagan and the time that my exploration of Astronomy began.

#8 lamplight

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 02:40 AM

ha! I just rewatched contact as well. I find that whole debate topic in the movie extremely disturbing. I don't want to start that here, believe me.. but I appreciate the protagonist's position . Do NOT get how the search for greater truths about reality has to be so theatening to some. I was saddened a lot by this aspect of the movie as I fear we'd have the same devisive controversy if we were to experience similar.. OTOH ive seen videos of high level catholic bishops talking about the likelyhood and their acceptance of ETs and see it as more opportunity for revenue, i mean spreading their flavor of salvation. Ok that wasnt fair but its funny i couldnt help it. yes themovie was way too emotional :bawling:
I was thinkng of buyng the book, can anyone commenton a comparison between it and the movie? Worth reading if iveseen the movie a couple times?

Thanks shane!

#9 frito

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 03:05 AM

Pretty sure that is on netflix streaming, too.


yeah the whole series is on netflix, i watched it a few weeks ago. excellent series. Carl Sagan was truly an amazing person and a wonderful communicator to the masses.

#10 TexasRed

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 05:32 AM

I think you'll like the ending of the book, Contact, which is different and much better than the ending of the movie. I still get chills just thinking about it.

#11 lamplight

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 09:37 AM

Sold :)

#12 Vic Menard

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 09:39 AM

I think you'll like the ending of the book, Contact, which is different and much better than the ending of the movie. I still get chills just thinking about it.


+1!

#13 MikeBOKC

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 09:41 AM

Cosmos is a littel dated, but it is still a very good introduction to astronomy, even though it was produced before more recent findings about things like dark matter and dark energy. Sagan was without doubt the best science popularlizer of his time, and maybe of all time, although he could get a little preachy about some political issues, being a diehard pacifist.

Contact is one of the best translations of a book to the screen ever, even though it makes some significant changes in the storyline for film. So yes reading it is very worthwhile.

There's also a good biography of Sagan by an author named Keay Davidson which goes into his somewhat tumultuous personal and academic life. He was not as well regarded by a lot of academic astronomers as he was by the public and media.

All his books are good -- he ranged far afield into evolutiion, conciousness, myth, etc. His first book, The Cosmic Connection, is really his best basic primer on astronomy, and a fun read. Dragons of Eden won the Pulitzer prize, and Broca's Brain and The Demon Haunted World are quite thought provoking. One little-known Sagan work is The Varieties of Scientific Experience, which was a series of lectures on the science/religion debate. I did not mesh with Sagan on some political and lifestyle matters (he was for example a big devotee of drug use) but I have read and enjoyed and profited from his work and would hage liked to have met him.

#14 csrlice12

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 12:26 PM

It was the mid/late 80s when I took a college course on a whim. That course was "Cosmos". Best course I ever took. Lost the book in various moves (military). But I won't forget the course...

#15 Daniel Guzas

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 12:51 PM

Sold :)


HA! I think I will be buying this book also. I have seen and loved Contact, but wondered if the book is worth reading. I think that will be my next purchase. I have just received Sagans " The demon haunted world" and this is my next read.

I too agree that 2012 will also be the year that I really " discovered" astronomy. Even though I got my scope 3 years ago.

What I love the most is on my lunch break removing myself from the everyday events and transporting myself to BIG ideas and the vastness of the universe. It is do soothing in the middle of a stressful work day. Kind of a recharge for the afternoon!

#16 lamplight

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 01:04 PM

Daniel, I assume you mean you do some reading on lunch break :) ? Or solar observing ? Those other books sound GREAT too. Wow.. Regarding more current stuff that anyone will enjoy if u like cosmos is The planets (bbc) and How the universe works both on Netflix streaming if you have it (and maybe YouTube). Just mentioned this in another similar thread here but since they're kind of related ...

Good I need a new book.. Now I'm not sure which of the ones mentioned to get.. Excellent.

#17 csrlice12

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 01:08 PM

What I also liked about the book "Cosmos", was not just that it was well written and easy to understand...but for it's day, had some marvelous AP in it....remember, this was pre-hubble.

#18 jwheel

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 02:03 PM

I was glued to the TV when Cosmos first aired. I wrote a letter to Sagan when I was a kid and I got a response! Even though it was from his secretary, I was thrilled about it. Unfortunately I have lost letter over the years of many moves. I also saw him speak once at The University of Evansville.

Joe Wheelock

#19 Dave74

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 02:53 PM

Great Thread. I never saw "Cosmos" that I remember, though I feel I should have. Should have been required viewing in elementary schools, IMO.

I'm on Part 4 on youtube now. Really enjoying it. Part II was all about evolution though, and I could have skipped it. I don't need convincing.

#20 Daniel Guzas

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 03:59 PM

Daniel, I assume you mean you do some reading on lunch break :) ? Or solar observing ? Those other books sound GREAT too. Wow.. Regarding more current stuff that anyone will enjoy if u like cosmos is The planets (bbc) and How the universe works both on Netflix streaming if you have it (and maybe YouTube). Just mentioned this in another similar thread here but since they're kind of related ...

Good I need a new book.. Now I'm not sure which of the ones mentioned to get.. Excellent.



Yes reading only! I wish I were driving my dob at lunch time! :cool: but a good book on the universe will do!

#21 Noisykids

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 07:25 PM

sagan cowrote a book with a guy named schlovski, i think, and i had to read it for an astronomy class in college in 1970. still have it around somewhere. good read. google the two names and you could probably find out more about it. i agree the cosmos series is a little dated, but i've enjoyed everything i've read by him.






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