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View Diary: Nerd Alert: President Obama Will Introduce Tonight's Premiere Of "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" (200 comments)

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  •  my review (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hey338Too, FiredUpInCA, CoyoteMarti

    The show stunk for the first 50 minutes--and I was a science teacher.  The last 5 minutes, when he discussed Carl Sagan was very touching, and very well done.  I can't believe kids will enjoy tonight's episode--nor will they learn anything from it.  I wouldn't expect adults to find it that interesting either--and the use of cartoons was a disgrace--as was the one sentence used to mention Copernicus.

    Actions speak louder than petitions.

    by melvynny on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 07:23:48 PM PDT

    •  I loved the animation (6+ / 0-)

      It was iconic, whereas reenactment with cheesy actors is just...corny.

      Alas, the new Cosmos lacks the poetry of the original.  It's very good, but it's not transcendant.

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 07:30:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  hero (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The cartoon hero was a cleric, with no scientific background, who dreamed a dream that turned out to be partly true.  He didn't deserve air time--didn't deserve more praise than Copernicus.  I liked that it showed the inquisition in a bad light--but big deal.  The name of the show is Cosmos--not misdeeds of the church--a show I would love to see produced.

        Actions speak louder than petitions.

        by melvynny on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 07:55:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  This was the "Introduction" to the series... (11+ / 0-)

      ... and what resonated to me was the use (defense) of the "scientific method" which was a theme throughout the first episode.  The idea of passing the passion for science along also stuck with me.  It will be interesting to see where they take the rest of the series.

      I had to admit that I was a little wary because Fox was reprising the series.  My sense from the first episode was that the groundwork was being laid to make sure that folks understood that this wasn't going to be a "Fox News" take on science.  It interested me that there were a ton of technology ads during the broadcast, yet not a single ad for "Son of G-d" (which I've been seeing far to many of on Fox recently).

      Looking through the bent backed tulips, To see how the other half lives, Looking through a glass onion - John Lennon and Paul McCartney

      by Hey338Too on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 07:53:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  With all due respect to you (14+ / 0-)

      as a science teacher, I'll have to disagree.

      While nothing, as of yet, can compare to Sagan's original, I found it fascinating.  The time calendar comparsion always blows me away.

      Remember, it's been a generation since the first Cosmos aired, and I think they've done a commendable job on this introduction.

      I find it hard to believe that a new generation of kids won't find it mind-boggling and entertaining.  If it gets just one child to turn towards science, it will have done its job.

      And, as a last thought, I don't think the story animation was as bad as you make it out to be.  Granted, it's not quite what we're used to nowadays, but I think it served it's purpose.

      I look forward to the next 12 episodes.

      "Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress Chris Christie. But I repeat myself." ~ Mark Twain, (with a twist) ;o)

      by Terre on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 07:57:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  calendar (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FiredUpInCA, Box of Rain

        Smart kids will take away the thought that this is the last second in our story--he should have showed the next calendar year begins tomorrow.  Small point, but I've had experience with such adult interpretations of time on kids.

        Actions speak louder than petitions.

        by melvynny on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 08:35:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't mean to naysay your comments (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FiredUpInCA, PinHole, MKSinSA

          but since the last second started with our beginning to look at the cosmos (with the first telescope) my imagination already began to wonder what second we are now in, in the second calendar?

          I'm no math wiz, so maybe the 2nd nanosecond?  lol

          So, this version has me hooked, as did the first.  I think children are more curious about our place in the universe.  At least that's my hope.  Some adults?  Well, that's another story.

          "Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress Chris Christie. But I repeat myself." ~ Mark Twain, (with a twist) ;o)

          by Terre on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 09:17:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I agree about the cartoon. Well not so much the (5+ / 0-)

      use of cartoons, but the quality. With today's tech you would think they would use better quality since it comprised such long segments.

      Otherwise I enjoyed it and did learn about Bruno. I did think the the first 15 min. were very slow and may have lost a lot of viewers.

      It’s the Supreme Court, stupid! Followed by: It's always the Supreme Court! Progressives will win only when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

      by auapplemac on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 08:09:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The "cartoon" wasn't badly animated. (10+ / 0-)

        It was stylistic, and it's quality was excellent.

        I do agree though that the beginning tour of the solar system was very elementary, and thus slow. But then, I have to remind myself that I'm not necessarily the target audience, given my age. And even though I was very familiar with all the planets from a very, very young age, a lot of kids of my day and today might not be.

      •  Bruno (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Notreadytobenice, FiredUpInCA

        The show's about science--Copernicus should have been the "star," not Bruno.

        Actions speak louder than petitions.

        by melvynny on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 08:40:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nah - Copernicus thought the Sun was the center... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FiredUpInCA, CoyoteMarti, mbayrob

          of the universe. Bruno had it right.

          •  Focusing on Bruno was contextually good (8+ / 0-)

            The beginning of the episode was designed to put us in the context of reality, starting with Earth, then going up and up and up to the observable universe, which by definition is all that can be observed. But the observable universe is finite, whereas reality may be (and probably is) infinite. The bubbles part beyond the observable universe was a visualization of the idea of parallel universes, or the multiverse, which is currently a hypothesis in cosmology that has some theoretical support.

            Bruno's vision, although applicable to our own universe, could be extrapolated to encompass the multiverse. So mentioning a past figure whose ideas were prescient adds weight to it, even if it wasn't experimentally supported. There are quite a few ancient philosophers who had similarly prescient ideas, such as atoms.

            Finally, reminding viewers of the conflict between faith and reason - which is not past by any means - is not only a bonus, but timely, although I agree it went on longer than strictly necessary.

          •  And even though he didn't have physical evidence, (7+ / 0-)

            the show was right that he was important for giving others something to try to further disprove once the telescope showed up.

            Which, although they didn't state it directly, would have given people like Galileo reason to go check out those stars once they had telescopes. There's no reason to look at stars if you think they're just spots of light on a sphere, and since they don't move relative to each other there's really no reason for a human to think otherwise just looking up. Andromeda's too far to appear as anything but a dot to our eyes. The Pleiades cluster is interesting but pointing a telescope there will only get you a small stable cluster.

            It takes having reason to point a telescope at as many unmoving dots as you can to find nebulae and galaxies. And that's what Bruno's wild then-untestable theory based on a dream and a passage from Lucretius did, at least according to tonight's episode: it gave every astronomer nominally supporting the church a really good excuse to point a telescope at a few stars every night and find out if any of them looked funny.

    •  As a fan of animation,... (5+ / 0-)

      ...I thought the animation was beautiful.

    •  We're viewing it with jaded eyes, as opposed to (6+ / 0-)

      our memories of the original. When 'Cosmos' first aired, it was COMPLETELY NEW AND DIFFERENT from anything else we'd seen. But we're watching the new version after 30-odd years of watching similar programs on cable and satellite, so it doesn't have the magic of new-ness that the original had.

      First love is always that special love, after all. So I'm willing to cut it lots of slack.

      "When does the greed stop, we ask the other side? That's the question and that's the issue." - Senator Ted Kennedy

      by Fordmandalay on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 08:35:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  cartoons were fine (6+ / 0-)

      Copernicus is more important to development of physics and astronomy, but Cosmos is more about the philosophy of science.

      Copernicus proved that the Earth wasn't the center of the universe, so he just moved the center of the universe to our Sun. Bruno wasn't exactly empirical, but the important thing he did do was recognize that Copernicus had disproven Aristotle, and rather than try to shoehorn heliocentrism back into Aristotle's universe like Copernicus did, he threw it out and applied Occam's Razor to what was known, and ended up at the simplest philosophy that fit the evidence.

      So I'll defend spending the time on Bruno because he's important to the picture of the universe Cosmos is about: that you aren't special and the Earth isn't special and nobody will come bail you out after you melt the ice caps. And he's also important to the idea that assumptions are not privileged by time. If Bruno could throw out 2 millennia of European cosmology because it wasn't the simplest explanation of the evidence, then maybe you can revisit your assumptions about Intelligent Design or Stanley Kubrick faking the moon landing by the 600th time somebody proves you wrong.

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