(Source: kitten-little, via wilwheaton)

ifuckinglovespace:

Today is Carl Sagan’s birthday. He would have been 78 years old.

Carl is best known for his Cosmos series, a PBS production, that explored and explained the wide-range of science. The thirteen-part series spanned the history of universe, and brought the wonders of science into people’s homes. His infectious energy and excitement for all things science was easily recognizable and Carl quickly became the much-beloved face of science for many.

In addition to his desire to bring the sciences to the masses, Carl sought to bring humanity into the cosmos. A long-time believer in exterrestrial life, Carl worked for many years at SETI. He advocated for and helped design the Pioneer plaques and the Voyager Golden Record, with the hope that maybe, one day, they would be encountered by intelligent life forms other than our own.

In time, Carl became more politically active. A peaceful person, he opposed the expansion of nuclear arms, believing that nuclear energy would be best utilized for exploratory purposes rather than destructive.

Upon his death in 1996, president of the National Academy of Sciences Bruce Alberts said of Carl:

 ”Carl Sagan, more than any contemporary scientist I can think of, knew what it takes to stir passion within the public when it comes to the wonder and importance of science.”

Even 16 years after his death, Carl remains a popular and captivating figure. Recently, a YouTube series was produced in Carl’s name, pairing some of his most popular speeches and quotes with awe-inspiring images of the Earth and cosmos.

Above is the first episode of Cosmos. Enjoy.

"Books permit us to voyage through time, to tap the wisdom of our ancestors. The library connects us with the insights and knowledge, painfully extracted from Nature, of the greatest minds that ever were, with the best teachers, drawn from the entire planet and from all of our history, to instruct us without tiring, and to inspire us to make our own contribution to the collective knowledge of the human species. Public libraries depend on voluntary contributions. I think the health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support our libraries."

— Carl Sagan, Cosmos

"The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent to the concerns of such puny creatures as we are."

— Carl Sagan, Cosmos

"Human history can be viewed as a slowly dawning awareness that we are members of a larger group. Initially our loyalties were to ourselves and our immediate family, next, to bands of wandering hunter-gatherers, then to tribes, small settlements, city-states, nations. We have broadened the circle of those we love. … If we are to survive, our loyalties must be broadened further, to include the whole human community, the entire planet Earth."

— Carl Sagan

"There is no other species on Earth that does science. It is, so far, an entirely human invention, evolved by natural selection in the cerebral cortex for one simple reason: it works. It is not perfect. It can be misused. It is only a tool. But it is by far the best tool we have, self-correcting, ongoing, applicable to everything."

— Carl Sagan

"All of the books in the world contain no more information than is broadcast as video in a single large American city in a single year. Not all bits have equal value."

— Carl Sagan

"If I finish a book a week, I will only read a few thousand books in my lifetime … The trick is to know which books to read."

— Carl Sagan

"Books are like seeds. They can lie dormant for centuries and then flower in the most unpromising soil."

— Carl Sagan

(Source: hudizzle)

ifuckinglovespace:

NASA:

In the 1960’s U.S. Government laboratories, under Project Orion, investigated a pulsed nuclear fission propulsion system. Small nuclear pulse units would be sequentially discharged from the aft end of the vehicle. A blast shield and shock absorber system would protect the crew and convert the shock loads into a continuous propusive force.

In his book and companion series Cosmos, Carl Sagan discussed Project Orion, describing it as “providing a kind of putt-putt, a kind of nuclear motor boat in space.” He expounded Orion as the best use of nuclear weapons, “provided they do not depart from very near the Earth,” in order to reduce the risk of fallout.
The 1963 Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, however, killed the Orion Project, as it “prohibits nuclear weapons tests ‘or any other nuclear explosion’ in the atmosphere, in outer space, and under water.”

ifuckinglovespace:

NASA:

In the 1960’s U.S. Government laboratories, under Project Orion, investigated a pulsed nuclear fission propulsion system. Small nuclear pulse units would be sequentially discharged from the aft end of the vehicle. A blast shield and shock absorber system would protect the crew and convert the shock loads into a continuous propusive force.

In his book and companion series Cosmos, Carl Sagan discussed Project Orion, describing it as “providing a kind of putt-putt, a kind of nuclear motor boat in space.” He expounded Orion as the best use of nuclear weapons, “provided they do not depart from very near the Earth,” in order to reduce the risk of fallout.

The 1963 Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, however, killed the Orion Project, as it “prohibits nuclear weapons tests ‘or any other nuclear explosion’ in the atmosphere, in outer space, and under water.”


We are a way for the cosmos to know itself. 
- Carl Sagan

We are a way for the cosmos to know itself. 

- Carl Sagan


The cosmos is interesting rather than perfect, and everything is not part of some greater plan, nor is all necessarily under control. 
- Carl Sagan

The cosmos is interesting rather than perfect, and everything is not part of some greater plan, nor is all necessarily under control. 

- Carl Sagan


The cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be. 
- Carl Sagan

The cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be. 

- Carl Sagan