If you have a chance to watch Into The Universe With Stephen Hawking, and enjoy having your mind blown by space science then I strongly suggest you do… both things. The watching the show thing and the mind thing. It is essentially an updated Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, but is still wildly enjoyable. Though Hawking’s robo-voice (which he appears to control with eye movements now that his hands no long function) introduces each segment, the voice over duties are quickly assumed by a pleasant sounding British gentleman.
There are two things I LOVE about specials like this (especially this very special special):
A) Even when you know in the back of your mind how enormous and random and chaotic and unlikely and OLD the universe is, it’s a real kick in the cosmic pants to be reminded of just exactly how much it is each of those descriptors with stunning visual effects and real world metaphors.
B) Stephen Hawking approaches physics and the universe with what can only be described as love.
Listen to his words (even though they aren’t coming out of his mouth) and you can tell that he looks at the heavens and truly experiences joy. That miraculous brain of his, trapped in an uncooperative shell marvels at the wonder that is the universe like a child gazing upon Disney World for the first time. It would be so easy for him to be cynic with all the hardships he’s faced (who knows, maybe he is) but he seems to have a real enthusiasm and pasion for knowledge and understanding and the ability to perceive humanity as a whole; a single unit bound by common goals on a tiny rock in a tiny corner of space. Why people like him aren’t making the decisions that actually effect our lives I will never understand.
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