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November 9, 2010

Sagan Day

Today is Sagan Day! While many of the celebrations took place this last weekend, today would have been Carl Sagan's 76th birthday. Carl Sagan has inspired me as well as many others to love science and use the lens it gives us to explore the world. This year I celebrate by watching a few episodes his famous television series, Cosmos. All I ask of each of you is to watch this short video clip. It is in my opinion on of the best essays ever written. No matter how many times I read and listen to it, I am struck. It is humbling and uplifting. I think it exemplifies the responsibility he saw us having not only to our planet, but also to each other.

"The size and age of the Cosmos are beyond ordinary human understanding. Lost somewhere between immensity and eternity is our tiny planetary home. In a cosmic perspective, most human concerns seem insignificant, even petty. And yet our species is young and curious and brave and shows much promise. In the last few millennia we have made the most astonishing and unexpected discoveries about the Cosmos and our place within it, explorations that are exhilarating to consider. They remind us that humans have evolved to wonder, that understanding is a joy, that knowledge is prerequisite to survival. I believe our future depends powerfully on how well we understand this Cosmos in which we float like a mote of dust in the morning sky" - Carl Sagan

On that note, Happy Sagan Day.