Time For Some TV – Cosmos

Time For Some TV – Cosmos

I don’t watch a lot of television. When I do, it’s usually a New England local sports event. On the rare occasion I do find myself getting into a series, I am always late to the game: The Big Bang Theory, Parks and Recreation, Game of Thrones… I have been in catch up mode with all of these series when I first discover them. This also includes probably one of the best science series to be on television in a long, long time… Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.

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Cosmos is an updated version of the TV series done in the 1980s by Carl Sagan, author of the book Cosmos. I have had a strong interest in astronomy going back to my childhood, and my late uncle John “loaned” me his copy of the book (which when I asked when he’d like it back some time later, he basically said that it was mine now). I have his copy to this day.

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Hosted by astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, the updated Cosmos series explores multiple scientific concepts of our cosmos in the “Ship of the Imagination”. From the largest scale of the universe itself, down to the tiniest micro scale, the series explains these concepts in a way that both folks not from a science background, as well as those knowledgeable in science can appreciate. The fact that my wife (who generally isn’t into physics or astronomy) found the portions she watched very interesting is a testament to this. My son’s favorite part so far of those he watched was about the tardigrades.

This is one of the series’ appeal. That it can take concepts that can be hard to really appreciate at full scale, and put them in terms that can make it a bit easier to contemplate; e.g. taking the 13.8 billion years of the universe and condensing it into a single calendar “year”, and that all we know of human history takes place on December 31 of this cosmic calendar “year”.

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I plan on finally investing in a Blu-Ray player, and this will likely be the first title I get on Blu-Ray. It’s that good.

This is a series you can watch with your family. While the youngest of children may not grasp everything, depending on the particular child, I think age 10-12 is a great age where they can get a good understanding of the series. This is a series that I really believe helps start an interest of science in kids, and perhaps, hopefully reignites an interest in adults to become more scientifically literate. Not everyone can be a scientist, but everyone should attempt to become as scientifically literate as possible. This literacy can mean more knowledge you can bring to a family hike in the forest that you pass along to your kids; or to the voting booth or correspondence with our elected officials when important policy questions are being debated that involve technology and science.

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Some Summer Hike Pictures

One of our outings when I was on vacation a couple of weeks ago was a short hike at Borderland State Park in Easton, MA – going on one of the few great days weather-wise we’ve had this summer thus far.  A great place to hike with small kids, and it was the first time testing my foot and ankle since spraining it in June – did quite well.  Enjoy the pics…

Christmas Visit

Maybe they heard Santa had made his yearly visit to our house… we had some visitors Christmas morning.

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An Autumn Hike

Some Autumn Pics from an Autumn Hike…

First Hike Of The Season

I wanted to get these posted a couple of weeks ago, but better late than never.  These are from our first warm weather outing to Ames Nowell State Park in Abington, MA.

Out In the Snow (Finally!)

Well we finally had a snowstorm that produced enough snow that we could get out this weekend for our first snowshoe hike. I bought our snowshoes in November, and of course now we’re in late February before we got to use them for the first time. We had one good storm in December, but the next few days were warm, so there was nothing by that weekend.

It was a good outing (despite some technical difficulties with the sled we were pulling our three year old son on). Here are a couple of pictures I took of the local scenery.

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Looking Off The Trail

 

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The Path Is Over There

 

Getting Out

I know I’ve focused many of the recent posts on the more technical computer related arena. I thought for this one, I was overdue to focus (at least visually) on some of the great outdoor environment. Autumn is my favorite season and as some recent business found me on a couple of road trips to Albany, NY, I took the opportunity to bring along the camera to see what kind of shots I could grab. I was eager to try some of the features of my digital camera that I have learned about in the last few weeks. As it also so happens, I took the family, on the weekend between each of these road trips, to a day hike to Walden Pond in Concord, MA. I think these shots are among some of the better I have taken. Thumbnails are below. All photos were taken with my Kodak EasyShare DX7590. (The cabin at Walden Pond is the replica of the cabin Henry David Thoreau lived in for two years on Walden Pond.)

Hudson River – Albany, NY

 

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The Berkshires – Lee and Lenox, MA

 

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Walden Pond – Concord, MA

 

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