I recently came across the 100th comic strip by Zen Pencils, from almost six months ago, which celebrates some of the most famous and profound words by Carl Sagan. Anyone who has read or heard anything by Sagan will no doubt recognize this:
If you hear Sagan’s voice while you read the comic strip, you’re doing good. If not, you may want to watch the following Youtube video, which is taken from the science update appendixes to the “COSMOS” DVD series:
And in case you don’t mind hearing and reading it one more time (personally I don’t think that I can ever hear it too many times, I still get goosebumps every time), here is an animated version, putting the words themselves into motion:
Despite it being by now well over 30 years old, I believe “COSMOS” series would be a good watch for anyone. A good portion of the science may be a bit dated (the DVD and VHS series have science updates added to many of the episodes), but the most important thing is how it conveys a spirit of curiosity, the principles of science, the sense of adventure and awe in the face of the Universe, both the very big and the very small, the message of scepticism and critical thinking, of logic and common sense, and of respect for everything and everyone around us.
If you are unfamiliar with but curious about the COSMOS series, or have seen it before and wish to revisit, it is available on YouTube. There’s a playlist of all thirteen episodes, each about an hour long. Click here to watch.
To me, “The Pale Blue Dot” provides perhaps the ultimate perspective to who and where we are in the Universe, and how small, insignificant and fragile we are compared to the whole, that we have no special or privileged place in all of Cosmos, and yet how close and how important we are to each other.
And then, of course, there’s music. By his own statement, Carl Sagan wasn’t very good at singing, but it’s amazing what a little technological help can do.