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The Official "Cosmos" Thread

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Watching the 2nd episode again on NatGeo. I like the coverage of extinction and Titan, the most.

Titan, the moon, is absolutely amazing and also absolutely terrifying. I get that same feeling toward the end of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. I love when the ship goes under the methane/ethane lake.

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Anyways back to the show, Alexcremers, I would recommend you watch the second episode. It's a marked improvement in eliminating the ADHD.

Yes, Blumen Cohlsman, the ADHD aspect was gone (I almost fell asleep), but why does the host talk to us as if we are children?

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I finally caught up with this again.

Anyways back to the show, Alexcremers, I would recommend you watch the second episode. It's a marked improvement in eliminating the ADHD.

Absolutely. The first episode couldn't fully win me over (something Sagan managed to do within the first few minutes), although most of the signs were there. But starting with episode 2, this seems to be close to the original as far as information, narrative and emotional scope are concerned.

Was this Sagan's old tree in ep 2? If not, it was at least very similar. As was much of the narrative, including several near quotes. And ep 3 shows the same skill as the old series in combining scientific knowledge, present day locations and historic sequences into a gripping narrative.

In fact, one of my favourite observations about the new series is how relevant the old series still is. There are many comments on the internet about how great it was when it came out and how outdated and therefore pointless it supposedly is today. But the second and third episodes of the new series partially cover the same bits as Sagan's series, and mostly you could just cross cut between both versions without any problems. I'm sure there will be lots of additional up to date info in later episodes of the new version, but so far Sagan's series holds up wonderfully - and at least its spirit and infectiveness certainly will throughout.

All I wonder is why people can't accept each other beliefs, I don't think we should try to say what's right or wrong. If you believe something different, that's fine with me; and if the other can respect my opinion and not think down of me because of that, I don't see any reason why we can't think differently.

It's fine to agree to disagree on a personal basis, if you can (depending on the beliefs in question, I can find it very hard to do). But science is about the finding of facts via observations, experiments and the dumping of ideas that have proven to be wrong. You cannot pursue science without the explicit goal of separating the truths from the falsehoods, or without deliberately exposing them.

Why is though that British stations never import overseas factual programing, but every foreign fucker and his Zulu cousin has seen Planet Earth and whatever else David Attenborough narrates?

But most people in the US haven't actually seen them narrated by Attenborough...

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Episode 4 was a clusterfuck. All over the place. Too many complicated ideas, all poorly explained.

If anyone's interested in the subject matter, Brian Greene's Fabric of the Cosmos (book or PBS TV show) do a way better job.

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I thought the opening with Herschel and son on the beach was lovely though, including the score.


Incidentally, has anyone heard any of Herschel's music? I'm about to listen to some.

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Even if they're animated, featuring the voice of Patrick Stewart?

I was really confused when I couldn't find any cast info after watching the episode. It sure sounded like him, but I couldn't find any info about it at all. Luckily, that made the rounds today.

Episode 4 was a clusterfuck. All over the place. Too many complicated ideas, all poorly explained.

Oh I liked it, especially the middle section which was once again more or less straight out of the matching Sagan episode. Though they did go a bit overboard with the black hole internals speculation - where Sagan had an equally speculative, but still much more scientific, explanation of how worm holes could work.

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Episode 4 was a clusterfuck. All over the place. Too many complicated ideas, all poorly explained.

First off, me and the lady are at least three weeks behind on watching Cosmos. We never watched it on the live broadcasts, so we just waited a few weeks and started catching up using On Demand. It's easy to forget about because I usually stay on Netflix, and On Demand uses a different system.

But I felt that way about the fifth episode, about what's hidden in light. First off, Tyson would make comments about photons, to suggest that light is matter, but he'd also talk about the wavelength of light, which implies that it's energy...but he never explained why the dual nature of light as both matter and energy is so goddamn interesting and baffling to scientists (and undergraduate engineering students trying to pass physics)! He then further dropped the ball when he started talking about electron orbitals as they relate to the gaps in the spectrum, but he didn't provide any more details about orbitals. I remember spdf but that's about it; I don't think my chemistry professors ever explained about electrons moving up an orbital and giving up a photon, but not knowing how they move down an orbital. I'm pretty sure I learned that the electron in a hydrogen atom is stuck in a singular orbital, but it's been fifteen years, I forget a lot.

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Episode 4 was a clusterfuck. All over the place. Too many complicated ideas, all poorly explained.

First off, me and the lady are at least three weeks behind on watching Cosmos. We never watched it on the live broadcasts, so we just waited a few weeks and started catching up using On Demand. It's easy to forget about because I usually stay on Netflix, and On Demand uses a different system.

But I felt that way about the fifth episode, about what's hidden in light. First off, Tyson would make comments about photons, to suggest that light is matter, but he'd also talk about the wavelength of light, which implies that it's energy...but he never explained why the dual nature of light as both matter and energy is so goddamn interesting and baffling to scientists (and undergraduate engineering students trying to pass physics)! He then further dropped the ball when he started talking about electron orbitals as they relate to the gaps in the spectrum, but he didn't provide any more details about orbitals. I remember spdf but that's about it; I don't think my chemistry professors ever explained about electrons moving up an orbital and giving up a photon, but not knowing how they move down an orbital. I'm pretty sure I learned that the electron in a hydrogen atom is stuck in a singular orbital, but it's been fifteen years, I forget a lot.

NERD!!!!

Seriously, this is a science show on network television meant to appeal to a large audience. They're not going to go in depth into things like that, but are simply trying to stimulate people into looking into things and learning more about these things through other sources.

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Well let's see.

Only a few real complaints about this as a whole. Commercials sucked and totally killed any sense of momentum (watching online remedies this). There were moments of "dumbing down" as well as dubious claims. Also a good deal of repetition, as though Druyan and Soter don't trust contemporary audiences - are they wrong? And it was scored wall to wall, which doesn't really work for me. The "stingers" before commercial breaks got old halfway through the first episode.

But these are ultimately irrelevant complaints. This was a wonderful thing to have on primetime US network television for a few months. I wonder how many people who really needed to see it saw it, and how much of the audience was a choir being preached to.

One thing done better here than in the original: conclusions. The "pale blue dot" narrative by Sagan, and the closing remarks by Tyson, really rounded it all out in a much cleaner way than the first time around. Very stirring, nigh-spiritual stuff, which Silvestri excellently matched. And the Ship of the Imagination's chair is once again empty, very nice touch. I hope it doesn't take another 44 years for someone to fill it.

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I'm more amazed with some of the titles that did make it, especially with Deep Impact and The Island.

And no Star Trek, so you must dislike him now, Steef.

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I agree with him about Watchmen.

Watchmen (2009): I dont know if I am alone in thinking that Watchmen is the best-of-genre among all superhero films. I liked it because the characters had fully expressed, complex personality profiles. They experience love, hate, revenge, megalomania, moral anguish and trepidation. Nothing polished about them. For this reason, they were all more real to me. If the world really did have superheroes in it, Watchmen is the world it would be.

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You could argue that any film showing radical improvements in science, technology, society, and physiology with respect to the year in which the film was made falls into the broad category of science fiction. The purest films are the ones that violate the fewest scientific laws and theories accepted at the time, and which go out of their way to explain or demonstrate how the most farfetched technology could actually work.

That kind of exposition can slow down the story, because people don't spend much time in normal conversation explaining what everyone already understands about how the world works. In these cases, it helps when the protagonist has a legitimate reason to not understand the technology so he can represent the audience's ignorance onscreen.

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That's why I said demonstrate. No Star Trek film will ever stop to explain its magical technologies of warp drive, transporters, universal translators, phasers and photon torpedoes, and humanoid aliens. We're just supposed to accept those technologies as being natural progressions. The shows have discussed them, so I guess that's enough but are any of the Trek films pure science fiction? I doubt it.

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Right. If Dr McCoy would walk down to engineering and ask Scotty for an explanation of the starboard warp nacelle coolant intake manifold regulator valve that kept sticking, in between phaser blasts from the Klingons, they'd confine him to quarters. An ignorant character like a cetecean expert wouldn't care.

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How many true sci-fi films are there even. Even Blade Runner is part film noir.

Depends on the definition. Film Noir is a style, BTW. Many SF authors seem to agree that the science in the story needs to be futuristic yet credible and it has to change the human psyche. Blade Runner fits the bill.

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Finally caught up with the show. I'd say it was mostly satisfying. Less cohesive than the original (partly due to the shorter runtime and commercial breaks, partly due to the fact that the producers clearly don't trust their audience's attention span), but in its best moments it came close to the Sagan version and its sense of wonder and inspiration. The Venus episode was one of the strongest, as was Sagan's (his 4th, Tyson's 12th).

The score had lovely moments, but much of it was too fragmented. I don't necessarily mind wall to wall, but if the music doesn't have anywhere to go, you might just as well leave it out. And I think the basic Hollywood Romantic approach didn't fit the concept nearly as well as Sagan's combination of Vangelis and existing concert music.

One thing done better here than in the original: conclusions. The "pale blue dot" narrative by Sagan, and the closing remarks by Tyson, really rounded it all out in a much cleaner way than the first time around. Very stirring, nigh-spiritual stuff, which Silvestri excellently matched. And the Ship of the Imagination's chair is once again empty, very nice touch. I hope it doesn't take another 44 years for someone to fill it.

The Pale Blue Dot bit was wonderful, and to my surprise Tyson's own follow up managed to carry on the momentum. But I object to the claim that Sagan's conclusion is weak. His entire final episode, while in some ways a departure of what came before (less science, less astronomy, mostly just a celebration of humankind), still ties the series together very well and above all emphasises its true spirit. Plus its an entire hour of documentary/scientific TV that manages to pretty much bring tears to my eyes all the way through. (Tyson's version did that a few times, including the last bit starting with Pale Blue Dot, but not as consistently as the original)

I'm more amazed with some of the titles that did make it, especially with Deep Impact and The Island.

I've never seen The Island, but it's interesting to see him put it above Gattaca.

Nice to see Contact on the list as well, though of course not entirely unexpected. I think there even was an allusion to it in Cosmos.

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I loved Contact, the book, yet I've never delved into more stuff by Sagan. Now I'm quite curious about Vangelis' music for Cosmos

I think Contact shows pretty well which issues he was concerned about. And they basically left all that out in the film.

The best part of it for me is the guy who he paid to pace out the distance between Alexandria and Syene, and that he managed to do it without any error significant enough to hurt the calculation.

Sounded pretty amazing and exhausting to me.

I love how Carl got all excited about the idea alone.

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