Earth Day: The Big Picture

2 Apr

Earth Day Banner

In honor of keeping Earth Day/Month/Extravaganza simple, I wanted to start out with a topic that takes as little effort as humanly possible.  I’m going to suggest that you take on the momentous task of watching a television show.

I’m sure you’ve heard of Cosmos.  It’s the reboot of a series that originally aired in 1980 with Carl Sagan.  This time around it’s hosted by science superstar Neil Degrasse Tyson.  Four of the episodes have already aired, but there are still 9 to go… more than enough to get you through April.  If you haven’t watched it yet, you can see past episodes on their website.  I haven’t seen the original series, so I’m just going to comment on the new one.

The series is written for a broad audience, so you could probably show it to a twelve-year-old and they’d have no problem following it.  In fact, Neil Degrasse Tyson kind of reminds me of an interplanetary Miss Frizzle with his soothing voice and “Ship of the Imagination.”  If you’re out of grade school though, Cosmos still has something to offer.  One of my favorite features are the animated stories of Important People of Science.  The show takes on the greats, like Isaac Newton, but you’ll also learn about the ones you didn’t study in school.  The animation is distinct and realistic, making it feel like you’re watching a graphic novel.

To tie this in a little better with the Earth Day theme, I think a grand overview like this is important.  Some people come to appreciate the importance of our planet through the little things it offers, like flowers and sunsets, while for others seeing the earth as a unique (as far as we can tell now) piece of an unbelievable vast universe helps them see it a kind of underdog or rare jewel to be protected.  Last year I watched the Discover Channel’s North America series and I loved it so very much.  I am enthralled with images of baby birds awkwardly flying for the first time or trees that have witnessed ice ages.  I am equally captivated by Cosmos and its story of a tiny planet and the people that live on it that are trying to figure out how it, and the universe around it, works.  I think both of these views give us a complete picture and better appreciation of the planet we call home.

~April

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One Response to “Earth Day: The Big Picture”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Earth Day: All In One Place | Without a Map - August 27, 2014

    […] 1, Earth Day: Keeping it Simple April 2, Earth Day: The Big Picture April 3, Earth Day: Climate Change Art April 4, Earth Day: @ your Library April 5, Earth Day: Cheat […]

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