THE NEW “COSMOS”

Do you ever wonder if there is any way that you can drag your kids away from their video games, smartphones and their hours of texting?  Well, there might be.  But, it’s not really something new.  Actually the concept of “Cosmos”, a TV Series, was started back in the 1970s, by Carl Sagan.  Dr. Sagan was an Astronomer, Astrophysicist, Cosmologist and Professor at Cornell University.  Perhaps, even more important, he was loved by Millions for explaining Science in understandable words and with enjoyable stories.

Carl Sagan was the host of the TV show on PBS, which made the Cosmos (just another word for Universe) come alive.  The show recreated walks among the stars or educational exercises to demonstrate what your weight would be on various planets.  In 2012, the Library of Congress designated the original hard cover “Cosmos” as one of the 88 books that shaped America.

Oddly enough, the New and Rebooted “Cosmos” was developed in a collaboration by Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, an Astrophysicist, Science Communicator and a Great Story-Teller and Seth MacFarlane, Creator of “Family Guy” and Co-Creator of “American Dad”.  Dr. Tyson will be the Host for the New Cosmos, and he is also the Director of the Hayden Planetarium, at New York’s Museum of Natural History.

A collaboration between Tyson and MacFarlane might sound more like an updated version of “The Odd Couple”–with one partner being a Scientist and the other being an Entertainer.  But, looking beyond the obvious, the real objective of the Series is:  communicating; educating and entertaining.  In other words, Make Learning Fun!  I wonder: how many of those original Cosmos viewers went on to become Astronauts, Astronomers or Science Teachers?

The linked article from the NY Times provides background information about this re-make of a widely-successful show from some 40 years.  Also, it points-out the fact that an updated Series will be broadcast, in multiple episodes, starting this Sunday.  The original Cosmos was broadcast only on PBS; but, here is where the involvement of Mr. MacFarlane expands the coverage, to the FOX Channel ((Sunday, March 9) and also the National Geographic Channel.  In fact, it will be broadcast to 170 countries and in 77 different languages.  The linked article is: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/04/science/space/a-successor-to-sagan-reboots-cosmos.html.

If you do a computer search for “Cosmos”, you will find multiple listings for the original Carl Sagan series, as well as for the new re-booted Tyson version.  If you have Children, you might find that this will be a Series that the Whole Family can watch together.  Carl Sagan’s book, “Cosmos”, is being re-printed in honor of the updated Series, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a new book about the updated Series might eventually be printed, as well.  I HOPE THAT YOU ENJOY THE SERIES.

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