A Pale Blue Dot
July 9, 2007 4:43 PM   Subscribe

A Pale Blue Dot - An Unauthorized view. Some time before he died in 1996, Carl Sagan recorded a partial audio version of his 1994 book "Pale Blue Dot". Often described as the "sequel" to Cosmos, the audio version of Pale Blue Dot is, at this moment, regrettably out of print. This video is "episode one" of an unauthorized attempt at producing a series of videos based on Carl Sagan's "Pale Blue Dot" audio book combined with a soundtrack and appropriate video and still images intended to recall the feel of the classic documentary series "Ascent of Man" and "Cosmos"
posted by empath (8 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Unauthorized or not, I watched this last night and found it incredibly moving. Considering that it's a mash-up from a bunch of different sources, it's amazingly well done and really feels like a complete piece. I hope that whoever did this does more.
posted by empath at 4:44 PM on July 9, 2007

That voice. Boy does that take me back.
posted by gwint at 6:19 PM on July 9, 2007

This was beautiful and fantastic. Sadly I feel most video readings of his Carl's works are now academic anathema due, ironically enough, to Carl himself being in them (think Cosmos & Curduroy). This on the other hand would probably be giggle-less and maybe even inspiring in the classroom. Great job!
posted by datacenter refugee at 6:20 PM on July 9, 2007

For your own, personalized Blue Dot, click the dot.
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:38 PM on July 9, 2007

I did this same kinda thing not too long ago. You take a piece of audio, do websearches for images that can coincide with the audio, and voila! Instant documentary... Or in my case, music video. And it's not exactly instant. It's harder to do than it looks.

What this thing needs to make it better is a computer generated Carl Sagan to pop in once in awhile and lipsync to the monologue, preferably with that sly "I'm smarter than all you cro-magnon assholes" smile that Sagan always had on his face.
posted by ZachsMind at 7:21 PM on July 9, 2007

When he starts talking about all of the earth's problems and how we're responsible for dealing with them on our own, it feels like he's giving all of humanity a gentle but stern talking to and a five-minute timeout.
That said, I could listen to him say the word 'humans' all day long, even if I have to do it from over here in the corner with the rest of the "maybe it's naptime" Americans.

Excellent post - I'm looking forward to more in this series.
posted by Hadroed at 9:43 PM on July 9, 2007

Really cool. I wonder where the video footage of Sagan came from. Cosmos?

I do think they sometimes tended to cut between things a bit too quickly, switching to a new picture for every new sentence or concept, where as the original Cosmos would often slow the pace down for a bit to let you listen carefully to what's being said.

Anyway, thanks for the link.
posted by washburn at 9:50 PM on July 9, 2007

It'd be nice if that bit that Sagan says at the end about how every human being who has ever lived has existed on a pale blue dot in space was something that kids in schools had to study, like the Gettysburg Address. Instead, focus is placed on memorization of dates where people who are now dead went to places that aren't there anymore and did things that no longer matter.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:22 PM on July 9, 2007

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