Friday, February 24, 2012


The wonderful and awesome program Radiolab's most recent episode is called Escape. If you've not checked them out, I highly recommend subscribing to their free podcast and listening to it when you've got an hour where you'd otherwise be listening to the TV or radio. They do science in a way that is so appealing, I can't say enough good things.

Two of the stories were about a people that escape, and I'll leave that for another post. There was also a story about the Voyager spacecraft. You remember them, right? From the 70's? Well, they've been chugging along toward the outer edge of the solar system. Way, way out there. This link is NASA's site on the project.

They don't quite know what they're going to find as the spacecraft get to the boundary of the solar system.  And they'll start getting some answers relatively soon. I loved this story because these things were launched so very long ago, and have traveled so far. They also talked about the picture of Earth that Voyager took from 3.7 billion miles out, and it's a great dose of perspective. I found the picture, here it is. Earth is the "Pale Blue Dot" in the middle of the tannish stripe of light. That's us, in a small corner of the galaxy. You might have to clean off your screen; on mine the earth is about the size of piece of dust on the screen. :-)

It came around for me to that idea of being kind to people I meet, that that is the very basic application of thinking about the pale blue dot and of the other stories in the show, which touch upon the idea that people's backgrounds, which I don't get to know, shape who and what people are right now. Jumbly thoughts and bad grammar. But it's a reminder for me. 

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Hi, sorry to make the humans do an extra step.