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← BBC Wonders of the Universe Episode 1 : Destiny 2011 [HD]

BBC Wonders of the Universe Episode 1 : Destiny 2011 [HD] - Comments

Cook@Tahiti's Avatar Comment 1 by Cook@Tahiti

Hero shot city! Look at me. I'm in helicopter. I'm on a mountain. I'm in a jet. I'm hanging off a cliff. I'm bloody cool. Oh by the way, the universe is gonna end. You're all gonna die, losers. But first, watch me skydive into a cave. So long, suckers.

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 00:11:29 UTC | #601136

JuJu's Avatar Comment 2 by JuJu

My 8 year old boy is absolutely fascinated with all things astronomy. It's really funny to see such a young person talk about solar systems, galaxies and the universe in such a comprehensive way.

I give credit to such people as Carl Sagan, Brian Cox and Stephen Hawking for making science so intriguing.

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 00:16:59 UTC | #601141

bethe123's Avatar Comment 3 by bethe123

Comment 1 by Rtambree :

Hero shot city! Look at me. I'm in helicopter. I'm on a mountain. I'm in a jet. I'm hanging off a cliff. I'm bloody cool. Oh by the way, the universe is gonna end. You're all gonna die, losers. But first, watch me skydive into a cave. So long, suckers.

Haha, that was rather funny.

Speaking of losers and suckers…as an expositor of science, Brian is, in my opinion, extremely mediocre. At least inform the audience that black hole evaporation via Hawking radiation, while completely plausible and consistent with QFT and GR, is still unproven experimentally.

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 01:00:44 UTC | #601150

grahamulator's Avatar Comment 4 by grahamulator

I watched this last night and must say it was very well done and thought-provoking. I'm looking forward to seeing future episodes and catching up on his previous series, Wonders of the Solar System.

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 01:01:30 UTC | #601151

Sarmatae's Avatar Comment 5 by Sarmatae

I can' t make heads or tails of what they're talking about here. Scurrying about piles of rocks talking about millions of billions of suns. Where the hell is Richard's children's book already? Something I can wrap my head around. Lol kidding. Love these series.

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 01:01:33 UTC | #601152

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 6 by Tyler Durden

Comment 3 by bethe123 :

Speaking of losers and suckers

When? Where? Who spoke of losers and suckers?

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 01:18:31 UTC | #601157

GermanHumanist's Avatar Comment 7 by GermanHumanist

well yes, that documentary has its share of gratuitous wide shots and carefully staged look-at-me camera angles. Not to mention the odd obtuse ramble here and there. But I absolutely enjoyed it.

It is always very humbling, yet tremendously fascinating to think that despite its sheer abundance of marvels, our planet is really such an unimportant tiny speck of dust compared to the vastness of the universe. And that the universe really does not care diddly squat about us and will continue to exist not just long, but literally incredibly long after we are gone.

And it reminded me of a picture I saw on the Internet recently:

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y79/psychodiva/atheism_motivational_poster_2.jpg

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 01:32:20 UTC | #601160

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 8 by Steve Zara

Speaking of losers and suckers…as an expositor of science, Brian is, in my opinion, extremely mediocre. At least inform the audience that black hole evaporation via Hawking radiation, while completely plausible and consistent with QFT and GR, is still unproven experimentally.

I do agree. The standard of science presentation is just so poor. It leaves gaps, gaping holes in the minds of the gullible viewer. They are never told the truth, never given a chance to wonder at the vast territory of knowledge that science has uncovered so far. They see to only a small horizon, whereas we of the intellectual elite can see vastly more in our towers of knowledge, some towers they are too, encased in ivory (although not so much these days, what with the decline in elephant poaching). In our towers we can see the equisite mathematics of relativity as it dances a stately waltz with the jive-stepping upstart that is quantum. How dare this floppy-haired Professor simplify this beautiful dalliance between two theories for the mases?

I'm sure it will get worse. I can imagine Brian (first name terms, of course) talking loosely about "stars", when we all know there are so many variations on the theme of fusing gas. And then, we will rightly complain that he has neglected to mention the precise energetics of the triple-alpha process. Oh, the pain of seeing science slaughtered in this way so that the common people can get their dirty hands on it.

As for Brian, even his presentation style is just so mediocre. Where is the grey hair? The bow tie? The socks and sandals? Dammit, he's letting the side down with his tight trousers and his joviality. When did Carl Sagan ever smile?

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 01:33:48 UTC | #601162

RMIV's Avatar Comment 9 by RMIV

I do agree. The standard of science presentation is just so poor. It leaves gaps, gaping holes in the minds of the gullible viewer. They are never told the truth, never given a chance to wonder at the vast territory of knowledge that science has uncovered so far.

Steve,

There is a book that goes along with the series. I'm reading it now and the presentation is excellent. Think of it this way, the television show is the appetizer and the book is the main course.

I honestly can't thank people like Brian Cox, Richard Dawkins, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Lawrence Krauss for bringing an enthusiastic attitude toward presenting science.

I think Brian was on the right path on this one, describing the first episode:

It is but it’s telling a story about the beginning and end of the universe. The ability to step back and look at our insignificance confers value on us. We don’t know of anywhere else where there is life and we only have a small moment in time to do what we need to do – which is to explore. Our education system takes people out of their town or village and subjects them to bigger ideas. That’s what astronomy does on a global scale. It should take the planet and stop us looking inwards and make us look outwards.

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 02:04:26 UTC | #601170

Grandeur's Avatar Comment 10 by Grandeur

Comment 7 by GermanHumanist :

well yes, that documentary has its share of gratuitous wide shots and carefully staged look-at-me camera angles. Not to mention the odd obtuse ramble here and there. But I absolutely enjoyed it.

It is always very humbling, yet tremendously fascinating to think that despite its sheer abundance of marvels, our planet is really such an unimportant tiny speck of dust compared to the vastness of the universe. And that the universe really does not care diddly squat about us and will continue to exist not just long, but literally incredibly long after we are gone.

And it reminded me of a picture I saw on the Internet recently:

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y79/psychodiva/atheism_motivational_poster_2.jpg

Good points.

I have only become deeply interested in astronomy, biology and astrophysics in the last few years - these areas of study never captured my imagination in high school as I attended a fundamentalist Christian school where we were taught 'scientific disproofs' to evolution etc.

I must say I find these sorts of documentaries, concepts and perspectives many times more awe-inspiring than anything I was taught then. I'm no expert so I can't comment on whether Brian Cox is a mediocre teacher of the science, but he certainly introduces the public to ways of thinking about the universe and our place in it in a much more logical and truthful way than religion does.

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 02:11:37 UTC | #601175

Sample's Avatar Comment 11 by Sample

All of it, thank you.

Mike

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 02:25:43 UTC | #601180

NH King's Avatar Comment 12 by NH King

The standard of science presentation is just so poor. It leaves gaps, gaping holes in the minds of the gullible viewer.

Yeah, but that's kind of the point. These shows aren't run to explain the entirety of cosmology. They're supposed to get viewers hooked, so they will go and learn more.

Now you can say that the unexplained is too easily filled in by woo for the gullible, but that amounts to deciding not to educate people at all. A typical BA or BS doesn't go in depth into any subject. So unless we plan to teach students every aspect of any subject we hint toward, according to this view, we should not even mention it. PhD or nothing, and only that subject matter?

What's next? Tackling a kid's dinosaur book for coloring T-Rex green?

This is the BBC, not Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, MIT, etc. graduate school. It's not even Yulee Community College. Nor is it high school.

I know Brian Cox tries very hard, along with his staff, to avoid misleading the audience. But there is only a certain amount of time available. Most of the details are boring even to cosmologists. There's no way an average Joe would sit through an hour of "so knowing the sine of x we can trace our vector..."

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 02:35:46 UTC | #601182

helena!'s Avatar Comment 13 by helena!

Thanks SO much for posting this. Been dying to see it. Completely and hopelessly enamoured by Prof Brian Cox. He's the perfect representative to the incredible wonders of the universe.

Simply fantastic. He is truly our generation's Carl Sagan just a tad bit more aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 02:53:37 UTC | #601184

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 14 by Steve Zara

Comment 9 by RMIV

Sorry, I was being ironic. There can be a sneering attitude towards presenters of science from some quarters because they presenting what has to be a cut-down version of reality in the time available for TV programmes.

Personally, I think Brian Cox is superb. He combines a deep love of science with a real charm. He also does not condescend - as I watch him I feel like I am being taken on a journey of exploration by a friend, not being lectured at. He's also so comfortable in front of a camera. I had a very brief conversation with him on twitter last year, and my impressions were confirmed - he is very approachable, honest and totally lacking in arrogance.

I think he will be looked at in future as one of the great science presenters, along with others such as Sagan and Attenborough.

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 03:03:50 UTC | #601187

AshFromHousewares's Avatar Comment 15 by AshFromHousewares

You guys should check out the cosmology course by Lenard susskind on YouTube. He uses only enough complex math to explain concisely and explains every thing in plain English witout unnecessary arcane language. He beat up a famous cripple by getting hawking to admit he was wrong about information loss in singularities. Susskind explains how to derive an inflationary universe from simple assumptions using only simple algebra. You barely need to understand basic physics for it to be a great learning experience.

The best part? The whole series is free. You can also watch his other courses on quantum mechanics which is really good too.

Hard on easy to absorb facts but no fancy graphics and cut scenes which is why Charlie bit my finger has 5 orders of magnitude more hits.

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 03:05:37 UTC | #601189

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 16 by Steve Zara

Comment 15 by AshFromHousewares

You guys should check out the cosmology course by Lenard susskind on YouTube

It is wonderful! Susskind is a very good lecturer, clear and patient. It has been a real joy watching his courses on YouTube. Thoroughly recommended by me too.

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 03:10:16 UTC | #601190

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 17 by Ignorant Amos

When? Where? Who spoke of losers and suckers?

fucking toss bags....the sooner we get rid the better...it was a great show if only for getting me nookie.....cause I know stuff apparently, imagine that. I just love science.

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 03:39:03 UTC | #601195

Alternative Carpark's Avatar Comment 18 by Alternative Carpark

Comment 1 by Rtambree :

Hero shot city! Look at me. I'm in helicopter. I'm on a mountain. I'm in a jet. I'm hanging off a cliff. I'm bloody cool. Oh by the way, the universe is gonna end. You're all gonna die, losers. But first, watch me skydive into a cave. So long, suckers.

Miles Jupp parodied that aspect of the show on his NewsJack show:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00z6837/Newsjack_10_03_2011/

from the 22 minute mark.

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 03:59:57 UTC | #601201

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 19 by Ignorant Amos

Comment 13 by helena!

If ever a wish a was gay....Bbbb brian Cox...oooohhh..luvley...dance music an all....wasted! He's an not so man's, man's man...YES!.

D:ream...those that know, know.

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 04:07:59 UTC | #601204

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 20 by Ignorant Amos

Comment 1 by Rtambree

WHAT WE ARE LOOKING HERE IS ONE OF THE FIRST...time....evolution...arrow of time..

Beautiful...nearly orgasmic?

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 04:37:16 UTC | #601210

bethe123's Avatar Comment 21 by bethe123

Brian is mediocre, in my opinion, because he could give almost the same presentation with the liberal addition of the words "current theories suggest..." or "there is the intriguing theoretical possiblity that...", and still cover exactly the same content, in the same amount of minutes, but at same time indicating to the audience where there is uncertainty (anytime theory is not experimentally verified, it is best to grant it a degree of uncertainty).

But Brian does not do this.

And this has nothing to do with a scientist simplifiying his presentation to make it understandable to the lay person. That would be completely understandable and perhaps is actually unavoidable. After all, the language of physics is mathematics, and so to explain it to a non-mathematical audience, you are going to have to make simplifications. But I know of no compelling reason why a scientist must claim or suggest that the theory has more certainty to it than is merited by the experimental evidence. That is not a simplification for the benefit of helping people understand difficult concepts, that is a distortion.

As Feynman stated:

In summary, the idea is to try to give all the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another. -- Feynman, Cargo Cult Science

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 04:38:15 UTC | #601211

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 22 by Ignorant Amos

I was destined to be an unbeliever....class "A" drugs and astro physicist professors playing rave ups. Holy Feck.

Check out the really cleaver guy playing keyboards. Yippp yipp yipp a dip yippp a dip yipp yeow!

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 04:49:06 UTC | #601216

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 23 by Ignorant Amos

Comment 14 by Steve Zara

Your right...he gets to the imbecile and all brain power above...or in between, whateva? When he can reach the druuungas, he has achieved a teaching status. I think he is a great explainer.

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 04:59:12 UTC | #601219

RichardofYork's Avatar Comment 24 by RichardofYork

A round of Applause to the BBC and Steve Zara thankyou both

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 08:34:16 UTC | #601255

Bravenewworld's Avatar Comment 25 by Bravenewworld

So, out of the billions of planets there must be, Earth and life must be something of low entropy. [wish I listened at school].

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 08:42:14 UTC | #601256

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 26 by Stafford Gordon

Brian Cox is in danger of becoming the hero when it should be nature we're focusing on; he some what gets in the way for me; for example, I found myself distracted by wondering how he got up on top of the mountain peak without the helicopter disturbing the snow.

And the score is also intrusive; the subject is more exciting and awe-enspiring than any music could possibly match yet alone enhance.

I'll nonetheless continue watching the programmes because behind all the showbiz are astounding facts.

Perhaps they're pitching for as young an audience as possible; if so they're playing down too much.

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 10:58:07 UTC | #601327

Cook@Tahiti's Avatar Comment 27 by Cook@Tahiti

Comment 18 by Alternative Carpark :

Miles Jupp parodied that aspect of the show on his NewsJack show:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00z6837/Newsjack_10_03_2011/

from the 22 minute mark.

Brilliant. Thanks for that. The rest of the program is pretty funny too.

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 11:48:41 UTC | #601351

hairybreeks's Avatar Comment 28 by hairybreeks

It could all have been said in twenty minutes.

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 11:55:25 UTC | #601355

quisquose's Avatar Comment 29 by quisquose

Comment 28 by hairybreeks It could all have been said in twenty minutes.

Yes, but to be fair, I thought that last 20 mins was some of the best science television ever.

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 12:17:29 UTC | #601364

AshFromHousewares's Avatar Comment 30 by AshFromHousewares

Guys I know the show is dumbed down ro the point of not accurately portraying the science but IMHO it isn't brian's fault. Audiences, esp in the US but everywhere it seems, have no ability to sit still through anything with science, history, or lots of 'dry' facts as the basis for the show. I honestly think Carl, where he to be a contemporary figure, would be forced to do the same stupid antics and watered down material by the producer and to keep the show popular enough with the 'idiotocracy' that is the audience.

If I had a penny for every science or history show that had been turned into some kind of empty calorie energy drink like experience - sheesh. I noticed the history channel doing alien abduction week in the late 90s and it only got worse. Now we have alien Nazi secret technology and how the US stole it from the Germans after the war shows. Science shows are just as bad.

Perhaps part of the problem is religion teaches it's OK to believe in made up things so why study boring reality when you can have an hour of eyecandy and fantasy.

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 12:23:38 UTC | #601366