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← The Fabric of the Cosmos with Brian Greene: Watch the Complete NOVA Series Online

The Fabric of the Cosmos with Brian Greene: Watch the Complete NOVA Series Online - Comments

Michael Gray's Avatar Comment 1 by Michael Gray

Brian Greene has 'the right stuff' for an expositor of difficult science.

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 07:52:13 UTC | #925300

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 2 by Richard Dawkins

Goodness, there's a bewildering amount of amazement packed into this hour. Well worth watching.

Richard

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 10:28:54 UTC | #925327

whenpigsfly's Avatar Comment 3 by whenpigsfly

While the content of the program is undoubtedly sound and is packed full of information I really dislike the discovery-channel-like dramatic animations and high tension background music! It's no 'Cosmos' or 'Stephen Hawking's Universe'. I like to engage with the material and absorb it if I ever watch this sort of programme but half the time it feels like I'm watching an action film, which is somewhat distracting.

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 11:42:04 UTC | #925340

Sample's Avatar Comment 4 by Sample

I think it might be fun to understand the math involved in calibrating the luminosity of supernovas to achieve standard candles (pardon my wording). Any RDFRS forum member ever do it?

Mike

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 12:06:02 UTC | #925347

osullkj's Avatar Comment 5 by osullkj

I am almost finished with his book of the same title. It's been a fabulous read so far and well worth the brain workout it has given me! Can't wait to watch video as soon as I finish the book.

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 13:21:23 UTC | #925369

PERSON's Avatar Comment 6 by PERSON

35:33 is that a subliminal message from a theist? ;)

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 13:40:52 UTC | #925372

huzonfurst's Avatar Comment 7 by huzonfurst

@3, I have the same reaction to the gee-whiz theatrics, yet the message stills comes through loud and clear in spite of them. His books are much better though.

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 18:46:45 UTC | #925439

quarecuss's Avatar Comment 8 by quarecuss

"Well worth watching", yes, but almost all NOVA programmes, including this series, are funded by, among others, David Koch, one of the funders of the oily Heartland Institute which wants climate change education to fit with its particular agenda. Koch's name invariably comes first among funders of science shows on PBS, shows which are often glitzy, exotic, animated, Disneyfied and full of "amazement", like long, polished, CGI infomercials for a particularly rosy view of science-technology, with the emphasis on major military-industrial technology and manned space flight (think Tyson's book) as the key to everything. Admittedly there are illuminating visual explanations for difficult science concepts in NOVA but presenters like Tyson, Greene and company seem to studiously avoid, play down and distract from the topic of climate change, a deeply suspect trend at a time when climate change is front and centre at AAAS conferences like the one in Vancouver, just finished. NOVA popularizes science but it is a science in the service of the corporate world, "Big Science", a science that never rocks the political boat.

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 19:09:26 UTC | #925442

alaskansee's Avatar Comment 9 by alaskansee

@ quarecuss, my suspisious friend

I'm not sure your "they aren't talking about climate change, it's a conspiracy" argument can be used every time, although I am deeply concerned about the influence of people like the Koch brothers.

If this was even a show about our planet you might have something but it's about the cosmos who I'm positive doesn't care about our climate or the survival of any of the flora and fauna including you or any of the GM deniers.

NB There are many other scientific video clips on this web site BEWARE the ones not about climate change do not have any climate change information!

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 21:39:43 UTC | #925470

Tony d's Avatar Comment 10 by Tony d

The bit at the end about the three dimensional universe being an illusion something akin to a holographic projection being somehow projected from the 2 dimensional reality is a new idea to me, and one i find a bit baffling. Hope the flat Earth society does not find out about this they will have a field day.

Fri, 09 Mar 2012 00:51:44 UTC | #925502

Imaginary BFF's Avatar Comment 11 by Imaginary BFF

The word "nothing" needs to be redefined. Any suggestions?

Fri, 09 Mar 2012 02:24:35 UTC | #925517

Anaximander's Avatar Comment 12 by Anaximander

The bit at the end about the three dimensional universe being an illusion something akin to a holographic projection being somehow projected from the 2 dimensional reality is a new idea to me, and one i find a bit baffling.

Is that feeling here or on that 2-dimensional surface? And if it is new to you, is it new on that surface too?

Fri, 09 Mar 2012 07:46:10 UTC | #925564

Anaximander's Avatar Comment 13 by Anaximander

The word "nothing" needs to be redefined. Any suggestions?

It sounds like the original meaning was "no thing." So, when there is no thing in space, there is still the energy of space itself. Somehow that is not a thing. Maybe because it cannot be moved.

Fri, 09 Mar 2012 07:49:27 UTC | #925565

stephenb1960's Avatar Comment 14 by stephenb1960

The whizz-bang CGI is a great tool for helping to visualise a concept and it is used really imaginatively here and in other programmes I have seen. However, it's impact can play dead against the educational/informative purpose of the programme when it is simply used as a screen-filler when there is a voice-over. In this case, it simply becomes a distraction.

I have to also point out a pet peeve of mine: When there is a visualisation of the big bang (white dot against black background goes bbbooooOOOOMMM! followed by LSD trip for a few seconds) why do we see complete galaxies flying out?! Isn't this precisely the creationist's straw-man argument? - that scientists think there was a big explosion and all these fully formed galaxies appeared?

Anyway - a pretty enjoyable hour overall and I'm off to my bed.

Fri, 09 Mar 2012 11:15:20 UTC | #925593

Peter_Kofod's Avatar Comment 15 by Peter_Kofod

Beautiful!

The 2D/3D bit about black holes, reminded me of the way the sequences of amino acids in the DNA translates into 3 dimensional shapes of proteins.... does anyone know if it's possible to "go back" from there.. that is, is the 3D shape of proteins translateable into the sequence of amino acids??

Fri, 09 Mar 2012 14:53:18 UTC | #925623

huzonfurst's Avatar Comment 16 by huzonfurst

@14: Speaking of inaccurate visualizations, the planetary model of atoms is still infesting museums and videos. There's always a nucleus made of little spheres about a thousand times larger than it really is relative to the electron cloud, and the cloud itself is represented as a bunch of tiny bb's zipping around in perfect circles. It was a reasonable first attempt but has been superseded for so long there's no excuse for it any more!

Fri, 09 Mar 2012 15:40:47 UTC | #925634

huzonfurst's Avatar Comment 17 by huzonfurst

Gaah, had to stop watching this halfway through from the ridiculously annoying sound track!

Fri, 09 Mar 2012 16:05:23 UTC | #925639

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 18 by Schrodinger's Cat

Comment 3 by whenpigsfly

While the content of the program is undoubtedly sound and is packed full of information I really dislike the discovery-channel-like dramatic animations and high tension background music!

I feel quite the reverse. Bring on the dramatic music and prose ! I don't want a physics lecture type show.....not least because I suspect that having a degree of dramatic content actually helps one to remember things.

Fri, 09 Mar 2012 17:03:40 UTC | #925653

Michael Gray's Avatar Comment 19 by Michael Gray

Oh, and his truly classic book, (upon which the program is loosely based), "The Fabric of the Cosmos"[1] is one of the few that I would choose to take to the hypothetical desert island. It is available in the very affordable[2] Penguin edition as well!
Buy one today to read on the train to work. You know it makes sense.

————————————
[1] ISBN 978-0141-03762-2
[2] Au$9.95

Sun, 11 Mar 2012 05:28:05 UTC | #926046

kerosene2's Avatar Comment 20 by kerosene2

Comment 16 by huzonfurst :

@14: Speaking of inaccurate visualizations, the planetary model of atoms is still infesting museums and videos. There's always a nucleus made of little spheres about a thousand times larger than it really is relative to the electron cloud, and the cloud itself is represented as a bunch of tiny bb's zipping around in perfect circles. It was a reasonable first attempt but has been superseded for so long there's no excuse for it any more!

a similar thing (slightly) annoyed me where an animation of the moon was orbiting about half an earths radius away. Then again, at the correct scale it would be difficult to show the moon tied to the earth with a piece of string! I've only recently become aware of this moon/earth ratio (probably from another thread on this site - if i recall it was some kind of to-scale solar system application) and for some reason it truly amazed me - along with the fact that it took me about 45 years to become aware of it.

In general though I thought that this was a well made and interesting programme.

Tue, 20 Mar 2012 16:18:58 UTC | #928994

PERSON's Avatar Comment 21 by PERSON

Comment 9 by alaskansee

The censoring of the climate change episode of Frozen Planet was likely arranged by a group of people who conspired together. People do conspire in private, demonstrably. It would be strange to claim they don't. The problem is with unfalsifiable conspiracy theories, particularly large-scale ethnicity-based ones, not with ideas that postulate people conspiring.

This programme is in a sense not relevant to the discussion of climate change, but quarecuss was talking about the emphasis and choice of topics. This programme is symptomatic of that. It seems clear to me he wasn't suggesting shoe-horning it in somehow. That said, Cosmos raised the topic by shifting scales and it fitted in quite naturally.

Thu, 22 Mar 2012 14:10:05 UTC | #929610