*Rerun* “Jon: Ann Druyan and Carl Sagan’s ‘Golden Record’….”(Original Airdate 01/26/08)

Guess what?? Paul and I are on vacation for the next week, so I thought I would treat you to some of my favorite early Gaycondo moments rerun style! Most of you haven’t seen these, so it’s new to you anyway. Enjoy!

…is making it so that we can all “travel through time (sort of).

In the year 1977, the two voyager space crafts were launched on a mission to study and send back information on Jupiter and Saturn. A countless amount of priceless knowledge was gained in this study of the outer planets of our solar system. However, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 were concieved as martyrs. No return route was possible, so eventually, the two crafts would reach a point where they escaped our solar system, and then eventually passed the point where communication was possible. In fact, this occured in the last decade.

Knowing that this would eventually occur, a team headed by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan was formed to create a sort of time capsule of life on earth to include on both space crafts. The form for the time capsule was a golden record:

Golden Record

This analog format was chosen because it was important to insure that any intelligent life that discovers it will be able to figure out how to use it as easily as possible. Images carved on one side of the disc explain mathimatically (and quite eliquently) how to play the record.

The opening letter of the “program” begins with this message

This is a present from a small, distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts and our feelings. We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours” -Jimmy Carter

A small sampling of the contents of this record include:

  • Salutations in 55 languages
  • 115 images documenting human life
  • the sounds of birds, whales, thunder, and the ocean
  • Navajo Indian chants
  • “Johnny be Good” by Chuck Berry
  • Several pieces by Bach

In addition to these, another very touching audio recording was included: The sound of a beating heart belonging to a woman who has just fallen in love. The heart in question belonged to Ann Druyan herself.

Watch the interview below to hear about it in her own words:

Love breaking the barriers of both time and space? Literally moving forward for all time? Now if that is not a heavy real life metaphor, I don’t know what is.

Currently, the voyager space crafts are still 40,000 years from reaching the nearest solar system (and that is at an impressive 35,000 mph), which will be the first feasable time that intelligent life may be able to find them. By that time, human kind will either be extinct, or drastically changed. The existance of these records will most likely eventually be the oinly documentation of our having ever existed at this time.

Though the odds of it ever being discovered are slim to none, as Carl Sagan said, the launching of this ‘bottle’ into the cosmic ‘ocean’ says something very hopeful about life on this planet“, and I believe that hope is a kind of transcendence through time. That maybe we can all exist forever.


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