COSMOS: Pale Blue Dot

COSMOS: Pale Blue Dot

Preserve and cherish the pale blue dot.

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"Carl Edward Sagan (/ˈseɪɡən/; November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996) was an American astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, author, science popularizer, and science communicator in astronomy and other natural sciences." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Sagan)

He correctly predicted methane lakes existing on Saturn's largest moon, Titan. He directly inspired astrophysicists like Neil deGrasse Tyson to go deeper still into the mysteries of the Universe. He sent the first messages from earth into space. One message being a golden record containing the various music, languages, and sounds of the earth. The other is a plaque depicting two hydrogen atoms, our species, our location in regard to the Galaxy and the 14 pulsars, our Solar System, and a silhouette of the Pioneer space craft, drawn to scale to convey the actual size of our species. How would an alien lifeform understand our message? It's written in the language of Science. If an alien understands space travel, then they must understand Science. Therefore, they will understand the scientific notations describing who and where we are in the Universe.


'Pioneer Plaque'planetary.org

Carl Sagan was a pioneer, an influencer, a genius. He wanted to spread the unfathomable wonder of the Universe to each and everyone one of us. In a way, he did, whether we realize it or not. His famous excerpt, 'Pale Blue Dot', was inspired by its accompanying photograph, seen below. As the Voyager 1 space probe completed its mission and was leaving the Solar System, Carl Sagan requested it take one last photo of Earth before escaping from view.

'Pale Blue Dot' is a reminder of how minuscule we are in comparison to the observable Universe. We are one tiny planet, revolving around one medium-sized star, in a galaxy containing around 250 billion other stars, in a cluster of 47,000 other galaxies, with 10 million other clusters just like it. Let's assume those numbers are exact and each galaxy and cluster are identical. In that case, we are approximately 1 out of 11,750,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000- a tiny blue pixel in the Universe. Coming to this realization humbles our perceived self-importance and reminds us that so far, this little planet is all we've got. It prompts us to cherish this incredibly random chance at life we have, to cherish each other, and to "cherish the pale blue dot."


PALE BLUE DOT

'Pale Blue Dot'Voyager 1

That's here. That's home. That's us. On it, everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there, on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.
Our posturing's, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment, the Earth is where we make our stand.
It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.

-Carl Sagan

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The Husband I'm Praying For

My future husband should be a mirror of the Lord.
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Growing up, we have all probably wondered about the man we will marry — what he looks like, what his voice sounds like, what color his eyes are, etc. We have all watched Disney's fairy tale movies like "Cinderella," "The Little Mermaid" and "Sleeping Beauty." The love stories that Disney creates can be merely fiction. Knowing this leads many people to believe that kind of love does not exist. As a kid, I always wanted to be Ariel and find my Prince Eric. The older I got, I realized that that kind of man does not exist without God. The Disney love story only exists through God. God writes a love story that we can not imagine. That is why we should be confident in His will for our lives. We should be confident in the love story God is writing for us.

I woke up this morning thinking about relationships and how hard it is to be in one at the age of 20. I'm not looking for a husband or a significant other right now, but I am praying for that special someone that God has planned for my life. Whether God places this special man in my life next week or in 20 years, I am going to be praying for him. I pray for the man that seeks God and His guidance. I just can't imagine being with someone who doesn't love God as much as I do. Honestly, I've decided that from this point on, I am going to let God guide my footsteps. I refuse to worry about all that is wrong with me when I should just be praying for the man God has in store for me.

Girls my age have been blinded to what a good boyfriend is and what a potential husband really looks like. I pray for the man who prays before each meal and thanks God for his simple blessings. I don't want to end up settling for less-I know what I deserve and I know that God has a plan. The husband I pray for is the man I want my daughters looking up to and being proud to have as a father. I want my children to know that their father loves Jesus and is not ashamed of it. A man who is ashamed of Jesus or only loves Jesus on Sundays is not husband material. I want my husband to be the man people associate Jesus with.

I pray that my husband is humble. I pray that my husband makes strangers feel his loving presence and know that Jesus is present in his life. I pray that my husband wants the same things I do, like 15 children — just kidding. But, I do pray that he has a sense of humor and that he understands my need for laughter and sunshine in my life. I pray that my husband seeks Jesus during hard times and understands when the answer to his prayers are no. I hope my husband understands that no matter what, God has a plan and an answer, even if it isn't what he wants. I want my husband to be understanding of my needs and what I want out of life. I want my husband to encourage me and my decisions. I want my husband to be the man that my children know is praying for them. I want my husband to be the man who cries the first time he sees me in my wedding dress walking down the aisle. I want my husband to be the man our kids can run to at 3:00 a.m because they had a bad dream and need him to hold them. I want my husband to have a loving and sincere heart. I pray that the man I am going to marry is praying for me, just like I'm praying for him.

Cover Image Credit: Alec Vanderboom

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To The Christian Girl Against Feminism, Religion Isn't An Excuse Not To Fight For Equality

Religion is not an excuse to not fight for feminism.

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When I first read the article "I'm A Christian Girl And I'm Not A Feminist..." I thought it had to be a joke. Unfortunately, it was a sad reality.

I am a privileged white female. I came from a middle-class family with a law-enforcement father. I still am smart enough to realize we NEED intersectional, no strings attached, unconditional feminism. Anyone who disagrees is just wrong. In this case, the author is trying to base her outdated sexist beliefs on the Bible, and I am appalled.

At first, I thought it was a joke, I genuinely read the title out loud to my father and even he said it had to be a man pretending to be a woman. As I read the article I realized that sadly this is a girl who has had religion corrupt her life.

Religion can be a beautiful thing, it can change lives and give people hope that they need. I have heard countless stories about how finding a god has made people better, and that is incredible. However, using religion to say women don't deserve the same as men is absolutely absurd.

Part of me wants to scream in her face that she can't be ok with being a victim, another part of me wants to throw my hands up and give up on her and like-minded individuals. However, in a time like ours where women are coming so close to being equals, I can't sit down or act irrationally.

So here are the facts:

1. Women who work fulltime only make 77% of men's salaries on average. African American women only make 64 cents per dollar and Latina women only make 56 cents per dollar. Imagine being just as capable and trained just as well but a guy makes more money than you because he has a penis.

2. One in three women around the globe has experienced sexual violence. ONE IN EVERY THREE. YOU'RE SURROUNDED BY SURVIVORS. If women were considered equals that would not be the case.

3. Only 24% of high-level management positions are held by women. That's worldwide. 195 countries. Let that sink in. This isn't because women aren't smart either, 60% of all United States college degrees are awarded to women.

4. Women are not allowed to vote in many places, like Saudi Arabia or the Vatican. Imagine not having the right to vote! YOU GET NO SAY IN ANYTHING.

You can thank women for your right to work, vote, get an education, practice a religion that you chose, a range of professions, windshield wipers, bras, dishwashers, diapers, need I go on?

Women are strong as hell and your misinterpretation of an outdated book does not dimish all of the amazing things women have accomplished and will continue to accomplish.

To quote one bad bitch, "Power's not given to you. You have to take it." — Beyoncé Knowles Carter.

Now ladies let's get into our feminist formation and fight for our rights!

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