As the New Year draws to a close, it is only fitting that we would dive into a topic that really gives scope and perspective to our time on Earth. Carl Sagan popularized a notion that is referred to as the "Cosmic Calendar". What it does is maps all known time into a single calendar year. We are then able to see when critical events in history correspond to all known time.
For example: The Big Bang takes place at Midnight of January 1. The current time is Dec 31 at Midnight. Using this metaphor, there are 438 years per second, 1.58 million years per hour, and 37.8 million years per day (as per Wikipedia).
Anything that even remotely resembles modern earth occurs in the last 2 days of the Cosmic Calendar. Dinosaurs live and die out on Dec 30. Modern Primates including similar-anatomy humans make their first appearance on New Years Eve. In the last half hour of the year we learn how to use farming techniques to make food.
We learn to write 3 seconds before the final 10-second countdown.
Nine! - The Code of Hammurabi is written.
Eight! - Widespread use of iron and steel.
Seven! - First Olympic Games.
Six! - Buddha, Classic Greece, Euclidean Geometry.
Five! - Ptolemy, Roman Empire
Four! - The Prophet Mohammad and the Mayan Empire
Two! - Columbus Sails the Ocean Blue in 1492.
One! - Modern Science, Newtonian Physics, Relativity, American Revolution, World Wars, a Man Lands on the Moon, Non-Manned Probes arrive to Mars, and pass Pluto.
Happy New Year!
Musical Clip of the Week: The Cosmic Calendar- Buckethead
Hot on the heels of the musical clip of the week we have the actual Carl Sagan Cosmic Calendar sequence:
Or, if you're into the full episode check it out here:
And, if you can read and don't have a library nearby, check out the book here. It will make you a better person.