The series will be hosted by astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson and debuts on Fox in 2013. There will be same-night encores on the National Geographic Channel.
"Never more than at this moment in the modern era have we needed a profound reminder of the colossally important and exciting role that science, space exploration and the human quest for knowledge must continue to play in our development as a species," MacFarlane said in a statement. "We should be vigorously exploring the solar system by now, and who better to inspire us to get there than Ann Druyan, Steven Soter, Neil deGrasse Tyson and, of course, Carl Sagan."
According to a release from the network, Hawking (Ph.D., CH, CBE, FRS, FRSA...See what I mean?) is the centerpiece of Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking -- will explore the major questions confronting modern science and physics. How did our universe begin? Could alien life be found on distant planets? Does our galaxy have a life expectancy? Hawking will lead an audience in a layman friendly exploration of those questions in the four part series.
It's Hawking taking up the mantle of the late astronomer Carl Sagan and his 1980 PBS series, Cosmos. The above video looks back affectionately on that show with a little music remix. In the original show, Sagan would explain the seemingly unexplainable every week.
The latest is from the PBS TV show Cosmos, something I really enjoyed years ago, and features Carl Sagan (with a cameo by another famous scientist and author). This is really well done, sort of techno meets progressive rock. I love how it's not just stringing his words together, but there's actually a chorus. Here's one for Billy Mays.
Everybody loves lists, even MENSA members.
Jim Werdell, the chairman of the brainy group, has picked what he considers the ten smartest TV shows of all-time. While some of the shows are no-brainers (ha!), I'm not quite sure why he picks some of the shows he does. The full list is after the jump, along with my suggestions for other shows that should be there.
I mean, seriously...Mad About You?!
Now, in a week when we've got Neil Armstrong's words straight, news comes that European television channel Arte, which broadcasts in French and German, is producing a program to beam directly into space 45 light years away, to a point near the Big Dipper. The programs sort of a multimedia version of the plaque: it'll feature a nude man and woman as presenters, who will talk about daily human life. Examples of music and art, along with messages from scientists in many disciplines will also be included. The event is conceived by the French Centre National D'etudes Spatiales (CNES). The Irish Times has a really snarky article about it.
Because of the distance, if the broadcast is seen, any show that aliens might want to put on for us won't be available here for at least ninety years. Probably longer, allowing for production time.
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