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I was fortunate enough to grow up in a time and place were the late, great Carl Sagan was still alive and the show Cosmos was filling the next generate, such as myself, with ah and wonder. I remember being in middle school and even high school and coming to class only to find out that the teacher was sick. Most of us geered because many thought this meant we could leave. And sometimes that’s exactly what happened. But every once in awhile, instead a TV monitor would be roled in and an episode of Cosmos would be shown instead. Many complained, saying they would rather ditch class and hang-out with friends. I was exactly the opposite and looked forward to watching Carl explain the mysteries of the universe. That journey continued when I read Carl Sagan‘s Contact and I knew that while I may never be an Astronomer or space explorer, I would always wonder and have a keen interest in space and the universe, an interest whose seeds were planted by Carl Sagan and Cosmos.
Last night Neil deGrasse Tyson rebooted the show Cosmos and with it my interest to explore the wonders of the universe. The most touching part was Tyson’s tribute to Sagan where he retold of a story of about the first time he met the late, great scientist and how he treated him – a nobody high school kid from Brooklyn – like he was the center of the universe.
I never got the chance to thank Carl Sagan for the things he taught and showed me – all of us, really – and how he set me on a path to always want to learn and know more. I do, however, I have the chance to say thank you to Neil. Thank you. Thank you for carring the torch and inspiring a whole new generation.