New thing learned #1

02Jan14

I’ve decided to attempt to record the acquisition of knew knowledge (the spelling of “acquisition” itself makes it two things for today, I had to Google it), skills and random factual trivia as often as I can, for as long as I can. I have no real reason for doing this, other than I thought it might be cool.

This is probably associated with the new year thing; I have gradually moved away from resolutions over time, as I find the idea of the calendar year a bit arbitrary (though, I must concede, it makes some sense for me given that the nature of my work is such that the winter solstice/end of the calendar year generally always represents a lull in work, time to reflect, recharge, etc…but I digress) but while riding my bike and listening to a podcast (only one earbud in lest I miss the sound of a car attempting to run me off the road) from Radiolab about science today, I learned about the Voyager Golden Record, which, somehow, despite 32 years worth of reading and at least 10 years worth of Googling (longer?) and a grad level education I NEVER KNEW ABOUT. Thanks for nothing, school.

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And thus, I decided it would be a good, self indulgent hipster thing to try to learn something new – regardless of how small or trivial – each day and to record it. I probably won’t blog it daily, because that will get old after like a day,  but will write it down somewhere. I keep a lot of journals, as in a near OCD way. More on that later.

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Look at this thing!?!? How did I not know about it?

Anyway, random new thing of today:  The Voyager Record. The Radiolab piece I was listening to was themed around space, and it included an interview with Carl Sagan’s widow, Ann Druyan. Quick explanation: My latest habit is to look up random ass podcasts to listen to on long rides, and for whatever reason I’ve been intrigued by Carl Sagan lately. Anyway, the piece was about their working on the Voyager Golden Record, which evoked the following response from me: “holy shit, people made a record and sent into space? And it travels at 38,000 mph? And I never really knew about it?” So now I’m obsessed. I mean, I’m a recreational space nerd, I wanted to go to space camp as a kid (or as a grown up, if it’s still around and someone wants to send me), how this piece of cultural knowledge passed me by is beyond me. I was -2 when it all went down, though, so I have that excuse.

Anyway, you should at least Wikipedia that shit, ’cause it’s pretty fascinating. And it deals with time and space and all that good stuff: Voyager 1 has 40,000 YEARS to go to come within even 6 trillion miles of the first star. Puts my bitching of this fall ‘just flying by’ in perspective. Do I move at 38,000 MPH? No, I don’t. Did I get to determine what about mankind should be shared with possible alien life form 70,000 years in the future? No, I didn’t. So I should shut up.

So that is my self indulgent, long winded treatise on what I learned today.

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6 Responses to “New thing learned #1”

  1. I actually knew about the Voyager

    • See? I am apparently the only person left to be amazed by this.

      It also took my four years to realize that Blossom was on “The Big Bang Theory” though…

  2. I actually knew about the Golden Record but (a) that’s really the only thing I know about space stuff and (b) I’d forgotten most of the fascinating details until now. So basically I don’t know much.

  3. Sorry, I submitted the comment before I was done!


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