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Revisiting the Golden Record’s Space in Human (and Non-Human) History

Forget talking with aliens. Instead, they might respond to a playlist. This was the logic in the late ’70s.

For this Throwback Thursday, join me in revisiting an actual musical playlist that was blasted into space a few decades ago with the sincere hope of being found by and listened to by, yes, aliens.

A couple of years ago, I made an investment on Kickstarter to receive a replica reproduction of the Golden Record. Reproduced and organized by Ozma Records, this was an opportunity that was too good to pass up. Listening to the eclectic soundtrack — songs and sounds of nature, like rain — it is truly unique to living on Earth.

Of course, there are plenty of additions that could and should be added from 40 years ago. More popular songs plus a few blockbuster, culture-altering movies, as well as classic TV shows, would be added for the Golden Record: Part II.

One of these new film additions would have to be ‘Independence Day.’

Extending Our Brief History in Time

“If humanity is to continue another million years, our future lies in boldly going where no one else has gone before,” Hawking said, BBC reported.

Stephen Hawking continued his remarks.

“To leave Earth demands a concerted global approach, everyone should join in,” he said. “We need to rekindle the excitement of the early days of space travel in the sixties.”

He added one more thing.

“It is time to explore other solar systems. Spreading out may be the only thing that saves us from ourselves. I am convinced that humans need to leave Earth.”

You have our attention, Mr. Hawking.

The famed scientist made this bold delcaration at a recent arts and science festival known as Starmus. This event took place in Norway. Whether or not people or nations rush to join this intergalactic effort (aside from Dubai and the United Arab Emirates, what countries can afford this challenge right now?), the premise of rededicating ourselves to exploring the unknown of outer space is an exciting point to make in remembering America’s historically inspiring recent past. There are countless policies, specifically concerning the economy, entitlement reform and foreign policy/defense, that need to be crafted and enacted. Absolutely. Having said that, exploring space should jump back to being a national priority.

Instantly after reading Mr. Hawking’s eye-opening remarks, a specific film came to mind.

Christopher Nolan’s movies are always an experience and about something more than just the initial story and characters. And it seems that one of the leaders of the scientific community had more to say (knowingly or unknowingly) about the seemingly prescient cinematic event of 2014.

That cinematic event being Interstellar.

The Lesson: Watch more movies.

The Addicitive Pull of “Gravity”

“Gravity” has been universally hyped (true story) for its spectacular imagery, filmography, acting and overall story.

Fortunately, October 4th has arrived and it’s now our turn to enter the local movie theater to sit down and prepare for what has been anticipated as a literal “edge of your seat” adventure.

Do seats come with tethers?

The story takes place in Space and the word to best describe its aura would not be epic, but grand. The depth of Space is infinite and unknown. This dynamic alone opens the curious mind to a myriad of unthinkable possibilities and cognitive wonderment.

For those of us who have seen the footage of astronauts in Space, there are undeniable elements of fragility, vulnerability and pure amazement. And it’s these restrictions and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that simultaneously attract and terrify us when watching the trailers and television spots for the star-studded journey featuring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.

Just from the trailers alone, director Alfonso Cuarón’s “Gravity” has captured our imaginations and sped up many heart beats.  That doesn’t happen with every movie.

The following song is not part of the official soundtrack for “Gravity,” but it was used as music for an emotional trailer of “Zero Dark Thirty.” It is currently featured in the “What Amazing Looks and Sounds Like” section. However, this music fits with this major motion picture too, with its perfectly aligned notes of hope, haunting panic and something that feels bigger than us…

It sounds like something mysterious and grand is about to occur.

The time has come for us to hold onto our seats and experience what “Gravity” really feels like.