Despite dying more than twelve years ago, Carl Sagan is reaching out to teach and inspire geeks and their kids yet again. His brilliant thirteen-part 1980 TV series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage is now available for free online at Hulu for anyone to watch.
Watching Cosmos was one of the first major steps on my way to geekhood. I was seven years old when it first aired, and I remember sitting on the couch with my brother, rapt, while Sagan explained complex things in a way we could understand. I already enjoyed science, but Cosmos taught me to love it, by showing me how much more beautiful life and the universe could be when you understood them better. I probably watched the series every time, or close to it, for the next six years or so.
Now the entire series is available on Hulu (for those outside the U.S., Hulu absolutely doesn’t want you accessing their content, so there’s no use in trying something like Hotspot Shield to get around them) for the first time, and I couldn’t be happier. I know some of the information imparted by Sagan is outdated, having been superceded by more recent discoveries or inventions, but most of it is still good. And despite the somewhat comical aspect imparted by Sagan’s late-’70s hairstyle and clothing, I think the educational aspect will come through just as powerfully as it did for me.
I can’t wait to show it to my kids, and I can’t recommend it highly enough to anyone (who speaks English), anywhere, who hasn’t seen it. Watch it by yourself, watch it with your kids. You won’t be sorry, I promise.