#MALCosmos Live-Tweet Recap

Last night, a modern reboot of Carl Sagan’s classic TV show Cosmos, hosted by the very worthy Neil deGrasse Tyson, premiered on like eleventy billion channels. No word yet on how many tuned in, but I like to think that it was more than the Superbowl.

Did you catch it last night? Waiting until it’s available online? Gonna watch when you have more time? If so, you missed Mad Art Lab’s live-tweet session during the big event. But never fear! Just read along with this recap and it’ll feel like you were right there with us.

Before it started, announcements had to be made, food had to be prepared, and beer had to be opened.




Our first glimpse of the show’s slick, ultramodern feel: an updated Ship of the Imagination, which shows off the production’s 3D prowess with a preliminary trip through the solar system (my favorite part was when it flew through the grainy, black and white photograph of the surface of Mars). It reached all the way out to the Oort Cloud, but not before stopping for a glimpse of the Voyager 2 spacecraft, complete with the Golden Record.








Commercial breaks were a good time to contemplate the number of people who were watching this at the same time and contemplate the wisdom of companies who decided to place ads during the show.




The next segment told the story of Giordano Bruno and the reaction of the church to his cosmological theories. I think we were all surprised at how the show didn’t pull punches when it came to religion’s role in suppressing scientific discoveries and discourse.




The real shout-out to Carl Sagan happened when Tyson used the “cosmic calendar” metaphor — shrinking all of time down into one calendar year, where life on Earth only shows up on December 31st. He also got into another Sagan staple, explaining how we are all “star stuff,” made up of elements that were created in the hearts of stars. A few MAL contributors even have tattoos based on this concept.






Finally, Neil deGrasse Tyson took a moment to make a dedication to Carl Sagan. He even told the story of how Sagan invited him to tour Ithaca when he was an 17-year-old aspiring astronomer, going so far as to drive him to the bus stop afterward in a snowstorm and giving him his home phone number in case the bus didn’t come. Neil even had the calendar Sagan had used to pencil in the meeting. Of every segment of the show, this was the real tear-jerker, in my opinion.





We plan on live tweeting for every Sunday episode, so come back next week for more!

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Ashley Hamer

Ashley Hamer

Ashley Hamer (aka Smashley) is a saxophonist and writer living in Chicago, where she performs regularly with the funk band FuzZz and jazz ensemble Big Band Boom. She also does standup comedy, sort of, sometimes. Her tenor saxophone's name is Ladybird.


  1. March 10, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Thanks for pulling this together, Smash–it’s like we were all hanging out in the living room together. =) I like your drinking game idea, though this episode would have been a doozy! I surprised my companions and myself by catching far more paraphrases than I expected. (And no one got my apple pie reference. =( )


  2. March 10, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    Anne – Delilah was AWESOME

    P.S. I Tivo’ed it, and the National Geographic channel replayed the entire original series over the weekend. Not sure which to watch first. 🙂 🙂

  3. March 10, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    You guys, Chicago Skeptics was our fearless SkeptiPope, Jairus. 😀

    He’s kinda the best. And he is SkeptiPope because of reasons.

  4. March 10, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    Whaaat? I thought that was you the whole time, Beth. The humor is strikingly similar.

    Oh well, Jarius will remain part of our conversation because, well, he was a big part of it in the first place. 🙂

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