COSMOS Reboots Sunday 9 March 9 PM Fox, et. al. - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 188 Old 03-17-2014, 09:54 AM
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A show such as you describe probably wouldn't even get the green light for a pilot episode...as well it shouldn't. This is filling a primetime entertainment slot, remember? Really cannot expect it to go too far beyond a talking dog that drives a Prius and a baby bent on world domination. tongue.gif It would otherwise need to be shuffled to PBS or something, I'd think. wink.gif

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post #92 of 188 Old 03-17-2014, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by OggideM View Post

I guess I was hoping for something that strikes a ground between

Then you had your expectations off base from day one. The original Cosmos was always intended to be targeted at the people that *didn't* know this stuff. The people involved with this remake made it clear that they intended to follow the same principles.

Personally, I very much enjoyed the fist episode. Contrary to popular comment here, I actually like the use of animation. Primarily because it allows for a less distracting visual stage that would detract from what is really going on, storytelling. Basically, the time is spent telling the story of Bruno. Having a bunch of people dressed in costumes wouldn't have conveyed the story any better, it would have just distracted from it. On a practical note, it also makes the subject matter more palatable for a younger audience. As a father of a very inquisitive 6 year old, I am rally looking forward to showing him the first two episodes in our basement theater next weekend. Although I am hesitant as it is to expose him to the realities of human nature shown in the Bruno segment, I am very sure I would not show it to him at this age had they used real characters in an effort to make it "more realistic."

I do wish they had tied the Bruno story in a little better though. The part where Tyson explained the "scientific method" in a matter of 3 or 4 paragraphs could have been expanded much more, imo. But that could be said about every part of the "cosmic location" and "cosmic calendar" parts, namely, that each minute of topic covered could be made into an entire episode.

Finally, on the topic of the first episode, I was a little surprised that they threw the topic of the "multiverse" into the discussion as prominently as they did.

I was less impressed by the second episode.

Although I think they did a decent job explaining selection in general with the dogs example, overall the episode seemed to jump around a little too much. Further, I think they wasted too much time with the extinction temple bit.

Regardless, this Cosmos reboot is shaping up to be a very good tool for putting all the vastness that is human science into perspective for young, curious people such as my son. In that regard, I think it does exactly what the people involved had planned to do.

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post #93 of 188 Old 03-17-2014, 04:21 PM
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I still cannot get over the fact that this is being shown on FOX!
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post #94 of 188 Old 03-17-2014, 10:31 PM
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Nah, we really haven't. We've just found ways to kill, take and hate each other with more advanced and creative methods. That's were the money and effort goes, just as it did when people were hitting each other with bronze axes. Space is still the final frontier. As in, the last thing of importance on any countries list.

The most exciting thing in space news is that we sent a lander to Mars and have a space station in orbit. We were doing that thirty years ago.
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All we have done is harvest a fundamental level understanding of some key ideas in physics, chemistry, materials science. (We are far more ahead in engineering/applied science).

If you think we are going to do anything, we have (assuming we don't kill ourselves off first) about 1.5 Billion years before Stellar Evolution renders Earth uninhabitable.
Your 'faith' exceed mine.

I think we are going through a new dark ages, much like what happened in Bruno's time. The question is how long it will last. I think various factions for various reasons coalesced and formented to cause this, and as a population we are too dense to understand just how greatly they have hurt our society. Things progress much more rapidly today so i hop;e the new dark ages are brief.

I guess I have "faith" in the human curiosity that has gotten us this far. Todays' world is much less recognizable to someone from 1914 than say from someone from 1814 traveling to 1914.
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post #95 of 188 Old 03-18-2014, 07:37 AM
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Don't know about y'all but this was a real snoozer of an ep - yeah I know it was not targeted at us and the graphics were again great but the content was just so obvious to anyone that paid attention in science class. The ride through Titan was about the only thing I saw that was remotely interesting.
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post #96 of 188 Old 03-18-2014, 07:45 AM
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I found it rather boring, too. Take me on a trip light years into space.
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post #97 of 188 Old 03-18-2014, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post

Don't know about y'all but this was a real snoozer of an ep - yeah I know it was not targeted at us and the graphics were again great but the content was just so obvious to anyone that paid attention in science class.

A February study by the National Science Foundation found that 26% of adult Americans think the sun revolves around the earth. It's pretty clear that a frightening number of people didn't pay attention in science class.

Other fun facts:
$7.3 billion: Dollar amount in the president's proposed 2015 budget for the National Science Foundation, which funds research in astronomy, biology, chemistry, geology, mathematics, physics, and other sciences.
$12.9 billion: The cost of the Navy's newest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, christened in November.
3.5%: The amount of funding for NASA compared with that of the U.S. military in the proposed 2015 budget.
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post #98 of 188 Old 03-18-2014, 10:47 AM
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Comparing dollar figures of different ventures that are radically different settings is entirely meaningless. Things simply cost what they cost, and there is no guarantee that existing science programs would suddenly become "better" if you suddenly threw double the money at it. What it does do is encourage more waste, like watching shrimp running on a conveyor belt or discovering that men biochemically do have an affinity for women with larger breasts as a "study".

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post #99 of 188 Old 03-18-2014, 11:10 AM
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Not sure if it's the host, the writing, the production values or what, but Comos is just not holding my interest.

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post #100 of 188 Old 03-19-2014, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Maltby View Post

Not sure if it's the host, the writing, the production values or what, but Comos is just not holding my interest.

Same here. I like Tyson and admire his passion for his matrerial, but his narrator's voice just puts me to sleep... and the presentation/material does not seem to be overcoming that fact. Really wanted to like this new Cosmos, but so far, "meh".

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post #101 of 188 Old 03-19-2014, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Willie_Tee View Post

Same here. I like Tyson and admire his passion for his matrerial, but his narrator's voice just puts me to sleep... and the presentation/material does not seem to be overcoming that fact. Really wanted to like this new Cosmos, but so far, "meh".

Maybe they should have had Brian Cox do it - he's fabulously enthusiastic and extremely smart & personable. But he's also British, and maybe they felt they needed to have an American celebrity physicist in the lead role of an American production. Who knows? I like Tyson and think his style is fine for the somewhat dumbed down content. Appropriate for a somewhat dumbed down audience.
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post #102 of 188 Old 03-19-2014, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Hanky View Post

Comparing dollar figures of different ventures that are radically different settings is entirely meaningless. Things simply cost what they cost, and there is no guarantee that existing science programs would suddenly become "better" if you suddenly threw double the money at it. What it does do is encourage more waste, like watching shrimp running on a conveyor belt or discovering that men biochemically do have an affinity for women with larger breasts as a "study".

Interesting you picked those examples, as if that's representative of the kind of research typically funded by the NSC. Surely you don't want to talk about what a hammer or toilet seat costs when purchased by a Pentagon procurement agent...?

The point is priorities. Some might say ours are completely out of whack, by orders of magnitude.
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post #103 of 188 Old 03-19-2014, 10:40 AM
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Yes, there is miltary waste, too...absolutely no argument there. I don't think it is wise to question the sheer hardware that goes into a modern carrier, as far as cost justification...wrong tree to bark up, imo.

My point still stands, that scientific research sector is just as guilty and vulnerable to temptation for wasteful spending when money is thrown at them. Some research is very, very good and truly critical. Other research...well you wonder if they were just trying to think of "something" to do, to secure the extra grant $'s and keep a few colleagues employed. wink.gif

As for your "priorities" statement, I return to my initial point...you can't arbitrarily judge the validity of one program to another by mere $ amount, especially when one thing occurs in a lab on some poshy university land property while the other is tasked to be THE frontline of the free-world in an eternal state of readiness to vanquish the world's greatest enemies when they emerge...totally different scene, I think you must agree. It's an absolutely fallacious argument to even present, imo.

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post #104 of 188 Old 03-19-2014, 10:55 AM
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Yes, there is miltary waste, too...absolutely no argument there. I don't think it is wise to question the sheer hardware that goes into a modern carrier, as far as cost justification...wrong tree to bark up, imo.

My point still stands, that scientific research sector is just as guilty and vulnerable to temptation for wasteful spending when money is thrown at them. Some research is very, very good and truly critical. Other research...well you wonder if they were just trying to think of "something" to do, to secure the extra grant $'s and keep a few colleagues employed. wink.gif

Not remotely the same. Because the dollars are so relatively scarce, the NSF vets proposals very carefully. Some odd stuff may slip through the grant process, but I'd wager the waste spent on the military is, as I said, orders of magnitude greater than that spent on scientific research in relative terms. How many billions have just "disappeared" in Iraq and Afghanistan, with no record whatsoever? How much equipment was just abandoned there? Probably more than the entire budget of the NSF.

It's a useless argument in any event and one outside the scope of this thread, so I'll leave it at that. Once again, the point is limited resources and relative priorities. There needs to be an honest debate on that issue.
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post #105 of 188 Old 03-19-2014, 12:49 PM
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Maybe they should have had Brian Cox do it - he's fabulously enthusiastic and extremely smart & personable. But he's also British, and maybe they felt they needed to have an American celebrity physicist in the lead role of an American production. Who knows? I like Tyson and think his style is fine for the somewhat dumbed down content. Appropriate for a somewhat dumbed down audience.

have to laugh at this remark...sadly wink.gif

we watched only the 1st ep so far, have the 2md on DVR. yes, it's pretty dumbed down, and maybe even more so than Sagan's original. but it's to promote the "wonder" of science & nature to people who otherwise wouldn't care and inspire the young'uns.

and just maybe some of us watching are well enough informed, even in lay terms, and already seen great series by Brian Cox, Brian Greene and shows like How the Universe Works that it's nothing new.

HTUW has already delved into a lot of the latest thinking on big bang, collisions, extraterresterial weather, comets, etc and done a credible job explaining the mechanisms that drove the formation of solar system. a lot of people have heard about the dino-strike but how many lay people know about the great dying episode in our pre-prehistory? even quantum mechanics, string theory, multiverses & Higgs boson have made it into these mainstream science programming. when Morgan Freeman can discuss cutting edge, outlandish ideas, that kind of makes this Cosmos "old hat" to some of the viewers.

Sagan was the pioneer & there can be only 1 pioneer with the idea of a show about cosmology for dummies wink.gif

and there's a trade-off for trimming more detailed explanations & word content in favor of flashier graphics.

despite its simplicity, I am happy to enjoy Tyson's work & show in its entirety. it's long past time we had better programming like this on network TV, not just on PBS and cable science channels.

I agree that of all of them, Brian Cox really did the best in projecting enthusiasm & wonder to the audience. HTUW was kind of dry by comparison.
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post #106 of 188 Old 03-19-2014, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
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I think it's most constructive if we critically evaluate the success or failure of this show as a science show for low information viewers
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post #107 of 188 Old 03-19-2014, 07:15 PM
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That sounds a bit elitist to me.

Is it really low-information viewers?...or is it just the typical/average attention span and intellectual level of the masses?

I do enjoy the premium CG for the subject matter, though. I think that is the real attraction, here. Anything further, and I think that is expecting it to be something it was never intended to be.

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post #108 of 188 Old 03-19-2014, 07:25 PM
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As a long time teacher I am enjoying this series. Yes the content is nothing new to my education (Montessori has tons of cosmology). But my elementary students are taking the time to watch at home and discuss the content at school. They are excited about science and that is priceless!
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post #109 of 188 Old 03-19-2014, 07:44 PM
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As a long time teacher I am enjoying this series. Yes the content is nothing new to my education (Montessori has tons of cosmology). But my elementary students are taking the time to watch at home and discuss the content at school. They are excited about science and that is priceless!


And that, sir, is awesome! smile.gif
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post #110 of 188 Old 03-20-2014, 03:32 AM
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But my elementary students are taking the time to watch at home and discuss the content at school. They are excited about science and that is priceless!

Yes it is cool.gif
Great job!

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post #111 of 188 Old 03-20-2014, 05:33 AM
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We are only two weeks into this series. With eleven weeks to go I think its way to early to make a judgment. Besides, if you saw the original what the heck were you expecting?
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post #112 of 188 Old 03-20-2014, 05:45 AM - Thread Starter
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As a long time teacher I am enjoying this series. Yes the content is nothing new to my education (Montessori has tons of cosmology). But my elementary students are taking the time to watch at home and discuss the content at school. They are excited about science and that is priceless!

I think that's a portion of the intended audience. Glad to hear it's well received. Hopefully it may stimulate some children and some adults to go to the library and get some reading material.
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post #113 of 188 Old 03-20-2014, 07:23 AM
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I think we're in an era where there is little interest in independent learning. Look at the "educational" networks - History, Discovery, TLC, A&E - how much educational programming is on them? They're full of reality garbage.

So far I'm happy with this Cosmos.

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post #114 of 188 Old 03-20-2014, 10:30 AM
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I think that's a portion of the intended audience. Glad to hear it's well received. Hopefully it may stimulate some children and some adults to go to the library and get some reading material.

One of the students asked to take home Sagan's book Cosmos to read. Of course I let her, and explained we have learned so much more since the original series aired.
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post #115 of 188 Old 03-20-2014, 09:14 PM
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I hope this isn't going to be considered OT because it isn't dealing specifically with the show, but the images are cool and the video toward the bottom is friggin' amazing.


Haunting new Hubble image shows a galaxy being ripped to shreds

You wanna see lots of great Hubble images from over the past 24 years, go to:

http://hubblesite.org

Now that is reality.

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post #116 of 188 Old 03-21-2014, 01:27 AM
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Billions and billions of political and WAY off-topic posts removed. Ok, maybe not THAT many.

Nobody banned from the thread THIS time. Please go back and re-read my warning. Thanks.

Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.
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post #117 of 188 Old 03-21-2014, 04:43 AM
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Originally Posted by HairyBee View Post

As a long time teacher I am enjoying this series. Yes the content is nothing new to my education (Montessori has tons of cosmology). But my elementary students are taking the time to watch at home and discuss the content at school. They are excited about science and that is priceless!

Thanks for that! I remember watching Cosmos in one of my AP classes when it came out, and if the new one gets the same airplay in schools that the old did (and the resulting conversation/teaching) it will be well worth it.
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post #118 of 188 Old 03-21-2014, 04:30 PM
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Since this show does seem to aim at younger viewers, it's might have been better at 7/6 instead of 9/8. But with the prevalence of PVRs, I suppose that's less of an issue. I'm encouraged by the ratings, especially since this is up against some highly rated competition, and far less criticism other than the few expected sources (nuff said please). Fox is to be commended, and other networks should take note the interest in scientific explanations. A Saturday morning network science series would be great.

I haven't closely watched the second show, but if I had a minor production observation from the first one, I did notice the composting had a bit more matte blur than might have been optimal. If one is using a foreground source with reduced chroma resolution like 4:2:2, it's sometimes required. I think harder mattes on hard edges (say with some S curve gain) and softer around hair is a good compromise, but that gets time consuming. It's still very good and detracts little from being believable. Green mattes with a dark background, such as on this show, to me is more difficult. I do see alot of softer mattes now.
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post #119 of 188 Old 03-22-2014, 02:40 PM
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I've enjoyed the first two episodes, but like others here, the 2nd was a bit slack, somehow. I do think Tyson might feel lost acting in front of a green screen. I'm sure it's hard to act like you're looking at Titan instead of nothing.

One thing I thought they should have added to the Evolution lesson, which I think Stephen Jay Gould once said or wrote, and has stuck with me for many years. It might lessen the violent reaction against evolution from religious people who don't have much science knowledge.

He basically said that science and faith are two completely different spheres; they neither interact nor contradict each other. Where evolution shows us how species evolve, and is constantly being supported by evidence, it doesn't say a thing about who might or might not be directing that process. Faith, on the other hand, is based upon believing something that can't be proved by physical evidence.

I don't believe in a God, but I don't see any conflict in someone who does and yet who sees the scientific evidence for the process of evolution.
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post #120 of 188 Old 03-22-2014, 08:48 PM
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Remember: the topic is the show.

Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.
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