Tuesday, 29 March 2011

The universe explained in pictures and words

Astronomy would be really fun if it wasn't for all the hard science and stuff. What could be more interesting than trying to unravel the mysteries of the cosmos? Not much, but when I start looking into it I only come across equations the size of houses. All the good stuff is hidden behind impenetrable physics and words that come in five or six parts. But now Professor Brian Cox has been explaining these things to me, and I might be starting to understand. We're in the solar system, which is in a galaxy, and there's lots of galaxies in the universe. Right? Right? Good. Because it's best not to ask any more questions after that. What's outside the universe? And outside that? Maybe nothing, because it has to stop somewhere. Or maybe it repeats itself. Or maybe Men in Black was way ahead of its time. To summarise, let's look at the effect this sort of thinking has on the mind of a rabbit.

Wonders of the Universe is the only show on television that makes your mind actually break. That alone is worth the license fee. The Professor does a good job of explaining the fabric of existence to us. Everything's expanding, see. Expanding and getting messy. And when things reach their ultimate messy-ness, there won't be time any more, because nothing will change.
He doesn't have all the answers though. Which is probably a good thing. Ratings would go straight down. Like watching Lost, we don't really want to know why they're there or where the polar bear came from. The question is always more interesting than the answer. It's best to drag it out. When we find out, it's always the same reaction.


  1. Brilliant review of a programme we are watching avidly. One of my 7-year olds gets it. Like, really gets it.
    The 'tending to Bleurgh' diagram is superb.

  2. This definitely sounds like my kind of programe.

  3. Titus - Thanks. It really is an inspirational programme. A fascinating subject, and explained in a way that's just hard enough to make my brain numb.

    Drake - Until Doctor Who comes back, easily the best thing on British TV.