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Pictures From Earth

If you looked at the history of the planet as a 24 hour clock it would start with the formation of the earth at 0:00:00 (midnight) and go to 11:59:59 which represents the current day. Humans would only have arrived on the scene at 11:58:43! How then, do you tell the story of the planet to someone not from Earth when for a large part of that history the story teller was absent? Assigning the job to an engineer wouldn’t have been my first choice, but NASA in 1977 took on the ambitious project. They launched both probes Voyager I and II, each containing identical gold records filled with information about, well, us. I have to admit I loved the idea, but was really skeptical of the execution. When I accepted the assignment the only thing I really knew was an American agency, NASA, in the 70’s sent a gold plated record in to space. It was meant to be representative of humanity. My own biases’ kicked in at this point. Who gets to decide what represents humanity? I pictured a crew-cut engineer complete with a pocket protector and horn rimmed glasses removing Miriam Makeba from his list. This was far from the case. The person that took on this thankless task was the turtleneck wearing astrophysicist Carl Sagan. A man whose hair was so magnificent it has its own tumblr page. He spent most of his time cutting through the bureaucracy of nations. Something as simple as getting people to record a salutation in their native language would prove nearly impossible. The then Nigerian Ambassador to the UN insisted on recording a greeting that proclaimed his nation at the center of planet, and who are we to say otherwise? In the end Dr. Sagan pulled off the impossible. His record was as close as you’re going to get showing “humanity” when governments are involved. And maybe that’s whole point. In this age of private space exploration, we think it’s time to update the message. Here’s what Steward Mag wants advanced space faring civilizations to know about the place we all call home. Graphic Designer Patricia Klein re-imagined what this interstellar message in bottle could be. Her work consists of three etched silicone disks that encompass the topics science, earth and humanity. With more than 500 Images she created a common vocabulary, present the planet that we live on and which beings it is populated with, and she describes the human species from its anatomy to its habitat and the way it shapes and changes its environment.

Click This Link. Steward Mag: Sounds Of Earth Playlist

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