The Human Universe and 67p

It is almost impossible to actually watch and take in anything that Professor Brian Cox says.  This one time sexy pop star turned highly qualified scientist, has recently used the BBC to assist broadcast his voodoo magic science programming ‘Human Universe’.

Human Universe’ is a kind of new age relaxation video.  Through the soft meandering words, some of which are sort of talking science stuff, some of which are child-like excited noises, and some of which are the wonderment of various drifty philosophies that sound more proper to a 1960s hippy den full of old style stoners, one is aurally stroked to sleep.

The accompanying usually extremely slo-mo pictures of random people from different cultures staring to the middle distance off camera, and stars or candles or mountains or rock formations or, well, who knows because most of it shows during the viewer’s sleep period, help to induce the sleep state in the four or five viewers that the Brian’s voiceover has failed to dispatch.

For almost all female viewers, a lot of whom have absolutely no interest in the science being presented, the programme acts as a sexual stimulant.  It doesn’t really matter what Professor Brian Cox is saying, his voice is like the smooth chocolate and gentle slow back-rub that all females long for yet males forget to provide.

It is therefore actually impossible to know whether the Human Universe series has any sense or logic or good science in it. There is nobody awake able to objectively review it.

However, it is a good thing that ‘science’, especially off world science, most of which can only ever be philosophical conjecture, is being brought to the masses.

Off world science is fascinating, and it is quite extraordinary how a ‘theory’ can be put to the test in the way that the probe Rosetta has been.  Its ten year mission has been to swing and flip itself using the gravity of different planets in order to end up coming alongside a comet.

The comet has two names. One is Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The other is 67p.  67 pence?


Today, Rosetta will launch its little lander called Philae.

This may even have been discussed by Brian Cox in his Human Universe series. Nobody knows.

Philae is the size of a washing machine and it is intended that it will actually land on the 67p comet. On the face of it, when one is brought up on a diet of Star Wars and Star Trek, this seems amazingly boring.

It is not boring.  It is a fascinating and amazing achievement.  The human knowledge and calculations that have had to have been made in order to get Rosetta there and then to hopefully get Philae to land on the comet and then carry out scientific experiments and measurements is a testament to our understanding of how the science of our universe works.

Rosetta is over 500 MILLION kilometres away from earth.  That’s further away than the sun is from Earth.  Communications take around 50 minutes to get from Earth to Rosetta, and then a further 50 minutes for a reply to get back.

The precision of the process of sending commands and requests in anticipation is an art we as humans can be proud of.

All of which is in complete contrast to the other aspects of humanity about which we should be eternally ashamed. The way we treat each other on a global basis, the madness of religions and doctrines based on hate and greed. The millenia of growing up and maturing that we have yet to do as a species.

What a contrast to the achievement of Rosetta and Philae off out there in deep space. I wonder if there will be things we can learn from the comet that might change things between us humans back here on Earth.