Short man. Large dream. NASA's Video Tribute to Ray Bradbury

NASA released this video of the late Ray Bradbury reading a wonderful short poem entitled "If Only We Had Taller Been," which Bradbury wrote on the occasion of the historic Mariner 9 Mars Orbiter mission, on November 12, 1971. In the video, Bradbury confesses he is the "least scientific" member of a symposium at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Labs in Pasadena, CA that includes Arthur C. Clarke, journalist Walter Sullivan, and scientists Carl Sagan and Bruce Murray. 


In his introduction, Bradbury says the poem sums up his philosophy of space travel and why he writes science fiction. The lines are delivered as a dramatic, almost religious epiphany:

Short man. Large dream. I send my rockets forth
between my ears,
Hoping an inch of Will is worth a pound of years.
Aching to hear a voice cry back along the universal Mall:
We’ve reached Alpha Centauri!
We’re tall, O God, we’re tall!

Watch the video here:

Follow Daniel Honan on Twitter @Daniel Honan

Big Think
Sponsored by Lumina Foundation

Upvote/downvote each of the videos below!

As you vote, keep in mind that we are looking for a winner with the most engaging social venture pitch - an idea you would want to invest in.

Keep reading Show less
Videos
  • Oumuamua, a quarter-mile long asteroid tumbling through space, is Hawaiian for "scout", or "the first of many".
  • It was given this name because it came from another solar system.
  • Some claimed Oumuamua was an alien technology, but there's no actual evidence for that.

Scientists create a "lifelike" material that has metabolism and can self-reproduce

An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.

Shogo Hamada/Cornell University
Surprising Science
  • Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
  • The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
  • The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
Keep reading Show less

7 fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Here are 7 often-overlooked World Heritage Sites, each with its own history.

Photo by Raunaq Patel on Unsplash
Culture & Religion
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites are locations of high value to humanity, either for their cultural, historical, or natural significance.
  • Some are even designated as World Heritage Sites because humans don't go there at all, while others have felt the effects of too much human influence.
  • These 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites each represent an overlooked or at-risk facet of humanity's collective cultural heritage.
Keep reading Show less