Last year my parents asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I told them they didn’t need to get me anything. I no longer celebrated Christmas. I’ve grown tired of the rampant consumerism associated with a holiday season that originally came about because humans were simple thankful they had survived another frigid, harsh winter. Although I have no problem with people celebrating any of the winter holidays, I can say my life has been amazingly less stressful during this time of the year. Meanwhile others bustle around to buy gifts, half of which well end up in a storage bin anyway.

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Pale Blue Dot

The Voyager 1 spacecraft was launched by NASA in 1977. Its original mission was to visit and photograph Jupiter and Saturn. As Voyager 1 departed the solar system, at the request of Carl Sagan, NASA commanded the craft to take a photograph of the Earth from a distance of several billion kilometers. This photograph became the foundation for Sagan’s 1994 book Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space. The following excerpt from the first Chapter in Sagan’s book offers one of the most amazing and humbling perspectives about the human race and our place in the universe.

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