For one of my writing groups, the subject is, The Cosmos… I am so taken up with my other writing, and I have to admit short stories or pieces are no longer my forte…

… but maybe I should be thinking of the cosmos…

the universe regarded as a complex and orderly system; the opposite of chaos. The philosopher Pythagoras used the term cosmos for the order of the universe, but the term was not part of modern language until the 19th century geographer and polymath, Alexander von Humboldt, resurrected the word and assigned it to his multi-volume treatise, Kosmos, which influenced our present perception of the universe as one interacting entity.

Or maybe I half-remember this…

Cosmos… ‘Cosmos (1980) is a popular science book by astronomer and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Carl Sagan. Its thirteen illustrated chapters, corresponding to the thirteen episodes of the Cosmos TV series, which the book was co-developed with, and intended to, complement, explore the mutual development of science and civilisation. One of Sagan’s main purposes for the book and television series was to explain complex scientific ideas to anyone interested in learning.’

I think I might have watched this series, and I have seen other programmes by Carl Sagan, and read books by him too. He wasn’t the only one to write a book entitled ‘Cosmos:

  • Cosmos – a 17-chapter serial novel published in Science Fiction Digest 1933 
  • Cosmos  a 1965 novel by Witold Gombrowicz
  • Kosmos (Humboldt), a scientific treatise by Alexander von Humboldt
  • The Kosmos Trilogy, a series of philosophy books by Ken Wilber

… and magazines, periodicals and journals:

  • COSMOS – the scientific journal of the Singapore National Academy of Science
  • Cosmos – an Australian popular science magazine
  • Cosmos – an essay collection of emerging issues, published annually by the Cosmos Club
  • Cosmos Science Fiction – a four-issue science fiction magazine edited by David G. Hartwell in 1977
  • Cosmos -a different, short-lived science fiction magazine published between 1953-54
  • Cosmos., Problems of Biological Sciences – Kosmos. Problemy Nauk Biologicznych –  the scientific journal of the Polish Copernicus Society of Naturalists

… Well, I didn’t know any of that, and apart from being the answers to quizes or crossword puzzles I’m not sure any of that information will be of much use to me… but you never know…

I guess most people think of ‘cosmos’ or, ‘the cosmos‘ in terms of Astrophysics… for example:

  • Cosmos 1 – a privately funded solar sail spacecraft project
  • Cosmic Evolution Survey (COSMOS) – a Hubble Space Telescope Treasury Project
  • Kosmos – a series of Soviet/Russian rockets
  • Kosmos – a series of Soviet/Russian satellites
  • cosmonaut – one who adventures into the cosmos, as in space, the universe etc

There is music of all genres, musicians, singers, bands, song-writers, songs, albums, TV shows, films, football and soccer clubs, computer and technology companies, all with the title of Cosmos or about the Cosmos, or cosmos of some sort, and there are places named after it:

  • Cosmos, Minnesota, USA
  • Cosmos,  Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Kosmos, North West Province, South Africa
  • Kosmos, Washington, USA

However, one which I think I actually may have seen, when I was on the Olympic peninsular in Washington State, many, many years ago:

Cosmos… Cosmos is a genus, with the same common name, consisting of flowering plants in the sunflower family; it is native to scrub and meadow-land in Mexico where most of the species occur, as well as the United States, as far north as the Olympic Peninsula in Washington, Central America, and to South America as far south as Paraguay. One species, cosmos bipinnatus, is naturalised across much of the eastern United States and Eastern Canada. It is also widespread over the high eastern plains of South Africa, where it was introduced via contaminated horse-feed imported from Argentina during the Anglo-Boer War.’

I had such a wonderful time, and so much to remember, maybe I just have a vague sense of brilliant colour as we were driving from place to place, laughing and having a good time…






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