Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you: Carl Sagan, the illest.
All the millions, billions, trillions and (single) quadrillion from his 1980’s tv series Cosmos.
Here he is again, being profound;
Carl Sagan is just the best. Listen to him calmly defuse a radio caller keen on fighting! with words!
And finally, here’s an hour of Carl Sagan saying the word “billion”. Yep, that’s right. An hour of Carl saying one big word. Not looped, not a supercut, a slow motion Carl Sagan. Buckle up, it’s going to get weird.
A few years ago, I decided that it would be interesting to make a cheeseburger from scratch. Not just regular “from scratch,” but really from scratch. Like, I’d make the buns, I’d make the mustard, I’d grow the tomatoes, I’d grow the lettuce, I’d grow the onion, I’d grind the beef, make the cheese, etc.
Well worth the read for the logical steps of increased ambition – and the Sagan quote at the end. Mind you, it does happen to remind me of another fascinating read from the Awl, conceptualising the McRib as a weird fast food form of arbitrage.
The McRib was, at least in part, born out of the brute force that McDonald’s is capable of exerting on commodities markets. According to this history of the sandwich, Chef Arend created the McRib because McDonald’s simply could not find enough chickens to turn into the McNuggets for which their franchises were clamoring. Chef Arend invented something so popular that his employer could not even find the raw materials to produce it, because it was so popular. “There wasn’t a system to supply enough chicken,” he told Maxim. Well, Chef Arend had recently been to the Carolinas, and was so inspired by the pulled pork barbecue in the Low Country that he decided to create a pork sandwich for McDonald’s to placate the frustrated franchisees.
Such a global reach, requiring post-agrarian society and massive economies of scale, all just to create “food” like the McRib. What a waste.