Universidad de La Laguna
rev. 2023-11-14

Técnicas de expresión en un idioma moderno
Historia (2023-2024)

Sessions (weeks 2-3)

Planet earth

Wed., 31 Jan.

Assignment 1.
Why earth science? ► 6:38 (2008 video) (transcript).

Human evolution

Thurs., 1 Feb.

Where and when did humans evolve? ► 5:28 (2013 video) (transcript).

Time management

Wed., 7 Feb.

A short guide to managing your time ► 4:36 (2014 video) (transcript).
Time management top tips (2015).

Planet earth

Earth science and history

Shigenori Maruyama. The whole history of the earth and life. 2020. 1:05:57.

Earthrise (1968)

Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee. Earthrise. 2018. 30:23. (National Geographic Short Film Showcase).

Pale Blue Dot (1990)

Carl Sagan. Pale blue dot. 1994. 3:31.

In the first chapter of his book Pale Blue Dot (1994) Carl Sagan comments on Earthrise, the photograph taken by the Apollo astronauts, "a kind of icon of our age," and explains why he thought another picture of our planet, taken from a hundred thousand times farther away, would help us understand our true position in the universe:

From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest.

But for us, it's different. Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it, everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there—on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.

[Carl Sagan. Pale blue dot: a vision of the human future in space. New York: Random House, 1994, p. 6-7.]

Long and short numeric scales

James Grime, Tony Padilla. How big is a billion? 2012. 9:43. (Numberphile).

Human evolution

Humanity's African origins

American Museum of Natural History. Seven million years of human evolution. 2018. 6:23.


Michio Kaku. Can nanotechnology create utopia? 2012. 5:44.

Creation-evolution controversy

Richard Dawkins. Richard Dawkins interviews creationist Wendy Wright. 2008. 56:36. (The genius of Charles Darwin: the uncut interviews).

Time management

Time management tips

Ali Abdaal. How I manage my time: ten time management tips. 2021. 11:49.