Death by Die

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

But for us, it's different. 

Consider again 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, 1997 reprint, pp. xv–xvi

The Pale Blue Die

The message and power of the original photograph are only equaled by Carl Sagan's poignant and candid words in the passage from his book. 

They've always meant a great deal to me and with this die I wanted to pay tribute to the original photograph and those powerful words, the meaning they have for me and the importance of their overall message to our planet and us as a species. 

I chose a D6 die for this project to pay tribute to the record setting distance this photograph was taken from, 6 Billion Kilometers.

Each of the six sides of the die counts out the number of heavenly bodies shown (Sun, earth, moon and other planets) and shows their path through the solar system. 

The #1 side depicts the original Voyager 1 photograph only showing the earth as a pale blue dot highlighted by rays of sunlight.