Sunday evening we headed to the NYU Skirball Center to see and hear Icarus at the Edge of Time, a new children’s book by superstar string theorist Brian Green, and in this case, an event in the World Science Festival that attracted clusters of cute kids. After an introduction by Tracy Day and a short talk by Green on the Icarus myth and black holes, the story began. A film by Al and Al vividly portrayed a futuristic galaxy as Liev Schreiber narrated. We especially loved Icarus’s spaceship, complete with bird-like wings. Brad Lubman conducted the Orchestra of St. Luke’s in performing Philip Glass‘s accompanying score, which was composed exclusively for the film. Glass himself was in attendance with his two youngest sons.
Green’s Icarus re-imagines the story of Icarus in physicist kind of way: in this story, Icarus foolishly travels to a black hole after his father tells him not to. His journey is a success, except for the fact that he forgot to account for one thing: time. When Icarus returns, it is 10,000 years later, which felt like an hour to him, and everything he knew was gone…floating in space are detached feathers, representing his fall. Icarus at the Edge of Time dark tale for young ones that teaches them: a) a bit about Einstein and relativity, and b) if Daddy says ‘Stay away from black holes,’ YOU’D BETTER LISTEN!
So if you want your kids to grow up smart and well-behaved, perhaps you should pick up this book and mix in some Glass with that Mozart!