Wil and Phil

Two of my favorite bloggers communicated together recently. I must have good taste in bloggers. The Bad Astronomer wrote a entry about Futurama and then Wil Wheaten commented on his bog about the same reference. Phil responded to Wil in the comments of Wil’s blog. That’s really cool.

Astronomy – uniting Geeks everywhere. :)

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Remembering Carl Sagan

I was the only one I knew in High School who had read Brocca’s Brain. When in 1978, as a teenager, I was told to get a sport coat for some formal affair, I chose a tan corduroy coat that I later dubbed, “My Sagan Suit”. I cried in my car on the long drive to work, when I heard on NPR that Carl was dead. There are two men who have influenced my life more than any other – My Father and Carl Sagan. Both have now passed on, both have left me a better person in so many immeasurable ways.

Carl Sagan

My father often said one of the only things he had in common with his sons was our love of astronomy. For me, my father gave birth to that love in me and Carl nurtured it into a mature and everlasting relationship. Many an evening my father and brother and I would discuss the nature of the universe after watching Cosmos. My brother and I are still both avid readers of science and especially, astronomy.

There are many posts by me about Sagan on this blog. Please feel free to read them.

“These are some of the things that carbon atoms do, when given the right conditions and enough time.” Carl Sagan Or words to that effect.

Skepticality and BA

Remembering Carl

Those of you who know me very well, know that I am a huge fan of Carl Sagan.  Skepticality, the official podcast of Skeptic magazine has a very nice interview with Ann Druyan, Sagan’s second wife and collaborator.  The audio is a little weak, but the content more than makes up for it.

Bad Astronomy

Another of my favorite people is Phil Plait from Bad Astronomy.com.  Phil has a particularly wondrous post about what you can see in space from different points of view along the electromagnetic spectrum.  Well worth a read.

Send Your Name to Mars!

The Planetary Society is sponsoring another name disc to ride aboard the next Mars probe called Phoenix. Phoenix will explore the Martian arctic region. You can register your kids names and your name to fly to Mars and be a part of space exploration.

In the past I’ve done this for myself, this time I added my kids the list.  While you are on the site, consider joining The Planetary Society, it’s one of my favorite causes.

Pale Blue Dot

“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. … 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


Earth in ray of sunshine.


The view from Mars.

The Demon-Haunted World

“The Demon-Haunted World” by Carl Sagan

Anyone who knows me very well, knows that I’m a big fan of Carl Sagan. I’ve read all his non-fiction books, most of them while I was still in high school. If you never read any other book by Sagan, this one should be it. There is a disturbing trend these days to slight science and science education. Fundamentalism is again raising it’s ugly head in the world and we could very easily loose everything and plunge the world back into darkness. This book explains why ID is insane, even if it was written long before Creationists thought of the title.