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Far Side

Thanks, Joel.


I recall with great fondness watching Cosmos with my Grandfather. To a curious 10 year old boy, the show was amazing; and it was one of the few shows Grandpa even bothered to watch on television.

He grew up during the depression on a small, dust bowl ravaged farm in rural Oklahoma. I suspect his family was too poor to migrate to California like everyone else. In the 6th grade he quit school so he could help support his parents and sisters. Although his education was cut short, many years later Carl Sagan captivated this man with lessons on physics and astronomy. Sagan brought out in my grandfather a child-like wonder about the Universe.

Almost thirty years later, as I watch Cosmos for the first time, again, I am left with the same wonder. Sagan was a master story-teller. Not only could he explain complex theories so that almost anyone could understand them, but he also presents them in a way which leaves me hungry for more knowledge.

There are already much more eloquent and insightful tributes to Dr. Sagan here than I am capable of, so I have kept my commentary brief. That being said, I would like to share a piece of artwork I photographed recently during my 20th High School reunion. I found this mural in the Science Hall of U.S. Grant H.S. in Oklahoma City. The school is scheduled for demolition sometime in 2007, and this painting will most certainly go with it.

Travis Church, Texas

Apple Pie Recipe

Here's an old recipe, tried and true.

I often bring up Sagan's quote when people say they've "built a PC from scratch" and such. Of course, I don't say it to make a philosophical or cosmological point of any sort, but to be the sort of linguistic jackass you know me as.

Neven, Florida

Originally posted to The Missing "O" on March 03, 2006.
Also see Neven's Flickr page.
Carl Sagan brings to mind two things.

1. Seeing the film Contact with my mom several years ago and finding it to be a vaguely spiritual experience (this coming from someone whose thoughts on religion are basically in line with Carl's).

2. Watching a few episodes of Cosmos with the authors of this site and some other high school friends on a weekend visit to Boston (during the 2004 DNC, in fact) and discussing how it was one of the most subversive television pieces ever created.

Carl, I should probably spend some more time with you. But these are good memories, so thanks.

, in Chicago

From Japan

Thank you. Yes, thank you indeed.

I am so grateful to Doctor Carl Sagan for his many gifts to us. One of his greatest talents was making the cosmos accessible, but more importantly, he made the infinite vacuum PERSONAL.

When I read, or hear his praises, they are often sung by people who sound like they are reminiscing about an old friend, colleague or family member. He has had this effect on me as well.

I am no scholar, and at the time of my first viewing of "Cosmos", I had little to no knowledge of physics, astronomy, the history of mathematics or the science of the stars. A few years later after reading more of his work, he has taught me how to love to learn. He shares his passion and wisdom as if I was sitting with him in a quiet restaurant, asking him wide-eyed questions about it all.

This intellectual journey; asking questions, using skepticism, exploring the possibilities of the cosmos is exploring our history in its most raw form. When Carl made the cosmos accessible, he made the dust and gas our ancestors and our future just as hopeful as it was when the first microbes began multiplying.

I have a lot of faith in his words. And in turn, I have a lot of faith in us all.