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Nick's Memories

Nick Sagan wrote an outstanding post yesterday - if you haven't read it, you ought to. From Carl's dictaphone habits to his distate for Beavis & Butthead and the movie Aliens, Nick lets us in on a little secret; his father was, it's true, a human being.

Sagan was so clearly a hero to countless people across the globe, and for those of us who can't help but do a bit of worshiping, Nick's portrait helps ground that awe without diminishing our hero's stature. Here's a choice picture and excerpt:

He had a knack for pinball, knowing just how hard to bump a machine without tilting it. We'd go to arcades together and he'd win bonus games like mad. Videogames were never his thing, though he could appreciate the better ones. I remember the day I showed him Computer Baseball, a strategy game for the Apple IIe. You could pit some of the greatest teams in MLB history against each other. We played Babe Ruth's 1927 Yankees against Jackie Robinson's 1955 Dodgers for about an hour, and then he turned to me and said, "Never show this to me again. I like it too much, and I don't want to lose time. Link.

Govar from India.


This is Govar from India.

Just came to know about the Celebrating Sagan blogathon from Boing Boing and I couldn't wait to put a post on the subject.

Carl Sagan has, and is, in more ways than one, has given a new meaning to my existence. He's made me more mature, and yet very small at the same time. Here's my post on the subject.

My previous post on Carl a month back.

Thanks a lot for your time.


Govar, Chennai, India.


The band SAGAN just sent us a Carl Sagan inspired song to add to the Sounds of Sagan. It is called StokedSkate.

SAGAN has worked on a film that has been informed by the good Doctor and Cosmos. You can read more about their film, Unseen Forces, here, and more about SAGAN there.

Looking Towards Winter.

What Sagan Taught (Me).

There is an invisible, intangible dragon in my garage.

Of course my garage is also invisible and intangible.

Ten years ago today I was near the end of my first semester as a high school student. A few days later, I would read a letter to the editor of a local newspaper about an obituary. Apparently, the author of the letter was annoyed that obituary praised the man for his contributions to science but mentioned nothing of his atheism. The man who had died was Carl Sagan.

At the time, I had only known him from reruns of Johnny Carson's impersonation. "Definitely. They'll need much more hair spray than we originally expected." Later on, I would learn he was the guy who wrote that "Jodie Foster movie about aliens". That's all I would know about him for next nine or so years. A Carson sketch and a sci-fi movie. I wasn't until this February I picked up Demon Haunted World and read his own words.

How different would my life be now if I had read it ten years ago? Would I have understood it? Would I have liked what he had to say? Where would I be if his message had reached me ten years ago?

With a lot of media, audience is often self-selecting. I didn't start reading DHW until I was already headed towards scientific skepticism. Ten years ago, I was still arguably a Catholic, though my family was no longer attending church. Five years ago, I was working at a supermarket while experimenting with new age stuff and Taoism. Two years ago, I was a disgruntled web programmer who felt helpless in trying to affect my life. A year ago, I had realized that Sagan was more than a Carson sketch, but I still hadn't read anything by him. I won't say that the nine years between his death and my first lesson from him were wasted. It may be that I needed to live all those experiences before I could understand what he was saying. I will say that I am glad that I read DHW.

Sagan's lesson for me was not so much how to be skeptical or why one should be skeptical. These things I knew something about. So what did I actually gain from reading his work? A deeper understand of what it means to be a skeptic. We are not here to contradict, to nay-say, to coerce or to censor. We are here to patiently and carefully seek out eternally elusive truths. We use what we learn to seek further and to help others. It is our demand for evidence before ascent acts as bulwark against false accusations, frauds and authoritarianism. Ubi dubium ibi libertas. Where there is doubt, there is freedom.

With that lesson learned, I will do what I can so that Sagan's "candle in the dark" will not be extinguished.

Thank you for your time, Jokermage

Little Atoms, Update.

Neil writes:
I stupidly forgot to mention where the show is broadcast, it on London's Resonance 104.4FM, which as you have probably guessed, is broadcast on FM to the London area. Luckily though, its also broadcast worldwide at

Celebrando a Carl Sagan

Como pasa el tiempo; ya son 10 años del fallecimiento de Carl Sagan. Uno de los "culpables", de los grandes "culpables". El otro creo que fue George Lucas. El 1º Cosmos lo vi, creo recordar, en el año 80 del siglo pasado. En ingles, ya que por aquel entonces pasaba una temporada en Eire. Luego los vi todos ya en casa. Los grabe en casete de audio !! En aquellos tiempos "pre-tecnologicos" no teniamos video, ni PC ... Que cosas y que tiempos ... Luego vino Broca, los Dragones, Contacto, Murmullos, ...

Pasear por el blog creado para homenajear la memoria
de este astrofisico divulgador que tantas vocaciones, ilusiones y
anhelos astronomicos desperto es magnifico.

"Mi memoria es magnífica para olvidar"
Celebrando a Carl Sagan

Celebration Link.

Russell says, "No better time than the solstice to celebrate the founding father of nuclear winter." Check out his dissertation at ADAMANT.