Showing posts with label carl sagan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label carl sagan. Show all posts

Thursday, October 01, 2009

You've probably already seen it, but . . .

We warned: once you've heard it, you can't get it out of your head.

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Friday, July 24, 2009

If this doesn't make you laugh, there just might be something wrong with you.

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Carl Sagan and the fourth dimension

I have plenty of issues with Sagan's spurious debunking of UFOs, but I'm unaware of anyone alive today with his ability to elucidate scientific ideas to a lay audience.

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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sinkers, floaters and hunters

Carl Sagan paints a breathtaking portrait of truly alien life eking out an aerial existence in the cloudscape of a Jovian world:

(Thanks to Centauri Dreams.)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"Earth: The Pale Blue Dot"

EARTH: The Pale Blue Dot from Michael Marantz on Vimeo.

(Found at Sentient Developments.)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sagan and the Hill encounter

Sagan's pervasive condescension notwithstanding, I agree with him that the Hill abduction is far from the definitive case claimed by some UFO researchers (or, as Sagan would have it, "enthusiasts"). But perhaps more troubling are the numerous liberties taken with the Hills' account in the dramatization. To the best of my knowledge, the Hills never described the UFO landing directly in front of their car; rather, they recalled a "roadblock" where they were accosted by beings assumed to be members of the UFO's crew. (Before their abduction, Barney had stopped the car to observe the airborne object through binoculars, shattering his previous conviction that the odd light that had been trailing them was a satellite or other mundane phenomenon.)

Sagan's fanciful depiction of the alleged UFO occupants is at least as disconcerting. Why, for instance, the spooky glowing eyes? While they may have a desirable cinematic effect, the Hills described nothing of the sort. Neither did they recall walking dazedly toward the landed craft without being accompanied by the occupants.

Perhaps these are minor points, and I might not bother complaining had "Cosmos" not been a science miniseries. But if a dramatization's purpose is to reconstruct an event, Sagan's effort falls conspicuously short. And while I tend to agree with Sagan's breakdown of the "star map" controversy, I fail to understand why Betty Hill's possibly garbled recollection undermines the overall validity of her testimony. Sagan appears to delight in using the star map as a straw man. While his specific points are well-made, he effectively ignores the purported abduction itself.

To my mind, the Hill encounter -- whatever it represents -- constitutes a single stitch in a tapestry of claims of extraterrestrial contact. To regard it without the benefit of context, both folkloric and contemporary, is to purposefully misunderstand its significance.