Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Carl Sagan Blog-a-thon Meta-Post

Today is the tenth anniversary of Carl Sagan's passing, and as I promised in my original announcement, here is my promised meta-post for the Carl Sagan Memorial Blog-a-Thon with a gigantic list of participating blog posts.

I've been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of responses, so it's still incomplete. While I will be updating this list repeatedly, if I've missed your post, you can email or post a comment. Also, note that it's fine to post after the 20th.

Sagan's wife and collaborator Ann Druyan has started off her new blog today with the post Ten Times Around The Sun Without Carl, while his son Nick Sagan has posted his memories of his dad and his official blog-a-thon welcome following his posts here, here, here, and here. And Louis Friedman, who along with Sagan was one of the founders of the Planetary Society, has posted his memories of Sagan at the Planetary Society Blog.

The new website Celebrating Sagan has gathered a staggering amount of material. It's focused on user contributions, which may be useful if you don't have a blog but have something to say.

The blog-a-thon has been covered at The Ithaca Journal, Cornell's Chronicle Online, MSNBC, USA Today, The Syracuse Post-Standard, and China News Daily.

I've posted my own memories of Stephen Jay Gould.

A big thanks to everybody who participated! Also, thanks to Hell on Frisco Bay for providing the inspiration and model for this blog-a-thon, with a blog-a-thon for the centennial of the birth of Warner Bros. animator Friz Freleng here and here.

And now, the big list:
  1. Action Skeptics
  2. agnostic oracle
  3. Airminded
  4. Alan Boyle @ Cosmic Log
  5. all about nothing
  6. amazing adventures of a Mexican lost in the UK
  7. Angry Chad
  8. Anonymous Blogger
  9. Another Monkey
  11. astropoet
  12. The Atari Thief
  13. The Atheist Experience
  14. AXINAR
  15. B and B
  16. The Bean Mines
  17. Bill Humphries @ More Like This WebLog
  18. A Blog Around the Clock
  19. Blogging Brande
  20. Blogsam and Jetsam
  21. Bob Glickstein @ gee bobg
  22. bodhisattva mama
  23. bOING bOING
  24. Bondknowledge
  25. box of nailsannouncement
  26. Bram Boroson
  27. Bread and Circuses
  28. Brent Rasmussen @ Unscrewing the Inscrutable
  29. Brian Fies @ Mom's Cancer Blog
  30. Brian Flemming
  31. Brianna @ Random Access Babble
  32. Byzantium's Shores
  33. candleblog
  34. Carbonfish
  35. Categorical Aperitif
  36. Centauri Dreams
  37. Chiva Congelado @ Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.
  38. Chris Darwin @ CAS News
  39. Chris Hallquist @ The Uncredible Hallq
  40. Cigarettes and Coffee
  41. Clinky the Boy Robot
  42. Cocktail Party Physics
  43. cognitive dissident
  44. Comics Comics
  45. Cornell Mushroom Blog
  46. Cosmic Log
  47. Cowboy Office: Look Again at that Dot
  48. Coyote Mercury
  49. Cumbrian Sky
  50. Daniel Fischer
  51. Darwin's Dagger: The Dragon in My Garage
  52. dr. dave @ second order approximation...
  53. Dave Pearson @ davep's astronomy
  54. DeafScribe
  55. Dean W. Armstrong
  56. Decrepit Old Fool
  57. Deep Sea News
  58. De Magno Opere
  59. Denise @ Fast Times at Homeschool High
  60. Dick Stafford @ Dick's Rocket Dungeonannouncement
  61. DocBug
  62. Donald Ritchie @ blather blog
  63. dr. dave @ second order approximation...
  65. Dubhsidhe Studios
  66. Elayne Riggs
  67. Eric Baerren @ among the trees
  68. The Esoteric Science Resource Center: here, here, and here
  69. Essentialsaltes
  70. The Evil Eyebrow
  71. Ex Patria
  72. Extended Phenotype here, here, and here
  73. forcarl
  74. Frank Wu
  75. Freyburg
  76. Full Frontal Skepticism
  77. Garrett Fitzgerald
  78. geek counterpoint
  79. Getting Things Done in Academia
  80. Glen McKay @ Skeptic in Qatar
  81. the gookins dot net
  82. Govar; also pre-blog-a-thon here
  83. The Greenbelt
  84. Hal Rager @ blivet 2.0
  85. Hanging By My Tale: Sagan in 100, non-repeated words
  86. Hate Life, Will Travel
  87. Hemant Mehta @ Friendly Atheist: interview with Jerry Lieberman about the Carl Sagan Academyannouncement
  88. Hoshichan
  89. Humanaturalism
  90. hyper-textual ontology
  91. The Indigestible
  92. It's All Just a Bunch of Rhubarb
  93. Ivory Sanctuary
  94. J. Alan Erwine
  95. James Curbo's Weblog
  96. James Hrynyshyn @ The Island of Doubt
  97. James Nicoll
  98. Jane Shevtsov @ Perceiving Wholes
  99. jason @ xenogere
  100. Jason Bennion @ Simple Tricks and Nonsense
  101. Javier Pazos @ The Science Pundit
  102. J. Carter Wood @ Obscene Desserts
  103. Jeff Clark @ Neoformix
  104. Jessica Beagan @ Icon
  105. Jewish Atheist
  106. Joe Decker @ Pictures at an Exhibitionist
  107. Joe Shelby @ Dude! Joe's Jottings, Mostly Junk
  108. John J. McKay
  109. John Pieret @ Thoughts in a Haystack
  110. John Pritzlaff
  111. John Scalzi @ Whatever
  112. jokermage
  113. Jonathan Korman @ Miniver Cheevy
  114. Joseph Bloch @ Posthumanity Rising
  115. Joseph Von Hoven @ Complicated Visionary
  116. JTony.Com
  117. Kali Amanda Browne @ Kali's Temple of Doom: here and here
  118. Kat Minnaar
  119. Kellie Hazell @ Me, My Muse, and Iannouncement
  120. Kelly Garbato
  121. Ke Nan (author of the China News Daily story)
  122. The Kentucky Mountain Girl News
  123. Kevin @ The Public Me
  124. Kevin Doxstater @ Natural Visions here and here
  125. Kip Esquire @ A Stitch in Haste
  126. knobody
  127. Kratzen vom Rathaus
  128. Kuwaiti Demon
  129. Lars J. Nilsson @ The Ironism
  130. the last visible blog
  131. Laura Woodmansee
  132. Laurel & Hardy
  133. Laurence A. Moran @ Sandwalk
  134. Lauren McLaughlin @ Liquid Logic
  135. Lean Left
  136. LoLife
  137. The Lone Raver
  138. Lost in Translation
  139. Lunar Obverse here, here, here, and here
  140. man descending
  141. Marva Dasef
  142. Matt Arnold
  143. Matt Dinniman @ Fireflies in the Cloud
  144. Matt Dowling @ Ontogeny
  145. Matt Metcalf @ Sufficiently Advanced
  146. Melinda Wenner @ She Blinded Me With Science!
  147. Merrie Haskell @ A Writer's Paradise
  148. Mez @ Hello Cruel World
  149. Michael Hiebert @ my new cardboard box
  150. Middle America Progressive
  151. Migrations
  152. Morrow Planet
  153. Mostly Dogs
  154. Musical Perceptions
  155. Music of the Spheres
  156. Neil McDonnell @ Neil's Comments
  157. NetCogito
  158. The Neurophilosopher’s weblog
  159. Nik's Saga
  160. No More Mr. Nice Guy
  161. Ouroboros
  162. Paper Cranium
  163. Paul Fidalgo , mirrored here
  164. Paul Levinson here and here
  165. Paul Vallee
  166. Perfect Duluth Day
  167. Phil Plait @ Bad Astronomy Blog: What I Learned from Carl Saganannouncement
  168. Phil Smith @ Astrazoic
  169. Physics Blog
  170. pinstripe_bindi
  171. Podcasting News
  172. Purpletigron
  173. P. Z. Myers @ Pharyngula
  174. Quartz City
  175. randall
  176. red right hand
  177. Respectful Insolence; also Carl Sagan Skeptic's Circle
  178. Rich Blundell @ Omniscopic
  179. Ritchie Annand @ Output Stream of Consciousness
  180. Robespierre @ Plantimal Express
  181. Ruben Martinez @ Automatic human behavior
  182. Sam Harrelson
  183. ScienceBase
  184. Seed Magazine's Daily Zeitgeist
  185. ShanMonster
  186. Shaun Cronin @ Larvatus Prodeo
  187. Silmaril
  188. skepchick
  189. Skeptic Friends Network forum thread
  190. Slacker Astronomy
  191. The SpaceWriter
  192. Stephen Frug @ Attempts
  193. Steve Gimbel @ Philosophers' Playground
  194. Steve Lacey @ Random Thoughts
  195. Steve Novoselac
  196. Summer Snow
  197. Susan A. Kitchens @ 2020 Hindsight
  198. Swank Chambers
  199. Sylvain Duford
  200. Tangled Up In Blue Guy
  201. Teacher Dude
  202. Things I Find Important
  203. ThinkingMeat
  204. Thomas Fortenberry
  205. Thomma Lyn @ Tennessee Text Wrestling here, here, and here
  206. Thy Fearful Symmetry
  207. timeladyannouncement
  208. TimeTunnel
  209. Tits McGee
  210. Tobias Buckell here and here
  211. Today in Alternate History
  212. too many tribbles
  213. too much time on his hands...
  214. t3knomanser
  215. Universe Today
  216. Wandering Space
  217. Wilfred Drew @ Baby Boomer Librarian
  218. Wil Wheaton
  219. Wis[s]e Words
  220. witches and scientists here and here
  221. wongaBlog
  222. Yet another timesink
  223. Zeno @ Halfway There: The Unknown Sagan, also here
  224. Zeolite @ Blurp

Posts in other languages:

  1. El friki català
  1. Remainder Book
  1. Astroblogs
  2. Tomaso @ de Volkskrant
  3. Sereniteit
  1. L'Agence Science-Presse
  2. Culture des futurs
  1. andy69
  1. Amedeo Balbi @ Keplero
  1. O Bule Orbital
  2. Helder Sanches
  3. A Lâmpada Mágica
  4. Liberdade na era tecnológica
  5. Olho e meio
  6. Que Treta / That's BS! (Portugese and English)
  7. Random Precision
  8. Roberto Tietzmann @ Bloquinho de notas
  1. Клуб научных журналистов
  1. AutomaticJack
  2. La Biblioteca de Babel
  3. big logger
  4. Ciencia de bolsillo
  5. Culo de Mal Asiento
  6. El contemplador azul
  7. David Garcia Perez
  8. En la Espera
  9. La Habitacion Cerrada
  10. Mendigo
  11. El paraíso de los gansos
  12. Por la Boca Muere el Pez
  13. pospost
  14. Punto Tecnologico
  15. Quiero mi Bocadillo
  16. Refugio Antiaéreo
  17. RomRod
  18. TauZero
  19. Tierra Chunga
  20. trackrecord
  21. Zooglea

Monday, December 18, 2006

Stephen Jay Gould

Recently, I found out that some choice Stephen Jay Gould essays from The New York Review of Books are free online at the magazine's website (hat tip to 2xSlick on the agony booth forum). One is the first Gould essay I ever read, "Dinomania" (1993, also in the then-new collection Dinosaur in a Haystack), where he deals with the Jurassic Park phenomenon, and in particular takes the movie version to task dumbing down some of the themes of the book. Another is "The Streak of Streaks" (1988, also in the collection Bully for Brontosaurus) about Joe DiMaggio's hitting record, with Gould's memorable account of his personal encounter with his sports hero when his father caught a ball from DiMaggio.

So, to complement the many bloggers who are posting anecdotes and memories of Sagan for the Sagan blog-a-thon, I'll describe my own memories of meeting with Sagan's friend and fellow science writer Gould, who also died far too young (Sagan would be 72 today, Gould 65).

The time was fall 2000, when I was entering my first semester at NYU and Gould's essay column was still running every month in Natural History magazine. Like Gould's father catching DiMaggio's baseball, I had the unexpected luck of getting into Gould's class "Reading Darwin". During that semester, he had decided to try something different and teach a class for freshmen, with a small class size and a discussion-oriented format, about The Origin of Species which would deal with the literary and historical as well as the scientific aspect of Darwin's book. Even more unusual was that a few of the classes were held at his apartment in SoHo, which was also the studio of his wife, artist Rhonda Roland Shearer.

In addition to reading Origin chapter-by-chapter and discussing it, students had to write a term paper that dealt with some issue connected to the book. For my paper, I compared the theory of evolution as developed in Origin to the nascent field of artificial life, in which the evolutionary process is simulated on computers; I used Steven Levy's pre-iPod-era book about the field, Artificial Life: A Report from the Frontier Where Computers Meet Biology. I hoped to show that not only was the approach of computational simulation a valid way of learning about evolution, but that it could fill in some of the weaknesses of the theory of Darwin's book. Gould had some fun with his comments on the paper; for instance, when I inadvertently used the word "good" three times in a few sentences, he quipped "too much of a good thing".

I never saw Gould after the class; I thought I might, never suspecting he'd be with us for less than two more years.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Sagan stuff that isn't on the web

I realized I should complement this list with one of notable current Sagan stuff that isn't online.

The big news is the new book The Varieties of Scientific Experience, based on rediscovered transcripts of Sagan's 1985 Gifford Lectures edited by Ann Druyan.

Look for Sagan stuff in the latest issues of The Planetary Report and Skeptical Inquirer.

On the 20th, there will be a memorial dinner in Dallas, Texas.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Sagan stuff from around the web

As inspiration for your blog-a-thon post, here's a collection of cool stuff related to Carl Sagan that's available online.

A 1994 CSICOP keynote by Sagan on Point of Inquiry, together with a new interview with Ann Druyan. A transcript of the keynote's Q&A session was rediscovered and published in Skeptical Inquirer magazine in 2005.

Ann Druyan also discusses Carl in an interview by Skeptic magazine's Michael Shermer.

A NASA video of a 1972 panel on extraterrestrial life, also featuring Ashley Montagu.

Carl Sagan on Charlie Rose in 1995 and 1996.

Carl Sagan on MySpace.

The website and blog of Carl's son, science fiction writer Nick Sagan.

The website of Don Davis, space artist who illustrated such Sagan works as Cosmos and The Dragons of Eden; including his memories of Sagan.