(Click to Enbigger.)
Today is Carl Sagan’s 79th birthday and that’s as good an excuse as any to remember this remarkable man. Here’s a small piece of his wisdom from his 1987 CSICOP keynote address:
In science it often happens that scientists say, “You know that’s a really good argument; my position is mistaken,” and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn’t happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.
In honor of one of Sagan’s most famous quotes we made this Apple Pie. Feel free to share it! For more information visit the official website.
My family came back from visiting relatives in Houston. I stayed home (long story), worked and, as regular readers know, watched lots of movies. Amongst many trips, they visited the science museum and NASA. Knowing me well, they brought me lots of goodies.
I got a spiffy NASA Ballcap, the impressively titled and insanely interesting-looking book “Red Rover: Inside the Story of Robotic Space Exploration,
from Genesis to the Mars Rover Curiosity” and some Zombie stuff I’ll be covering over at MoreBrains.com.
One item, specifically picked out my daughter, was a four pack of “Great Scientist Finger Puppets“. Newton, Darwin, Curie and Einstein all for your fingering pleasure. They’ve also got magnetic heads if that’s your thing. I love them!
My one issue (click photo to embigger) is Marie Curie. She was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize (and remains the only person ever given awards across multiple sciences). She died from complications of radiation poisoning and expanded our horizons enormously. Yet her puppet form features horrific cheek flaps and a frog mouth.
Well, I’m sure they didn’t mean anything by it. I’ve already mounted the collection in a position of honor on the refrigerator. Thanks guys! I missed you bunches!
Sergio Albiac’s Stardust. An experiment in generative portraiture is providing free mosaic portraiture for a limited time. The results are generated, slowly but automatically, using a collection of images of stellar incubators captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. In the artist’s words:
As a theme for this series of portraits, I’ve choosen the concept of nucleosynthesis or the process of creation of new atomic nuclei from pre-existing matter that takes place at cosmic scale. We humans, are believed to be novel combinations of cosmic stardust. It could be argued that the whole universe is the biggest running generative art installation today. Personal beliefs will determine who we think the artist is.
Follow the provided instructions to give the project access to an appropriate image and a few days later a completed mosaic will be delivered. The following is a completed portrait of my daughter.
My daughter wanted a “Science Party” for her eleventh birthday and we did our best to accommodate! We did fake snot, Owl Pellets, Mentos and soda geysers and, the biggest hit, a whole big tub of Oobleck!
As is rightfully being reported everywhere the Curiosity Rover successfully touched down on Mars at 1:30am EST last night (my favorite coverage is at Bad Astronomy). In the spirit of the day (and with just a tiny bit of national snarkiness) I knocked this up to help show our pride:
Really China, it’s all in good fun!