Posts Tagged: carl sagan

Regarding The War In Mali: Are Mali's Dogon People Really Aliens From Sirius?

"Suggestions that aliens from Sirius had imparted astronomical knowledge to the Dogon, created a modern myth and raised the tribe to cult status among UFO/ancient astronaut enthusiasts. Also, whites who rejected the African origins of mankind, could now claim their ancestors were from Sirius! As I have opined previously in this column, the whole Dogon business is hokum-perpetrated, perhaps, to help sustain the market for esoteric genre of books and film." —J.K. Obatala of Nigeria's The Guardian addresses the modern mythology of Mali's amazing Dogon people and their supposed ties to a race of fish-headed space monsters from a planetary system around Sirius B.


Fly Fishing The Universe

Part of a month-long series on terrible trips, great journeys and getting lost.


Voyager 1 Leaving Our Solar System To Infect Universe

The year 1977 is perhaps best remembered for a televised incident in September, when "a tube top-clad woman named Yolanda Bowsley is called into Contestant's Row on 'The Price is Right,' and while running down her breasts pop out of her shirt." But also that month, Voyager 1 launched from Cape Canaveral.

The awkward-looking collection of antennas, science instruments and a nuclear power supply has been zooming through space on its grand tour of the solar system for 35 years now. Its sister craft, Voyager 2, was launched two months earlier but took a slightly longer route on its way toward interstellar space. The Voyager missions are now [...]


The Frontier Is Everywhere

I have always been an amateur cosmologist at heart; the mathematical rigors of real physics have always bored and vexed me, but the conceptual ideas surrounding our universe are, well, more interesting than anything we could ever possibly invent ourselves. The trouble with storytelling is, I suppose, that all stories are like many other stories, and even the most extraordinary ones are so familiar that, by all rights, we shouldn't ever be in awe of them. Still, what seems the most pedestrian, the most quotidien, the most mundane has, somewhere in it, the threads of the fantastic. No matter how dull a life and its story seem, it is, [...]


The NASA Scientist Who Answers Your 2012 Apocalypse Emails

In his day job, Dr. David Morrison is the senior scientist at NASA's Astrobiology Institute in the Ames Research Center in California. There he specializes in asteroid impact, terrestrial defense from same, planetary exploration and the search for extraterrestrial life. The asteroid 2410 Morrison was named in his honor because "his research into the infrared radiometric properties of asteroids has been fundamental in revealing the diversity of asteroid surface albedos and compositions."

In an extracurricular capacity, though, he's the closest thing that NASA has to an expert on the apocalypse.

For the past eight years Morrison has run the Ask an Astrobiologist feature on the [...]


Going Backwards: Jack White Releases Spacey YouTube Autotune Hit as a Single

Jack White is to be applauded for the way the he's handling his "I-can-do-whatever-the-fuck-I-want" status atop the contemporary rocker scene. The three bands, the conservationist record label, James Bond themes, high-art ultraviolent videos. And now, best of all, he's releasing as a 7-inch single the audio track of "A Glorious Dawn"-the odd, and oddly affecting, Youtube hit from composer John Boswell that mixes autotuned clips from Carl Sagan's 1980 PBS special Cosmos (plus special guest MC Stephen Hawking) over chillout-room trance beats. Pitchfork's report on the matter also informs us that White recently refused to sing vocals on a collaboration with former Guns n' Roses guitarist Slash. [...]