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14 February 2011

Happy VD

In case anyone somehow managed to forget, today is Valentine's Day.  A made up holiday that is meant to commercialize and even in some ways cheapen the experience of love.  Hollywood and the media has turrned relationships into some sort of charicature that is unrealistic and totally unattainable.  Being married for almost 19 years at this point, I can attest to the fact that it takes committment, work, endurance, and a whole lot of effort to really make something work.  And it's never how you imagined it, even if you had realistic expectations.

That said, sometimes there seems to be some stories out there that just make you smile.  The story of Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan is one such story!
This is a love story. And, oddly enough, it starts with an interstellar space mission and a golden record.

Toward the end of the summer of '77, NASA launched two spacecraft as part of the Voyager Interstellar Mission. On board each craft was a golden record that included, among other things, the sound of a kiss, a mother's first words to her newborn child, music from all over the world, and greetings in 59 different languages. The spacecraft were designed to take close-up pictures of Jupiter and Saturn, then continue into the great expanse of space beyond our solar system. The records on board were meant to survive for a billion years, in the hope that some day, against enormous odds, they might cross paths with an alien civilization.

So how do you decide what to put on the ultimate mix tape of the human experience? What do you do if you have one shot at describing humanity to an unknown life form? That was the charge of Carl Sagan — astronomer, astrophysicist and famed popularizer of science. Of course, Sagan had a lot of help, including the creative director of the project, Ann Druyan.
"It was a chance to tell something of what life on Earth was like to beings of perhaps 1,000 million years from now," Druyan says. "If that didn't raise goose bumps, then you'd have to be made out of wood."

For Druyan, though, the summer of 1977 and the Voyager project carry a deeply personal meaning, too. It was during the Voyager project that she and Sagan fell in love.

01 February 2011

Taking a Little Break (And a bit of self promotion)

Sorry folks, gotta take a little break from blogging.  Have a couple of big projects that I am immersed in that will take away from my ability to blog for a few days.  In the meantime, I know this will get automatically pushed to my facebook page, so I have a couple of favours to ask of folks:

1.)  I have a LOLCats account (in case you hadn't noticed my Caturday facebook postings).  I am missing a thermometer from the Dr. Tiny Cat's Trauma Center collection.  Can someone send one my way?  I am LarianLeQuella over there, so I am easy to find.
2.)  For all my friends on facebook, if you feel so inclined, please follow this blog as well as the other blog I run:  And if you run a blog, please let me know, and I will be glad to add it to my blogroll.
2a.)  As a matter of fact, I am still looking for more contributors to the blog.  If you have a passion about education, particularly in regards to evolution and vaccines, please let me know, and I can add you to the list of contributors.
3.)  Go to and laugh at Billo.  I already posted about him, but this is another great smackdown.
4.)  Are you a Douglas Adams fan?
5.)  I will probably take some time to play Dark Age of Camelot.  Hey, it's my favorite game!  What's yours?
A.)  Feel free to leave comments.  I usually respond.
I.)  There is no item I.)
i.)  I did have to have an i.) because I wanted to post an ii.)
ii.)  I am actually setting this up to publish by itself.  I wrote this last night.

Okay, I am done.  See you in a few days.  Hopefully this weekend I can get to posting a few things (after I dig out from Snowpocalyps 2.0).