Carl Sagan


Two Cosmos hosts, one autograph…

This is the closest I’ll get to personally attaining the late Carl Sagan’s autograph.

While Nora and I were visiting the American Museum of Natural History, in New York City, we bumped into Neil deGrasse Tyson near the elevators. He was very cool and very casual.

I said, “I can’t believe we bumped into you like this!”
He said, “Well, I do work here…”

Luckily, I brought my leather-bound edition of Cosmos for just such an occasion. After filling Carl Sagan’s shoes as the host of the new Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey,  Neil deGrasse Tyson is the only man alive toady qualified to autograph this book, written by Sagan. He flipped through the book, whipped out a fountain pen of his own, and signed,

“Neil d Tyson
channling Carl”

Autographed: 11.18.2014
See photos from that day here.
Cosmos was originally published in 1980 as a companion to PBS television series.
My Easton Press edition was published in 2002.

Carl Sagan surely did not believe in channeling. In fact, he discusses the topic in his book The Demon-Haunted: Science as a Candle in the Dark (1995) [Chapter 13: Obsessed with Reality].
He discusses his personal views on death in his book, published the year after he died, Billions & Billions (1996) [Chapter 19: In the Valley of the Shadow]

Mr. Tyson, again, does not believe channeling. The quote is dripping with sarcasm.
Listen to Neil discuss pseudoscience on StarTalk, his podcast, here.


Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson
seeking knowledge, finding fame
the truth is out there

Written 1-15-2015
After seeing Neil deGrasse Tyson, at the Wilbur theatre in Boston, I ran to the stage and handed this haiku to him. Success. (I don’t think he recognized me from the elevators…)

Bill Nye

science guy Bill Nye
debating creationist
Ken Ham; seeking truth

Written: 2-4-2014
See the full debate here.
While seeing Bill Nye, at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston on 12-18-2014, I asked the audience to pass this haiku up to the stage. They did. He grabbed it, looked at it briefly, then slipped it in his front jacket pocket. Success.

On the law of gravity…

massless molasses
keeping it all together
I’m sticking with you

you’re the giant hands
that squeeze the sparkling tendrils
of star dust pie crust

born under your weight
and on the grandest of scales
I’ve always felt you

spacetime curvature
as always, bringing me down
a fact of matter

Written: 2014


I want to explore
the origin of nature
from the outside in

we have the privilege
black holes and revelations
to know our future

there was once a time
when the world was pocket sized
don’t think about it

“it’s the little things”
hot coffee & distant stars
a new day, new start

Written: 2014