Folks, I sat with some twenty people last night at the home of a good friend and watched the astonishing revival of Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos”.
Many months ago I’d mentioned to Neil DeGrasse Tyson that I thought it would be a proper gesture to recognize Carl's wonderful contributions to reason and truth in some appropriate way, but Dr. Tyson met and exceeded my most ambitious expectations in that regard.
I sat there with tears in my eyes as his tribute to Carl was delivered, as I'm sure millions across the country did. Surely there can be now be no doubt that the New Cosmos will continue to reinforce the cause of science in very much the way that Carl did, that skepticism about the nonsense which meets us at every turn in the commercial world to which – in particular – young people are exposed, will be extolled and encouraged, has now been met, and a new battlefield is before us. This program burst upon us like a fireworks display never before seen. I was transfixed, transported, and shaken as Dr. Tyson and the Fox network took us on this wonderful adventure.
Seeing – at last – the tragedy of Giordano Bruno recounted properly and without fear of demands for censorship from religious zealots, I was more than pleased. Mind you, I expect heavy reaction from the “other side” of rationality, but I have great confidence in Dr. Tyson’s ability to look past that bickering to even greater things that the New Cosmos will achieve.
Wow…! I hope that you, too, were pleased with this tour de force and that you’ll join me in dropping a note to Fox network. The premiere was shown on all Fox affiliates, as well as National Geographic, and National Geographic WILD. With Ann Druyan – Carl’s widow – and Seth MacFarlane in charge, how can it lose…!
Martin Rundkvist, speaker at TAM 5.5, archaeologist and friend of the JREF, spent some time with Randi during his European tour. He reports:
I spent Tuesday in the charming company of James Randi and his assistant, journalist Brandon Thorp. Myself and P.J. Råsmark had taken it upon ourselves to act as native guides and gophers for Randi during his days in Stockholm at the invitation of the Swedish Skeptics. So in the morning we went cane shopping together, though none of the canes we found were sufficiently antique-looking for our guest, and he seemed to manage effortlessly without one. And then we checked out the Vasa 17th century warship museum, since this is Stockholm's one truly unique attraction as far as I'm aware. (You'll recognise my M.O. from Massimo Polidoro's and Manuel Paz-y-Mino's visit a year ago.) Randi uses the Vasa, which sunk on its maiden voyage due to unrealistic royal demands incorporated into its design, as one of the test cases in his upcoming book Wrong!. In the afternoon there were interviews with Lars Björkvall of Vetenskap & Historia and Christer Sturmark of Humanisten, the latter periodical being a publication of the Swedish Humanist Association.
Next week, We'll be mailing out Flim-Flam! bumper stickers as a special thank you to all the new monthly donors who took a stand with us. I hope that we'll be sending one of these bumper stickers to you.
If you're still thinking about joining our monthly donor program, now is the time to sign up and Take a Stand for Skepticism.
In an effort to make our extensive video library available online free of charge, The James Randi Educational Foundation is posting high quality digital video lectures and sessions from previous Amaz!ng Meetings and other events on randi.org. Check back often to see the latest video content.
Tim Farley of What's the Harm?offers plenty of practical advice for effectively using the internet to advance the message of skepticism in the Web 2.0 world in this talk presented at the Amaz!ng Meeting 6.
Do not wait! Tickets are selling fast and registration prices will increase after March 31. We are expecting over 1,000 attendees again this year and if we fill up will be forced to close registration.