Using Pokémon to detect Scientific misinformation.
Long Reads: The technologies that could transform ageing. How Humans domesticated themselves. The future of the International Space Station. Did James Randi destroy skepticism? When Jerry Falwell Snr died, Hitchens said “If you gave him an enema he could be buried in a matchbox”. Yeah. Life during wartime in west Belfast. To end Sexual Abuse in Churches, dismantle Purity Culture.
This week I am reading this book: There Are Places in the World Where Rules Are Less Important Than Kindness by Carlo Rovelli (my favorite science writer).
The words of Ann Druyan on the death of her husband Carl Sagan. (see 2 links above).
“When my husband died, because he was so famous and known for not being a believer, many people would come up to me-it still sometimes happens-and ask me if Carl changed at the end and converted to a belief in an afterlife. They also frequently ask me if I think I will see him again. Carl faced his death with unflagging courage and never sought refuge in illusions.
The tragedy was that we knew we would never see each other again. I don’t ever expect to be reunited with Carl. But, the great thing is that when we were together, for nearly twenty years, we lived with a vivid appreciation of how brief and precious life is. We never trivialized the meaning of death by pretending it was anything other than a final parting. Every single moment that we were alive and we were together was miraculous-not miraculous in the sense of inexplicable or supernatural.
We knew we were beneficiaries of chance. . . . That pure chance could be so generous and so kind. . . . That we could find each other, as Carl wrote so beautifully in Cosmos, you know, in the vastness of space and the immensity of time. . . . That we could be together for twenty years.
That is something which sustains me and it’s much more meaningful. . The way he treated me and the way I treated him, the way we took care of each other and our family, while he lived. That is so much more important than the idea I will see him someday. I don’t think I’ll ever see Carl again. But I saw him. We saw each other. We found each other in the cosmos, and that was wonderful.”