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(io9)   1976 letter from Neil DeGrasse Tyson to Carl Sagan inspires billions and billions of nerdgasms   (io9.com) divider line 42
    More: Interesting, Neil deGrasse, Carl Sagan, letters  
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3537 clicks; posted to Geek » on 03 Feb 2014 at 5:57 PM (24 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



42 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2014-02-03 04:14:39 PM
io9, the one, very, very small, very occasional bright spot in the Gawker empire.
 
2014-02-03 04:18:15 PM
He chose Boston over Ithaca? He missed out on Dimey's!!!
 
2014-02-03 04:41:37 PM
I'm curious what the typewriter was...if it was done on a early word processor with a daisy wheel printer or a IBM Selectric with the interchangeable fonts. Most type writers in 1976 didn't do helveltica but some had wheels or balls that could be changed out; either way, it was a state of the art machine.
 
2014-02-03 04:45:41 PM
What's supposed to be interesting?  It looks like just a cordial letter of no particular consequence.
 
2014-02-03 04:56:28 PM

Because People in power are Stupid: He chose Boston over Ithaca? He missed out on Dimey's!!!


If he went back and forth he could have stopped at Brooks.
 
2014-02-03 05:13:52 PM

nekom: What's supposed to be interesting?  It looks like just a cordial letter of no particular consequence.


My friend, you fail to realize the space-time continuum and the resulting parallel universes where Akamai keeps the NSA in check and geeks everywhere are cool.
 
2014-02-03 05:23:20 PM

nekom: What's supposed to be interesting?  It looks like just a cordial letter of no particular consequence.


Sagan started the television series Cosmos, the new updated Cosmos starts next month with Tyson as the host, a role that made Sagan a household word.
So, it's interesting as in a "student becomes the teacher" type of way.
 
2014-02-03 05:55:11 PM

optikeye: I'm curious what the typewriter was...if it was done on a early word processor with a daisy wheel printer or a IBM Selectric with the interchangeable fonts. Most type writers in 1976 didn't do helveltica but some had wheels or balls that could be changed out; either way, it was a state of the art machine.


Wow. You just outgeeked the geek article.

Bravo, Sir. I am in awe. I dub the King of the Nerds.www.nestlefamily.com
 
2014-02-03 05:57:34 PM

optikeye: I'm curious what the typewriter was...if it was done on a early word processor with a daisy wheel printer or a IBM Selectric with the interchangeable fonts. Most type writers in 1976 didn't do helveltica but some had wheels or balls that could be changed out; either way, it was a state of the art machine.


I don't think it was done on a word processor. Note the mistake he corrected in pencil (though I can't make out what word he was intending to use).
 
2014-02-03 06:10:39 PM

fusillade762: don't think it was done on a word processor. Note the mistake he corrected in pencil (though I can't make out what word he was intending to use).


have
 
2014-02-03 06:10:45 PM
fusillade762:
I don't think it was done on a word processor. Note the mistake he corrected in pencil (though I can't make out what word he was intending to use).

He inserted the word "have".
 
2014-02-03 06:15:30 PM
OMG I love black science man!
 
2014-02-03 06:18:37 PM

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: io9, the one, very, very small, very occasional bright spot in the Gawker empire.


It gets a lot of shiat, but I also kind of like it as a good place to kill time by checking out fantasy, sci-fi, and science news. There is some general Gawker suckiness, especially with the commenting system, but they generally have some good info pulled from other places, they have some fun episode recaps and movie reviews (especially of bad shows and movies), and Charlie Jane Anders are Hugo award winners so she knows her sci-fi. Compared to something like Gizmodo, it is actually really good, although I kind of wish some of their better staff would head over to the news site The Verge folk are working on, because when it comes to tech news The Verge is 1000 times better than the stuff Gizmodo craps out (plus the site is just so much better looking and easier to use).
 
2014-02-03 06:23:54 PM
I'm not saying this is the most fascinating link I've ever submitted, but when people are in here arguing about whether NGT typed it on a daisy-wheel typewriter things have gone too far.  This thread is now about Carl Sagan holding a light saber aloft while riding on a velociraptor.

31.media.tumblr.com

Or it can be about string theory, or the existence of the multiverse, or pretty much anything other than daisy wheel typewriters.

/subby, obviously
//I knew it wasn't a particular interesting letter.  Sorry
 
2014-02-03 06:30:59 PM

optikeye: if it was done on a early word processor with a daisy wheel printer or a IBM Selectric with the interchangeable fonts.


Not a lot of word processors in 1976 - you could however change the type ball on an IBM selectric to use different font styles.

If you ever get a chance to see him speak live - DO IT.  Here's my trophy of said occasion.

scontent-b-sjc.xx.fbcdn.net
 
2014-02-03 06:33:59 PM

optikeye: I'm curious what the typewriter was...if it was done on a early word processor with a daisy wheel printer or a IBM Selectric with the interchangeable fonts. Most type writers in 1976 didn't do helveltica but some had wheels or balls that could be changed out; either way, it was a state of the art machine.


Obvious it must have been a forgery then. Because what I learned from the Bush military/Dan Rather scandal if there could of been only one specific type writer that could of made it,it was impossible for it to have been made!

/Not sure how multiple type writers make a letter. Usually to my knowledge people would use one to make one but that was the "logic".
 
2014-02-03 06:39:17 PM
i.imgur.com
 
2014-02-03 06:51:17 PM

enry: Because People in power are Stupid: He chose Boston over Ithaca? He missed out on Dimey's!!!

If he went back and forth he could have stopped at Brooks.


This !
 
2014-02-03 07:01:46 PM

Pelvic Splanchnic Ganglion: fusillade762:
I don't think it was done on a word processor. Note the mistake he corrected in pencil (though I can't make out what word he was intending to use).

He inserted the word "have".


I mean...if I'm writing a letter like that to a person like that and I fark it up, I'm typing that whole thing over. It was only a few sentences.
 
2014-02-03 07:05:45 PM

OneFretAway: I'm not saying this is the most fascinating link I've ever submitted, but when people are in here arguing about whether NGT typed it on a daisy-wheel typewriter things have gone too far.  This thread is now about Carl Sagan holding a light saber aloft while riding on a velociraptor.

[31.media.tumblr.com image 500x636]

Or it can be about string theory, or the existence of the multiverse, or pretty much anything other than daisy wheel typewriters.

/subby, obviously
//I knew it wasn't a particular interesting letter.  Sorry


Daisy wheels were moderately noisy and very slow.  They were not uncommon in printers as well as typewriters.  They were actually rather upscale at the time and high quality, when the main alternatives were traditional striking keys, teletype balls, and early even uglier dot matrix.  Wonder how busy he must have been not to re-write it to accommodate his typo.  Wasn't Sagan big enough at the time to warrant it?

/what did you expect us to talk about/analyze

/I liked the letter, thanks
/I tho

/what did you expect us to talk abo
 
2014-02-03 07:08:48 PM

Doktor_Zhivago: [i.imgur.com image 500x399]


Rule 34 continues to lord over the internet.
 
2014-02-03 07:11:58 PM

nekom: What's supposed to be interesting?  It looks like just a cordial letter of no particular consequence.


www.danielyerelian.com
 
2014-02-03 07:40:26 PM

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: io9, the one, very, very small, very occasional bright spot in the Gawker empire.


That's what I always say, until I remember that you can still usually find the same information elsewhere, even if io9 has an original article to go with it.
 
2014-02-03 07:49:11 PM
The way some of you fawn over the guy, I'm starting to think you all want him to explain the scientific principles involved when you shoot a load in his hair.
 
2014-02-03 08:09:14 PM

OneFretAway: I'm not saying this is the most fascinating link I've ever submitted, but when people are in here arguing about whether NGT typed it on a daisy-wheel typewriter things have gone too far.  This thread is now about Carl Sagan holding a light saber aloft while riding on a velociraptor.

[31.media.tumblr.com image 500x636]

Or it can be about string theory, or the existence of the multiverse, or pretty much anything other than daisy wheel typewriters.

/subby, obviously
//I knew it wasn't a particular interesting letter.  Sorry


Actually going by that pic I'd say he's got a Schwartz ring like from Spaceballs. A bit bulky to be sure, but he doesn't appear to be holding anything in his hand, and lightsaber handles are big. They have to be to hold the focusing crystals, plasma generator and the force field generator.
 
2014-02-03 08:13:04 PM
Back while Sagan was alive, Pluto was still a planet. Now I am become Tyson, the destroyer of worlds.
 
2014-02-03 08:32:06 PM
optikeye:
Sagan started the television series Cosmos, the new updated Cosmos starts next month with Tyson as the host, a role that made Sagan a household word.
So, it's interesting as in a "student becomes the teacher" type of way.


Yes, I'm well aware of that.  I thing NdGT is awesome and eagerly await the reboot.  But unless you're a biographer of his, this is pretty mundane stuff.
 
2014-02-03 08:37:46 PM

WorkingInParadise: Back while Sagan was alive, Pluto was still a planet. Now I am become Tyson, the destroyer of worlds.


At one time, Earth wasn't a planet.
 
2014-02-03 09:12:37 PM

ArcadianRefugee: WorkingInParadise: Back while Sagan was alive, Pluto was still a planet. Now I am become Tyson, the destroyer of worlds.

At one time, Earth wasn't a planet.


Uh.  What?
 
2014-02-03 09:19:00 PM

Far Cough: ArcadianRefugee: WorkingInParadise: Back while Sagan was alive, Pluto was still a planet. Now I am become Tyson, the destroyer of worlds.

At one time, Earth wasn't a planet.

Uh.  What?


Yup, the Earth hasn't always existed.
 
2014-02-03 09:45:36 PM

max_pooper: Far Cough: ArcadianRefugee: WorkingInParadise: Back while Sagan was alive, Pluto was still a planet. Now I am become Tyson, the destroyer of worlds.

At one time, Earth wasn't a planet.

Uh.  What?

Yup, the Earth hasn't always existed.


Technically correct, but that's like over 6,000 years ago
 
2014-02-03 09:59:19 PM
That letter was from "The Seth MacFarlane Collection of the Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan Archive". How freakin cool is that!!!  If you're going to make MacFarlane levels of money, that's a very cool thing to start collecting.
 
2014-02-03 10:17:30 PM

ZeroCorpse: The way some of you fawn over the guy, I'm starting to think you all want him to explain the scientific principles involved when you shoot a load in his hair.


Now THAT'S funny. And I agree 110%.

I'll bet Tyson would shiat himself trying to explain 110%.
 
2014-02-03 10:38:07 PM

Aquapope: That letter was from "The Seth MacFarlane Collection of the Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan Archive". How freakin cool is that!!!  If you're going to make MacFarlane levels of money, that's a very cool thing to start collecting.


This.
 
2014-02-03 10:51:12 PM
When I was 9 my family moved to upstate NY (1978). By 1980 I was totally geeked out on astronomy and physics. I was checking the mailbox daily around the first of the month to see if Astronomy magazine had arrived with the latest pictures from the Voyager missions, I did reports on supersymmetry in 5th grade, and Cosmos was my favorite TV show. All this while living an hour from Cornell. Why my parents didn't suggest I write a letter to Sagan I don't know. I don't even think I knew he lived and worked so close. Even a 'thanks for the letter' letter might have spurred me on further.

I still geek out on this stuff, but I've been a musician most of the last 25 years. I suppose my life could have been very different.
 
2014-02-03 10:59:15 PM

Aquapope: That letter was from "The Seth MacFarlane Collection of the Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan Archive". How freakin cool is that!!!  If you're going to make MacFarlane levels of money, that's a very cool thing to start collecting.


Yup, the guy that does fart jokes and pop culture stick is a huge science nerd.  Also a life long trekkie:

www.startrek.com

/Guy is smarter than his material
//Probably would be a great nuTrek series show runner
 
2014-02-03 11:07:15 PM
img.fark.net
 
2014-02-04 02:48:22 AM

max_pooper: Far Cough: ArcadianRefugee: WorkingInParadise: Back while Sagan was alive, Pluto was still a planet. Now I am become Tyson, the destroyer of worlds.

At one time, Earth wasn't a planet.

Uh.  What?

Yup, the Earth hasn't always existed.


HERESY!
 
2014-02-04 03:33:16 AM

OneFretAway: I'm not saying this is the most fascinating link I've ever submitted, but when people are in here arguing about whether NGT typed it on a daisy-wheel typewriter things have gone too far.  This thread is now about Carl Sagan holding a light saber aloft while riding on a velociraptor.

[31.media.tumblr.com image 500x636]

Or it can be about string theory, or the existence of the multiverse, or pretty much anything other than daisy wheel typewriters.

/subby, obviously
//I knew it wasn't a particular interesting letter.  Sorry


My dear sir, that is clearly Utahraptor, not Velociraptor
//slinks off into corner
//is still irritated by the Jurassic Park renditions of Velociraptor
 
2014-02-04 03:56:31 AM

fusillade762: max_pooper: Far Cough: ArcadianRefugee: WorkingInParadise: Back while Sagan was alive, Pluto was still a planet. Now I am become Tyson, the destroyer of worlds.

At one time, Earth wasn't a planet.

Uh.  What?

Yup, the Earth hasn't always existed.

HERESY!


Only if your bible was missing the first page.  Let me guess, you spend Sundays hoping didn't you?
 
2014-02-04 07:50:59 AM

biatchqueen: My dear sir, that is clearly Utahraptor, not Velociraptor
//slinks off into corner
//is still irritated by the Jurassic Park renditions of Velociraptor


You're obviously correct.  Riding a velociraptor would be about as effective as riding a turkey, although lots more dangerous.  Thank's for keeping it real.
 
2014-02-05 07:55:44 AM

ZeroCorpse: ...the guy, I'm starting to...want...to...shoot a load in his hair.

 
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