Hello, everyone. I put together this brief channel update to share with you some bad news about the Carl Sagan Tribute Series, while also laying out some of my future plans for the MWM YouTube channel.

In a very real sense, the love shared between Ann Druyan and Carl Sagan is out of this world. In the newest episode of the Carl Sagan Tribute Series, Ann recalls how she and Carl fell in love. But this is no ordinary Valentine’s day love story. The Voyager spacecraft gave this love a transcendent character. Inscribed on the Voyager golden records, the love shared by Carl and Ann will persist for as long as these golden records remain intact.

But don’t take my word for it, let Ann explain

Anonymous asked
why does your website lack regular updating?

Thank you for your question.

I must apologize for having neglected this website over the last few months. I am currently working on a Master’s degree in Science and Technology Studies. The rigors of my programme unfortunately leaves me with very little spare time. That said, I am looking to produce some new content in the coming months. You will find, moreover, that our Facebook page is updated far more regularly than the website.

https://www.facebook.com/MilkyWayMusings

Cheers,

Callum C.J. Sutherland

Anonymous asked
Hello, I love the videos! I want to ask... Are we destroying ourselves with our numbers (human population) or is it simply a resource and space management issue? Also, I have heard scientists predict population numbers will peak and even begin to decline. I'm a skeptic of this prediction, I don't think people will stop having children unless food or other resources we depend on become scarce. That seems to be what happened in Eastern Europe to cause a population decline. Is the model correct?

Thank you for what is a very interesting question. Unfortunately, I am utterly unqualified to give you the answers you are looking for. What I will say is that to attribute something like this to a single cause (or set of causes) is inherently problematic.

You are right to be skeptical of any such predictions, because there are far too many variables involved to make any meaningful or productive predictions. We are really only able to affect change within our local democratic systems. What that change needs to be is another problem entirely.

Sorry for the non-answer, but I hope this helps you think about the question.

Best,

Callum C.J. Sutherland

Anonymous asked
What would you think of doing a tribute to the Voyager's Golden Record? It could include imagery and audio from the record itself forged by your gifted creative process. Just an idea. Thanks, Henry

Hi Henry,

I currently have no plans to do another Golden Record video. This video was intended to be that tribute:

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Anonymous asked
Have you had any experience with designing children's exhibits?

Some time ago I was working on a presentation for children called Star Dust. Unfortunately I have not had the time to complete it, nor to find an audience for the presentation. If you would like to use what I have so far, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Best,

Callum C.J. Sutherland

image

Anonymous asked
The Telos MP3 is down. Please put it back up it is my favorite by far! :-)

I will try to get the MP3 downloads back up in the coming months. Please be patient with me as the rigors of grad school has robbed me of all my free time.

Anonymous asked
Have you tried appealing the takedowns your videos have had? Do you have any tips on what the Internet community should note when producing new content so that it would stay online? I'd guess the possibility of a takedown is hindering the production of a lot of potential videos. Could you give your two cents about this whole copyright issue.

Thanks for the question.

I have not attempted to appeal any of the takedowns. I simply do not have the resources and (more importantly) the time to go through any appeals. While most of what we produce can be said to fall under ‘fair use’ regulations, it is nevertheless a legal grey area.

That said, you might notice that in my more recent videos I have attempted wherever possible to use copyright-free media. That is definitely the best approach to take, but it requires a little more effort.

I hope that answers your question

Anonymous asked
I have a talk show on a non-profit radio station, can I play your clips on my show?

First, sorry for the late answer.

Second, yes, absolutely you can. My permission is not needed for ‘fair use’ uses of any Milky Way Musings productions. Just provide credit where it is due (that is, direct people to the website or YouTube channel for more).

Cheers,

Callum C.J. Sutherland

Technology

The danger with technology is that with every decade, technology increases such that we posses the capability to do more harm to ourselves than ever before. Our respect for the planet, and our morale maturity must match the prowess of our inventions. - me

Carl Sagan once opined that “…science is a collaborative enterprise, spanning the generations. When it permits us to see the far side of some new horizon, we remember those who prepared the way, seeing for them also.”

In light of Curiosity’s successful landing on Mars, this proclamation is as relevant today as it ever was. Carl was at the vanguard of planetary exploration, having played a pivotal role in NASA’s Mariner, Viking, Voyager, and Galileo missions. More specifically, Carl, along with his contemporaries, revolutionized our understanding of the red planet during the Viking missions.

Carl recognized the limitations of the Viking lander because of its immobility, and highlighted the need for Mars rovers. Tragically, Carl died two weeks after Sojourner, the first Mars rover, began its trek towards the red planet. Where Sojourner was largely a proof-of-concept mission, the Curiosity rover, like Spirit and Opportunity before it, almost fully embodies Carl’s vision for robotic exploration on Mars.

So this video is for you, Carl. We remember you for preparing the way, and we are seeing for you also.

Due in part to those of you who levied constructive criticism at the original iteration of this video, I decided long ago to re-work it for a re-release. Here it is:

In The Edge of Forever, Carl Sagan discusses the origin and evolution of galaxies and our search for cosmological truth.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you what is perhaps the crowning achievement of the Milky Way Musings’ creative team: Cosmos - A Three-Movement Choral Suite by Kenley Kristofferson.

Over the course of a year, Kenley was inspired to write Cosmos using the words of Carl Sagan with the ultimate goal of synthesizing science and art to bring each of the two realms closer together than ever before. Under the watchful eye of Kenley, using the performance video provided by his videographers, we transformed this audio masterpiece into an audio-visual experience like no other. Sit back, relax, and enjoy.

Coming soon from Milky Way Musings: Kenley Kristofferson's Cosmos, a three-movement choral suite using the text of 20th-century astronomer and science popularizer, Carl Sagan.

Listen to the audio in advance of the release here: http://soundcloud.com/kenley-kristofferson/cosmos

What is a monumental scientific discovery without a &#8220;&#8230;walks into a&#8230;&#8221; joke?

What is a monumental scientific discovery without a “…walks into a…” joke?