Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan and the Samurai Crabs

Legend has it that a variety of crabs contain the ghosts of a drowned samurai army -- and each bears a grimacing warrior face on their backs to prove it. But what can we really gather from this biological peculiarity? In the book and TV series “Cosmos,” Carl Sagan argued that it presented a case of artificial selection, but critics disagree. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick for a discussion of the Heikegani.

Space Music: We Are Star Dust, We Are Golden

In his mere 62 years on the planet, Carl Sagan proved himself an irreplaceable advocate of science and space exploration. His legacy lives on today in his beloved series "Cosmos: A Personal Voyage," as well as in everything from obnoxious t-shirts to action comics and Auto-Tune tracks. He remains something of a scientific saint. One of more famous nuggets of wisdom is probably this one, related to star stuff:

Blow Your Mind: Scientists in Love

Amazing, terrible and heartbreaking things can happen when scientists fall in love. In this episode, Robert and Julie discuss the cosmic courtship of Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan before diving into the atomic affairs of Marie and Pierre Curie. Whether you love tales of love and heartbreak or ruminations on the evolution of science, then Lauren Rednis' "Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout" may be the book for you. Julie and Robert discuss the book's fascinating real-life characters and the beautiful, terrifying science they obsessed over.

Space Music: Carl Sagan - "A Glorious Dawn"

In another installment of space music, I have to help spread the word about this marvelous audiovisual creation by John Boswell, AKA melodysheep of Color Pulse Music. What he's done here is take samples and footage from Carl Sagan's "Cosmos" and Stephen Hawking's "Universe" and mixed it all into a musical tribute. What might have come off as parody in the hands of a lesser artist really conveys a sense of cosmological awe and wonder.

Harvesting moon dust with nuclear weapons?

There's a lot of renewed pride and awe going around regarding the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing, but what if we'd explored an alternate method of collecting lunar samples and bringing them back home? What if we'd just lobbed an atomic bomb at the old ball of cheese and simply scooped up the debris with a net?