NASA official takes oath of office with hand on Carl Sagan book

Originally published at: NASA official takes oath of office with hand on Carl Sagan book | Boing Boing


Thank Sagan for that.


Well this should be good for another round of “christian” right-wingers going on TV to explicitly contradict one of Jesus’s very few direct commands.


Looks like Pale Blue Dot. An excellent choice for the occasion.

Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there–on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

— Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994


Happy Abc GIF by The Bachelorette


:smiling_face_with_tear: :smiling_face_with_tear: :smiling_face_with_tear:


The Venn diagram of those christian right-wingers and flat-earthers, who would also object to Carl Sagan’s work, has got to have a pretty significant overlap.


:clap: :clap: :clap:


Or they’ll lock up, as in that amazing clip where Roy Moore’s “brain” buffers for a solid 10 seconds when he hears you don’t have to use a Bible.


That’s not Roy Moore himself, but his equally clueless campaign manager Ted Crockett. Still, this is an absolutely delightful clip even if it’s a mixture of hilarity and pain to watch.


Yep. Just think how they’d react if they found out Sagan was a major pothead.


… interesting how Sagan managed to become the most famous astronomer of his generation based not on his skill with a telescope but on his mojo as a lobbyist and a poet :thinking:

It wasn’t the first time—he was an early advocate for including cameras on space probes back when the establishment somehow thought that was a waste of resources

obviously, taking pictures with space probes is a form of astronomy


Wait until MAGA gets a load of this. They’ll call for her to be fired.


Happy New Year GIF by HBO


Not Demon Haunted World, but I will take it!


Why does someone starting a new job need to swear an oath?
Seems a bit weird to me.


All employees of the Federal goverment have to be sworn in when they start work. It’s the same oath for everyone except the President, from a mail carrier to the Secretary of State.

For most people it’s just taken in an office (or, these days, on a video call) with an HR person to witness it rather than being a public ceremony, and you don’t need to put your hand on any book.


Thanks for the explanation. It doesn’t really explain why though.


It’s done because it’s a requirement of federal employees by the constitution.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

Article VI, Clause 3.


Oh thanks, that explains it. Still seems odd to me though.