Carl Sagan

On this day in 1996 one of the greatest communicators of science passed away. Not only was he a great communicator of science but he refused to allow the subjects he talked about to be divorced from the social context in which science ‘happens’. This is extremely clear in his book The Pale Blue Dot in which he talks about capturing an image of the planet Earth, our home, from millions of miles away and what that image means.

A pertinent message and one so needed now as it was when he wrote that book. Nationalism, racism sexism and all things that seek to separate and weaken us are absurd when seen on the real, cosmic scale. After all what matter where you were born, why is being born in the UK, or anywhere else for that matter, something special? What is truly special is that the atoms that make up your body were fused in the heart of a star that then exploded seeding the building blocks of life into the universe. And the same is true for every single being on this planet, for the planet itself, and for all matter in the universe. Now that’s special and it unites us all.

What Makes Britain ‘Great’?

I’ve just been made aware of the poster campaign to remind us what makes Britain ‘great’.  Seriously? First off Britain has the lowest quality of life in Europe. Secondly? WTF??? This is a poster campaign designed to stir feelings of national pride with regards the fact that we have, through mere happenstance(and our parents doing the nasty), been born on a largish island off the north coast of Europe.

Which is pretty daft at best.

But to have a campaign that has as its central premise a misunderstanding of what the country you are supposed to be feeling proud in is called is the height of insanity!

Can’t these people even be bothered to check wiki-sodding-pedia before spreading their pish?

After the Old English period, Britain was used as a historical term only. Geoffrey of Monmouth in his pseudohistorical Historia Regum Britanniae (c. 1136) refers to the island of Great Britain as Britannia major (“Greater Britain”), to distinguish it from Britannia minor (“Lesser Britain”), the continental region which approximates to modern Brittany.