The death of author and scientist Arthur C Clarke this week produced some excellent responses to his life and work in the media and in blogs across the world, including this one by WorldByStorm at the Cedar Lounge. Although there was also, I’d suggest, one not-so-excellent response in the New York Times to Clarke’s written directions for his funeral today, “Absolutely no religious rites of any kind, relating to any religious faith, should be associated with my funeral”. To me the NYT article reads like a by-now familiar attempt to re-entwine reason and religion and, in its final lines,
misses mis-presents the implications of the quote from Clarke, “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” ANYhoo.. Personally, while I enjoyed many of Clarke’s books I was more of an Asimov fan in my younger days, as well as a fan of The Stainless Steel Rat, and latterly, Terry Pratchett [new link] and Ian M Banks. Meanwhile, in a coincidental nod to Clarke, whose Sentinel in the 2001 novel originally transmitted a message towards Saturn rather than the 2001 film’s Jupiter, NASA revealed this week that the Cassini-Huygens probe has indicated that Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, may have both liquid water and organic molecules under a frozen surface. [Animation credit: NASA/JPL]
The above video is a NASA animation of Cassini’s approach to Saturn’s moon Titan revealing the suspected layering.
Here’s a previous post on Kubrick’s, and Clarke’s, 2001: A Space Odyssey – “My god, it’s full of stars”
And a repeat of this video in tribute. Enjoy.
Adds Another detailed biography here.
And another interesting post here