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Seth MacFarlane Helps LOC Acquire Carl Sagan Papers

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the family-guy-still-not-funny dept.

News 135

dsinc writes with news of a but of altruism on the part Family Guy's creator. From the article: "Seth MacFarlane once included a gag on his animated TV comedy 'Family Guy' about an 'edited for rednecks' version of Carl Sagan's 'Cosmos,' featuring an animated Sagan dubbed over to say that the earth is 'hundreds and hundreds' of years old. Jokes aside, his admiration for Sagan runs deep. The Library of Congress announced Wednesday that, thanks to MacFarlane's generosity, it has acquired the personal papers of the late scientist and astronomer, who spoke to mass audiences about the mysteries of the universe and the origins of life. While MacFarlane never owned Sagan's papers, he covered the undisclosed costs of donating them to the library."

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135 comments

Deserves Praise (4, Insightful)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | about 2 years ago | (#40469809)

No matter what you think of Seth MacFarlane's body of work (early Family Guy is good, the rest is meh at best) he should be commended.

Re:Deserves Praise (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#40469849)

No matter what you think of Seth MacFarlane's body of work (early Family Guy is good, the rest is meh at best) he should be commended.

Always nice to see someone who makes their filthy lucre on Fox doing some good karma. ;o)

Re:Deserves Praise (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40470165)

Seth MacFarlane is a pothead and was once sexually molested by a dolphin.


Oh, wait, that was Carl Sagan.

Re:Deserves Praise (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40473289)

In all fairness, who amongst us hasn't been sexually molested by a dolphin? This is why I support the tuna industry. It's the To Catch a Predator of the sea.

Re:Deserves Praise (5, Interesting)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#40469911)

Personally, I don't really like his style of humor, and haven't been able to watch a full episode of Family Guy in a very long time. It's obvious, however, that he's a guy with a deep sense of personal morals and an appreciation for intellectual pursuits - even if his work doesn't often promote such things. This strikes me as just the sort of thing Seth MacFarlane would do. He has a particular ideological goal (that Sagan's works should be preserved and public), and will use any mechanism at his disposal to bring it to fruition.

Mr. MacFarlane, I find your characters disgusting, but your character impeccable. Well done.

Re:Deserves Praise (4, Insightful)

steelfood (895457) | about 2 years ago | (#40470641)

he's a guy with a deep sense of personal morals and an appreciation for intellectual pursuits - even if his work doesn't often promote such things

On the contrary. Family guy satires the lack of morals and intelligence. Not only that, but there are numerous gems spread across the show that hint at these qualities.

If you think Family Guy is only about some dumb family doing dumb shit (but with a brilliant baby and a smart dog), then you're not watching it correctly. The jokes may often appear to be off-color, but the humor isn't in the joke itself, but in the making of the joke.

I'd suggest you give it another shot, starting with some of the better episodes. Don't remember which ones off the top of my head, but I'm sure Google can solve that problem. Just beware of spoilers.

Re:Deserves Praise (4, Insightful)

The Mister Purple (2525152) | about 2 years ago | (#40470829)

I remember an episode where one of the characters made reference to Benjamin Disraeli. There is the obligatory cut to an animated Disraeli, who looks straight at the viewer and says, "You don't even know who I am." Beautiful!

Re:Deserves Praise (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#40470917)

I see that, and on the rare moments that the intellect shines through, it's brilliant... The rest of the time it's just irritating. I get it, Peter can belch to a tune. The first three notes were worth a chuckle. The rest of the symphony is overkill that exhausts my patience for the joke, even if the symphony itself is a beautiful piece.

Re:Deserves Praise (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | about 2 years ago | (#40472369)

Then you're missing the joke in a joke. It's not meant for you, obviously. Move along.

Re:Deserves Praise (1)

filthpickle (1199927) | about 2 years ago | (#40472881)

They routinely make fun of themselves for how much they will drive a joke into the ground. IMO the entire chicken fight stuff is them laughing at themselves for just how far they will go with that.

I don't dislike the show, but it's well down on the list.

Re:Deserves Praise (1)

Keen Anthony (762006) | about 2 years ago | (#40473343)

One of my favorite bits that comes up now and again started with Peter running home with his golden ticket, then falling on the sidewalk and gripping his ankle. He just rocks back and forth wincing and and gasping. The joke goes on longer than it should, and therein lies the humor.

Re:Deserves Praise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40473093)

No, we aren't. It simply isn't funny or clever.

Re:Deserves Praise (0)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | about 2 years ago | (#40471393)

he's a guy with a deep sense of personal morals and an appreciation for intellectual pursuits - even if his work doesn't often promote such things

On the contrary. Family guy satires the lack of morals and intelligence.

Isn't that like saying Jackass satires stupidity and Hip-hop videos ridicule our materialistic/sexist society?

You could watch them from that POV with your argument. With South Park it's obvious that people put some thought into the satire and try to convey a "moral lesson learned".

Re:Deserves Praise (3, Insightful)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | about 2 years ago | (#40472189)

With South Park it's obvious that people put some thought into the satire and try to convey a "moral lesson learned".

Too obvious, IMO.

Re:Deserves Praise (1)

Raenex (947668) | about 2 years ago | (#40471411)

I stopped watching after the episode where Stewie was seriously hurt, and instead of getting him to a hospital they kept on trying to cover it up until the whole thing turned into a dead baby sick-and-twisted animation. I put up with the Conway Twitty and other overly-long jokes ridiculousness, but that whole episode was repugnant without being funny at all.

Re:Deserves Praise (4, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 2 years ago | (#40471525)

I stopped watching after the episode where Stewie was seriously hurt, and instead of getting him to a hospital they kept on trying to cover it up until the whole thing turned into a dead baby sick-and-twisted animation.

On other words, you threw the bathwater out with the baby.

Re:Deserves Praise (2)

Kozz (7764) | about 2 years ago | (#40471609)

I put up with the Conway Twitty and other overly-long jokes ridiculousness...

The first time that Conway Twitty went on for more than a minute, I shut it off. It sort of felt like Seth was simply a masochist, relishing in the abuse of his audience. It just felt like, "Ha-ha, you're a fucktard to sit there and keep watching this, but I know you're gonna anyway". So I called his bluff.

Re:Deserves Praise (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | about 2 years ago | (#40472385)

Wow... you sure do put a lot of thought into how people around you want to do bad things to you, don't you?

Re:Deserves Praise (1)

Roachie (2180772) | about 2 years ago | (#40472419)

The Conway Twitty gag was the greatest coup in adult cartoon history.

"Hundreds and hundreds" of hip adolescents, of all ages, sitting around and ironically watching a `70s polyester country-western nightmare. "Huh? what the hell is the crap man?"

Re:Deserves Praise (0)

filthpickle (1199927) | about 2 years ago | (#40472961)

Yeah, I gotta agree with this. I think those Conway Twitty gags are hilarious.

Well before family guy existed there was an infomercial for some country and western hits compilation and his song "You've never been this far before" was on it. They showed him singing it, and it remains one of the creepiest things I have ever seen in my life. An OLD man, eyes closed singing a song about taking someone's virginity. I always wondered if that was the seed of the gag.

An aside....does anyone (some of them are probably posting in here) know any young people that watch the show, love it, and get almost NONE of the references the jokes are making?

Re:Deserves Praise (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about 2 years ago | (#40472451)

It sort of felt like Seth was simply a masochist, relishing in the abuse of his audience.

FYI, that's sadism. Masochism is what Seth would be into if he watched any of his own shows.

Re:Deserves Praise (1)

istartedi (132515) | about 2 years ago | (#40470953)

I feel the same way. It started out as regular humor, and quickly went to shock humor in cartoon form. Oddly enough, this seems to make a LOT of money for some people. Maybe executives have an affinity for this type of thing. How else do you explain Howard Stern?

At the end of the day, if you can make the suits laugh, it doesn't matter if viewers laugh. It only matters that viewers watch. Whether they are watching because they like it, or because they are making copius notes for the next PTA meeting is irrelevant. Go one step further, and all that really matters is that the suits think they're watching. If my machine tells your machine that I'm watching, the suits love that. It's like they're actually playing virtual skeeball with taxpayer dollars.

Re:Deserves Praise (4, Insightful)

FrootLoops (1817694) | about 2 years ago | (#40471531)

even if his work doesn't often promote such things [as personal morals and an appreciation for intellectual pursuits]

I don't think you've watched enough of it if to say that. Some counterexamples:
  * A Hero Sits Next Door [wikipedia.org]: a disabled guy gets added to the cast; Peter reacts badly at first but becomes friends later
  * If I'm Dyin', I'm Lyin' [wikipedia.org]: Peter starts a religion, Lois says it's wrong, God punishes him for his arrogance, Peter repents.
  * The Thin White Line [wikipedia.org]: Brian gets addicted to cocaine and eventually takes responsibility for it by going to rehab

Some of the MacFarlane characters are pretty much immune to personal responsibility considerations, but they're portrayed as highly unrealistic--eg. Stewie (Family Guy), Roger (American Dad), partly Quagmire (Family Guy). The more realistic characters often have strong moral centers--eg. Lois and usually Bryan (Family Guy)--and I think these are the ones you're expected to identify with. For instance, I'm reminded of Lois in You May Now Kiss the... Uh... Guy Who Receives [wikipedia.org]:

Lois Griffin: Wait a minute. Are you saying that two straight people who absolutely hate each other have more of a right to be married than gay people who love each other?!
Mrs. Pewterschmidt: Well, that's what we raised you to believe.

I'd say the audience is expected to identify with Lois and take her view on the matter, considering how poor the rebuttal is. The Carl Sagan bit is the same way, and there are numerous other examples where the audience is expected to take a particular (IMO good) stance.

Family Guy and American Dad morality is a mixed bag, though it's frequently (usually?) good if you throw out the unrealistic characters' lack of consequences. Intellectual pursuits really aren't promoted much though.

Re:Deserves Praise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40473771)

It's regurgitated pap that we've all heard a hundred times before from other sources. Watching Family Guy is like hanging out with that person who continually repeats the same life stories/drama every time you see them.

Re:Deserves Praise (1)

FrootLoops (1817694) | about 2 years ago | (#40474399)

Well, essentially all TV is regurgitated, so complaining about Family Guy in particular is kind of unfair. Plot lines, characters, settings, relationships, tones--all of it gets reused, which is of course the basis for tvtropes [tvtropes.org].

Family Guy, The Cleveland Show, American Dad are basically the same, and are very similar to The Simpsons, Bob's Burgers, and South Park
Friends, Big Bang Theory, Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond, The Nanny, Three's Company, ... ~= every other sitcom
Colbert Report ~= The Daily Show
Tosh.0 ~= The Soup
The Talk ~= The View
The Middle ~= Malcolm in the Middle
Star Trek (every version) ~= other versions, other sci-fi (eg. compare Deep Space 9 and Babylon 5)
Grey's Anatomy ~= ER, House
Every late night show, game show, soap opera, and reality show ~= every other one

The last line has some distinct categories, like high-stakes game shows vs. games of skill without much money; dating shows vs. dance shows vs. cupcake shows--yes that's a thing. But in any case, TV is only rarely even remotely original. I had trouble finding precedents for 30 Rock and Glee, though they're basically just crosses between two genres, namely sitcom/skit show and sitcom/reality-singing.

So yeah, Family Guy can be called regurgitated pap, but that's a hardly unique criticism, and why are you watching TV if that's your only complaint?

Re:Deserves Praise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40474583)

Family Guy just rides off of the coattails of others. Everything in it is a "satire" of other shows, films or memes. I use the term satire very loosely because it seems like they rip off dialog verbatim, only with their cartoon character saying it.

why are you watching TV if that's your only complaint

I very rarely do.

Re:Deserves Praise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40469913)

Family Guy relies on way too many references+flashbacks; American Dad is like the good parts of Family Guy without constant flashback gags.

Re:Deserves Praise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40471563)

Family Guy relies on way too many references+flashbacks; American Dad is like the good parts of Family Guy without constant flashback gags.

??I thought American Dad was the more unfunny and irritating material that got cut from Family Guy episodes?

Re:Deserves Praise (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | about 2 years ago | (#40472411)

While I like American Dad, it's pretty much one type of humor, done in many different ways.
It's NOTHING like Family Guy aside from being made by the same guy and having the voices intermix.

Re:Deserves Praise (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40470005)

All of Family Guy is unimaginative, unfunny garbage. Sorry, but it's absolutely true.

Re:Deserves Praise (2)

arkane1234 (457605) | about 2 years ago | (#40472437)

No, it's not true, it's opinion.

That's only true for you.

The fact that you think like that tells me I would hate to know you.

Re:Deserves Praise (1)

seepho (1959226) | about 2 years ago | (#40472943)

Hey, don't try to shut him up. If it weren't for comment forums like these, there would be no one to validate the idea that the reason I enjoy the media I consume is because I'm smarter than the people who consume media I don't enjoy.

Re:Deserves Praise (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40473277)

You must be a very insecure and shallow person to be able to hate another person over a television show. Enjoy your loneliness.

Re:Deserves Praise (1)

Kenja (541830) | about 2 years ago | (#40470141)

Still not going to see Ted. But thats more about Marky Mark then Seth.

Re:Deserves Praise (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 2 years ago | (#40470479)

Whenever I hear of see anything about Ted, I can't help but think it's "Wilfred" with a teddy bear.

Re:Deserves Praise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40471641)

"Still not going to see Ted. But thats more about Marky Mark then Seth."

Seeing that you don't know the difference between 'then' and 'than' you'd better wait for the redneck version.

Re:Deserves Praise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40473387)

you don't know the difference between 'then' and 'than'

Seriously, I could care less. Their are a lot of rules regarding english and I don't care what people think, irregardless of any facts.

Re:Deserves Praise (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40474053)

Don't loose you're temper their but for all intensive purposes you may as well be talking greek. You misunderestimate the benefit's of more better grammer...

Re:Deserves Praise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40474703)

american dad! > the rest of his stuff

Win some, lose some (0)

Lyrata (1900038) | about 2 years ago | (#40469815)

I personally think Family Guy is completely inane. The writing has done nothing but devolve since the first season, especially after the hiatus following season 2 (I think). At least something good came out of its mass appeal.

Re:Win some, lose some (0)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#40469887)

I personally think Family Guy is completely inane. The writing has done nothing but devolve since the first season, especially after the hiatus following season 2 (I think). At least something good came out of its mass appeal.

I couldn't stand more than a few shows. A few good gags mired in a plethora of dumb ones. Makes Simpsons look downright cerebral. American Dad never worked for me, after watching it a few times. In reflection, it made Family Guy look better by comparison.

I wonder if the LoC would be interested in the Seth MacFarlane papers, when he pops his clogs.

Re:Win some, lose some (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40470343)

That's because it is written by manatees now. I know a kid who tried to stop them before they offended someone but wasn't able to do it.

Re:Win some, lose some (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40471179)

You can't look at any Family Guy episode as a sequential plot, with a beginning, middle and end. If you do that, you will continually be frustrated by a chaotic disintegration into pointlessness.

The truth is that Family Guy (and this is true for all Seth MacFarlane spin-offs) is really just 30 minutes of stand-up comedy, set to animation, and it only just HAPPENS to have a cast of recurring characters. Mostly the animation, characters and plot are there, to give the comedy a seemingly cohesive packaging that, so that it seems like an actual television show, that can be pitched, sold, syndicated and advertised for mass appeal. On some level, if you still prefer to hate Seth MacFarlane, you could almost equate the animation gimmick he uses on his stand-up routines to Carrot Top's prop comedy or Jeff Dunham's stupid Peanut puppet. Even Jeff Foxworthy's "You Might be a Redneck" routine is analogous to Stewie's murderous hatred for his mother, Lois.

But that's it. That's as far as it goes with MacFarlane's talent. Either way, he's managed to parlay it into an empire, through connections and co-opting other band wagons of success, like Adult Swim.

Did they get any of his early poems? (1)

physburn (1095481) | about 2 years ago | (#40469853)

Twinkle Twinkle ----whoops- Twankler Twunkler - oochs When he has told to write out mozert 500 times as a child

should have been free? (5, Insightful)

Sebastopol (189276) | about 2 years ago | (#40469879)

Is anyone else kinda ticked-off that this was even necessary?

Why weren't they just donated by the estate to the LOC? Is there something else at play here, or just a greedy estate?

Re:should have been free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40469963)

If you had something worth (just guessing) a couple of $100K would you just give it away?

Re:should have been free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40470029)

If you had something worth (just guessing) a couple of $100K would you just give it away?

Actually, for the sake of humanity and science I would. Obviously MacFarlane feels the same way and that is why he gave away a couple $100K of his own money to free the papers.

Re:should have been free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40470251)

If you had something worth (just guessing) a couple of $100K would you just give it away?

Actually, for the sake of humanity and science I would. Obviously MacFarlane feels the same way and that is why he gave away a couple $100K of his own money to free the papers.

So that just proves the system works

Re:should have been free? (1)

ExploHD (888637) | about 2 years ago | (#40473421)

So that just proves the system works

And that, my friend, is an anecdotal fallacy.

Re:should have been free? (1)

crypticedge (1335931) | about 2 years ago | (#40470283)

Give away? Probably not. Put on loan and allow them to make copies for display (not redistribution)? Absolutely.

Either way, MacFarlane has gained a lot of respect from the intellectual community for sure from this.

Re:should have been free? (4, Interesting)

janek78 (861508) | about 2 years ago | (#40470115)

I am not so sure there is that much to be ticked-off by. Sagan's widow is quoted as saying that "...Sagan would have been thrilled to see his life’s work made available to the public." That does not sound like a greedy estate trying to get rich from selling stuff she inherited (not that there would be anything wrong with that). TFA is unclear on what the money went towards, I can imagine that transporting, sorting, filing and displaying the (large) collection is no easy feat and that the money is perhaps to be spent on that? Mrs. Druyan was not only Sagan's wife but also co-author, I don't see her as waiting for the highest bidder to auction off her inheritance.

Re:should have been free? (3, Insightful)

Sebastopol (189276) | about 2 years ago | (#40470381)

Good point: It didn't occur to me that collating and tabulating a lifetime's work isn't something an LOC employee is going to spend a year doing for free... although I assume the LOC has staff to do such things, maybe not. Plus I don't actually know the cost, thanks TFA.

Re:should have been free? (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | about 2 years ago | (#40471107)

Sagan would have been thrilled

And just think. SHE could have been the person that made that happen.

Re:should have been free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40470177)

Nyah, the LoC should have just exercised its "Powerz of Socializm" and confiscated it from the widow. You know, "for the greater good".

Re:should have been free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40470521)

If you want to see a greedy estate, take a gander at the descendants of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. King County, WA had to pay them to rename the county in his honor.

Re:should have been free? (5, Insightful)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 2 years ago | (#40471639)

According to TFA:

The papers — contained in more than 800 filing-cabinet drawers — include correspondence with other scientists, drafts of Sagan's academic articles and screenplay drafts for the movie "Contact," ... (emphasis mine)

The cost of donating them might include sorting, collating and preparing the documents to actually be viewable and or some preservation. Often charitable recipients can't or don't want to handle this for private donations. Yes the LOC could probably pay for this, if they're allowed to, which I don't know if they are. (Imagine some idiot right-wing Congress critter, who doesn't believe the Universe exists, complaining about the LOC wasting the taxpayer's money, blah, blah, blah...)

Re:should have been free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40472953)

There are a number of costs associated even with freely donated works. Transportation, storage, cataloguing / archiving.
When you consider the already huge workload of the LOC and the tight budgets...

Donations really help to fund small short-term teams of professionals to complete these projects.

Also, he's the producer of the new Cosmos series (5, Interesting)

spinkham (56603) | about 2 years ago | (#40469899)

Yes, the "Cosmos for rednecks" gag was good, but isn't it also worth mentioning he's currently producing the next Cosmos [wikipedia.org] with Neil deGrasse Tyson and Ann Druyan?

Re:Also, he's the producer of the new Cosmos serie (5, Insightful)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 2 years ago | (#40469995)

From Hollywood Reporter [hollywoodreporter.com]:

“Never more than at this moment in the modern era have we needed a profound reminder of the colossally important and exciting role that science, space exploration and the human quest for knowledge must continue to play in our development as a species,” said MacFarlane.

Quite a serious side to the man. Clearly, menstruation and holocaust jokes are just his day job.

Re:Also, he's the producer of the new Cosmos serie (1)

Ryanrule (1657199) | about 2 years ago | (#40471751)

Well, when you are on fox, you play to the execs who are in charge.

Re:Also, he's the producer of the new Cosmos serie (3, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#40470031)

With Seth McFarlane voicing the quick witted effeminate alcoholic globular cluster.

Re:Also, he's the producer of the new Cosmos serie (1)

dragon (283) | about 2 years ago | (#40470099)

Yes, the "Cosmos for rednecks" gag was good, but isn't it also worth mentioning he's currently producing the next Cosmos [wikipedia.org] with Neil deGrasse Tyson and Ann Druyan?

This could be so good.

Re:Also, he's the producer of the new Cosmos serie (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40470813)

Cool, so the next Cosmos will be informative, but have a splash/references to Star Wars, Back to the Future, Indiana Jones, and Conway Twitty.

I'm for it.

Well that's nothing new (1)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | about 2 years ago | (#40472987)

I mean the first Cosmos did have some new age stuff in it. (You know, where Sagan plays a little drum. I forget why he was doing that though.)

Carl Fagan (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40469937)

Is like Carl Sagan but is faget. Haha lol fagets.

Sagan FTW (2, Informative)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#40469975)

Sagan was awesome. He knew everything about the cosmos except how to pronounce it.

The Demon Haunted World should be required reading in all schools. If you aren't scared by it, you're the reason why it's scary.

MacFarlane Devours Sagan's Books, Makes Amends (1, Troll)

guttentag (313541) | about 2 years ago | (#40470125)

From TFA:

MacFarlane said he watched "Cosmos" as a child and devoured all of Sagan'sbooks.

Coming from the creator of Peter Griffin, this could very well mean that he literally ingested the physical books, Cookie Monster-style, rendering them unavailable to the rest of the world for decades. "He covered the undisclosed costs of donating them to the library," may simply mean he paid to have the books surgically removed from his stomach, paid for a forensic team to piece them back together and will spend a few weeks in a hospital bed in pain, paying for his transgression.

Re:MacFarlane Devours Sagan's Books, Makes Amends (1)

Megane (129182) | about 2 years ago | (#40470233)

...are you sure they weren't just in a fold of fat, next to the Colecovision?

Impressed and Grateful (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40470399)

I've never been a big fan of MacFarlane, both the man and his work, but I have to say that I'm both impressed and grateful for his generosity in making the work of one of the most important figures in popular science publically available.

It's truly commendable and shows great character. Not to mention he's producing the sequel to Cosmos... I'll have to reevaluate my stance on MacFarlane.

excellent! (1)

lymang (207777) | about 2 years ago | (#40470575)

I think that Seth McFarlane is fascinating person. I'm still surprised when I listen to his album of standards that he'd even stop to take the time to do something like that. I think this is really excellent that he did this. I look forward to the new Cosmos project he's working on.

Easy to see why there is a cost associated with it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40470811)

"The collection comprises approximately 800 boxes of materials that document Sagan’s life and work and includes his extensive correspondence with scientific colleagues and other important figures of the 20th century. It also includes book drafts, publications files, "idea files" on various subjects, records of various symposia, NASA files and academic files covering the years he taught at Cornell University. Among the personal files are his birth announcement, handwritten notebooks of his earliest thoughts and grammar-school report cards. In addition to manuscript materials, the collection includes photographs, audiotapes and videocassettes. Researchers and scholars will be able to use the collection once it has been fully processed by the Library’s archivists."

Obligatory complaint about spelling/grammar (1)

zill (1690130) | about 2 years ago | (#40470849)

...a but of altruism...

Slashdot editors, brain-dead, epsilon minus, etc.

Re:Obligatory complaint about spelling/grammar (1)

Steauengeglase (512315) | about 2 years ago | (#40472775)

It was going to be "butt", but that would have involve a cut-away of Ayn Rand wrestling a polar bear.

Good deed, but his history preceeds him (0)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 2 years ago | (#40470869)

I don't mind toilet humor, my problem is the pure meanness of much of his writing without even bothering with a punch line. I recall a gag about Penelope Cruz's nose (only an idiot would consider her anything less that beautiful) and a crack about Kristen Stewart being the ugly girl vampire and werewolf fought over. Family Guy at least, smacked of a show written by ridiculed drama club kids looking to lash out at their abusers once given a pulpit.

He taints the Sagan's legacy as far as I'm concerned.

Re:Good deed, but his history preceeds him (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40471777)

Penelope Cruz didn't like her nose either, that is why she had plastic surgery before staring in Pirates of Caribbean. About the same time the episode came out.

Re:Good deed, but his history preceeds him (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40471939)

only an idiot would consider [Penelope Cruz] anything less that beautiful

Only an idiot would suggest that a connect between intelligence and beauty standards could exist.

There they are... (1)

John Guilt (464909) | about 2 years ago | (#40471189)

...that is, that's where those good old family values on which we might rely are, at least one place.

Lucky there's a rationalist/secularist guy.

No Obligatory LoC Joke? (3, Insightful)

Rotag_FU (2039670) | about 2 years ago | (#40471853)

I'm shocked that I haven't seen a Library of Congress as unit of measurement joke yet. It is unfortunate that the cost of donating the materials to the Library of Congress was undisclosed because then we could have a conversion factor for money to LoCs.

Billions And Billions (1)

Ukab the Great (87152) | about 2 years ago | (#40472013)

Of papers. If the sheer volume of papers were written in a microscopically tiny font and shrunk into the size of a typical supermarket tacky romance novel, the entire content of war and peace in an equivalent density and font would no bigger than a fortune cookie paper.

Media Server/Smart Box/TV (1)

nanospook (521118) | about 2 years ago | (#40472375)

I am either using something like Netflix, or watching media I have in-house. I keep my in-house media on a NetStora server which is basically a hard drive in a standalone box which can be controlled via web or through a share. I have a wireless google tv sony blue ray player that runs an app that can read windows shares (and other types) and play the media. it can also play the subtitle file I can download (since I'm deaf). Except for this one subtitle feature, I don't necessarily recommend Google TV. Very stagnant and boring, not a fast changing environment that I thought it would be. One thing I do like is I can control the Google TV box with my android phone using a Sony app. I get my in-house content through bittorrent and use a VPN to keep out of trouble. It's not perfect but minimizes risk. Surprisingly I find myself watching netflix most of the time anyways.. :)
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