Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Sir Patrick Moore Dies Aged 89

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the fare-thee-well dept.

Television 130

First time accepted submitter Tastecicles writes "Patrick Moore, the monocled surveyor of the sky who awakened in millions of people an interest in galactic goings on, has died at 89. His love of astronomy began at the age of six, and that childhood curiosity developed into a lifelong passion. It was a passion he shared through his program, The Sky at Night, which he presented for more than 50 years, only ever missing one episode due to illness. Patrick Alfred Caldwell-Moore was born at Pinner, Middlesex on 4 Mar 1923. Heart problems meant he spent much of his childhood being educated at home and he became an avid reader. His mother gave him a copy of GF Chambers' book The Story of the Solar System, and this sparked his lifelong passion for astronomy. He was soon publishing papers about the moon's surface, based on observations made with his first three-inch telescope. His 1908 vintage typewriter enabled him to publish more than a thousand books on subjects ranging from astronomy, his first love, to cricket, golf, and music."

cancel ×

130 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

sad day :( (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42233925)

Not my favorite 007 (Sean Connery FTW) but not my least favorite, either.

Re:sad day :( (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42233987)

Not my favorite 007 (Sean Connery FTW) but not my least favorite, either.

Sean Connery is just Mr Universe, Moore was a real shakesperean actor!

oh wait..

Re:sad day :( (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 2 years ago | (#42235549)

not much Shakesperean about the lines in a bond film anyway, it's potato chips compared to a steak dinner

Re:sad day :( (1)

Shag (3737) | about 2 years ago | (#42236335)

A real Shakespearean actor and a Star Trek captain!

Re:sad day :( (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42234041)

Yes, and who can forget his classic comedies Arthur and 10? Such a versatile actor.

Re:sad day :( (-1, Redundant)

Jaruzel (804522) | about 2 years ago | (#42234067)

WTF? PATRICK Moore, not ROGER Moore.

You frikkin idiots. Slither back to 4Chan where you belong. :(

-Jar

Re:sad day :( (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42234137)

Oh, it was his brother? Sorry about the loss. I'll pray for Roger.

Re:sad day :( (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42234177)

This should clear things up : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oO_Ckg5ott8

Re:sad day :( (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42235289)

It was a joke, you dumb motherfucker.

Re:sad day :( (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42240115)

then why wasn't it funny?

  you shit eating fuckwit

Re:sad day :( (2)

coastwalker (307620) | about 2 years ago | (#42236029)

lol

Deliberate or mistaken comment, still makes it funny. That's why its good to read an open self regulating forum, the mistakes get corrected with information rather than censorship. Prankster or idiot, well done and now be off with you, we have work to do.

Shining a light into the darkness, one last time (5, Informative)

CdBee (742846) | about 2 years ago | (#42233933)

I hardly ever watched his show but I feel we're the poorer for him no longer being alive. News reports suggest he knew he only had a few days to live but still chose to present his last show rather than spending the time on preparing. Thats dedication. RIP

Re:Shining a light into the darkness, one last tim (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42234241)

Funny thing was, I switched on the t.v and his last show was on - it had been a while since I had seen one. Mercury, Venus and a crescent Moon are all visible if you have a clear sky and get up about 6:30 a.m. And if you look hard enough, you might see a new star in the sky.

Re:Shining a light into the darkness, one last tim (1)

nogginthenog (582552) | about 2 years ago | (#42234305)

Strangely I also caught The Sky At Night last Monday. Haven't seen it in years.

Re:Shining a light into the darkness, one last tim (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42234827)

The Sky At Night is one of those BBC programs I'd pay to watch (I'm outside the UK) but must torrent instead.

Re:Shining a light into the darkness, one last tim (4, Informative)

mickwd (196449) | about 2 years ago | (#42234677)

Really nice comment from Brian May:

"Patrick is irreplaceable. There will never be another Patrick Moore. But we were lucky enough to get one."

Re:Shining a light into the darkness, one last tim (5, Insightful)

coastwalker (307620) | about 2 years ago | (#42235149)

A fellow of huge significance in our lifetimes, so many of us will admit to having been influenced by his enthusiasm for astronomy and quite frankly his bravery in being himself in a world increasingly obsessed with vain self promotion. This is not to say that he was not dedicated to helping others because he is well known for tirelessly working to help any individual who asked him for help. It takes moments of searching the web to discover that he talked and wrote to countless individuals throughout his life with advice and encouragement about their interest in astronomy.

In some ways he predates the internet in his understanding that direct communication has tremendous value, in typewritten letters and time for people he met. Today we have this great digital channel where we hunger for connection through twitter, forums, email, Facebook and he did all of this with the tools of his era - connect. So top appreciation for being one of the first people in the world to join up the thrill and excitement of those in a fascinating profession with us the amateurs and the interested in space and astronomy. He was doing citizen science before the concept really existed.

And like most interesting people in the world apart from his profession he had other passions in life Cricket and particularly music, you only have to see something on YouTube showing him playing the Xylophone to understand that. Oh and that's the other thing, he obviously had a seriously funny sense of humor.

Do appreciate the twinkle in his eye at the closing words of this recent interview (skip down to number 10)
http://www.philipwilliams.uk.com/characters-on-the-coastline.html [uk.com]

We will be watching that candle and having a chuckle.

Thank you Patrick for passing on the light.

Re:Shining a light into the darkness, one last tim (1)

mikael (484) | about 2 years ago | (#42236753)

He was home schooled and took an interest in Astronomy after getting a gift of an Astronomy book from his mother. He was accepted by the Astronomy society when he was 11.

Really enjoyed his shows even if they were late at night. That was intended - you could watch his show, go outside and see the sky for yourself, if it wasn't cloudy.
 

We're gonna need a bigger coffin! (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#42236783)

His tailor is a personal hero of mine.

Frosty p1ss (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42233935)

Who the fuck cares about this asshole ?

Re:Frosty p1ss (2)

Rougement (975188) | about 2 years ago | (#42233959)

Apparently, not you.

Re:Frosty p1ss (3)

Gonoff (88518) | about 2 years ago | (#42233971)

People who have a clue.

Re:Frosty p1ss (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42234001)

You are either trolling or an insensitve clod

Re:Frosty p1ss (4, Funny)

blind monkey 3 (773904) | about 2 years ago | (#42236035)

Who the fuck cares about this asshole ?

An eminently suitable epitaph for you.

Re:Frosty p1ss (2)

Pseudonym (62607) | about 2 years ago | (#42238103)

The word is "arsehole", you insensitive clod.

Very sad news (5, Informative)

Smivs (1197859) | about 2 years ago | (#42233937)

He will be greatly missed. Amongst his many claims to fame was the fact that during his lifetime he met the first man to fly, the first man to go into space and the first man to step on the Moon. R.I.P.

Re:Very sad news (1)

cluedweasel (832743) | about 2 years ago | (#42234035)

Agreed. The Sky at Night was a huge influence on me in the late 60s and 70s. Probably one of the biggest causes of me going down the science route at university and why I have a collection of 4 telescopes and various pairs of binoculars. Thanks Patrick.

Re:Very sad news (4, Informative)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about 2 years ago | (#42234043)

He also played [weebls-stuff.com] the [youtube.com] xylophone. [youtube.com]

Re:Very sad news (3, Informative)

Tapewolf (1639955) | about 2 years ago | (#42234079)

He also played [weebls-stuff.com] the [youtube.com] xylophone. [youtube.com]

For those turned off by the first link (which is a spoof flash animation), the other two are actually true.

Re:Very sad news (2)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about 2 years ago | (#42235409)

It's a spoof, yes, but one done out of sincere love and admiration for a national treasure.
RIP Sir Patrick. At least we can console ourselves with the knowledge that you've just found the perfect vantage point to see the stars you loved so much.

Re:Very sad news (5, Informative)

History's Coming To (1059484) | about 2 years ago | (#42234049)

He was born the year that Hubble made the observations which showed there were galaxies other than our Milky Way, during his lifetime the scale of the (understood) universe expanded by a factor of 100,000. As an amateur astronomer (he never gained any formal qualifications in the subject) he discovered a new crater on the Moon. He lived to see the discovery of a black hole at the center of our galaxy, every "first" in manned and robotic space flight and holds the record for the longest running TV presenter on a show.

For those who prefer computer games, he played "The GamesMaster" on the British TV show of the same name, and his disembodied borg-like head would give out tips and cheats for various games.

He was at the forefront of the fight against UFO nonsense (some would say too far, he refused to believe in any life outside the Earth) and was accused of ghost-writing a possibly satirical book called "Flying Saucers Are Real" as "Cedric Allingham", although he always strenuously denied this to the point of threatening legal action.

Also an accomplished glockenspiel player and champion of the monocle.

Re:Very sad news (3, Informative)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#42234471)

NASA used his 'amateur' moon maps to plan Apollo missions...

Re:Very sad news (1)

History's Coming To (1059484) | about 2 years ago | (#42237905)

According to a eulogy by Dr Brian May he did accept that there may be intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, I stand corrected.

Re:Very sad news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42234243)

Wait, what? First man to fly? He met one of the Montgolfier brothers? Just how old was this guy?

Re:Very sad news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42235761)

Balloons don't fly. If that confuses you then you need to learn more about flight.

Re:Very sad news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42234249)

And in a duo - he played piano while Einstein played the violin.

Re:Very sad news (4, Funny)

david.given (6740) | about 2 years ago | (#42234915)

I have some of his science fiction novels. They are truly, truly awful. Highly recommended.

Will be Sorely missed (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42234017)

A passionate and knowledgeable presenter, even if you had no interest in astronomy his programmes would draw you in. I have never read any of his written work, but will make the effort.

Also, summary missed out one of his other great TV appearances : as 'the gamesmaster', a virtual god-like entity who would dispense hints and tips to those poor mortal gamers who couldn't find their way past a certain end of level boss, or a clue in an adventure game. This showed his fun side and probably introduced a whole generation to his other work. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GamesMaster)

Re:Will be Sorely missed (4, Informative)

itsdapead (734413) | about 2 years ago | (#42234139)

Also, summary missed out one of his other great TV appearances : as 'the gamesmaster'

He also played a mean xylophone!

However, if you were into space or astronomy as a kid, Moore's books were essential reading. I don't know how well known he is internationally, but in the UK. I can't think of anybody who has done more to not only popularise science, but to show how people could contribute without needing a PhD and a white coat. Plus I believe he made some pretty useful contributions himself, especially with his work on lunar mapping.

A huge loss.

Re:Will be Sorely missed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42234611)

http://weebls-stuff.com/songs/patrick+moore/

I met him once (4, Insightful)

Crookdotter (1297179) | about 2 years ago | (#42234057)

And he was a great man to talk to, always had time for anyone who wanted to speak to him about science or astronomy. A great character, and humble through and through.

An inspiration (5, Interesting)

Abroun (795507) | about 2 years ago | (#42234099)

In 1974 I was 7 years old and wrote to him at the BBC complaining that 'The Sky at Night' wasn't on at a time I was allowed to watch it (in the days before home VCRs). I still have his gracious reply.

Re:An inspiration (2)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#42234473)

Scan it, post it!

Re:An inspiration (1)

adamofgreyskull (640712) | about 2 years ago | (#42237681)

Scan it, post it!

Send it to LettersOfNote.com [lettersofnote.com]

God I hate Faggots (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42234113)

If you will bother RTFA, you will realize that he was 89, and therefore a faggot. See once u get old you become a faggot. I hereby recomend that his name becomre stricken from the anals of /. I also recomend that we concentrate on people under that age of 12. After that age fagginess quickly sets in and u becomre irrelevant to society,. Fucking faggots are ruining our country.

A thousand books?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42234121)

Where does that "fact" come from? The linked article says he published about seventy.

Re:A thousand books?!? (2)

BenJury (977929) | about 2 years ago | (#42234171)

I guess they lifted it from his Wikipedia page, if you bother to click through you get to the list [astronomynow.com] , although they only have 326. The 1000 comes from reprints, different editions and different languages, which to me is a bit spurious.

Anyway, a bad write up doesn't take away from the mans greatness. He will be missed.

Re:A thousand books?!? (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 2 years ago | (#42235679)

funnily enough, I've made several submissions and this is the first to make it to the front page - because I lifted parts from the BBC obit and parts from wikipedia. Usually I would pick two far more reliable sources (read: sources which are far more likely to hold firsthand Truth rather than sanitised regurgitation). Probably why my submissions don't get accepted.

Re:A thousand books?!? (2)

mrbester (200927) | about 2 years ago | (#42235981)

You would have thought that the BBC would be the gold standard for information on someone who had single handedly presented a programme for them for *55 years* with one edition off for illness. He wasn't happy about missing it either and felt he'd let the audience down.

I've no idea who he is. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42234173)

Therefore he's not important.

Re:I've no idea who he is. (1)

tokul (682258) | about 2 years ago | (#42234257)

Therefore he's not important.

He is more important than you. AC never had his/her obituary posted on slashdot.

Re:I've no idea who he is. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42234259)

no u

And... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42234211)

He achieved more than most: Met with Orville Wright, all the Apollo moonwalkers, and played piano accompanying Einstein on violin.

RIP Patrick, one of the best.

Hmm (3, Informative)

backslashdot (95548) | about 2 years ago | (#42234321)

I read some of his books when I was a kid. I wondered how the hell he wrote so many books. I thought he was much older than 89 when I saw him talking online a few years ago ... Anyway I got disappointed when I found out he was a BNP supporter - an openly racist political party until recently when they claimed to be culturalist not racist (at the time he joined them they were openly racist and didn't allow minority members - a few years ago the British govt forced them to allow minorities). Also, he has made statements anti gay and anti-women comments. I would like to write that off as old age senility, but then he made those comments and joined BNP in his 70s.

Re:Hmm (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 years ago | (#42234419)

Anyway I got disappointed when I found out he was a BNP supporter

Are you sure you haven't confused the BNP [wikipedia.org] with UKIP [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Hmm (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42235167)

Not commenting on Patrick Moore, here, but what exactly is the difference?

The only difference I've ever noticed from the BNP is that UKIP is mostly run by the upper class, and the BNP by the working class. They still have the same far right views, just one dresses up better because they have the money and upbringing to do so.

Re:Hmm (5, Informative)

coastwalker (307620) | about 2 years ago | (#42235553)

UKIP are a party particularly dedicated to getting the UK out of the European Union and find resonance with a lot of people in the UK who think that the country are getting a poor deal out of being in it. They also cite the European Union rules of unrestricted migration between members of the Union as causing breakdowns in social provisioning because of their unplanned nature. They emphatically deny that their opposition to unrestricted migration is because of racism but of course they do attract support from individuals who are racist because they are one of the few parties who do want to restrict migration.

I do not believe myself that Patrick was likely to be motivated by racial questions. It would not match his lack of interest in class or education that illuminated his support for people interested in astronomy for one thing and another thing is that he was a man of science who moved with the times and would be easily persuaded by the science that now says that racial differences are peanuts compared to politics and culture. Racists in a word are stupid and Patrick was not stupid.

You might argue that it would have been better for him to join a mainstream party and argue for them to make better provision for incoming migrants so that social provision for the existing population was not put under extreme pressure but at the time he joined UKIP any discussion of this nature was being sat on with the racist tag. The mainstream party's are only just beginning to take this issue seriously now. Sometimes it takes a pressure groups existence and popularity to get the mainstream to take peoples complaints seriously.

I don't blame Mr Moore for joining a pressure group, particularly one that just came second in two out of three recent local elections, that's democracy for you, do it by the vote and not the bullet, that's what we do. I am not personally a UKIP voter but I do think the mainstream parties need to take note of the grievances of the people who do vote for them. We still believe in democracy here in the UK and the irritating pressure groups that have reasonable requests and dont encourage hatred are a useful part of civil society. UKIP do not encourage hatred unlike the BNP who are not regarded as a useful part of civil society by the majority in this country.

Re:Hmm (1)

brantondaveperson (1023687) | about 2 years ago | (#42236999)

unrestricted migration between members of the Union as causing breakdowns in social provisioning

Funny how people don't concern themselves with unrestricted migration within their own country, as if some accident of geography and history ought to make any difference. Immigration controls; The last bastion of institutionalised racism.

Also, we would be underestimating the enemy - a fatal mistake - to describe racists as 'stupid'. It's not stupid, it's wrong, mean-spirited, indefensible, but to suggest that only stupid people can be racist is false.

People who work to get immigrants out of the country, or to prevent them coming in in the first place, are working from manifestly false assumptions. This does not make them stupid, it just makes them dependant (as we all are to some extent) upon their assumptions. What they fail to understand is this; We are all immigrants.

All that said; RIP Patrick Moore. I would think that we should keep his political views separate from his impressive achievements as a populariser of science - they are not related and his contributions to the popular understanding of astronomy will be greatly missed.

Re:Hmm (1)

scared masked man (2776663) | about 2 years ago | (#42238725)

Funny how people don't concern themselves with unrestricted migration within their own country, as if some accident of geography and history ought to make any difference.

If you're migrating within a highly-centralised country like the UK (except Scotland), you're mostly drawing benefits from the same pool as you are paying into, so it all balances out. If, OTOH, immigration and emigration aren't balanced in terms of the kind of people who are coming and going, you can run into problems, say, if you've relied on age as a proxy for paying into the aged-care system.

Of course, you can fix the rules to tie benefits into past contributions, but doing that is likely to create losers among those already in the system, so it is easier to fix things by controlling immigration.

There is also the philosophical point that in most systems of political theory (As far back and Republic and Leviathan), the legitimacy of a government derives from the fact that it serves the interests of its citizens. If those interests are best served with unrestricted immigration, then open borders are the correct policy: if they are best served with near-0 immigration, then that is the correct policy (after taking into account international pressure and the possibility of sanctions etc.).

That doesn't mean that restrictive immigration policies necessarily are or aren't racist in implementation - if there are no regional quotas and are simply skills vs. needs tests, a system is probably not racist, if it is full of quotas which allow immigration more easily from some backgrounds than others, it almost certainly is.

(And, before you ask "why not throw out existing people", the simple answer is that all you'd actually do is imprison them in departure lounges around the country, because no-one else would take them. Also, no-one would be stupid enough to vote for someone acting so obviously against their own interests (I hope).)

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42234817)

Maybe you should dig out some reliable sources for these accusations and go and update the wikipedia page [wikipedia.org] , because i don't get a pro-BNP stance impression at all.

Re:Hmm (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 2 years ago | (#42235599)

Let me guess, you're from Rochdale Social Services? Learn the difference between UKIP which is a legitimate political party with a dozen seats in the European Parliament and three in the House of Lords, and the BNP which is an openly violent fringe group.

Re:Hmm (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | about 2 years ago | (#42240305)

BNP aren't "openly violent"- they're the so-called "respectable face" of the National Front, EDL, and other openly violent groups. They attempt to maintain a thin veneer of respectability, and confine themselves to talking not about race and ethnicity, but instead about immigration, lost sovereignty, and the erosion of the "traditional British culture".

Just like UKIP, in pretty much every way. UKIP are just more successful at it.

Re:Hmm (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#42235611)

He was also against the use of the metric system, an odd position for a scientist to take.

Re:Hmm (1)

coastwalker (307620) | about 2 years ago | (#42235971)

The Imperial measurement system just happens to be slightly better tuned to everyday use than the metric system. The units fit better because of their size in food preparation for example, 75 grammes is nowhere as easy to comprehend as 3oz for example or a 1lb or 2lb loaf. Of course Newtons and the rest of the SI units work much better than Imperial units in science but actually in these days of instantaneous unit translation on digital devices it doesn't matter very much what units you sell things to as an end consumer who wants a lump of something in understandable units without lots of significant digits. The supply chain doesn't care what the units are.

Its particularly frustrating as well that every translation from an imperial unit to a metric unit has been used to gouge consumers by the marketplace. Buying petrol at 1.48 UK Pounds per liter would give anyone a heart attack if they realized that this was $9 per gallon, 5.60 UK pounds per US gallon, or 6.7 pounds per imperial gallon. He had a legitimate complaint that all of us grumpy old people have when changes introduce rip offs that the young don't see.

Re:Hmm (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#42236191)

The Imperial measurement system just happens to be slightly better tuned to everyday use than the metric system.

Unless you need to do maths with them, like say doubling the quantities in a recipe halving a length to find the centre.

75 grammes is nowhere as easy to comprehend as 3oz for example or a 1lb or 2lb loaf

Maybe if you have a low double digit IQ. Seriously, that is your argument? That double digit numbers are "nowhere as easy to comprehend" as single digit ones?

in these days of instantaneous unit translation on digital devices

If by instantaneous you mean "take phone out of pocket, unlock phone, load unit conversion app, select units, type in measurement and read result" then I have to disagree.

Its particularly frustrating as well that every translation from an imperial unit to a metric unit has been used to gouge consumers by the marketplace.

Except where it worked in our favour, like 2L bottles for example.

Buying petrol at 1.48 UK Pounds per liter would give anyone a heart attack if they realized that this was $9 per gallon

That has nothing to do with the metric system. We are well aware of how expensive our fuel is, being in metric actually makes comparison easier because the rest of Europe and the world also uses that system. Of course we have a different currency to Europe so exchange rates are a factor.

Re:Hmm (1)

coastwalker (307620) | about 2 years ago | (#42236871)

So you think US food recipes in cup measurements are wrong because we scientists like to measure in SI units because it makes our lives easy? I'm guessing that your mom cooks your food here, because cooking works great in cups spoons and other random measurements and is a right pain in the arse in grams ml and mm. The consumer is always right and you are not a cook.

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42237901)

I've always cooked in a confusing mix of imperial and metric when working from recipe books, with the growth of internet recipes i now have to work out what the fuck is meant by various different human measures, such as cups, which vary from nation to nation, US recipes are a pain in the arse, they simply don't fit with the way i'm used to cooking, and you being an obnoxious, self-righteous prick doesn't change that, sorry. It's lovely that your "mom" still cooks for you, so you don't have to worry about such things, and just as well that she has recipes in cups, as she clearly isn't up to the task of cooking in scientific units considering the intelligence displayed by her progeny... Y'all have a nice day, now.

Re:Hmm (1)

IAmGarethAdams (990037) | about 2 years ago | (#42238371)

He was also a member of the Flat Earth Society. It's shocking what beliefs he got away with as a scientist

So? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42234353)

When my grandma died a couple years ago no one posted anything online, no news stories, no gathering of people online or on tv to lament about her life.

Yet people do so in a hallow and vain attempt at honoring someone they never met or even knew. People obsses over famous people as if they were their own family but walk over and ignore anyone that isnt noteworthy and generally treat an average person like a lesser lifeform when compared to the god like presence of someone who is famous.

Re:So? (2)

Kiraxa (1840002) | about 2 years ago | (#42234423)

No offense, but its a matter of scale. This man was famous for good reason. Your grandmother, while I'm sure you loved her very much, did not advance humanity in any way, otherwise she too would have been mourned in the news. Yes human culture's celebrity worship is excessive 99% of the time, but this is one of the cases where we as a species have genuinely lost someone of great import.

Re:So? (0)

rubycodez (864176) | about 2 years ago | (#42234643)

how do you know his grandmother wasn't a school teacher or a charity worker, etc.? my grandmother was an emergency room nurse for most of her life, maybe 25 people at her funeral but their are hundreds who had their lives saved by her in the off hours when a doctor not readily available (county hospital in rural area)

Re:So? (1)

Kiraxa (1840002) | about 2 years ago | (#42235087)

I don't mean to sound callous, but for the most part, keeping people alive as an ER nurse isn't advancing humanity as a whole. Yes, your grandmother was a great person for doing it. But in the grand scheme of things, unless she saved the life of someone "important", she had no lasting mark on humanity, and you say yourself that she wasn't that important "(county hospital in rural area)", aka somewhere where she did a lot of good for people, but not a lot of good for humanity. Not to say that her job isn't important to people, but its not important to humanity as a whole except in a few off cases.

Re:So? (2)

vlad30 (44644) | about 2 years ago | (#42235891)

A good Quote "In a hundred years The car I drove, the house I lived in, the amount of money in my bank account, even the clothes I wore won't matter, However if I changed the life of a child that will be remembered, talked, sung and written about and in that I will be remembered.

Patrick Moore inspired many children (I still have some of his astronomy books). I have seen people who became doctors after being inspired by watching a doctor save a loved one, another become an electrician after listening to adult electrician passionately talk about his work. I've also heard how many engineers were inspired by James Doohans character Scotty

So yes your grandmother didn't make the slashdot headline, mine didn't either, Patrick Moore on the other hand would be remembered by many older /.'s for his inspiration.

Re:So? (3, Informative)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#42234547)

You might have a point if he was just some air-headed celebrity who never did anything except appear on TV.

He wasn't, therefore you don't.

This is the man who played duet with Einstein, made the maps used to plan the moon landings, and presented the longest running show in TV history with the same presenter (nearly 56 years!) - and it was a science show.

Re:So? (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 years ago | (#42235223)

I'm sure your grandmother was missed and mourned just as much as Patrick Moore by all the people she was an inspiration to.

Re:So? (1)

kaiidth (104315) | about 2 years ago | (#42236495)

Then post something online about your grandma. I'm serious: why not? People may appreciate a chance to contribute their memories.

As regards the Patrick Moore story, you assume people neither met nor knew him, but in this case you may be wrong. I've come across the guy now and then due to my own interest in astronomy, and I'm nothing more than a rank amateur. In his younger and sprightlier days the gentleman in question would've been moderately hard for a keen amateur astronomer not to encounter at some time or another. It is sometimes forgotten that people on TV also exist IRL.

He was also a racist mysoginist (1, Troll)

AliasMrAlias (1445453) | about 2 years ago | (#42234671)

He was a fan of Enoch Powell (a racist)
He was anti equality legislation for women and non-white people
He was at one time a BNP supporter (British National Party - racist)
He wanted to ban women from the BBC

I wish all the fawning articles on the net today would mention some of this

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Moore#Activism_and_political_beliefs [wikipedia.org]

Citing wikipedia.org? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42235095)

Using wikipedia.org as a reference is like putting Hannibal Lecter in charge of the Michelin Guide ...

Re:Citing wikipedia.org? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42235111)

There are 15 references in that section of the wikipedia article. Go fucking read them.

Re:He was also a racist mysoginist (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42235189)

He was at one time a BNP supporter (British National Party - racist)

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Moore#Activism_and_political_beliefs [wikipedia.org]

No he wasn't. Where did you get that from??

Maybe you misread the wikipedia article you quote:-

He briefly supported the Liberal Party in the 1950s, though condemned the Liberal Democrats, stating that he believed that they could alter their position radically and "would happily join up with the BNP or the Socialist Workers Party... if [by doing so] they could win a few extra votes."

Also from the same article he spent 5 years fighting the Nazis :-

>>> Moore lied about his age in order to join the RAF and fight in World War II at the age of sixteen,[9] and from 1940 until 1945 he served as a navigator in RAF Bomber Command, reaching the rank of Flight lieutenant. He first received his flying training in Canada, during which time he met Albert Einstein and Orville Wright while on leave in New York.

As to his views on women, maybe you've seen Heather Cooper on the news who wrote to him as a child asking if being a girl would be a handicap to becoming an astronomer and got a reply (he replied to everyone who wrote to him) stating, "Dear Miss Cooper, ...... Let me assure you that being a girl is no handicap at all" and gave her hints as to what would help - Study maths, science etc.

I'll admit he had some old-fashioned views on some things like women in BBC and mass immigration but I don't think those views were things that shouldn't be said even if you (or I) don't necessarily agree with them and I don't think they detract from his good points.

Re:He was also a racist mysoginist (1)

mrbester (200927) | about 2 years ago | (#42236011)

Couper.

Re:He was also a racist mysoginist (2)

History's Coming To (1059484) | about 2 years ago | (#42238877)

For those not getting the reference, parent is talking about Heather Couper, one of the other great popularisers of astronomy in the UK. She wrote to Moore as a child asking if being a girl was an obstacle to being an astronomer - his reply to her was basically "No, not at all. But you'll have to work hard at the maths, and that's something girls aren't usually 'meant to do' in the current education system." - this was about 40 years ago, and he was spot on for the time.

Re:He was also a racist mysoginist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42240267)

well said ...
He was from a time when bombs were dropping on the heads of Londoners...
http://bombsight.org/#15/51.5050/-0.0900
so please, understand his anti-European thoughts... and by the way , his thoughts are now catching up with today's reality... UKIP is not BNP... BNP was/is blatantly racist ... UKIP is not about race .. it is about the FACT that not all European(E/W) countries are equal in terms of what they produce... and that if you unlock the door between them, the few 'real producers' have to pay for all of the rest... it is NOT about race ...

RIP Sir P ...

Re:He was also a racist mysoginist (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 years ago | (#42235215)

Sorry to be a pain, but could you possibly point more precisely to the parts of the article that justify the following:

He was anti equality legislation for women and non-white people
He was at one time a BNP supporter (British National Party - racist)
He wanted to ban women from the BBC*

?

*(putting female newsreaders into Room 101 [a light entertainment show on the BBC] is not the same thing)

Re:He was also a racist mysoginist (5, Informative)

itsdapead (734413) | about 2 years ago | (#42235229)

He was at one time a BNP supporter (British National Party - racist) [snip] Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Moore#Activism_and_political_beliefs [wikipedia.org]

Unless it has changed in the last half hour, that article doesn't say what you think that it says. What it actually says is:

[Moore] condemned the Liberal Democrats, stating that he believed that they could alter their position radically and "would happily join up with the BNP or the Socialist Workers Party ... if [by doing so] they could win a few extra votes."

(BNP and SWP pretty much representing the two extreme ends of the UK political spectrum) and...

he remained a supporter and patron of the eurosceptic UK Independence Party until his death.

Note that UKIP is not the same as the BNP. Now, I don't support UKIP, don't like UKIP and am certainly not going to defend UKIP's immigration policies but they're an awfully long way from being the BNP.

Put simply: if someone I knew joined UKIP, I'd argue with them. If they joined BNP I'd avoid them.

Re:He was also a racist mysoginist (3, Interesting)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#42235853)

Selective quoting? How about this, from the Wikipedia article you linked to:

Proudly declaring himself to be English (rather than British) with "not the slightest wish to integrate with anybody",[60] he stated his admiration for controversial former MP politician Enoch Powell.[64]

That would be Enoch "rivers of blood" Powell. Moore also wrote:

"homosexuals are mainly responsible for the spreading of AIDS (the Garden of Eden is home of Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve)"

I really liked most of his work as well, but unfortunately his political views were pretty bad.

Re:He was also a racist mysoginist (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42236403)

If you bother to find out about the "Rivers of blood" speech, you'll find that Powell was merely warning of the possibilities, not that he was advocating violence or anything like it and given the rise of bigotry and violence between ethnic groups - I include indiginous people as well, I would say that what he warned about has come true. In other words, don't shoot the messenger.

Re:He was also a racist mysoginist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42236513)

Selective quoting? How about this, from the Wikipedia article you linked to:

Proudly declaring himself to be English (rather than British) with "not the slightest wish to integrate with anybody",[60] he stated his admiration for controversial former MP politician Enoch Powell.[64]

That would be Enoch "rivers of blood" Powell.

Whose speech didn't contain those words. Powell made his speech on April 20, 1968. Martin Luther King had been assassinated on April 4, 1968:

"That tragic and intractable phenomenon which we watch with horror on the other side of the Atlantic but which there is interwoven with the history and existence of the States itself, is coming upon us here by our own volition and our own neglect. Indeed, it has all but come. In numerical terms, it will be of American proportions long before the end of the century."

His previous sentence - "As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding. Like the Roman, I seem to see 'the River Tiber foaming with much blood'".

That was a literary quotation which is frequently misquoted without context, as you have done.

Re:He was also a racist mysoginist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42238721)

He understood the significance of 1% of the population giving us 50% of AIDS cases.

Re:He was also a racist mysoginist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42240195)

...I really liked most of his work as well, but unfortunately his political views were pretty bad....

I really liked most of his work as well, but unfortunately I didn't agree with many of his political views....

There. Fixed that for you...

Re:He was also a racist mysoginist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42236175)

and the BNP is similar to the SNP, both are mostly racists/nationalist parties.

Re:He was also a racist mysoginist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42236253)

Links please that says the SNP are a racist/nationalist party?

Re:He was also a racist mysoginist (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 years ago | (#42236385)

I think the fact that SNP stands for Scottish National Party covers the second part (for the nitpickers, they are a nationalist party; their student wing is called the Federation of Student Nationalists).

I could be wrong, but I was always of the understanding that "nationalism" is not an "ism" of quite the same form as "racism" or "sexism."

Re:He was also a racist mysoginist (1)

mikael (484) | about 2 years ago | (#42236809)

SNP is in favour of immigration of those with employable skills.

Re:He was also a racist mysoginist (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42236389)

A lot of this seems to have been an extreme reaction, to his fiancee being killed by a German bomb during WWII; he was extremely heartbroken from that and never got over it (never having another partner again thereafter), and his xenophobic views towards Germany originated from that, and (speculating) probably lead to his wider xenophobic views.

It's definitely a blemish on his reputation, but I think it is something that is forgivable, considering the immense lifelong pain that appears to be behind it, which is quite sad; his lifelong service in promoting Astronomy and science, with rare personal enthusiasm and vigor which you just don't see much anymore (in the same league as David Attenborough), vastly outweighs this complicated but negative side to his personality, and it's his enthusiasm and service to Astronomy which he should more greatly be remembered by.

Re:He was also a racist mysoginist (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42235801)

Well, I'm convinced.

If someone I don't know, but who obviously can't read very well says that he was a RACIST, then I'm sure he was. And a pedophile too, I have no doubt. Lets get the torches out, and string up anyone who looks as if they might disagree with us....

best bond (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42235191)

a shame! the best Bond!

You fa17 it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42235775)

RRadt's stubborn 3ere compounded

Huge loss :( (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42236419)

I've watched countless episodes of The Sky at Night from when I was little and loved watching them, even to this day. Huge loss for astronomy as he was so dedicated. I say send him into space and may he forever travel into what he has always loved.

R.I.P.

Great Interviewer (4, Informative)

N7DR (536428) | about 2 years ago | (#42239175)

I had the honour to meet Sir Patrick (then merely Patrick) in August 1989, and to be interviewed by him for the edition of "The Sky at Night" dedicated to the Voyager 2 encounter with Neptune (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYMfPsqJke8; for anyone that cares, my interview is about 10 minutes into the video). He always insisted that he was merely an "amateur astronomer", but I was impressed by his abilities as a scientific TV journalist: he knew exactly the right questions to ask to make a rather abstruse subject (radio emissions from Neptune) interesting to a non-scientific audience.

I count myself amongst the many who devoured some of his semi-infinite number of books on astronomy as a child, and who then made a career of the subject. A great example of someone without formal training who nevertheless made a great contribution by making a sometimes-difficult subject accessible to the general public. Would that even a fraction of professional astronomers were half as enthusiastic as he was.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>