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The Daily Need

Photo: Happy Belated Birthday, Carl!

Carl Sagan in 1973. Photo: AP

Yesterday was Carl Sagan’s birthday, but instead of trying to sum up the late astronomer’s many accomplishments, including his work in astrophysics and natural sciences, his Pulitzer Prize, the many books that he authored, co-authored or edited, his more than 600 scientific papers and articles, his work promoting the SETI project and his PBS television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, we’ve decided to share a bit of trivia instead.

In 1994, Apple Computer began work on a new computer. Apple always gives their internal projects code names, and to honor the astronomer, they named the Power Macintosh 7100 “Sagan.” When Sagan learned of the name, he sued Apple for using his name without permission, even though the usage was strictly internal and not publicized. He lost the suit, but Apple engineers agreed to change the name, instead naming the project BHA (Butt Head Astronomer). Sagan discovered this, sued again and lost again, but the 7100 underwent another name change anyway… to LAW (Lawyers Are Wimps).

Here’s a bit of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos television show, re-edited into a song (a duet actually, with Stephen Hawking) by The Symphony of Science. If you are more of a traditionalist and would like to hear Carl in his own words without auto-tune, take a look back at the Pale Blue Dot.

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