Keep on Trekkin

As I did at the end of 2013 & 2014, so I do again here at the end of 2015 to recount some travel experiences, which I don’t normally write about here. I need not give the whole setup again for the premise of such entries and see my blog from the end of 2013: Travels of Spocklogic. The notables this year (travel blogs I finished or made additions to) include:


Feature - Washington DC-1




That’s the summary for 2015. Some are carry overs from 2014, but I finished the blogs in 2015, after my last post on travels (see: Travels of Spocklogic II) in December 2014 or earlier if I made additions. As I alluded to in recent entries, I will take a break from this Cogito Ergo blog for a while in 2016. I’ve had 20 years of internet exposure and been blogging for 10 years (see: 20 Years of Internet and Mapping the Internet). I hope to return again with a fresh perspective down the line. There’s plenty to explore in the Cogito Ergo blog archives until then (see the link to: Browse Blog Posts). Best wishes for the New Year 2016! See you in the future…


Voyager Golden Record

Voyager Golden Record

NASA uploaded selections from the ‘Golden Record‘ to SoundCloud on July 28, 2015.  There are actually two of these Golden Records, one aboard Voyager I which launched on September 5, 1977 and one aboard Voyager II which launched on August 20, 1977. Yes, Voyager II launched first, but Voyager I was launched on a shorter & faster trajectory. Both spacecraft were delivered to space aboard Titan-Centaur expendable rockets. They’ve been traveling for almost 40 years now, and quite far from Earth (see: Where are the Voyagers?), so if the original Golden Records are ever listened to again, it may be by extraterrestrials. The 12 inch Golden Records are actually gold-plated copper containing 116 analog-encoded photographs (Scenes from Earth), greetings in 55 languages (Greetings from Earth), a 12-minute montage of sounds of Earth (Sounds from Earth), and 90 minutes of music (Music from Earth). The record plays at 16 2/3 rpm, which is half the speed of a conventional (at that time) 33 1/3 LP record. The stepped-down spin rate caused some loss in fidelity, but was necessary to fit all the material on the record. This is the playback side and the other side (The Golden Record Cover) contains information on how to play the record, how to construct the images from the recorded signal, drawing of the location of our solar system with respect to 14 pulsars with well defined periods, and a sketch of the hydrogen atom. The record is also a kind of atomic clock, electroplated with uranium-238 so extraterrestrials can figure out the time since it was launched with an understanding of radioactive half-life. The record, mounted on the outside of the spacecraft is expected to last for eons, with only minor damage expected from micro meteorites over time.

Here are the SounCloud recordings NASA has made available for streaming:
Golden Record: Greetings to the Universe
Golden Record: Sounds of Earth

It’s not exactly anything that hasn’t been available to the public before and here is another website that plays the record – The Infinite Voyager: The Golden Record – but the NASA SoundCloud offers the list with titles to skip around if you like and listen to the clips you choose. You can also listen to other sound clips on the NASA SoundCloud site.

What else is on the record?
116 Images of the Voyager Golden Record
Golden Record – Explanation of Recording Cover Diagram

Further reading about the Voyager record:
The Voyager Golden Record
The Voyager Spacecraft Interstellar Record
The Message Voyager I Carries for Alien Civilizations
Who the Hell Can Understand the Voyager Disc’s User Manual?
Voyager I’s ‘Golden Record’ Contains Directions to Earth for Aliens

Voyager record team and documentation:
1.) The team that assembled the Golden Record was as led by Carl Sagan and included Frank Drake, Ann Druyan, Timothy Ferris, Jon Lomberg, and Linda Salzman Sagan.
2.) The definitive work about the Voyager record is “Murmurs of Earth” by Executive Director, Carl Sagan, Technical Director, Frank Drake, Creative Director, Ann Druyan, Producer, Timothy Ferris, Designer, Jon Lomberg, and Greetings Organizer, Linda Salzman. Basically, this book is the story behind the creation of the record, and includes a full list of everything on the record. “Murmurs of Earth”, originally published in 1978, was reissued in 1992 by Warner News Media with a CD-ROM that replicates the Voyager record. Unfortunately, this book is now out of print, but may be found through used booksellers.

Further reading about Voyager spacecraft:
Voyager: The Love Story
Is there an edge to the heavens?
Voyager I approaching edge of the solar system, scientists say
Confirmed: Voyager I in Interstellar Space
Interstellar Voyager

The Golden Record's location on Voyager (middle-bottom-left)

The Golden Record’s location on Voyager (middle-bottom-left)

Endnote: It has been pointed out that the chances of an alien civilization finding this probe in the vastness of the cosmos are infinitesimally small, and if it is ever found in the distant future it will likely be by mankind if technological advancement allows us to reach for the stars someday. Arthur C. Clarke, recognizing this possibility, suggested adding a note to the Golden Record, which simply read, “Please leave me alone; let me go to the stars.


As I did at the end of 2013, so I do again here at the end of 2014 to recount some travel experiences, which I don’t normally write about here. I need not give the whole setup again for the premise of such entries and see my blog from the end of 2013: Travels of Spocklogic. The notables this year are a couple of blogs I finished and some reviews that may be of interest:



That summarizes some travel selections for 2014. I did travel to Italy also in July 2014, and have some links to share for photo collections I put together for a special year in Erice to celebrate a 40th anniversary of the International School of Atomic and Molecular Spectroscopy (ISAMS):

Rino: 40 Year Erice Celebrations (2014) – Erice, Italy
2014 Erice Workshop: 30 July – August 5 – Erice, Italy
People (2014) – Erice, Italy
Places (2014)
– Erice, Italy

In addition, I traveled to China again this year in November 2014, but am still working on my travel blog for that, so it will have to wait until my 2015 account of my travels. I will make this type of entry something traditional at years end to cover where I have been and what I have done in travel ways. It’s all rather like the City on the Edge of Forever perhaps…





I don’t often write about my travels in this WordPress blog (Cogito Ergo) as I have another site for that (TravBuddy). In this year of 2013, I completed a number of travel blogs on that site that are worth noting and I give the links to them here. Mind you, I don’t know that any of my travel blogs are ever really completed. Each one is like a child I nurture and raise up, but always needs attention in future ways. Anyway, I suppose I list them here for my own reference and also to offer it to others who may be interested in my travels. There is some connection of the blogs, one to another in embedded personal ways, but are also self-contained. Here they are:




Spocklogic_Switzerland_Travel Blog.

Spocklogic_Germany_Travel Blog.



Some of these blogs have been posted for some years, and I either added to them, made them more complete, and/or formed connections between them. Some of them are entirely new in 2013. They do tell a story in total I suppose and maybe that’s why I decided to make a sort of review of the Travels of Spocklogic here. They were also all the blogs featured on TravBuddy for me this year. My Italy blog (L’Avventura Dell Italia) seems never-ending and I have some more work to do on it, but the majority of important events are there for the most part. The last one in this list, the blog on China, is something I am still working on too, but intend (or hope) to complete it before the end of 2013. I suppose this collection of blogs forms a personal journey of sorts that I tried to form this year regarding my life and relation to travel. When I finish the China blog, maybe I will know what I have been endeavoring to understand and ultimately discover in my life. It’s not a teaser, or cliffhanger, but maybe more a matter of what I will embrace. Sounds enigmatic I suppose, but not really. It’s my personal perspective, the choices I make and what is ultimately best for me in a world of possibilities…


I traveled to Scotland in late September  to early October this year. Quite a fascinating place I must say,  and it is steeped in some serious history of a people who I now have greater admiration for in having traveled there. What a defiant and proud people they are based on their history, and while the clans were long ago, they have city to city rivalries, and take their home Soccer teams quite seriously! They are a people of great achievements too and so many literary, artistic, scientific and historical figures that I was suitably impressed.  You can read about my journey to Scotland in my travel blog on a separate site (just click the photo below to go directly there) or visit my travel site at

I rather like this opening stanza from a sort of bawdy Scottish poem by Robert Burns entitled Scotch Drink (written in 1785):

Let other poets raise a fracas
Bout vines, and wines, an drucken Bacchus,
An crabbit names an stories wrack us,
An grate our lug:
I sing the juice Scotch bear can mak us,
In glass or Jug.

For the full poem see the link (scotch-drink). If you have a poem, saying or story about Scotland, feel free to share them, whatever they may be. I don’t publish my travels here explicitly and have the external Blog for that, but any impressions from visiting my travel Blog are welcome too. I should mention as well that my Travel Blog is also part of a social networking site to interact with other travelers, publish reviews and, of course, share your travel blogs with a community of people sharing the same interests. In fact, during my trip to Scotland, I met up with Ian, who I knew from TravBuddy and had a good visit with in Glasgow. TravBuddy is a great way to meet other people who love travel too, and share your adventures in an interactive way. I highly recommend it. If you would like to become a member, click here: Join TravBuddy

Lady Liberty – July 4, 1986

Today I share a special adventure on a special day. I pay tribute to a 4th of July weekend back in 1986 when the nation, and indeed the world, was turned to thoughts of  Liberty Weekend.

I was in New York City then for the centennial celebration of the Statue of Liberty. I reference my travel blog post in this blog here. It says everything I wanted to say about it and with some photos of that day 26 years ago too. Click on the photo above or the text Liberty Weekend to go to my travel blog. Happy 4th of July to everyone and enjoy Independence Day in America. My travels have shown me not everyone can enjoy such Liberty. It’s a thought worth pondering…

So, I saw the film, “Eat Pray Love” (2010) recently and I liked this philosophy:

eat-pray-love“…I’ve come to believe that there exists in the universe something I call “The Physics of The Quest” – a force of nature governed by laws as real as the laws gravity or momentum. And the rule of Quest Physics maybe goes like this: “If you are brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting (which can be anything from your house to your bitter old resentments) and set out on a truth-seeking journey(either externally or internally), and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you are prepared – most of all – to face (and forgive) some very difficult realities about yourself….then truth will not be withheld from you.” Or so I’ve come to believe.”    ~ Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love.

In the film, a woman goes on a journey of self-discovery. The themes seem to be that Italy is explicitly centered on “pleasure,” India on “devotion,” and Bali on “balance.”  – See the article “Eat Pray Trash“. Now, I had seen this film in segments from time to time and it looked a bit silly to me, but when I saw the film in its entirety it made a great deal of sense. I watched it two more times after and it is quite well done, except for the ending. I just didn’t buy the love story at the end. I couldn’t see the match as something that was the end product of all that she had looked for and sought within herself. Maybe I am too realistic and see love as an emotion people can give and take away at their convenience (something I like to call the “love switch”). Love is not something you can rely on really. Yes, it feels good and lifts you up, carries you for a time, but in the end, there are practical things to consider. Most people choose self-preservation over love. That’s not romantic, but I have found it to be true in life. Maybe I just found the ending of the film too much of a fairy tale. Perhaps I am in need of more faith in the Power of Love to transform and become a fundamental constant in life, maybe even believe in fairy tales! Anyway, the film is called “Eat Pray Love” – so Love had to enter in some way.

It’s a fine film, good travel ways, good spiritual discovery, good romance toward the end and I especially like the Quest Physics philosophy. It’s a nice revelation and a good thought, much more satisfying than the lovers ending to me. If you have not seen the film “Eat Pray Love”, do check it out and watch it a second time to fully absorb it. That’s where you come to understand the concept of the Quest Physics, and if you are a traveler too, it will have an even deeper meaning. Normally I just like or dislike a film, but this one intrigued me enough to watch again, and I was glad I did. I recommend not one viewing, but at least two. Enjoy!

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