Re: "Sagan and Velikovsky" to appear in local book stores

Sherwood Harrington (
22 Jan 1995 03:22:37 GMT

Stavros Macrakis ( wrote:
: In article <3fmrlh$> (Ted
: Holden) writes:


: ...a major organ of the scientific establishment, Mercury Magazine...

: I'm afraid I don't know this magazine. Who publishes it, and what
: were the criteria for refusing the ad for the book?

_Mercury_ is the bimonthly, black-and-white, nontechnical magazine (large
pamphlet, really) which is distributed to members of the Astronomical
Society of the Pacific. I was the "managing editor" of the effort for a
while in the '80's -- the effort took only a part of what was already
just a part-time job with the ASP -- and to see it described as "a major
organ of the scientific establishment" this morning was both a treasure
and a curse. The "treasure" part is that it's one of the funniest things
I've seen in months, and...

... the "curse" part is that I had a mouthful of coffee when I saw the
quote, and the coffee wound up all over my keyboard.

By the way, _Mercury_ seldom has ads of any kind. (The current, 40-page
issue -- Jan/Feb 1995 -- has one 2-inch square little ad for an outfit
called Rainbow Optics.) When I was there, we had the occasional ad from
places like Springer-Verlag, which they paid for as kind of a favor to the
non-profit society. We'd only run them, though, if we had a last-minute
hole to fill.

Oh, yes, circulation: according to the ASP's most recent Postal Service
form 3526, the last issue of _Mercury_ had a publishing run of 6,600
copies in TOTAL.

"Major organ", what a trip.

Sherwood Harrington
Astronomy Department
DeAnza College
Cupertino, CA 95014

Sherwood Harrington <>