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History of Astronomy Part 2

March 30, 2014

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Edmund Halley 1656-1742 Among his many studies are tides, magnetism, and trade winds. He cataloged 341 southern hemisphere stars and discovered a star cluster in Centaurus. He also made the first complete observation of a transit of Mercury on November 7, 1677. He also invented the diving bell. But his most famous accomplishment is that […]

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History of Astronomy Part 1

March 23, 2014

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There have been thousands of science geeks contributing to astronomy over the centuries and millennia. Here are a mere handful that have been selected from some of the most significant figures. Some of these people are real icons of human history, big thinkers. As Isaac Newton once said “If I have seen farther than others, […]

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Bode Titius Rule

February 16, 2014

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Johann Bode and Johann Titius were best buds and they made a rule about planets. Okay first of all let’s call it what it is. It’s not really a rule. And it’s not a law. It’s not even a theory. It’s more of a thingy. It’s the Bode Titius Thingy. It all started in the […]

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Astronomers at Large

July 14, 2013

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Did I ever tell you about the time I prevented a bombing? Okay forget I said anything, but here’s what happened. On July 11, 1991 in La Paz, Mexico there was a total eclipse of the Sun. The Keystone Astronomers were there. Keystone Astronomers at Large is a quirky cable access TV show that I […]

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Pleasant Valley Chaos Theory

July 7, 2013

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My first car was a white 1964 Barracuda. I was pretty proud of it. I suppose having my own car at age 16 helped me develop a proper sense of responsibility and independence. Those things are important. But that’s not where this story is going. One night I was on a camp-out fishing trip with […]

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Deep Sky Zodiac

May 19, 2013

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Firespark

The beaten path that the Sun appears to trod on its yearly trek among the stars is the oldest known method of mapping our way around the sky. So the Sun was the center of celestial attention even before people promoted it to admin of the solar system. That makes a lot of sense to […]

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The Inequality of Dr Bell

May 12, 2013

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A Particle Man’s Lifeis Always Intense How can a pair of tiny particles remain connected, remain related, and perfectly responsive to each other, in spite of being separated beyond their ability to communicate at subluminal speeds? It’s as if a pair of twins are born but are never truly separate beings. They remain in some […]

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Heavenly Bodies

April 28, 2013

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John was a geek. No one doubted that. He liked three things; math, physics, and math. He spent hours every day at his little desk, drawing circles and triangles and weirdly nested multi-faceted polyhedrons, and he played around with the associated mathematical formulae. He made pretty good money these days at least, even though almost […]

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When Chalking Became a Verb

January 11, 2013

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Chalking: the use of chalk to express celebratory or ideological ideas on the bricks, cement, and other surfaces in a public area. I was there when and where the trend and use of the term “chalking” started on the Western Washington University campus. The story might amuse you, so here it goes. The concept of […]

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Neakita – a true story

January 9, 2012

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Neakita

Neakita is my mother’s name. It is the Choctaw Indian word for a type of wild rose. The flower the Choctaw word refers to has a simple blossom with five white petals and a gold center. The Neakita flower has a great and sad significance for the Choctaw. Legend says that anywhere a mother’s tear […]

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