Computer fritz. Expletive deleted.

August 22, 2010

Two days before school starts, with the computers in the classroom not yet up and running well, with a lot of material yet to create, with poor printer connections in the best of times, there appears to be a power supply issue.  Sudden loss of data.  Inability to back up.  Days for a solution.

Expletive deleted.

You know, when I was in solo practice I had a much smaller burden to bear on office automation.  I was responsible for all of it, but I didn’t have Wizards of Smart from downtown creating programs and processes incompatible with computer use.  The comic strip, “Dilbert,” discusses the Department of Automation and Information Prevention.

I got that.  With troubles on my own computer.

Another expletive deleted.

Maybe I can get Jonathan Kozol to do a chapter in a new book, a follow-up to Rudolph Flesch’s work: Why Johnny Can’t Teach.

Feel free to discuss on any thread.

Naked-eye star gazer Jack Horkheimer, dead at 72

August 22, 2010

Jack Horkheimer, the guy who worked for more than 30 years to acquaint people with the fine old tradition of naked-eye astronomy, died in Miami Friday.  He was 72.

Jack Horkheimer, America's Star Gazer - Photo by Bill Wisser

Jack Horkheimer, America's Star Gazer, at home in a television production studio - Photo by Bill Wisser, first published in Astronomy, January 2006

A short note appears in Sunday’s Miami Herald:

`Star Gazer’ host Jack Horkheimer dies


Jack Horkheimer, Public Television’s “Star Gazer,” died Friday afternoon of a respiratory ailment, according to a spokesman for the Miami Museum of Science and Space Transit Planetarium.

Born June 11, 1938, he was 72.

In an e-mail to staff, museum officials said they were “very saddened to have just learned that our resident Star Gazer, Jack Horkheimer, passed away today after being ill for quite some time.

“Jack was executive director of [the] Planetarium for over 35 years and was an internationally recognized pioneer in popularizing naked-eye astronomy. He was also a recognized media celebrity, often being the foremost commentator on all astronomy related happenings nationwide.

Horkheimer was best known as the creator, writer and host of public television’s “Star Gazer,” the 30-year weekly TV series on naked eye astronomy. Seen on PBS stations nationwide, “Star Gazer” reached millions of people, helping create a love of the stars for several generations of enthusiasts.”

Arrangements are pending.

Read more:

Many of my best opportunities to watch stars come when I’ve far away from optics to improve the sighting.  Horkheimer’s practical advice on how to eyeball the sky delighted me from the start.

Horkheimer was a media guy, not an astronomer or scientist in any strict sense.  He was a great popularizer of astronomy.  Star Gazer may be the single most effective educational program on astronomy in history, by viewers and by total effect.

Checking his website, I note that he’s got, in the can and ready to broadcast, episodes of Star Gazer for weeks to come.

Here’s Star Gazer for the coming week:


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