Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Columbus Astronomical Society - Eclipse presentation

On Saturday 9 July I will be speaking at Perkins Observatory which hosts the Columbus Astronomical Society (Ohio). The topic - eclipses of course!

Meetings are open to visitors so if you are in the area on the 9th of July, come on up. Meeting starts at 8pm. For directions to Perkins Observatory, see the web site. Your GPS may not get you there since it sits in a forested area in the middle of a golf course.

Perkins Observatory is a cool place to visit any time. Public programs and special presentations are listed on the website. Perkins Observatory has a great history. Big Ear radio telescope, the 69" telescope, and much more used to be deeply involved in astronomical research. When the 69" was moved to darker and better sky out west it was replaced with a 30" that is still used for teaching and basic research. Visitors can also enjoy a museum of astronomy that has an impressive collection of model rockets on display. The director, Tom Burns, is a rocket enthusiast. He is also a great guy to meet if you get the chance.

Some years ago I was president of the society and it is an excellent group of astronomy enthusiasts. I am really looking forward to the presentation and renewing some long time friendships. Since moving to the West Indies I have not been an active member so it will fun to check things out.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Where can you get Eclipse Nuts?

There are only a few places you can purchase your own copy of Eclipse Nuts.

First is online, at an eStore set up by the print-on-demand company CreateSpace. Click here for the Eclipse Nuts ordering page. They are US$20 each plus shipping. You will have to set up an account at Create Space and many of you already have one if you ordered Fred Espenak's book(s) about the eclipses. (Fred is the one that turned me on to the web site print-on-demand.)

Second, the store at GreatAmericanEclipse.Com will have copies for sale. You can order a copy in conjunction with the great eclipse stuff they have for sale (maps, shirts, hats, pins, books, posters, and a lot more).

I'd like to mention that the cartooning has not stopped. I am still creating more and there will be another Eclipse Nuts coming soon. Drawing is a lot of fun if you don't worry about the technical details....

Up the entire night before, all set up, completely wired, red filters on glasses, everything charged - ahh, eclipse chasing!

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Eclipse Nuts - announcement

It is done! My first real "self published" book about eclipses.

And this book is unique. It is unlike any other eclipse book you may have seen before. This is a book of eclipse cartoons poking fun at eclipse chasing and astronomers.

At the most recent TSE in Indonesia a group of eclipse chasing experts were talking about self publishing. As a former author of computer programming books and a long time magazine contributing editor I was very intrigued and joined the conversation. The industry has evolved a lot since the days when I wrote books and at the prodding of two of my friends I started to put together a set of my cartoons (doodles) to be self-published.

The result is Eclipse Nuts.
The cover of Eclipse Nuts - available now from Create Space (an Amazon company).

I like drawing doodles. When inspired by something that strikes a funny nerve in me, I act it out in a doodle.  I have a strange sense of humor. Sometimes I do what I heard or saw directly but most of the time the doodles are an extension of my bizarre way of seeing things. Things like extreme eclipse chasers strapping rockets to themselves do not really exist except in the imagination.

So here is where you can go to buy a copy of the book. 

The e-store and Amazon.Com are the only places you can purchase a copy. They are printed on demand. When you place an order, the machines go to work and produce a brand new copy of the book. It is then sent to you arriving in just a few days.

Over 100 cartoons are included in the book for only US$20 (plus shipping). That is better than 5 cartoons to the dollar that you can enjoy over and over again. I like to use them to answer those standard questions I hear all the time. Somehow a cartoon gets the point across best in many cases. I also use them when doing eclipse lectures to spice up powerpoint presentations.

Once I had a prototype of the book ready, Fred Espenak gave it a look and immediately suggested the name "Eclipse Nuts". It took all of a few seconds for me to like it and that is how the name was born. Originally I had a longer name like "Eclipse Chasers are funny people" however you have to admit, Eclipse Nuts sums it up better.

By the way, I am still creating newer cartoons all the time. If enough copies of this book sell, I will produce another one. The creative juices are not empty. Especially when it comes to my favorite hobby of astronomy and eclipses.

Clear sky!