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Stupid Astronomer Tricks #4: Keep Calm — 4 Comments

  1. I sympathize with that student. A couple of years ago, I couldn’t understand one night why I wasn’t seeing anything through my 90mm refractor. I finally realized that I had left the lens cap on.

    • From “Black Adder Goes Forth”:
      Gen Melchett: It’s a barren, desolate featureless desert out there!
      Cpt. Darling: The other side (of the map) sir.

      I just tell people that’s it’s a particularly dark night out, and quietly remove the lens cap as they look up at all the bright stars.

      Cheers!

  2. Having enjoyed a Jesuit education myself, and knowing that Ph.D.s are not earned lightly, I assume that Brother Guy created an ambiguity intentionally. Positional analysis of the title of the articles implies that this is about “stupid astronomers,” but we know that this is an oxymoron. Therefore the grammar is more appropriately to be interpreted as “astronomer stupid tricks.” I’ll go with the latter since I have been (and continue to be) guilty of those throughout my life.

    Thank you for injecting humor and human foibles into an increasingly technical and abstract topic.

    • The title is actually a play on the old Letterman feature “Stupid Pet Tricks” — Nancy Lebofsky suggested it, and she and Larry have provided many of the incidents I will be reporting here. By the way, if anyone else has a story to tell, they should email me and I’ll add it to the roster!

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