As I was looking through the documents about Operation Moonwatch for last month’s column, I came across my father’s name and the names of several of his friends. One person who was involved in the initial organization of the amateur astronomers was Armand Spitz. Dr. Spitz was an inventor of a small planetarium mechanism that…

Read more Creating the Stars

Science began for me on cold nights, early mornings, before the sun even considered showing her face. I was helping my father and a group of volunteers who were searching the dark, cold sky for the first human-made satellites. We had to be up at a certain time when our sky was dark but the…

Read more It Was a Cold, Crisp Night

The cartoon below, by Sidney Harris from the American Scientist magazine, illustrates one of the mysteries of science: How does a scientist create a brilliant insight? Is it an act of inspiration born out of the unconscious? Is it magic? Is it a miracle? I’d not totally discount divine intervention in our most startling discoveries…

Read more Newton and the Planets

Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make me a match, Find me a find, Catch me a catch… Fiddler on the Roof, Musical, 1964. The matchmaker used to be a person. She was almost always a respectable, middle-aged woman who was well known in the community. I am reminded of the Yonkers widow, Dolly Gallagher Levi, from the 1964…

Read more Databases of Passion


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