Friday we went to Stellafane, one of the largest gathering of amateur telescope makers and amateur astronomers. We went first to Hartness House where they directed us up Breezy Hill to the Stellafane clubhouse. We talked to the president of Stellafane along with the curator of the museum at Hartness House. There were lots of amateur astronomers there with their hand built telescopes. I will admit that I did not understand any of the technical stuff they told us, but we were mainly there to find out more about Russell Porter, arctic explorer turned telescope maker. Porter was quite an interesting man. It wasn’t the most exciting day, but we had a good time.
I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore,
Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more,
But the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry,
From the waters lifted me, now safe am I.
Love lifted me!
Love lifted me!
When nothing else could help,
Love lifted me!
All my heart to Him I give, ever to Him I’ll cling,
In His blessed presence live, ever His praises sing,
Love so mighty and so true, merits my soul’s best songs,
Faithful, loving service, too, to Him belongs.
Souls in danger, look above, Jesus completely saves,
He will lift you by His love, out of the angry waves;
He’s the Master of the sea, billows His will obey,
He your Savior wants to be, be saved today.
Stellafane. Your first question is probably: what the hell is Stellafane? Stellafane (Latin for shrine to the stars) is the name of the clubhouse built by the Springfield Telescope Makers club of Springfield, Vermont in the early 1920s, and has since come to refer to the club’s land and buildings on the summit of Breezy Hill. It also refers to the Stellafane Convention, a gathering of amateur telescope makers and amateur astronomers (star party) held every year at that location. The Springfield Telescope Makers grew out of a class on how to make telescopes that was started by Russell W. Porter in Springfield, Vermont in August 12, 1920. The members of this small group decided to form a club and held their first meeting on December 7, 1923.
The reason I mention Stellafane is because I am going to the convention today. Porter was an alumni of the university that I work for. They are the curators of some Porter material that my Museum would like to borrow. Porter built some great telescopes such as the Hale Telescope at the Palomar Observatory in California. Porter was a pretty fascinating guy as an artist, an Artic explorer, and a telescope builder. So I’m going to Stellafane to help borrow some of the artifacts they have about Porter. It should be an interesting day.
If only he’d bring me coffee in the morning…I might actually want to get up, then again I might want to stay in bed.
Has anyone watched Will? Will is an American drama television series about the (fictional) life of William Shakespeare in his early 20s. The series was ordered for a first season containing 10 episodes, on May 18, 2016, and premiered on TNT on July 10, 2017.
While the show is fictional, there are certain things true about it. There is a real debate over whether Shakespeare was a closet Catholic or not. Also, it shows Christopher Marlowe as being gay, which history says he probably was. Marlowe is played marvelously by Jamie Campbell Bower.
I am also quite fond of Mattias Inwood's character, Richard Burbage. He has a magnificent butt that is shown off quite well in episode two. Also, Colm Meaney is in the show and as a Star Trek fan, I love him.
A Better Life
by Randall Mann
after Julio Cortázar
It’s silly to think
fourteen years ago
I turned thirty.
How I made it that far
I’ll never know.
In this city of hills,
if there was a hill
I was over it. Then.
(In queer years,
are more than.)
Soon it will be fifteen
since the day I turned thirty.
It’s so remote.
I didn’t think I’d make it
to fourteen years ago.
Fear lives in the chest
You say my gray, it makes
me look extinguished;
you make me cringe.
I haven’t cracked
the spines of certain paperbacks,
or learned a sense of direction,
even with a slick device.
But the spleen doesn’t ask twice,
and soon it will be fifteen years
since I turned thirty.
Which may not sound like a lot.
Which sounds like the hinge
of a better life:
It is, and it is not.
Lewis is a 19 year old gay man who just came out to his family. He’s also a Christian in a very Christian family. Lewis started a new blog called “A Gay Christian Life.” He hasn’t been too encouraged to write a lot because he hasn’t gotten many hits, but let me assure you that his story is worth reading. He has two posts up so far, one about coming out and the other about a meeting with his pastor. It’s a story that is familiar to a lot of our coming outs, both the ups and downs of it. So please go check out Lewis’s blog “A Gay Christian Life.”