John Steinberg <seesig@bottom.invalid> wrote in article

Short-winded – everything…
Long-winded – well you asked so here goes…
It all started way back when, I don’t remember really but a long time
(as a % of my life) ago. Probably my first exposure to it was the
Apollo landings; my father was involved with the TV transmission in the
UK, so apart from his interest there was his professional involvement.
The story goes that he sat up to watch the coverage as it came in and I
was sat on his knee when the first pictures were aired in the UK, I was
less than a year old then. The unfortunate thing is because of my age I
don’t actually remember any of it :-(
Reading some of the posts has reminded me of something of my developing
interest that I’d pretty much forgotten about. Again I can’t pin down
when but it was somewhere between age 8 and 14. My Mother took me to
the Science Museum in London, it was during the school holidays and they
had a competition on, the idea was that it took you on a tour trying to
find the answers. Well I completed the form and put it in the
collection box and forgot about it. A number of weeks later a package
arrived for me, I don’t know whether I’d won 1st prize or a runners up
but the prize I got was a set of books about the planets, oh I wish I
knew what had happened to them, they were great. Also around that time
my Mum took me to the London Planetarium, which was awesome. As you can
see I had a fairly solid grounding, but there are 2 other factors that
need mentioning – Patrick Moore, even as a young lad I found his
enthusiasm contagious, and the Voyager Missions, when they launched I
was about 8 so most of my youth was spent during their main missions.
What is it now that interests me? Most things. I have a general
interest in sciences, with astronomy at the top of the pile, I find it
tends to have a finger in most pies. I have a telescope but am not a
visual only astronomer, I love to watch TV programmes about it (well
most sciences actually), I love to read about it, especially the latest
developments, in books and magazines and over the web (I’m currently
reading “The Universe in a Nutshell” by Stephen Hawking). As has been
mentioned elsewhere, Astronomy is also the most easily accessible and
most social (at an amateur level) of all the sciences, and I could
really relate to the comment about discussing it and seeing peoples’
eyes glazing over.
Other than all that I like to get to lectures every so often and have
recently started working towards a degree. Honourable mention must go
to UKSA and SAA; it fascinates me what all you lot are doing.
Finally, just being alone (even in a crowd) with creation, to look up
and imagine the depth and beauty of it all, trying to grasp the vast
distances, the incredible speeds, the violence and the serenity. Just
to stand (or sit, or lie) with or without optical aid and stare and let
myself wander and wonder.
If I could have one wish for the afterlife it would be to know and
understand the entirety of the Universe from the tiniest particle to the
largest galaxy, from the start (or better still, before) until the end.
Well you asked for the long winded version…;-)

51:31N 0:38W

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