rick_245@yahoo.com wrote:

I'm relatively new to this forum so I'm along a learning curve at some
point. I'm also a veteran of newsgroups, dating in various
participations back to the dawn of USENET.

The reason I subscribed to sci.astro.amateur was to obtain information,
directly (by question, i.e. How do I ...?) or by observation (ah,
there's a lovely dialogue going on how body heat convection affects

At first I fell into the DJM Tar Baby Trap, but he's since kill-filed,
as he offers absolutely nothing informative of even intelligent, merely
an open mouth spilling bile to a weary audience, apperently with the
goal of driving everyone from the sci.* newsgroups to which he posts.

There have been others, which I generally spot-check and ignore if no
sign of intelligent discussion is taking place. Typically, with Mozilla
or Google Groups I guage the size of a thread, if it's got a lot of
replies it probably is a flame war of some sort (see:
<http://redwing.hutman.net/%7Emreed/> )

There are some heated discussions (i.e. jupiter-interaction with the
sun) where some uninformed person makes a ludicrous hypothesis and gets
clubbed like a baby harp seal, which I don't see and too sporting and
generally creating enemies. The fellow with the concern over Duming
Down on Astronomy also fits into that camp.

For the most part, I do find r.a.a to be an invaluable resource as I can
only get so much out of books or staring, glassy eyed, at enthusiast web
pages, which answer some questions, but usually raise others unanswered.