Wondering about wild grapes

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Yesterday we were wondering about language and I kind of left you up in the air about the longest word in the “Oxford English Dictionary”. OK, are you ready? Here it is: “pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis” Wow, talk about a mouthful! OK, now I suppose you want to know what it means. For you with the inquiring minds it is a “lung disease caused by inhaling volcanic silicon dust”. Now, don’t you feel smarter???

I will add another language item that I didn’t know, but I am sure some of you did: “More than one third of the world’s 6800 spoken languages are endangered. According to UNESC, about 200 tongues now have fewer than 10 surviving speakers.” This makes me wonder who these 10 people talk to, especially if they get mad at each other?

Changing the subject back to my telescope posts, I took it apart and brought it back in the house yesterday. The days (nights) that I had it out were perfect weather-wise and there was no moon. The only problem was the limited patch of sky that I could see.

Before I tore it down, I thought that I would take a couple of pictures comparing my first telescope with the “big” one. This picture shows their side profiles next to each other:

And of course the aperture and mirror size. The secondary mirror in the big scope is as big or bigger than the primary in the little one. It is hard to see the back of the secondary in the big DOB because it is painted black, but look carefully and you can make it out.

OK, another subject. My wife tells me I am forgetting things. Naw, that can’t be. I am fine and it is . . . what was I going to say? Oh yeah, I believe that there is a good side of everything. Take senility for instance. It keeps the old from remembering how good they used to feel. I was thinking that it would be terrible if I could remember how good I used to feel. Guess the way I feel now is normal and I never felt better, right?


  1. What a difference in the telescope size!! One of these days I try to get a picture of the one over at the farm house that we got back in the late 50s. We thought it was big and powerful, but by today's standards,, .. naw.

    And about your word of the day.. that one sort of takes your breath away huh? :-)

  2. Yep Ben, that word should be hyphonated to give you someplace to take a breath. I'll bet that telescope at the farm is plenty good enough to see most of the wonders in the night sky. Am anxious to see a picture of it.

    All my telescopes are "plain Janes", nothing fancy. You have to push and pull them around to see different areas. The more expensive ones just automatically go to what you want to see and track it. Too many $$$$ for me.

  3. That's quite a size difference, my friend! I would imagine quite a weight difference as well!

    I can only imagine the difference in cost!

  4. The first scope was less than 20 pounds and the big one's shipping weight was 265 pounds.

    The first one was bought at a yard sell for $15.00, the other one for 100 times more or so.

    It was a bargain. The least expensive one that has "go to" electronics and tracking abilities, cost over $15,000.00, 10 times more than mine.

  5. Let me clarify, the $15,000.00 price is for one of equal aperture, and clearly not a Dobsonian.

  6. And much more tedious and difficult to set up. I like my dob because I can take the base out the car, plonk the tube on it and start looking at things, all the while others are still finding North, aligning their scope, levelling it, starting up their coffee grinders (the sound the motors make when skewing), and finally starting to look at the evening sky. Then their battery goes flat and they call it a night.

    Meanwhile, I started looking at stuff before them, and I can continue to do so till 4 in the morning if I please.

    They can have their expensive tracking devices and gadgetry. I'm happy pushing and pulling my scope to an object of the sky I found, not the computer.

  7. Pip, I agree. It makes you learn the sky a little bit more. But I must admit that I have forgotten a lot for lack of use or old age or both.