John Dobson: The Sidewalk Astronomer

john_dobsonMy first encounter with John Dobson came in 1991 when he was featured on the PBS documentary series – The Astronomers.

A few years later, I became very good friends with the past president of the Kansas City Astronomical Society and was fortunate enough to use his 20-inch Dobsonian many times. You haven’t seen the moon until you see it through a telescope like that.

Who was John Dobson and what are some of the words he left behind about space, astronomy, and life that still inspire me?

John Dobson’s (1915-2014) story is compelling. He was an American born in Beijing, China. His mother was a musician and his father taught zoology at Peking University. His maternal grandfather had founded the University.

In 1927, the Dobson family relocated to San Francisco. Young John was a self-described belligerent atheist. Dobson graduated from UC Berkley with a degree in Chemistry and went to work on The Atom Bomb project during World War II.

In 1944, a lecture shifted the direction of Dobson’s young life. He heard a Vedantan swami speak. He later said the swami, “Revealed a world I had never before seen.” Soon joined a Vendantan monastery where he spent the next 23 years.

His primary task was to square modern astronomy with Vedantan teachings. In pursuit of this goal, he started building telescopes and going out into the local community to share stargazing opportunities. He quickly found a calling to spread astronomy to the masses.

By 1968, he helped found San Francisco Sidewalk Astronomers. He’d literally set up a telescope in busy city locations and let people look at what could be seen within a city – mostly the sun, moon, and the planets. Eventually, his desire to bring astronomy to more people led him to create the Dobsonian Telescope. These were large telescopes that could help amateur astronomers see into deep space. However, they could be made relatively cheaply from readily available materials. This revolutionized amateur astronomy.

He realized that he needed to find dark skies and crowds to take his endeavor to the next level. He began touring national parks, doing presentations and allowing people view the universe. He called these “star parties” and the label stuck. Today there are star parties all over the US and the world.

Dobson was brilliant and a character. He entertained his audiences and made astronomy fun. His scientific background allowed him to hob-knob with professional physicists and astronomers and to develop his own theories. By the end of his life, he’d rejected the Big Bang Theory as an explanation of creation.

Below are some quotes I gathered from various talks and TV appearances he made over the years. I think they really bring this amazing man back to life for all of us.

  • Everybody is born curious. Everybody wants to see this universe. Everybody wants to understand this universe. They’re just waiting for someone to present it to them. Everybody wants to understand this thing in his guts.
  • If there were a million amateur astronomers with telescopes and they were willing to let a few thousand people each look through their telescopes, there would be a chance for all the people in this world who wanted to see to see.
  • The fact is that the parks already have the best seeing conditions. If we’re going to get the telescopes to where the public is associated with the best seeing conditions, we have to do it in the national parks.
  • There’s something inside you that drives you to understand this universe. It’s not something you have to think about.
  • Why is the universe like this? Why isn’t it some other way? Why isn’t the universe made out of butter? Why does it have to be made of these little tiny things that you can’t cut up any further?
  • I used to wheel that telescope around the streets. Some kid would say, ‘What’s that?’ I’d say, ‘It’s a telescope. Do you want to borrow it?’ Well of course he wants to borrow it.
  • The universe is made of three ingredients- hydrogen and helium and the dust of exploded stars. The earth is made from the dust of exploded stars.
  • The reason I got into this telescope-making world is because I wanted to make it possible for people to see this world. That’s why we made these user-friendly telescopes. They’re not designed to entertain photographic plates. They’re for entertaining soft, warm eyes because seeing things in photographs is very different thing from seeing them with your eyes through a telescope.
  • The population of this earth is several billion. All those eyes are waiting to see. All those ears are waiting to hear. All those minds are eager to understand. And somebody’s got this job to do.
  • I want people to see the universe because if they don’t see it they won’t wonder about it; then they’re dead. What’s the use of someone who doesn’t wonder? It’s the hallmark of our species.
  • When I joined the monastery, I was working in the atom bomb project in the Second World War. I was working for the University of California in the radiation lab. In the monastery, I became keenly tied up in these cosmological problems. So, I wanted to see what the universe looked like. So, I helped somebody make a telescope. Through that telescope, we saw the third quarter moon. As soon as I saw that third quarter moon, it looked as if we were coming in for a landing, I couldn’t believe that the moon would look like that. I thought my God, I mean inside of me, it said everyone has got to see this.
  • Somebody sticks around when he feels that he has something to do. You know, old people that don’t feel like they have something to do and their friends don’t love them anymore; they die fast. People who have something to do and friends they care about; they don’t die out like that. I’m one of those guys.
  • I like to make fun of the Big Bang. I’m allergic to the Big Bang. The Big Bang people wanted to get everything out of nothing. They want us to believe that nothing made everything out of nothing.
  • It’s impossible to get everything out of nothing. Even if you did get everything out of nothing, you still have the difficulty that it’s in a black hole.
  • The Big Bang is impossibility cubed.
  • There are a lot of people who like to invent harder ways to do things. I let them do it.
  • If information comes in answer to a question, we have some use for it. If it doesn’t answer a question , we have another ear to let it out.
  • All the elements in the universe ate made of protons, neutrons, and electrons. It’s made out of electricity. Don’t you see how screwy it is? The thing (universe) is made out of electricity.
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UFO Cover Up EST. 1947 T-shirt Has Arrived!

My #UFO Cover Up, EST. 1947 shirt arrived from #Teespring today! What do you think?

You can order your own here.

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Our Visit to Beautiful Walden Pond — The Affirmation Spot Blog

April and I have lived in Massachusetts for almost four years. As our time here draws to a close, we’re trying mark things off our places to visit list. We’ve been wanting to hike around Walden Pond (yes, that Walden Pond) since we arrived. I hiked part of it alone a couple years ago, but […]

via Our Visit to Beautiful Walden Pond — The Affirmation Spot Blog

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Anunnaki Awakening 2 (Revolution) Update

One of the challenges I’ve assumed in writing the second book in the series is characters of two of history’s most revered spiritual figures. It has been my contention for some time that both Jesus and Buddha – though not only them – were both vehicles used to reveal the great deception my series tackles.

Although I’m not to the beta-reader stage yet, I’ve approached characterizing these two figures with some trepidation. Though I’ve studied both their teachings for decades, the idea of actually putting new words in their mouths is interesting to put it mildly.

We live in a world where many people are not open to dialogue about these teachers, their significance, or its impact on humanity. Though I plan to paint them both in a heroic light, I recast them as agents of change seeking to awaken a deceived and sleeping humanity.

Not to give too much away, but my two main characters – Maria Love and Inanna – wind up playing key roles in the lives of these great teachers. In each case, Maria is given a commission to change history’s perception of them and their teachings, as they are aware the deception have used them to obscure the truth rather than to illuminate it.

I remember Dan Brown once being asked in an interview whether he ever regretted writing The Da Vinci Code, given the chaos and threats he faced after its release. He admitted there were days he had regretted it.

Anunnaki Awakening 2 (Revolution) is not meant to attack anyone’s beliefs, but it will challenge the paradigms about these two teachers by believers and skeptics alike.

Happy writing, my friends!

Ray

Anunnaki Awakening: Revelation is available on Amazon or can be ordered by your local bookstore. Anunnaki Awakening 2 (Revolution) is in work now with a target release date of January 2020.

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The Ironic Tale of Censoring a Book About Censorship (Fahrenheit 451)

The Ironic Tale of Censoring a Book About Censorship (Fahrenheit 451)

The Ironic Tale of Censoring a Book About Censorship (Fahrenheit 451)
— Read on learnfunfacts.com/2019/02/06/the-ironic-tale-of-censoring-a-book-about-censorship-fahrenheit-451/

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Endings – How Important Are They? Do They Have to be Happy

Great discussion on how to end a book. Feedback from authors and readers welcomed.

Author Don Massenzio

endIn the past days , I’ve talked about book openings and middles in  my posts. This post talks about the other end of your book, the ending. It will briefly discuss the types of endings and the importance of choosing the right one for your book.

Just_Hanging_AroundLeaving the reader hanging – is it a good idea?

Many sources will tell you not to end your book with a cliffhanger. The reader needs some satisfaction or a happy ending to complete their reading experience. In my opinion, the answer to this is not quite that simple.

As someone who has written a series, I strive to make each book capable of being read as a standalone story. There is, however, a backstory arc for my main character that continues from book to book. What I like to do is resolve the current story within the book but provide a lead in…

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Five Things I’ve Learned In The First Month Of Freelancing… — Mark Stay Writes

How the hell is it February already? As you may know, I left my day job just before Christmas and am now unemployed/a freelance writer, depending on your definition… I mean, technically I’m unemployed as I haven’t actually earned any money this month, but I have been working my buns off putting stuff in place […]

via Five Things I’ve Learned In The First Month Of Freelancing… — Mark Stay Writes

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Absolutely Not on Declaring a National Emergency

I do not support this president or any president declaring a state of national emergency or setting that precedent over a political debate. This can lead to martial law and a suspension of – though they’re increasingly few – Constitutional rights.

Immigration is just one example of many issues we’ve been too partisan and too childish to deal with for decades. It falls into that basket of hot button issues the two DC parties would rather have to run on election after election rather than solve.

Just another reason I’ve been proud to vote third party for almost 20 years. I’d rather “throw my vote away” on the possibility of change than rely on either the Democrats or Republicans to ever represent the American people.

Stay awake!

Ray

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Nick Pope Confirms Rendlesham Remains Unsolved

There’s been some buzz in the British media that the mystery of 1980 Rendlesham Forest incident has been solved. Many of the largest newspapers in the UK have run with this story rather uncritically.  In typical mainstream media fashion, they have a nice, neat bow to place on one of UFOlogy’s best documented stories.

According to reports, British special forces (SAS) conducted an operation to fool US Air Force personnel in retaliation for the capture and harsh interrogation of British soldiers by US special forces. Supposedly, the SAS got the idea for the revenge mission because US troops had called the captured Brits aliens.

Nick Pope, who spent several years as the head of the UFO research for the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) has tweeted that this is a hearsay story and that the Rendlesham case remains unsolved.

pope_rendlesham_tweet

The story strikes me a rather ridiculous on the surface. I highly doubt even a special forces unit could pull off all the aspects reported with that event. Linda Moulton Howe has partnered with John Burroughs, one of the US soldiers involved, for a podcast for some time now. It will be interesting to see what they have to say about this.

To me, this is someone coming with no evidence and a story nearly as fantastic as the sighting itself.

We shall keep an eye on this one.

Ray

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New Moon, Solar Eclipse, January 5th, 2019 ~ Dreams Come True — dreamweaver333

Originally posted on The New Divine Humanity: This Powerful New Moon in Capricorn and Solar Eclipse takes place on Saturday January 5th, 2019* at 9:28 pm AST. That is right ~ 2019. And on January 21st we have a Lunar Eclipse, Full Moon, that make up an Eclipse Phase lasting till the July, 2nd, 2019,…

via New Moon, Solar Eclipse, January 5th, 2019 ~ Dreams Come True — dreamweaver333

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