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Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 03:20:12 -0700 (PDT) From: "wayne t. watson" (email@example.com) Subject: BULLETIN: California Disaster -NEWS ITEM- Federal Government Declares California a Disaster Area for Astronomical Observing This Year Today the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, declared that because of the atmospheric effects caused by El Nino dating back to late 1997 that California would receive federal aid for professional and amateur astronomers in the state. It was noted that night seeing has been near impossible most of the 1998 and a good part of the last months of 1997. Weather predictions for the remainder of the year by JPL suggest that it may be September before three successive nights of good viewing might be possible. Kodak, Fuji, and several other film makers have expressed concern. "CCD and photographic imaging has been way down this year.", said John Rigel, a spokesman for CAANTC, California Amateur Astronomers Neighborhood Telescope Commission. The noted Irish amateur astronomer Jerry O'Berry mourned the inability to see the spectacular O'Brien nebula, which only can seen for a short period around St. Patricks day. Several leading camera stores, Pfotomat and PayMore among others, noted that the demand for wallet sized astronomical photos was much lower this year. Several professional astronomers have given up hope of seeing or photographing much this year, and have turned to writing proposals for more 'big ears' to be built in California rather than 'big eyes'. In a recent trip to Silicon Valley to attend a conference on electronics and software for everyone, vice-president Gore noted that in his last several visits here that he hadn't seen any stars in the California skies for in a long time. When pressed on the subject, he admitted that his bed time is usually 6pm and he often rises late. Newt Gingrich was asked about the crises, and responded with "What? California again! They are really starting to annoy me out there." In the FEMA announcement, it was stated the astronomers in California would be compensated fairly. The compensation, although not finalized, would be along the following lines: Professional Astronomers: -Triple the loan period on books containing galactic images from any state university library. -Double the loan period on any other astronomical image books found in state university libraries. -Free 8x10 glossies (black and white) of any image shot by Kitt Peak in 1997. Limit of 5. -Free wallet size color photos of any image shot by the Hubble Space Telescope in March, 1998. -Reduced admission to the Eselen Institute this summer for group therapy for distraught astronomers with lunch a Nepantha. Amateur Astronomers: -A five day extra grace period on any book in their local public libraries written by Carl Sagan. -By arrangement with Sky and Telescope Magazine, the right to copy any image in a forthcoming special issue on the viewing crisis in California. -A free government pamphlet titled "How to Keep Dust Off Your Telescope While in Storage.". -At a modest cost from the Dept. of Defense, a full color Messier object eye chart. Occasional Astronomers: -Free 3-D glasses and one 3-D image of the latest 'face on Mars' image obtainable directly from FEMA with assistance from NASA. Art Bell Listeners: -Psychic images of M666 in the Hyades. -From the U.S. Govt. Printing Office, a free pamphlet on optical illusions in the day and night skies. After the announcement, representatives from Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Texas, and Florida were thinking of asking for similar assistance. Late Item: Special prosecutor Kant Star was looking into the rumor that CAANTC membership fees were diverted to Al Gore's campaign fund in 1996. It was also heard, that when Newt heard this news, he was able to utter "this is the last straw" just before he went nova. Written by Wayne Watson, but not Copyrighted 1998 by Wayne Watson. Anyone is free to distribute this material without restrictions other than to have a good time with it. - -- Wayne T. Watson | | / * The Software Hill | Consulting in C, UNIX, C++ | / . * Mountain View, CA | Java, OO Methods, Graphics | // * (650) 969-4233 | Statistics, Science, | o * . firstname.lastname@example.org | Space Sciences, Astronomy | . * Web Page: http://www.netcom.com/~softhill (Updated 12/07/97) "Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts." (Sign hanging in Einstein's office at Princeton)
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