Summertime Stargazing

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[This Commentary originally appeared in the July 5, 1990 issue of The Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel.]

CarosaCommentaryNewLogo_259I love the summer. Longer daylight hours means we can do a lot more. It also means, after a good day’s work, we can still spend some relaxing time with our family and neighbors.

Sitting on the porch gently taking in the sights and sounds of nature and our community, we savor the twilight of the day. The last lick of sunlight long since set, we slowly mellow with the sky. Our light conversation goes as smoothly as the transition from dusk to dark.

It is this time of day I enjoy the best. Surrounded by close comrades and all the chores done, I can now look heavenward. For some reason, I still get a kick out of finding the Continue Reading “Summertime Stargazing”

A Wrangler’s Story

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[This Commentary originally appeared in the October 19, 1989 issue of The Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel.]

CarosaCommentaryNewLogo_259Born on February 15th in what was then a small seaport, his father belonged to a noble, but impoverished, family. Dad dabbled in the clothing business, but had an aptitude for mathematics and music. He also had common sense, for he realized that, in those days, none but the chosen few could afford a living in the mathematics or music industry.

The father sent the son to study medicine – always a fine and rewarding industry – at the local University. The proud parent knew the temptation music and mathematics might have on the boy, so he purposely dissuaded him from those fields. The young man, however, already possessed a proficiency in music.

At the University, he incurred the wrath of his professors. He simply refused to accept Continue Reading “A Wrangler’s Story”

Why I Got Religion – A Book Review of Philip Plait’s Death from the Skies!

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Death_from_the_Skies_300I’m normally an optimistic person. I regularly practice a “can-do” philosophy. It’s fun. It’s generated its share of success. It’s something I demand from everyone working with me. I can’t stand the lamentable “first you are born, then you die” way of life found too often among naysayers, doomsdayers and, in general, soothsayers of gloom. “There’s always hope!” I’ll shout from the highest mountain. Give me a “no-win” scenario and I’ll find the loop hole. It’s just the way I am. Deal with it.

So, when I say, “Philip Plait’s Death from the Skies bluntly stripped all hope from me,” you’ll know just how significant a statement that represents. As I turned each page, I could feel the Continue Reading “Why I Got Religion – A Book Review of Philip Plait’s Death from the Skies!

Hooray for the Perseids!

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[This Commentary originally appear in the August 10, 1989 issue of The Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel.]

CarosaCommentaryNewLogo_259It’s not been a very good summer for stargazing – at least on Monday nights. The hazy skies tend to catch too much light. Remember, the full moon we had a few weeks back. It lit up the entire atmosphere.

Of course, the omnipresent haze does lend itself to some interesting night-time sights. For instance, did you ever watch a descending jet? When the plane puts its landing lights on, an arrow of humid sky blazes into illumination. It sort of looks like the craft is shooting weak phasers.

The haze isn’t the only problem that could hurt stargazing. Fortunately, we don’t live Continue Reading “Hooray for the Perseids!”

The Thrill and Beyond

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[This Commentary originally appeared in the July 20, 1989 issue of The Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel.]

CarosaCommentaryNewLogo_259From a camera perched atop a tall skinny structure of skeletal steel, you look down upon the narrow tubular body of mostly white with hints of black. The “steam” of super cooled liquid oxygen gushes from various vents along the surface of the slender cylinder. You view the not-so-crisp TV picture in your living room, anxiously awaiting the final moment.

T-minus 20 seconds and counting…,” says a tin can voice over a PA system not much Continue Reading “The Thrill and Beyond”

Final Tally – Midnight, December 13, 2009 – Did It Really Work?

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Start of Day Twitter Stats: Follow: 172 Followers: 194 Listed: 9

Missed yesterday? Go here to read what happened on Day 30 – December 13, 2009 (Sun): Have Fun!

twitter_power_joel_comm_150Above you see the final tally as of Midnight, Day 30. In fairness, if I used the same criteria as in all other previous days, the number would have been reported as of the following morning: 202 followers. Who estimated the closest? @mikegastin, who guessed 207. If you’re interest Mike, I hit 207 late on the 31st day. Now, before anyone says anything, Mike was also the first person to guess – on Day 13 – so he really did do the best job.

@mikegastin wants a free trip to Aruba as a result of his grand prognostication. Unfortunately, I didn’t have anything the budget for prizes, so the notoriety of the mention represents all I have to offer. Hopefully, it’s good enough. On the other hand, Mike might be pleased to know Continue Reading “Final Tally – Midnight, December 13, 2009 – Did It Really Work?”

Day 25 – December 8, 2009 (Tue): Drive Followers to Subscribe

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Start of Day Twitter Stats: Follow: 148 Followers: 122 Listed: 7

Missed yesterday? Go here to read what happened on Day 24 – December 7, 2009 (Mon): Drive Followers to a Blog

twitter_power_joel_comm_150Subscribe to what? That is the question. Heck, I just checked and I don’t even have an RSS feed up on my blog yet. Here’s what I’m discovering during my 30-days jaunt with Joel Comm and his plan to dominate Twitter. There’s nothing to dominate if you don’t have a purpose. Said another way, domination means nothing if you have no product? What’s my product? Now that’s a very deep question. Here’s a very deep answer:

Continue Reading “Day 25 – December 8, 2009 (Tue): Drive Followers to Subscribe”

Day 24 – December 7, 2009 (Mon): Drive Followers to a Blog

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Start of Day Twitter Stats: Follow: 148 Followers: 118 Listed: 7

Missed yesterday? Go here to read what happened on Day 23 – December 6, 2009 (Sun): Drive Followers to Purchase a Special Offer

twitter_power_joel_comm_150That was fun while it lasted. So last night’s plan looks like it fizzled. Maybe not. Remember, the above statistics reflect only those few hours from late last night to early this morning. No doubt folks are just now receiving their new follower lists.

In other news, CoachJudy still hasn’t followed. That disappoints me. She usually keeps her word. She’s also usually on the ball in terms of her social media presence.

Here’s the reality for today: After spending much of the end of last week preparing for culmination of my year-long the IYA2009 outreach project the beginning of the year – the final top ten countdown of AstronomyTop100.com presentation at the Strasenburgh Planetarium last Friday evening; and then after immediately going to work with the GearFreeze kids over the weekend for Sunday’s  Finger Lakes First Lego League Regional Championships at the University of Rochester; I concluded I needed to spend some quality time with my laptop at the office. In truth, work’s been a relaxing relief through all the buzz of last week. I really like my work. I can’t tell you about it (government regulations prevent me from doing so), but it does offer loads of fun.

Here’s the result: I’m switching today’s step with Thursday’s. So, today I’m having fun. I’ll drive followers to a blog (my blog) on Thursday. I hope Joel Comm doesn’t mind.

How many followers do you think I’ll have after 30 days? Click here to enter your guess on my Survey Monkey survey “Chris Carosa’s 30-Day Plan to Dominate Twitter Experiment.” There’s no prize, but the fan who guesses the closest correct number the earliest will “win” and I’ll mention you if you want me to.

Find out today’s results on Day 25 – December 8, 2009 (Tue): Drive Followers to Subscribe

Day 21 – December 4, 2009 (Fri): Do Some Off-Twitter Marketing

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Start of Day Twitter Stats: Follow: 128 Followers: 106 Listed: 6

Missed yesterday? Go here to read what happened on Day 20 – December 3, 2009 (Thu): Have Fun!

twitter_power_joel_comm_150Today was the big day, the day I’ve been preparing for since nearly the beginning of the year – the final top ten countdown of AstronomyTop100.com, the IYA2009 outreach project I started in January. For some off-twitter marketing, I spoke to the entire world – about astronomy. Now, to be honest, they’re more likely to end up at my AstronomyTop100 Twitter account instead of my ChrisCarosa Twitter account. No matter, though. Inquiring minds will find me if they want to. And if they don’t, then that’s probably just as well.

BTW, the presentation, a podcast before an audience of probably more than 100 interested and interesting individuals went off with nary a hitch. The “nary” part occurred when I moved my computer during the live production and promptly disconnected the cable providing the live feed to the planetarium guests. Oops! Well, at least the slides moved when I hit the return button (which was difficult to see beneath the darkened dome; hence, the reason why I decided to reposition the computer in the first place).

You can catch my full report on AstronomyTop100.com on that blog once we update and reconfigure the web-site (don’t worry, I’ll announce it). In addition, I will add a few blogs here about speaking, scripting and the curse of technology during presentations.

How many followers do you think I’ll have after 30 days? Click here to enter your guess on my Survey Monkey survey “Chris Carosa’s 30-Day Plan to Dominate Twitter Experiment.” There’s no prize, but the fan who guesses the closest correct number the earliest will “win” and I’ll mention you if you want me to.

Find out today’s results on Day 22 – December 5, 2009 (Sat): Combine Your Social Media Tools

Day 19 – December 2, 2009 (Wed): Try a Different Sequence

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Start of Day Twitter Stats: Follow: 112 Followers: 97 Listed: 5

Missed yesterday? Go here to read what happened on Day 18 – December 1, 2009 (Tue): Start Putting Your Tweets Together

twitter_power_joel_comm_150Remember @BPOrchestra? A couple of days ago they followed me, I followed back and then they unfollowed me. On Monday I sent them an @ message. As I assumed based on their tweet updates, it took them a day to get back to me. When they did they were very apologetic. They followed again (and I followed back). They even offered me two free tickets. I respectably declined (wouldn’t want the FCC on my case!). But seriously, they are a non-profit, after all, and I am sympathetic to cyber-mistakes, having committed my fair share. But, let’s not dwell on mistakes. Let’s reveal a little gossip.

Continue Reading “Day 19 – December 2, 2009 (Wed): Try a Different Sequence”