Global Skywatch

Ted’s essays

become an amateur radio operator

Thursdays 4:30-6:30pm Darby Library meeting room July 13th – September 7th Handy in many situations, radio communications can be life saving when phones and Internet are down or out of reach Ham radios start where walkie-talkies leave off, with licensed radio operators communicating around the corner and around the world. ARRL License Manual costs $29.95 includes chapters on every aspect of the licensing exam and numerous practice tests Darby Thursday study sessions are FREE YOU can be an amateur radio operator No electronics background required Click this link for a .pdf poster advertising the class:Ham-radio-class-poster-7-2017 Below is a .jpg image of the class advertisement. TESTING SESSION JULY 17th For those ready to test for Technician, General or Amateur Extra […]

analog calculators

In this age of converting everything to digital, bits, bytes and button pushing, my recent trip to a beginners’ long-range shooting school (see my first 1K) brought the power of slide rules back into my world. I am also [re-]discovering the beautiful metric system of measurements. The normal, average, mundane, commonplace answer to everything today is “I have a computer that does that”. Substitute “smart phone”, calculator or other electronic alternative to knowing how to actually do stuff and you have the answer to 99.9% of the computational questions asked today. I am not going to conjure up ways in which that dependence on electronics could fail us. Needless to say there are times, places and circumstances where it could. […]

dangerous school choice

Public Education Is Superior and Must Be Protected from Competition Opponents of School Choice Can’t Make Up Their Minds Kevin Currie-Knight from the Foundation for Economic Education Defenders of public education often point to data showing public schools to be as good as or better than private alternatives. A recent book celebrating such data is The Public School Advantage: Why Public Schools Outperform Private Schools. Public schools, according to the authors, tend to outperform private rivals on a variety of metrics. Such groups as the National Education Association teachers’ union have used this research to make a case against “privatization.” (The book’s research has been criticized in some quarters for using flawed research methods, and other data show that […]

big spender on public schools

I wrote, published and used the article below as part of my election campaign for Idaho Governor in 2006. Nine years later I’m looking smarter and smarter. But the electorate put their Xs next to the R … hmmm does “R” stand for “Rather not think about it”? Butch the R just signed a bill for $125,000,000 worth of public schooling. If I did that the first reaction would by hilarity. Most of us sign a bill expecting to pay it. But even Mr. Moneysponge, who actually could pay it, has absolutely no intention of contributing even a penny of it. Nope. He signed it FOR YOU. You, your friends and neighbors now owe that money. Lemmesee, Idaho housing starts […]

How old do you expect to be when you stop learning?

Put another way, when will you know as much as you are ever going to know? Are you smarter than average? Smarter than 90% of the rest? 99%? Is your generation significantly superior to the prior one? Did something amazing happen to 2,000-year-old genetics in the last 30 years? The obvious answer is that wisdom and knowledge can grow with age. The Elders are potentially a great resource and repository of lessons learned by generations, or centuries of human existence. I use the word “can” because the masses choose to not expand their knowledge. Mass media is owned by 6 corporations. Six CEOs agree on theme, content and objective. 99% of the information presented follows their guidance. The USofA education […]

adult ed class: preparedness

I am offering two classes for the Darby Adult Ed program this fall. Pre-registration officially lasts through Monday, September 22nd. If there are 7 or more registered, the class will take place. One is a 2-hour short course called “Radio Communicating Options“. It covers walkie-talkies to HAM Radio with primary focus on emergency communications. It runs from 10-noon on Saturday, September 27th. Related, but a separate subject, the next 9 Saturdays will have study groups leading to HAM licenses if there is enough interest. Here is what the flyer says about my big fall class: Being Prepared The Boy Scout motto is just at least as valid now as it ever was. Nature and man have a way of delivering […]

create your own website

Building and operating your own website is easier now than ever. The tools continue to evolve in power and in their accessibility to the non-geek market. There are a few ‘secret handshakes’ and tricky bits to getting started, but in four easy lessons, I can have you comfortably running a website of your own, on your own. The classes are every Thursday in March from 2:00 to 4:00 pm in the Darby Library meeting room. There are currently FOUR students excited about taking the class, but Darby Adult Education requires a minimum of SEVEN to make it go. These four future webmasters need company. Student fees are $16 regular and $8 Senior. Domain purchase online on the first day of […]

build your own website

Among the Darby Adult Ed classes open for signups until Wednesday are four I’m offering to teach. As with all of their classes, 7 or more students have to sign up in order for them to happen. The complete listing of classes is here: Course Information Spring 2014 Signups are open until Wednesday the 22nd — Easily Develop and Publish Your Website Easy to use, personalize and share, WordPress software makes building your own website accessable to non-technical people. You get to focus on publishing your words, pictures and designs. This course will take you from domain naming, buying, establishing, privatizing and building an easy-to-maintain website. Students will have to make an online purchase with their credit card for domain […]