Sometimes life pushes you downstream to a place where you just have to paddle over to the bank and take a longer look, maybe even stay for a while.
Today I've beached the canoe in a new land I've only glimpsed from afar before, Blogs and Podcasts. I've dipped my toe in the water before. I just wasn't very excited at what I found the first few times around; mostly boring people with extreme opinions or boring people with nothing to say.
Then some friends of mine created a podcast called Slacker Astronomy
I wasn't smart enough or tech-savvy enough to see where this was going at the time, but over the past couple years I've caught up a bit. Now I listen to the podcast regularly, at least as often as they actually produce one (they are slackers after all), and I've discovered other excellent astronomy blogs and podcasts I like to visit also, namely Astronomy Cast and Bad Astronomy.
What I find most refreshing and amazing is that these sites actually expose and explain astronomy to the public in an entertaining and exciting new way, and tens of thousands of people are tuning in, downloading and sharing this content every week.
So what lead me to actually create my own blog?
I've just returned from the 212th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in St. Louis, MO. As a part of this meeting within a meeting, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) held a symposium on 'Preparing for the International Year of Astronomy'. Most of the papers, talks and discussions I participated in dealt with 'new media' or 'citizen science' projects, and I have to confess, I'm geeked and I want in on the fun.
Do we really need another astronomy blog?
I'm not sure, I hope so.
I think I was born for this.
I love to write, and I'm not shy about sharing my opinions. I've been an avid amateur astronomer since I was a teenager. I'm one of the most prolific variable star observers on the planet and I am now employed by the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO). I've been writing articles on variable stars for over a decade now for AAVSO, my personal website on variable stars and another site specifically geared towards cataclysmic variables, CVnet. I think I have a unique perspective and voice to bring to the astronomy web round table.
From a more personal standpoint, I've also found that the vast majority of the people I've met through astronomy have been friendly, intelligent, interesting people eager to share what they know and are studying. Perhaps through this blog I'll get to know some more of you and we can double the joy by sharing our study of and amazement at the one cosmic laboratory we all have to play in- the Universe.