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    Welcome New Members    Bob Garfinkle • Union City
   Victor Weisser • Oakland


Points of Light
[The Refractor welcomes items about EAS members in the news, their published articles, their conference presentations, or word of their completed astronomical projects.]

David Seaborg is featured in an article entitled “Explosive Legacy: Children of the Manhattan Project,” which appeared in the Contra Costa Times issue of August 6. Seaborg's efforts in support of environmental issues are emphasized. David is the founder and president of World Rainforest Fund.

Jim Scala has been named recipient of the Joe Disch Award given for outstanding contributions to the Mount Diablo Astronomical Society. Jim was recognized for his help in mentoring new members, as well as for a variety of other services he has rendered.

The new Pacific Bell phone directories for the Oakland area (specifically for the region from Albany south to San Leandro) display the Chabot Space and Science Center on their front covers. The “White Pages” shows the domes of Leah and Rachel; the “Smart Yellow Pages” has the artist conception for the entire facility. And the timing was nearly perfect, the directories being delivered just one week prior to CSSC’s Grand Opening.

Numerous media prominently carried stories about the CSSC's Grand Opening. The most poignant was a front-page article in the August 20th Oakland Tribune, which focused on Kingsley Wightman and the realization of his long-held dream of having the Observatory relocated and its doors open again to visiting school children.

San Francisco was this year's venue for the sixth annual conference of the North American Sundial Society. Two EAS members actively participated:

Carl Trost delivered presentations about Bay Area sundials and on his alignment methods employed during the relocation of the half-ton Oakland Museum dial. Carl also served ably as tour guide during a bus excursion to nearly a dozen of this region's best sundials and sun sculpture, a highlight of every NASS confab.

In addition, two talks were given by Mark Gingrich. The first warned of the expected—albeit slow—drift of sundial time from standard time if a proposed banishment of leap seconds, currently being debated in scientific and technical committees, is adopted. The second talk concerned a more lighthearted theme. Mark put forth the claim that he and Carl had set the world record for the most distant reading of a sundial. This was achieved by peering at the huge, wall-mounted dial affixed to the University of Washington's Astronomy and Physics Building through coin-operated binoculars from atop the Seattle Space Needle—a line-of-sight separation of just under three miles.

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