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Posts Made By: Mark Costello III

April 29, 2011 10:07 AM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

what galaxy is good for beginners?

Posted By Mark Costello III

M104 the Sombrero Galaxy in Virgo is on its way to the evening skies and should be a good sight for you. I haven't found it too hard to see in a 4" achromatic refractor and a 5" achromatic refractor (my current telescope) so I'd expect your 10" Dob would make a meal out of it.

I envy you a little for your view of the southern sky wonders. M4 is pretty low in my southern sky and when it comes over my yard it's close to a bunch of trees and sky-glow from a nearby town. So it's kind of dim compared to M5 and M13 which are a good bit further north. When I see The Omega cluster it's only in pictures.

Best Regards,

April 29, 2011 10:28 AM Forum: Politics

Boeing and South Carolina

Posted By Mark Costello III

Thanks for posting the essay from Governor Haley. But IMHO it's mislabled. What silence? The President has spoken volumes through the interference by his administration in Boeing's move. But if he said a little more like "I was wrong and I'm directing the NLRB to pull out of this affair" naturally, that would be fine.

The problem is not the existence of unions. Probably there will be some need for the existence of one or more unions forever. The problem is that they are getting too big for their britches.

May 4, 2011 02:31 PM Forum: Religion

New Moderation

Posted By Mark Costello III

Congratulations - or condolences wink

I have a question concerning something you said here.

"As a reminder, intolerance to deities, religions, or adherents to any religion is against TOS. So if you bad mouth (directly, indirectly, inuendo, etc.) a religion, its dieties, its practices, or any of that religion's followers past or present, it is discrimination. Note, bad mouthing and disagreeing are different things."

If I decide to write a post in a thread that gets into a comparision of my religion Christianity and another religion, I can mostly write positively about Jesus Christ. IMHO that's the best way to write (talk) about Christianity. But if it gets to denying the god, a prophet, or some tenet of the other religion, is that allright as long as I don't get personal about it, does it fall into the category of "disagreeing"?

All the best in your new position,

May 13, 2011 10:35 AM Forum: Off Topic Discussions

Items Made In USA

Posted By Mark Costello III

Darian Rachal said:

A thread in the 'Complain' Forum got me thinking about this. It seems I frequently look at where items I purchase are made and am surprised at which items are made in the USA; sometimes it is really some "odd" stuff. I bought something recently(but can not recall what) that was made in the US. It was just a small inexpensive item, but it surprised me somewhat.

This post is just for whoever wishes to participate. If you buy something that you notice is made in the US(regardless of how big or small), just add it to the list. This is just somehing I am curious about.

I did order a wooden bed from LLBean earlier this month that was made in Maine. It is solid wood and very good quality.

Thanks in advance to anyone that wishes to participate. grin

The only things I can say that we routinely buy that's American made are the followinig:

1) Food. When I do the weekend grocery shopping for our family (wife and two daughters still with us), I make a big effort to buy US foodstuffs. I particularly like being able to buy Indian River Orange Juice. The Indian River area is about 150 south of where I was born and raised. smile

2) Running shoes. I always buy New Balance shoes since they seem to be more stable running shoes and come in extra wide sizes appropriate for my hooves. 8O I compromise between American made and cost by getting pairs that at least are "assembled in the U.S.)

3) House.

4) Vacations. We always take them in the U.S. and always will. Given that it's about three and a half million square miles, the U.S. will offer more than enough for us to see as long as we live.

That's about it. As for my astro-gear, except possibly for an older Celestron CG5 mount - 2003 bought here in 2003, my last two telescopes and all accessories have come from mainland China or elsewhere in the far east. I did have - one at a time - two American made reflectors - a Criterion RV6 around 1970 and a Sky Research Dobsonian reflector (dob) from California in 1980. But I've turned into a refracto-fanatic and my last two telescopes have been refractors. Being a family man and budget minded, I made the obvious compromise and settled for achromatic refractors (achros). The first in 2003 (arrived in early 2004) was a 4"F-sixish achro; last year I replaced it with a 5"F6.5 achro which is here to stay. In making these purchases, I looked a little to see if any American made or at least American assembled achros were available. But I already knew the answer - none except for the ones from DG. But having got used to a 4"F6.5 achro, I was looking for a 5" of F8 and the fastest one from D&G is F12, so that was that. My 5"-er is the Explore Scientific AR127.

At somepoint I'll want to get some kind of reflector to complement it. I'm leaning toward a Cassegrain type reflector like a Schmidt Cassegrain telescope (SCT) or Maksutov Cassegrain telescope (MCT). If an SCT, it'll be a Celestron or Meade, the one now making their SCTs in China, the other in Mexico. The thing that concerns me a little about getting one of them is where would I send it if something in it broke, especially a control component. The only MCT made in the US is from Astro-Physics and aside from the price, 12" is too large for me. So if it's a MCT, it'll be from Russia or China.

I am leaving the door to getting a Newtonian reflector - which most definitely would be a dob. This is the best chance for me to get an American made telescope. If I settle for something 8-10" I could find a nice American made dob for the cost of a similar size SCT and less than for a similar size MCT.....

Best Regards,

May 24, 2011 02:18 PM Forum: Politics

We could only hope...

Posted By Mark Costello III

Y'all might have it all wrong.

May 27, 2011 01:50 PM Forum: Religion

Memorial Day

Posted By Mark Costello III

We don't have military cemetaries close to where I live, but there are two cemetaries close to where I work that are of historical note. One, about five blocks north of my office building, is the resting place for some of the original colonists of the Charlotte NC area and includes the graves of a few signers of the Mecklenburg County Declaration of Independence. A larger one about half or three quarter mile from work has many graves of veterans of WWII, WWI, and the Civil War. All of the latter are graves of those who served in the Confederate States of America (CSA) army (as best as I can tell, all of my ancestors who fought in the Civil War wore blue, serving in the Federal army). We have a large memorial to Charlotteans who served in the CSA army.

On a different but related note, when I see my parents in Jacksonville, Florida, I stop by the graves of a brother and sister (died of cystic fibrosis), my grandparents, an aunt (saved me from drowning when I was eight), and others. As a Protestant, I believe they all are past praying for, but I think of the times spent with these great relatives and now the bliss they they (IMHO) enjoy standing before the LORD in Heaven....

All y'all have a great Memorial Day....

June 14, 2011 05:53 AM Forum: Politics

Freedom In The 50 States

Posted By Mark Costello III

The responses so far have been interesting. It appears that in many of them, New York City is equated to New York State. As an undergraduate and graduate student at Rensselaer, I spent the better part of seven years in upstate New York (Troy - near Albany) and I can tell you it's a different world from New York City. You can get to open country pretty quickly from the middle of RPI, you're not far from the Catskills, Adirondacks, and Finger Lakes area, the people up there appear to be a bit more laid back and conservative than in New York City (which I visited a few times while at RPI). Even Long Island is different than downtown New York (had relatives there) - at least that's the way it appeared to be 40 years ago.

As to my druthers, I, too, would pick South Dakota, but it would not be the cinch it is with most of y'all. I'm still sort of a big town guy (having lived most of my life in or near towns like Jacksonville, Florida, Albany, New York, and Charlotte, North Carolina. The proximity to good medical care is a big attraction especially as my wife and I get on in years. 8O

Also, to answer the original question, my state of birth, Florida, and my current home state, North Carolina, seem to rank high but not too close to the top (about the upper third).....

June 17, 2011 06:15 AM Forum: Politics

What would you cut?

Posted By Mark Costello III

Submitted for consideration ...

1) Eliminate the following departments:
Housing & Urban Development

2) Consolidate and reduce the following:
Department of Health & Human Services and Office of Surgeon General
Department of Treasury and Office of Management & Budget
Department of Interior and EPA
Departments of Defense and Veteran Affairs
Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation
Department of State, Office of the Trade Representative, and Mission to
the United Nations

3) Cut entitlements and welfare, transferring this function back to the
individual states.

4) Cut foreign aid.

5) Consider the following cuts in Defense:
Leave Lybia
Leave Iraq (didn't the President promise to leave in 2011?)
Review our mission in Afghanistan (Stomp Al Qaeda, the Taliban ...)
and / or leave
Rethink our war policy: is it nation building or defending our home and constitution - and accordingly set the bar for entering a war higher.

Best Regards,

June 23, 2011 02:12 PM Forum: Religion

Israel worhiped many gods...

Posted By Mark Costello III

Hi Bill. Yes, polytheism was very much in vogue in Israel but it was not orthodoxy. Right within 40 days out of Egypt, the Israelites began worship of the golden calf (These be your gods... Ex 32). This went on all through the time of the Judges and pretty much during at least the "divided Kingdom" era. Here're a couple of additional quick notes:

1) At least one time, there is mention of a "synergism" in which the LORD was worshipped along with other gods. You'll see this during the repopulation of what once was the Northern Kingdom by the Assyrian King (II Kings 17).

2) There's some evidence that orthodox worship of the LORD alone was in the minority (for example I Kings 19:18).

3) Some gods other than the LORD were worshipped in the temple of Solomon (see Ezekiel 8).

4) One of these gods was Asherah.

So a find like this is not a surprise to me.

I'm heading to Jacksonville to attend the funeral of an aunt. See y'all of the flip side of the weekend....

July 13, 2011 05:43 AM Forum: Politics

The dang banks

Posted By Mark Costello III

How did we get into the money trouble in late 2008?