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GLPA 2012--Big Days in Pittsburgh

GLPA 2012--Big Days in Pittsburgh

Posted by admin on November 9, 2012


The Great Lakes Planetarium Association (GLPA) 2012 Annual Conference featured several personal highlights for me. We sealed the Transit of Venus Time Keg, I presented a concluding talk about the transit of Venus in the Buhl Planetarium, and I was honored with a Galileo Award at the Spitz Banquet.


I was scheduled to present my paper in the Buhl Planetarium to include the full-dome version of the 4-minute video I had co-produced with Patrick McPike. I wanted to showcase Patrick's handiwork, and frankly, I had not yet seen the video in full-dome, only having seen the draft video uploaded to YouTube. In the remaining minutes of my time slot I hurriedly plowed through the image-intensive prezi Transit of Venus Across the Sun, which summarized the Michiana community's extensive involvement in transit of Venus outreach. Each black pearl on the string could have been a talk unto itself. An edited audio recording of my talk is online at


My Transit of Venus Time Keg poster was set up at the registration desk for people to get an overview of its purpose and to add their own comments. In my talk delivered at the Buhl Planetarium I noted that we would close the time capsule at the hospitality suite. Thursday evening I stole away to my hotel room with Jon Marshall and Bart Benjamin, where we stuffed the existing contents into the keg, then headed to the hospitality suite for the formal closing.


Some folks added last minute messages, then I caulked the main lid and bolted it and a commemmorative plaque in place. With a few swings of a sledge, I had great satisfaction in capping the keg's bunghole with a tapered aluminum plug. Done. I was getting closer to walking away from the transit of Venus.


A third highlight occurred at the Spitz Banquet when GLPA President David Leake announced there was a Galileo Award to be given in 2012. I was the fortunate recipient. In my exuberance to thank Dave Leake, when I went onstage to accept the award I promptly knocked a projection screen off the stage--not a glamorous moment, caught on film. The only words I could muster then were, "You still allow room for screw-ups. Thank you."

It was an enormous honor to receive the Galileo Award from my GLPA colleagues, for which I am truly grateful. Thanks also to Sue and Buck and Mom Batson for facilitating such a memorable GLPA Conference.

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