WHAT'S WITH NYC EVENTS? --------------------- John Pazmino NYSkies Astronomy Inc www.nyskies.org firstname.lastname@example.org 2009 January 5 initial 2009 September 20 current
Here I answer some inquiries about NYC Events, the monthly calendar of astronomy events. The questions are combined from inquiries NYSkies received during 2008. NYC Events is the definitive astronomy event calendar for really one reason. You. It is one of the services of NYSkies Astronomy Inc. The entries come from you, the reader, who embed NYC Events in your duty to the profession.
WHERE DOES NYSKIES LEARN ABOUT ALL THOSE INCREDIBLE ACTIVITIES IN NEW YORK? By now, after about a decade of publication, astronomy and many cultural, centers MAKE SURE to let NYC Events know about their events. They realize that NYC Events, apart from being a free announcement service of NYSkies for the greater public, is the one and only comprehensive roster of astronomy-related activity in the United States. Besides letting readers know about their work, the entries become jewels in the showcase of astronomy for the City region. I personally know a few instances where a copy of NYC Events was included in a funding or support application because it showed evidence of the applicant's activity.
WHAT IS THE 'NEW YORK CITY REGION'? It's loosely defined as the commuting ring around the City. It takes in all of the City itself, all of Long Island, all contingent counties around Manhattan, and associated areas out to 100 kilometers from Empire State Building. Within this region NYC Events captures just about all significant astronomy and space activity open to the public. Beyond this region NYC Events lists major national events, like conventions.
HOW CAN I INFORM NYSKIES OF UPCOMING EVENTS? If the event occurs before its target month, you can flag it for NYC Events in email or snailmail. For those within the instant month, after NYC Events issued, you may send it as a letter to the NYSkies yahoogroup. Instructions are at 'www.nyskies.org/yahoo.htm'. Please deliberately tick off each of the seven (or eight) 'W's in the notice: Who, What, When, Where, Why, hoW and WoW. Manually add any W's missing from the original notice. Pay particular attention to contacts, price, and conditions.
SUPPOSE MY EVENT IS CANCELLED OR ALTERED? Usually such changes come with short notice, so they can not be included in NYC Events. You should send a letter to the NYSkies yahoogroup about the changes. Failing that, you better already have correct and current contacts in the NYC Events entry so readers can inquire for last minute news regarding your event. That's why NYC Events strives to give phone, website, email to the maximum degree practical. Please promote this feature by purposely including contact details inside your event notice.
HOW OFTEN MUST I UPDATE CONTACTS IN NYC EVENTS? Most orgs change crew annually, so a person now sitting as a contact may not sit next year. While just about all previous contacts are gracious to forward inquiries to the current contact, it's best to let the reader go directly to the correct and current contact. You may advise NYC Events of a contact change by specific notice or by calling attention to a new contact in an event notice.
HOW ACCURATE IS NYC EVENTS? Amazingly accurate, given the complexities of assembling notices coming from all quarters of our territory in all forms and detail. It does once in a while goof, like putting an event under the wrong date, mixing up the time order of entries under a date, misspelling a critical word. You readers let me know about them! SImple errors are corrected in the archive edition of NYC Events. If you request one, you get a cleaned up version.
WHEN A NEW EVENT IS RECEIVED DURING A GIVEN MONTH, IS IT ADDED INTO THAT MONTH'S NYC EVENTS? No, it isn't.By the time we get news of a new event, NYC Events is already in circulation around the world, as fetched from our website. If we continually revised it during the month, there would be several incremental editions scattered across the seven seas, all claiming to the be 'official' version. Once NYC Events is issued for a given month it stays fixed. New events we learn about are put into the NYSkies yahoogroup. That's why after I report on an activity, some of you come back to note it wasn't in NYC Events. It just was not known when that issue was compiled.
ARE PRIOR ISSUES OF NYC EVENTS AVAILABLE? Only the instant month's issue is on the website. It is replaced by the issue for the next month near the beginning of that month. I do keep on disc previous NYC Events for the past several years. Many readers copy off NYC Events and keep private archives. They are also at archive websites that capture content of the sci.astro.* newsgroups. They may capture the issues from the NYSkies website. If you need a back issue, please request it from NYSkies. Note that it may be an amended version to remove typos and mistakes.
FOR A LONG WHILE, NYC EVENTS WAS SENT TO THE NEWSGROUPS IN SEVERAL PIECES THAT HAD TO BE KNITTED BACK TOGETHER. When I began sending NYC Events to the newsgroups, my email service limited each letter to a certain maximum length, I think 100 lines of text. I had to split NYC Events into smaller segments and send each one. Since late 2007 I was able to send NYC Events to the newsgroups in one piece with little trouble. You can always get NYC Events in one piece at the NYSkies website, where it is a lot easier and neater to print out.
NYC EVENTS SEEMS TO MISS MANY ASTRONOMY EVENTS. It does partly by design. It misses out routine planetarium shows, permanent museum exhibits, courses and series requiring repeated attendance, children and juvenile activities. NYC Events is read primarily by adults who can spare only specific times for their astronomy. Never the less, with the contacts for each event, you can ask about other potential activities.
WHY DOESN'T NYC EVENTS INCLUDE TELEVISION AND CINEMA SHOWS? The territory around New York City covers several broadcasting and cable service areas. A given show will be sent out on different days, hours, channel numbers from place to place within the City region. Same for cinemas, which can have different theaters and show times across the region. For very special television or cinema shows in NYC Events I advise you to check local news channels for latest news. Never the less, you are sincerely encouraged to note such shows directly in the NYSkies yahoogroup. Please make SURE you state for what town or service the information applies for.
WHY DOESN'T NYC EVENTS LIST RAINDATES? Raindates are not stated for many events in a consistent or definite manner. I see 'raindate is next new moon' or 'in case of clouds, call for alternate date'. It's the prime date that really counts. The reader prepares for that one first, Only if the event is called off does he need further instruction from the event sponsor, including a raindate. In New York, raindates are seldom provided because they don't work. The event crew MUST be on duty for BOTH dates. ONLY if the event convenes on the prime date is the crew released from the raindate. With the general busyness of astronomers in the City, putting aside two dates, one OR BOTH (if the raindate is itself rained out) of which could be released on short notice, is just too much of a burden.
WHY DOESN'T NYC EVENTS INCLUDE CELESTIAL EVENTS? There are plenty of other sources for learning about predictable celestial events, such as magazines, almanacs, astronomy calendars, computer programs. Putting them in NYC Events merely wastes disc and paper space and adds fritter to each issue. NYC Events does alert to special celestial activity like eclipses, major appulses and occultations, bright comets, daylight time, leap second alerts. In such cases the data are rectified for New York City.
WHY DOES NYC EVENTS CARRY SOME VERY TECHNICAL, ACADEMIC, SCHOLARLY ASTRONOMY ACTIVITY? NYC Events, while targeted for the home sector of the profession, is supported by astronomers of all levels. There are readers at colleges, observatories, societies, labs, corporations, astronomy clubs, planetaria, musea, as well as at home. As long as the event is open to the public (many are referred to me as 'special for NYSkies') there are readers who take interest in it. Altho an event may at first seem 'over your head', it can be surprising how much a home astronomer can get from such a meeting. So, try one or two of those 'too technical' events.
WHY, OH, WHY DOES NYC EVENTS HAVE 'THOSE' ITEMS IN IT? Wholly unlike the astronomy elsewhere, the profession in New York takes proactive effort to be part of its community. NYSkies supporters engage in many cultural, social, civic pursuits in addition to 'pure' astronomy of the sort displayed in the mainstream litterature for home astronomy. Some complainants actually swear and promise that their own events calendars will never be polluted and infected by nonastronomy activity in their communities. The result of this, as you can well can appreciate, is to barricade astronomy from the circumstant town, like behind an iron curtain. If this policy ever was a viable scheme of carrying on a profession, it fell into the trash heap of history in the early 1990s. It really works that the astronomer who positively engages with the surrounding world, in this case the City region, is genuinely a better astronomer. In reflection of that paradigma, NYC Events sprinkles a few cultural events in its listing.
HOW CAN I ZERO IN ON SPECIFIC ENTRIES IN NYC EVENTS? With NYC Events as an electronic file, you can run it into a wordproc or view it at our website. Then do 'search' or 'find'. The computer will step thru NYC Events, stopping at each hit of your search. If you want events on Manhattan, the search parameter would be '- MH -', which is unique within the text of NYC Events. You get all the vents occurring on Manhattan. Mind that I'm not completely consistent with abbreves. You may have to try variations of your search: 'Astro Assoc', 'Astro Assn', 'AA', 'A A' and the like.
DO I HAVE TO PRINT THE WHOLE NYC EVENTS IN ONE GO? In a wordproc or on the website, you may highlight the section, usually a range fo dates. In the printing panel be SURE to tick 'selection', not 'all' or 'page'. You print out only the highlight part, which is typicly only a sheet or two of printout.
CAN I EXTRACT PARTS OF NYC EVENTS FOR MY OWN USE? Being that NYC Events is an computer file, it is easy to extract parts for local use. Your may need only activities in your home vicinity, free events, accessible by transit, independent of weather, only after work hours, and so on. You may customize NYC Events providing that you insert near the top that the instant issue is an edited version and the full edition is at the NYSkies website. This is specially crucial if you distribute the custom version such as by a website or handout.
CAN NYC EVENTS PROVE AN EVENT TOOK PLACE? No! NYC Events issues before its entries take place. Events can be cancelled, changed, shifted by their operators, sometimes without notice. To demonstrate that an event took place, you have to inquire at the event's operator or acquire first hand witness for it. On one occasion recently, an astronomer needed an archive issue to show that a certain event occurred. I gave him the issue with a heavy warning. That's why in critical situations, like a long drive or ride, you should check with the contact for last minute advice. Starviewing sessions require clear skies to let the stars shine thru. I tag all starviewing sessions with 'cancelled for clouds'.
IS NYC EVENTS ISSUED IN OTHER LANGUAGES? NYC Events is only in English, a New York flavor of that language. Never the less, NYC Events in its original form is carried on websites of other languages! It's a bit weird to get a search hit on such a website. The text is jibberish but NYC Events is in the King's English. (Brooklynites will catch that one.) Apparently there seems to be little trouble for overseas readers to understand NYC Events. By the way, English is so pervasive thruout the world that English magazines and books no longer routinely translate their content into other languages.
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THE DISCUSSION OF NEW YORK ASTRONOMY FOLLOWING THE LISTING OF EVENTS! Thank you! This discourse is the only one-stop monthly summary of astronomy in New York! No other entity even tries to chronicle the astronomy news of the City like NYC Events. This section also demonstrates the deep and tight interaction between the stars and the city, a feature of our profession not prevalent elsewhere.
DO YOU HAVE ANY DOWN FEELINGS WHEN COMPILING NYC EVENTS? Yes, there is one enduring sad and disappointing aspect of compiling NYC Events. I see all the incredible astronomy and cultural activity that I have to pass up! Sometimes there are two good events that conflict and I have to pick only one. Others take place when I'm elsewise occupied.
ARE THERE 'NYC EVENTS' FOR OTHER REGIONS? Incredibly, there seems to be no other comparable compendium of astronomy events for any other region of the country. Other lists on websites or paper are typicly haphazard, incomplete, ediurante. I kind of assumed that NYC Events would ignite similar calendars elsewhere to promote astronomy. For what ever reason, this just never happened. The causal conclusion for a person seeking astronomy in the United States is that beyond the outer railheads of the City, there isn't much to find. This HAS to be wrong, no?
Last update on 20 September 2009
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