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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Astronomical Alerts

After writing my fourth official column, “Aurora Lights Paper Route While Town Sleeps,” I made the suggestion in our department head meeting that we consider offering an optional service to go along with our struggling home-delivery service. For 5 bucks a year, interested stargazing aficionados could be on our call-no-matter-what-list in the event the heavens are displaying a spectacular Aurora Borealis. My hope was that this story could have been picked up on the National level, like the AP wire, giving our poor paper a little wider publicity.

One of our most dedicated delivery drivers, Mr. S and I discussed this at length. He kindly and enthusiastically offered to be the one to make such calls from his ninety-mile route. This is not such a far-fetched idea as many motels in Alaska offer a similiar service and now for a nominal fee, Spaceweather.com offers astronomical awakening calls for auroras and even meteor showers.

Although Mr. S. or the paper never profited from these phantasmal calls, he did ring me once around 4 a.M. about visionary gazing in the heavens where he now resides.

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