Make That Tredecim

by LoLC in , , , ,


An unexpected plunge down the rabbit hole of intellectual property misuse today, but grateful that three of these unauthorized Astronomy 101 translations at least sort of credited the original? (Tsk tsk, thieving ZDFinfo). 

The League remains pleased by the enthusiasm of skywatchers around the world, and always says "yes" to translation requests, so feel free to ask! Apparently Turkish, Hungarian, Portuguese and German are now covered, but that still leaves plenty :-). 

(click on images to enlarge)

Turkish (posted on Uzaydan Haberler)

Portuguese (source unknown)

Hungarian (posted on MLZPhoto)

German (source unknown)

 

 


Novem Linguae

by LoLC in , , , ,


The best part of having the League's sky chart featured as NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day again back on September 24th was getting asked about more translations. I love seeing this thing continue to make its way around the world four years on.

My thanks to Ahmad and Marc for these Arabic and Dutch versions (bringing the total translations up to nine!), and happy skywatching to all.

(click on images to enlarge)

Dutch, with addition of "Iridium flare" (posted on personal FB page)


Back to School

by LoLC in , ,


As you may have gathered from previous posts, fifth grade was a momentous time. We were a motley crew of 28,  but Ms. D was as fearless and enthusiastic a teacher as they come, and by the end of the year, our inner-city public school classroom was full of 11-year-olds ready to change the world. Ms. D encouraged the reluctant to love reading and the timid to speak up; she promoted artistic expression and common sense; she championed environmental stewardship, and turned at least one of us into the sort of person who will carry an empty bottle across the country to her home recycling bin if she can't find one while traveling.

Ms. D celebrated diversity, nurtured kindness, and advocated personal responsibility: lessons worth remembering always, but especially in these troubling times. She died six years ago, but I've been thinking of her a lot lately, so it felt particularly fortuitous to happen upon this copy of the second pledge we recited every morning of fifth grade. Unlike its patriotic counterpart, which was dulled by constant repetition, this one was delivered with gusto, each time; an inspiring chorus of 28 little voices, and one big one.

As a new school year kicks off here in these divided United States, against a backdrop of great turmoil, here's hoping that the voices of tolerance, big and small, soon prevail. 


The Bright Hour

by LoLC in , , , , , ,


Like many teenagers, I fancied myself a poet. Like most, I was, objectively speaking, not great. My style was all over the place, the one common thread being an awkward reliance on dark subjects about which I knew nothing. The poem about being a suburban divorcée. The one written from the point of view of a coroner, shaped to resemble a body. An unnecessarily angry indictment of Connecticut. I stubbornly resisted editing, and it showed. But as a senior in high school, I had a patient and kind creative writing teacher, and my poems improved.

HK & NER, up to something

One was published in a literary magazine, which I was moderately proud of, but when a cousin read the poem later that summer and told me she wished she'd written it herself, I suddenly felt like I'd won a Pulitzer. Nina, only two years older, was already an accomplished wordsmith by then, her own poems lush with imagery and genuine experience. While I had been writing weird Valentine's Day poetry about cryogenically preserved heads (yes, really), she had been mastering metaphors and the art of a beautifully turned phrase. Her writing was in an entirely different league, so I could not have imagined a bigger compliment. While I suspected at the time that "On Hearing Our Song Over the Kitchen Radio" would be my only poetic success (it was), I was pretty sure that Nina's trajectory would be much more extraordinary. And it has been.

Today, her memoir, The Bright Hour, hits bookshelves everywhere. Nina finished the book this past January, just a month before dying from metastatic breast cancer. She was 39. The book, like Nina, is brilliant and gorgeous and profound and funny. It's about love and family and death and dogs and friendship and all the other wildness that is life as a human. It's full of masterful metaphors and beautifully turned phrases, and there's even a Top Gun reference. It is, in short, amazing. And while I'm heartbroken that Nina isn't with us to share in the joy of this astonishing accomplishment, I couldn't be prouder. The world is about to meet an exceptional woman.