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Posts Made By: James DellaPenna

March 30, 2011 02:33 AM Forum: AstroMart FAQ

Email Address

Posted By James DellaPenna

I was recently contacted by somebody in standard response to one of my AM ads but requested to call the guy back. I chose instead to reply to his email address which bounced back as invalid. It was my understanding all AM members were required to have a valid email address. This guy has a rating of 1 for which he did not reciprocate. Comment?

October 2, 2011 03:11 PM Forum: Mounts

CG5-GT grease?

Posted By James DellaPenna

I'm well aware of the glue-like grease the Chinese used to install in the standard CG5 mounts. When Celestron began producing the CG5 Go-To version did this problem go away or is the newer GT version still coming with that horrible excuse for grease? I have an older version standard CG5 for my refractor but the original owner replaced the old grease with lithium grease. If I purchased a new CG5 GT what should I expect to see for lubriction? Am I going to have to do the Astronomyboy.com lubrication upgrade on a brand new mount? If so, I might as well look for a used one instead of going new.

November 7, 2011 09:56 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Sky Commander

Posted By James DellaPenna

How can I determine what version of Sky Commander I have? It was purchased w/ a Starmaster telescope in November of 2007.

January 27, 2012 01:27 AM Forum: Politics

Space Programs Discussion

Posted By James DellaPenna

The "Newt Promises the Moon" discussion prompted me to post something separate on the realities of space programs, both manned and unmanned.

Last year my astronomy club invited a former NASA employee to discuss what is involved in planning unmanned missions. The planning procedure is a horrendous effort where lots of people provide input. Each proposed mission is not only closely examined for its overall cost/benefit, it is assigned one of three category levels of feasibility. The lowest level are the relatively cheap and quick missions most likely to receive budget approval. The mid level are the more expensive and timestaking missions, and the ones most likely to compete with one another for financing. Many do not make it. The upper level are the "blue sky" missions they all hope might have a chance someday but are so expensive and timestaking that only a tiny fraction ever have hope of becoming reality at any time in the near future. These are worthy missions but just over the top finacially, given our present situation.

Then there's the manned space program. Right now, the White House plus the vast majority of Congress realize we don't have the money for huge new manned missions. I personally think this, while very dissappointing, is the most pragmatic approach for now since we can't even get the financing we need for all the desirable unmanned missions that provide the biggest bang for the buck (in the short term).

The shear cost of manned missions have reached the point where any one nation attempting to colonize the Moon or Mars no longer makes any sense. These kinds of efforts need to be the result of cooperative joint effort from many nations. Right now China and India have embarked upon their own manned space flight plans. I say for what? To repeat much of what has already been accomplished in the name of nationalism? This is crazy. It's like a dozen contractors all building a dozen separate houses when between them they only have financing to actually build one house.

Humanity is destined to settle the Moon, Mars, Europa, and beyond. Of that I'm certain. I just don't think we are destined to accomplish it one or two nations at at a time.

May 1, 2012 12:54 AM Forum: Ask rating questions here

Unable to post rating

Posted By James DellaPenna

Recently I ran a Wanted ad and subsequently completed a transaction with the lowest bidding respondent. Today, I tried to post rating for him but there was no link to the ratings page on his profile. He was able to post rating for me but I am still unable to rate him. Anybody know what's going on?

May 25, 2012 02:12 AM Forum: TeleVue

2" OIII Filter question

Posted By James DellaPenna

What is the difference between TV 2" OIII filter model numbers 11310 and 10194?

June 15, 2012 04:22 PM Forum: Politics

AARP--Social Security

Posted By James DellaPenna

As a member of AARP I just received a computation type interactive survey regarding what choices I would make to resolve the gap in SS funding. As you make your choices a chart on the right indicates the net effect of each individual choice plus the combined effect of all your choices. They provide several choices under two categories, revenue and benefits and you can make as many choices as you wish.

My first choice, under the revenue side, was to eliminate the tax cap on income. This immediately reduced the gap by 86%. My next choices under the benefit side were increase of retirement age to 68 and increase of the payroll tax by .25%. These choices, combined with the first one, brought the gap elimination to 104% and 126% respectively.

Provided the survey results are anywhere near accurate, elimination of the tax cap and raising retirement age by one year is all that's needed to resolve this problem. It emphasises fairness by taxing the rich at the same rate as everyone else without reducing lifetime benefits to the rich. It can also be done without reducing present benefits or increasing withholding tax, with the lone exception of a one year increase in retirement age, which we all know is inevitable anyway.

I can't help wonder how many right wingers on this forum would find objection to this approach but I'm sure I'm about to find out. Bring it on.


June 19, 2012 01:48 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Part Identification

Posted By James DellaPenna

While cleaning out my miscellaneous parts I came across what is presumably a camera adapter. The only markings on it are "for P Japan". One side appears to be approximately 42mm I.D while the other side appears to be approximately 39mm I.D. Sorry for the poor photo rsolution. Can anybody properly identify this piece?

July 1, 2012 04:27 PM Forum: Eyepieces

Field Stop diameters

Posted By James DellaPenna

Anybody know where one can find out what the field stop diameters are for Pentax eyepieces, specifically the 7mm and 10mm XW's?

September 18, 2012 05:02 PM Forum: Politics

For this forum's pleasure, or not!

Posted By James DellaPenna

www.factcheck.org
www.politifact.com (Sorting out the truth in politics)
www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker
www.taxpolicycenter.org
www.cbpp.org (Center on budget and policy priorities)
www.crfb.org (Committee for Responsible Federal Budget)
www.concordcoalition.org