Star Gazing

What I’ve been doing this week:

1) Working on the new book. Up to page 56 now! And watching Caribbean vacation shows on the Travel Channel and calling it research. Never mind that the story is set in the 1530s, and it’s doubtful there were any all-inclusive resorts with cabanas and unlimited mango margaritas, it’s the atmosphere I’m after.

2) Deciding what books to order to celebrate my birthday, which is on Tuesday! Mango margaritas all around!

3) Mourning the loss of the Golden Globe awards. No gowns! No jewels! No hilarious tipsy acceptance speeches! January will be blah indeed.

4) Watching the DVDs of the BBC series Robin Hood, which I got from Netflix. My North and South DVD needed a rest, so I thought I would give this one a try. So far–interesting. More thoughts later. In the meantime, my friends are sick of me constantly yelling “Mr. Thornton! You are being such a meanie! And wash your hair!” at the TV screen.

And, in case you thought my week was totally wasted, I found out January 12 is the anniversary of the founding of the Royal Astronomical Society.

The RAS’s website states that it “…encourages and promotes the study of astronomy, solar system science, geophysics, and closely related branches of science.” Anyone over 18 who proves acceptable to the Society can apply for a fellowship even today. It all began at a dinner at the Freemason’s Tavern on January 12, 1820, when it was just the Astronomical Society (it received a charter from William IV in 1831). It was formed by mostly “gentlemen astronomers” to support and further their research.

The minutes of this meeting record: “On this day several gentlemen…met together by appointment at the Freemason’s Tavern, Great Queen Street, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London, to take into consideration the propriety and expediency of establishing a Society for the management and promotion of astronomy.” 14 attended this meeting. The Duke of Somerset was elected president, but resigned a week later. His friend Sir Joseph Banks, president of the Royal Society, thought a new Astronomical Society might drain resources from the RS. William Herschel then became president, with Francis Baily secretary and Daniel Moore chairman.

The second meeting on February 8, at the Geological Society rooms in Bedford Street, Covent Garden, boasted 83 members. The Monthly Notices began publication in 1827 (prior to this reports of their meetings were found in the Philosophical Magazine). It wasn’t until 1915 that a Supplemental Charter admitted women to the Society.

So, if we can’t see stars on the red carpet, at least we can still see them in the sky! What have you been up to this week?

About Amanda McCabe/Laurel McKee

Writer (as Amanda McCabe, Laurel McKee, Amanda Carmack), history geek, yoga enthusiast, pet owner!
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9 Responses to Star Gazing

  1. Cara King says:

    Happy almost birthday, Amanda!

    I’m going to really miss the Golden Globes too. I love that stuff! I love seeing the gowns, and rooting for my favorites… (This year, for example, I really hope Sweeney Todd gets something…)

    I hope the Oscars don’t get squashed too… ๐Ÿ˜ฎ


  2. Diane Gaston says:

    As of last night they were still advertising the Golden Globes. I wish they would just give the writers what they want!!!! Surely the industry can afford it.

    Loved your idea of research, Amanda, and I can just hear you yelling to the TV screen!

    I have yet to see North and South…

  3. Lois says:

    Oh heck, you don’t need the Golden Globes, the best star that you can see that is dang bright is Mars in the east at sundown. Mighty cool, if I may say. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Lois, the one obsessed with Mars since she was 5 years old. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. “the best star that you can see that is dang bright is Mars in the east at sundown.”

    Okay, I just went outside with my binoculars, and you’re right, Lois! It’s beautiful. I really wish I knew more about astronomy.

  5. doglady says:

    Happy Almost Birthday, Amanda from me too!

    Your research resembles mine after a bad day at work. I have GOT to order North and South!

    I spent part of yesterday copying down all of the books you ladies want to read in 2008! My TBR stack is beginning to frighten low flying aircraft!

    One of the great things about living so far out in the country is that I have an incredible view of the night sky. I need a new telescope, but I will have to publish several books before I can afford that! Mine is ancient, but it works!

    Oh and I am building some more bookshelves tomorrow (my day off) because my unshelved books need a home. I am running out of wall space!

  6. Happy almost birthday Amanda. I hope you samba the night away. I agree that Richard Armitage so needed to wash his hair in Robin Hood, but he was still amazingly hot!

  7. andrea pickens says:

    Happy pre-birthday, Ammanda!

    The NY Times had a very funny article on how the “bling” room (the place where all the celebs come for free goodies during the Golden Globes) was only attracting the B or C list stars. The nominees are apparently thinking it too crass to come scoff up expensive skin creams and watches and other free stuff while the writers are walking the picket line. Some how I don’t feel too sorry for them!

    As for how I spent the week? Chained to my computer, trying to finish the proposals for a new series of books. Arrrgh. Nothing like starting out the New Year with stress.

    How about passing over one of those mango margaritas?

  8. Georgie Lee says:

    I’ll have to check out Mars tonight. I figured it was some planet but I didn’t know which one. Hopefully the neighbors won’t think I’m spying on them ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Todd says:

    Happy Birthday, Amanda! That makes you what–twenty-two?

    This week was finishing up things that I should have gotten done last semester but was too busy, and getting ready for next week, which is the start of this semester. But I did get to see Juno and (tonight!) the new Persuasion. But more on that topic on Tuesday!


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