Starlight, star bright, first star I see tonight.

The power went out for awhile today, so I haven’t had as much time to write a blog post as usual.  It’s kind of odd that after last night’s Earth Hour, which I passed playing Yahtzee by candlelight, that we would spend some time in the dark this afternoon.  I suppose the city of Hamilton was catching up with the many people who have embraced this symbolic event.  Fortunately, it was a beautiful sunny afternoon so I was able to go outside.

Speaking of Earth Hour, the newspaper suggested going outside to gaze at the stars during the hour. Since the street lights remained on, unlike during the great blackout of 2003, the light pollution still made the sky a bright mess.  It was also a partly cloudy night, so there was little for the average person to enjoy.  Although I have grown up in the city I absolutely hate the fact that I can only see a handful of stars at night.  I long for a time when the full majesty of the sky is available to me.  I am far from the first person to make a plea for reclaiming the darkness.  There are obvious pros and cons to making that kind of drastic change to urban life.  I know that at least one city in Ontario has changed their by-laws concerning outdoor lighting.  They require that any external light is diffused in such a way that it doesn’t send any light upwards.  I’m sure there is a very expensive proposition, but it definitely makes for happy astronomers. The night sky can be a major source of inspiration for children and dreamers alike.  I think its time that as a society we gave those in the inner city a chance to flex their imaginations.

In other news, I had an interesting chat the other day about my vision for The Alder Fork.  I brought up the fact that I laid out my plans both on the blog and during an episode of the podcast.  Perhaps someday in the next week or so I will sit down and really sort this whole thing out.  I have a lot of wild ideas, and this is one I’d like to work with for awhile.

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