St. Michael’s Professor Celebrates Hubble’s 25th Year, Hopes For 5 More

The Hubble Space Telescope, pictured in one of the first photos released from NASA in 1990, is celebrating its 25th anniversary on Friday, April 24. Scientists hope the telescope will remain functional for at least five more years.

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope’s mission, and it’s been a dramatic quarter-century. Over at St. Michael’s College, Physics professor John O’Meara, will be holding a talk tonight about the telescope’s legacy.

Earlier this week, he spoke with Vermont Public Radio about his own work with the telescope:

The iconic Hubble Space Telescope was launched into orbit 25 years ago this week. Since 1990, it’s been capturing crystal clear images of stellar nurseries, planetary rings and much more. It has been responsible for some major astronomical breakthroughs and has helped shape our knowledge of the universe.

St. Michael’s College professor John O’Meara has used Hubble three separate times for observation and research and will be celebrating its anniversary this week.

O’Meara says Hubble’s breakthroughs in the world of astronomy are too many to list, but that he has several personal favorites. “Hubble has been able to revolutionize our understanding of the entire universe by constraining this dark energy, which takes up about 70 percent of the energy density of the universe,” he says. “And this was something we didn’t know about at all when Hubble launched. And since [then] we’ve really changed our view of the universe with it.”

O’Meara will be holding a talk at St. Michael’s College tonight at 6:00pm in Cheray Science Hall, as part of a larger exhibition about Hubble:

Saint Michael’s College presents “A celebration of the 25th anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope!” with Saint Michael’s Physics Professor John O’Meara, who uses the telescope in his explorations of the universe, at 6 p.m. in Cheray Science Hall Room 101. All are welcome. Join us as Professor O’Meara tells the story of one of the greatest scientific endeavors in history, shows many of its greatest images, and discusses its exciting future. Weather permitting, NASA Solar System ambassador Tom Estill will lead a night sky observing with telescopes, and will bring a number of hands on activities.

Kickstart This: Local 64’s Build A Better Sandbox

Local 64 is hosting a kickstarter to move into new digs! Here’s the details:

For the last three years Local 64 has served independent workers, telecommuters, and startups as well as the community at large. We’ve hosted art receptions, game nights, public policy forums, film nights, workshops, kids tech hang outs, popup suppers and popup art markets… it has been so exciting! Thank you!

Believe it or not, there’s a lot more we can do: Montpelier is a thriving little city packed with creatives. We want to be your home.

That’s why we’re expanding into new space. In fact, 3300sq.ft. of great space in downtown Montpelier. For the move to be successful we need your help. Here’s why:

  • There’s a ton of carpet that has to be disposed of after we expose the 100-year old wood floors.
  • We’re going to need to put in LED lights, take out some walls and rebuild others, and do some light construction in the kitchen.
  • The place is going to need a lot of paint and other surface treatments such as barnboard cladding and other cool textures.
  • And whatever furniture we can’t get donated we’re going to have to purchase, and that can get pricey fast.

All this means a better work environment that can better meet the diverse needs of central Vermont creatives – designers, developers, artists, coders, crafters and everyone else who has come to rely on Local 64 as a welcoming and fun place to be.

We’re doing this DIY, a good old fashioned barnraising. Which means we really need to you help us reach our goal. We promise, it’ll be worth it!

Pledges start at $10 and go up from there.

Ex Machina Screenings

Ex Machina has been getting quite a lot of acclaim in the last couple of weeks since its limited release, and now, it’s finally screening here in Vermont! The Merrill Roxy theater in Burlington is now showing the film at the following times: 1:15 pm | 3:50 | 6:30 | 9:15.

Here’s the short synopsis:

A young programmer is selected to participate in a breakthrough experiment in artificial intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breathtaking female A.I.

This is one that we’ve been looking to see, and we’re excited to finally get to see it!

Brian Staveley Contest

Brian Staveley has decided on a title for his upcoming final entry in his Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne series, and he’s holding a contest to guess what it is:

After much consideration, I’ve finally settled on a title to the third book in the Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne. And it is… drumroll… drumroll…


Ok, that’s not it, exactly. That’s the acronym. We’re not revealing the title until we can reveal the cover, which is probably a couple of weeks out. In the meantime, this strikes me as a great chance to run a contest. Below, in the comments, put in your guesses for the title of this third book. There will be three different divisions, each with a different prize

Stop by his website to enter!

Couple caters to gaming enthusiasts at new Middlebury store


The Addison Independent has a good article on the recently-opened Tinker & Smithy Game store in Middlebury:

When Scott Gemignani says he likes games, he’s not talking about the ones you operate with a joystick or the varieties you can play on a computer.

“People are getting tired of (electronic) devices,” Gemignani, a 35-year-old East Middlebury resident, said during a recent interview.

The games that Gemignani enjoys are the ones played with cards, dice, moving pieces and a lot of imagination.

The full article is open to subscribers here.

Geek Things For April 24th, 2015

  • FNM – Friday Night Magic – See our homepage for format, 6pm – 11pm, Quarterstaff Games, Burlington. (Gaming)
  • Friday Night Magic, Triple Play Games, Claremont NH. (Gaming)
  • Woodcock Walk, 6:30-8:30 pm, Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge, Swanton. (Outdoors)
  • ‘Police’, 7-9 pm, Turkish Cultural Center, Burlington. (Movies)
  • Creative Writing Workshop, 10:30 am, 22 Church St., Burlington. Free; preregister at meet; limited space. (Witing)
  • FNM – Draft, 6:00pm, Dark Tower Gaming, St. Johnsbury. (Gaming)
  • Tabletop Sanctuary, 6:00pm – 10:00pm, Crowe’s Nest, Randolph. (Gaming)
  • FNM: Tinker & Smithy, 6:30pm, Tinker & Smithy, Middlebury. (Gaming)
  • MTG:FNM Brap’s, 6:30pm, Brap’s Magic, Burlington. (Gaming)
  • FNM at the Book Garden, 7:00pm, Book Garden, Montpelier. (Gaming)
  • Pixels and Bricks, 8:00pm – 11:59pm, Vermont Computing Cooperative, Randolph. (Gaming)
  • ECHO Earth Week’s MudFest, 10:30 am-5 pm, ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center/Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, Burlington. Regular admission, $9.50-12.50; free for kids ages 2 and under. (Gaming)
  • ‘Monty Python’s Spamalot’, 8 pm, Middlebury Town Hall Theater, Middlebury. $15-23. (Spam spam spam spam)
  • Friday Night Magic: Booster Draft and Tiny Leaders, 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, Black Moon Games, Lebanon NH. (Gaming)
  • Friday Night Magic — Standard Constructed, 6pm – 10pm, The Gamer’s Grotto, Bennington. (Gaming)
  • Friday Night Magic — Varying Format, 6pm – 10pm, The Gamer’s Grotto, Bennington. (Gaming)
  • Fun night at Pinball Co-op, 7pm – 10pm, Pinball Co-op, South Burlington. (Gaming)
  • “Night Sky” Lyman Spitzer Jr. Planetarium, 3:30pm – 4:00pm, Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, St. Johnsbury. (Astronomy)
  • Animal Buddies Night at the Museum – Buddy Drop Off, 9am – 5pm, Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, St. Johnsbury. (Museums)
  • ADPi Book Drive, 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm, Davis Center 191-5, UVM, Burlington. (Books)

Geek Things for April 23rd, 2015

  • ‘Monty Python’s Spamalot’, 8 pm, Middlebury Town Hall Theater, Middlebury. $15-23. (Spam!)
  • UVM Student Research Conference, 9 am-4 pm, Davis Center, UVM, Burlington. (Research)
  • Castleton Scholars Celebration, 12:30-3:30 pm, Campus Center, Castleton State College, Castleton. (Research)
  • Bob Irvin – A new era of river restoration. 2-3 pm, Map Room, Debevoise Hall, Vermont Law School, South Royalton. (Rivers)
  • Writing for Young Adults, 6:30 pm, 22 Church St., Burlington. Free; preregister at meet; limited space. (Writing)
  • ‘Treasure Island’, 7 pm, Montpelier City Hall Auditorium, Montpelier. $10-60. (Theater)
  • ECHO Earth Week’s MudFest, 10:30 am-5 pm, ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center/Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, Burlington. Regular admission, $9.50-12.50; free for kids ages 2 and under. (Kids)
  • Lego Club, 4-5 pm, Burnham Memorial Library, Colchester. (Legos)
  • Forza: The Samurai Sword Workout, 6:30-7:30 pm, North End Studio A, Burlington. $10. (Workout)
  • Warmachine / Hordes, 5pm – 11pm, Quarterstaff Games, Burlington. (Gaming)
  • Woodin Environmental Studies Colloquium – Ethical Oil: The Moral Economy of Nature and Culture in the Tar Sands of Alberta, 12:30 – 1:20pm, Franklin Environmental Center, The Orchard-Hillcrest 103, Middlebury College, Middlebury.
  • MTG @ Rutland Collectibles, Rutland Collectibles, Rutland. (Gaming)
  • 802MTG Randolph, 5:00pm – 8:00pm, Kimball Library, Randolph. (Gaming)
  • Lego Challenge, 1pm – 2pm, Katherine Paterson Children’s Room, Aldrich Library, Barre. (Lego)
  • Pitch It, Fab It! 5:30-8:00pm, Generator, Burlington. (Tech)
  • Code for BTV Hack Night, 5:30pm – 7:30pm, Generator, Burlington. (Tech)
  • Generator Membership Orientation, 6:00pm – 9:00pm, Generator, Burlington. (Tech)
  • Board Game Night, 6:00pm, Triple Play Games, Claremont NH. (Gaming)
  • “Night Sky” Lyman Spitzer Jr. Planetarium, 3:30pm – 4:00pm, Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, St. Johnsbury. (Astronomy
  • LEGO Club, 3:30PM, Kellogg-Hubbard Library, Montpelier. (Legos)
  • Magic EDH/Commander Night, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Black Moon Games, Lebanon NH. (Gaming)
  • 2-Player Game Night, 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm, Black Moon Games, Lebanon NH. (Gaming)
  • Warmachine/Hordes Night, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Black Moon Games, Lebanon NH. (Gaming)
  • Young authors book planning meeting, 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM, Fox Room, Rutland Free Library, Rutland. (Authors)