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James Ray

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Pietro Angelo Secchi

Died 26 Feb 1878 at age 59 (born 18 Jun 1818).Pietro Angelo Secchi was an Italian priest and astronomer, a Jesuit, who made the first survey of the spectra of over 4000 stars and suggested that stars be classified according to their spectral type. He studied the planets, especially Jupiter, which he discovered was composed of gasses. Secchi studied the dark lines which join the two hemispheres of Mars; he called them canals as if they where the works of living beings. (These studies were later continued by Schiaparelli.) Beyond astronomy, his interests ranged from archaeology to geodesy, from geophysics to meteorology. He also invented a meteorograph, an automated device for recording barometric pressure, temperature, wind direction and velocity, and rainfall.[DSB gives birth date 18 Jun 1818. EB gives 29 Jun 1818.]

Abe and Esther are flying to ...

Abe and Esther are flying to Australia for a two-week vacation to celebrate their 40th anniversary. Suddenly, over the public address system the Captain announced, "Ladies and Gentlemen, I am afraid I have some very bad news. Our engines have ceased functioning and we will attempt an emergency landing. Luckily, I see an uncharted island below us and we should be able to land on the beach. However, the odds are that we may never be rescued and will have to live on the island for the rest of our lives!"
Thanks to the skill of the flight crew, the plane lands safely on the island. An hour later Abe turns to his wife and asks, "Esther, did we pay our $5,000 PBS pledge check yet?"
"No, sweetheart," she responds.
Abe, still shaken from the crash landing, then asks, "Esther, did we pay our American Express card yet?"
"Oh, no! I'm sorry. I forgot to send the check," she says.
"One last thing, Esther. Did you remember to send checks for the Visa and MasterCard this month?" he asks.
"Oh, forgive me, Abie," begged Esther, "I didn't send that one, either."
Abe grabs her and gives her the biggest kiss in 40 years.
Esther pulls away and asks, "What was that for?"
Abe answers, "They'll find us!"
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