"Michael Brandt remembered for compassion, skill as electrical engineer and musician" In The Daily Orange

For the record (DO article, local PDF), a quality write-up about Mike Brandt just posted in The Daily Orange, with thanks to Michael Sessa for the remote gumshoeing.

“You put a bass and a keyboard in front of him and he turned into Geddy Lee, without the vocals,” Allis said.

This is 100% true, although Mike took many more solos. F3 did a cover of Peter Gabriel’s D.I.Y., for which one of us “not-Sean” had to do vocals – this meant I had to do vocals. For the other story in the article, “ransacking” may have been a slightly overly-dramatic description of the event that I also fondly remembered in the other post.

Interviews become stories, stories become tales, tales become legend.

One of the other parts to that theft story was the police escort to the house where the gear had been stashed. The drums and two guitars were taken from Mike's house despite there being a keyboard, a bass, another bass, a Chapman Stick, and all kinds of amps and processors and the like in tripping distance – being trained musicians, this struck us all as kind of "Obviously you're not a golfer" odd. Sean and I did our best not to goose Mike about where in the musical guitar-bass-drums trinity his visitor thought his 4-strings-is-less-than-6 avocation fell.

An… austere version of one of these..

The eclectic sampling from Mike's abode made a little more sense on sight of the rest of the stash. The visitor had, among other items in his collection, several huge Igloo coolers (not the free-with-complementary-siding-estimate size, but the kind medium-build folks could hide in), a mini trail bike that I believe I heard was stolen from the Mr. 2nd's Bargain Outlet on Erie Blvd., and 50 pairs of fireman boots – all proof that, when you do (certainly the wrong) drugs, you're not in your best state of mind.

Free Astronomy Magazine – November-December 2020 Issue Available For Reading And Download

Above: At left, a false-color enhancement of an original photograph of the opaque Venus cloud cover taken by Mariner 10 during its gravity-assist maneuver en route to Mercury in February, 1974. At right, the surface of Venus as captured by the Magellan spacecraft. [Magellan Project/NASA/JPL]

The most recent issue of Free Astronomy Magazine (November-December 2020) is available for your reading and downloading pleasure at www.astropublishing.com.

Our fearless leader Michele Ferrara was again gracious enough to offer me the cover article, this issue featuring a broader discussion of the phosphine detection in the Venusian atmosphere and the "extreme conditions call for extreme adaptation" analysis of what, if actually there, might go into understanding Venusian lifeforms.

Michele had a similar problem to mine in the writing of this article when he was putting the final touches on the Betelgeuse article in the September-October 2020 issue. Within two weeks of going to print, yet another article was published in the peer review that challenged the previously-published analysis of the events leading up to the changing brightness of Betelgeuse over last winter. For the phosphine article, the story is still quite evolving – within days of going to print, the article "Re-analysis of the 267-GHz ALMA observations of Venus: No statistically significant detection of phosphine" was published on arxiv.org claiming that the original published study was a result more of data-fitting than detection. There will be a follow-up article on the phosphine debate to come, but we, as the article says, "sit back and watch how the professionals do it" for a time.

The original content for this issue continues with two articles extending the recent discussions of SETI-related projects in the magazine. I mentioned to Michele that he's been writing so many of these articles as of late that I wonder if he knows something I don't…

This issue also, so far as the current plan is, brings me back to something I greatly enjoy but have not had the time to commit to as of late (global pandemic or no, there is no slowdown with a near-indefatigable 18-month-old in the house) – outreach through astronomy writing specifically, and astronomy writing in general. The adjustment to accomplish this was made through, after eight years, my stepping away from CNY Observers website and membership duties this past September (you will notice the finality of the most recent site post). The CNYO site is sub-hosted and paid up for some time to come, so its record of activities will remain.

Browser-readable version: www.astropublishing.com/6FAM2020/

Jump to the PDF download (14.2 MB): November-December 2020