Free Astronomy Magazine – September-October 2022 Issue Available For Reading And Download

Above: "My God, it's full of galaxies!" From the image description: "Thousands of galaxies flood this near-infrared image of galaxy cluster SMACS 0723. High-resolution imaging from the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope combined with a natural effect known as gravitational lensing made this finely detailed image possible."

The most recent issue of Free Astronomy Magazine (September-October 2022) is available for your reading and downloading pleasure at

The Hubble Space Telescope was the defining telescope of two generations, the pinnacle of observational astronomy, well worth the repair missions, and the source of some non-trivial percentage of all desktop backgrounds here on Earth. As of 11 July 2022, Hubble is now officially the "before" in every other space image you're likely to see for the next decade or two to come. If you've not seen yet, please do so and think about how many more Ph.D.'s we need in astronomy and astrophysics.

I sat through both the administration's first-first image roll-out (watching a screen from a screen didn't quite provide the "umph" that the first image release deserved), then the official release of the first five (which was not engineered with NASA-style redundancy), then found myself on travel in a car, listening to podcasts describing those first five images for several hours straight, which was a great way to get several overlapping perspectives on what specific disciplines saw as extract-able content from the image reveals. That first Deep Field Webb image is so full of galaxies I almost lament our evolution within a galaxy seemingly in the outfield of some big universe game.

"… the Hubble Extremely Deep Field took two weeks of exposure; Webb went deeper before breakfast."

Dr. Jane Rigby, Webb First Images Release Event

Our fearless leader Michele continues his out-there and way-out-there coverage of recent events in science and speculation, with an article addressing recent studies searching for Planet 9 in Outer Space and recent subcommittee sessions considering Plan 9 from Outer Space. UAP, UFO, We Don't Know.

Fact-filled and visually stunning as always.

Browser-readable version:

Jump to the PDF download (21.5 MB): September-October 2022

"It'll Come From Somewhere" By Funktion Key 3

Above: The band, Funk n' Waffles (campus), 19 November 2012.

Recent mix, harmonica'd solo fix, reminder that the ReverbNation page exists (currently #13 in… something).

And the official statement from the band after the passing of Mike Brandt from this plane is below, with my own thanks to our fearless leader Sean Kelly for continuing to polish up tunes whose drum parts were first committed to Fostex over 20 years ago (one of the fringe benefits of playing an instrument that only requires one plug is you can re-track until well after the cows come home!). Had film not been the medium of choice for picture-taking at this point (my then not having owned a real camera), I'd have accompanied the post with a picture of every mic we owned, several running into a Radio Shack mixer, a city works project of stands holding every cymbal I owned at the time, and a beaten-up round badge Gretsch ensemble in an absolute hodgepodge of colors.

UPDATE: I am sad to report that we are no longer an active band due to the untimely passing of our beloved bass player / keyboard player Mike Brandt in October of 2020. His intellect, wit, musical genius (hell, all-around genius), general kindness, and especially his friendship are greatly missed every day. He was entirely irreplaceable.

I am still working on finishing the recordings/mixing/mastering of tunes we had been working on for years, and they will appear on this site as I get them done. I am determined to share Mike’s talent with the world. That will be in the near future [he says optimistically]. So, please stay tuned. Take care, and tell someone you love them today.

Here's the old band bio as it always read.

Funktion Key 3 is a Syracuse, NY area band that plays bluesy rock original music, getting a tad funky from time to time. The band has been a three piece since its inception back in 1998, though we'd been playing together to record original material for a year before officially becoming a band, and still has the original lineup up characters. They are: Damian "Dr. Chops" Allis on drums, Michael Brandt on bass guitar, fretless bass guitar, Chapman Stick, and keyboards; and Sean Kelly on guitars, harmonica, and vocals.

Their repertoire also includes a wide range of cover tunes from the likes of Jethro Tull, Little Feat, Toad The Wet Sprocket, Michael Hedges, Living Colour, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Peter Gabriel, Rush, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jack Johnson… which they can pull out when the situation calls for covers.

I hear that bass sound and it makes me happy.

Aside – the ReverbNation plugin for WordPress produces (currently, at least for me) a gigantic whitespace at bottom when you try to put a song in. Use the "embed" option instead with a share link from the artist page (what you're seeing above). And if you're seeing a "502 Bad Gateway" right now, that's because ReverbNation just blew another fuse.