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The traditional print publishing industry requires long production cycles before any book or publication can see print. This situation has become more acute for authors like myself who publish books on annual software releases. I hope to use this blog to publish information, updates, addenda, ruminations, and other "mid-cycle" missives. I hope you enjoy it.

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Off Topic - Celestia

When I am not writing about Revit or AutoCAD, doing training or consulting, shuttling kids to ball games and activities, I have an interest in astronomy which I try to feed whenever I can. I try to drag the telescope out a couple times a year, I have a subscription to Sky and Telescope and I have a wonderful open source program called Celestia! This little wonder is an accurate 3D representation of the solar system (or really the galaxy). There are thousands of stars and other celestial objects in this program accurately scaled. You can jump in your virtual rocket ship and fly to the moon, the sun, the stars or beyond. best of all, since all distances are accurate, you really get a sense of just how long it would take to travel to these places. It is mind-blowing really!

Well, Celestia also let's us do the impossible. We can turn on our warp drive and just like the movies fly instantly to distant stars and planets. I have spent hours marveling at the wonders of the universe in this spectacular program.  Best of all it is FREE!

I also give presentation son this program every year to the children at my kid's school. They love it. To help me with the presentation, I have turned to a wonderful set of education resources for Celestia created by Frank Gregorio. Frank is a teacher in Manassas VA. Frank's education version of Celestia is NOT free, but it is priced VERY reasonably and I think worth every penny. He provides a customized version of the program complete with many exciting add-ons and over 40 hours of education activities and tutorials that you can follow alone or in a group to learn all sorts of fascinating facts about our solar system and universe. Since I have ordered Frank's education version, I am on his email list and recently he sent along the following offer for the holidays. If you are looking for something truly unique for the astronomy buff in your life, then Celestia Education Activities is worth a serious look:

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I hope you have been enjoying Celestia Educational Activities and the wonders of the cosmos it has taken you to.  If so, perhaps you know of someone else who would love to take these exciting educational journeys through the Celestia Universe.

Celestia Educational Activities would make an ideal Xmas or Hanukkah gift, or birthday or appreciation gift for a family member, friend or work associate who is captivated by Astronomy and the stars, and would love to also travel deep into space in the Celestia 1.   At only $29 (plus shipping) for a personal use license, its 40+ hours of space journeys can provide many thrilling hours of enjoyment for your family and friends.

To order a gift DVD or CD set today in plenty of time for the holidays, just visit http://gregs-educational.info.  We will ship it to your home or business address, or to any shipping address you wish.

Warmest Regards,

Frank Gregorio  



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In the interest of full disclosure, I do not receive any of the proceeds for sales of Celestia Education Activities. I was not asked to promote them. I simply love the program and want to share it with as many folks as I can. 


I hope you will give it a try. And remember, the program is also available for free if you are not interested in the customized education version or the activities, you can learn more here. I hope you like it. Thanks. 

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