Saturday, August 21, 2010

In Memoriam: Jack Horkheimer 1938-2010

Astronomer. Host of the weekly five-minute PBS series Jack Horkheimer: Star Gazer (originally Star Hustler)

“When you have a small object traveling at an incredibly high velocity, slamming into the earth's atmosphere, the friction makes the speeding object heat up so much that it can internally fracture and turn into what we call a fireball.”

(If you've never seen Horkheimer's show, you have absolutely no idea with how much enthusiasm he would have said the above quote. I know some of you who read this blog like to view the cosmos as evidence of a higher power. I'll never go that far, but for this pudgy guy wearing a sweater and bad toupee to last 30 years on TV in this otherwise slick entertainment universe of ours--well, thank God for PBS--KJ)


  1. it may not be evidence of a higher power, but it's evidence that we are teensy weensy in this entire affair. thanks for honoring an astronomer. i wish i were smart enough to be one.

  2. i'm sorry to say that i've never seen mr. horkheimer's series. now i will look it up.
    i once had the experience of seeing the sky as it appeared on the date and at the time of my birth. it was deeply affecting. sure put me in my place, in time and space.

  3. @Dreamfarm--I recall being somewhat interested in astronomy and science in general when I was in elementary school. I think it got snuffed out in middle-school when they expected you to memorize the periodical table and things like that. Plus, science goes hand in hand with math, which I was never particularly good at it. These days, I'm content watching whatever science they have on PBS.

    @standing--Astronomy has been putting people it their place since Galileo.

  4. That's "in their place."

    I think I just put myself in my place without any help from astronomy.

  5. Ah, the wonders of the universe, as told by a pudgy guy wearing a sweater and bad toupee. So colorful.

  6. @Kass--He was one of the wonders.

    Actually, it behooves all not to have a black-and-white view of "colorful".


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