I had written the letter to the editor at the State Journal-Register two weeks earlier, but had given up on it getting published (see "Honey I Shrunk the Sun," page 1). Then, after I got out of the shower one morning at about 7:30, my wife told me that the answering machine woke her up. I played it and heard a rambling message from a man who didn't leave a name. This was how I found out that my letter had been printed. This is why I sometimes wish I had an unlisted phone number.
But if I want the media and other interested people to be able to contact me, I have to make the sacrifice of letting the occasional crank contact me as well. This wasn't so horrible (though my awakened wife may not have agreed), but it was a bit annoying. This man decided he could just call me up at 7:30 in the morning to tell me that I should have capitalized "pope" in my letter (I had, the SJR changed it). He went on to say that I was wrong when I wrote that the "the pope recently spoke out in favor of evolution" and that I should listen to some preacher on the radio to hear the facts. If I'd have talked to him, I'd have told him that I don't listen to radio preachers for my scientific information, thanks. But since he left neither a name nor a number, writing it here is the best I can do.
A few days later, I received mail addressed to me at my home with no return address. It contained a different letter to the editor (from a creationist, but not the same one that I responded to about the "shrinking sun"). That's all it contained, though. No hint of who sent it to me. I tend to doubt that these two things are at all related, since I do have my home address unlisted, but who knows? If, by some chance, somebody reading this sent me the letter as information, please attach even a short note in the future so I can at least thank you.
The article I wrote about the creationist "shrinking sun" myth is a good example of the types of articles I'd be interested in seeing from REALL members inclined to write for us. The myth itself is over 10 years old, but that certainly doesn't make it "old news." If you know something about a subject that might be of interest to other REALL members, please consider writing it up for us. Just because you are familiar with it doesn't mean we all are, and it could be very interesting for the rest of us. We want to hear about it!
This month, we're having another lunch/discussion meeting at Shakey's Pizza & Buffet on Sunday, December 15 at noon. These meetings have been popular in the past, so I hope to see a lot of you there. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate.
/s/ David Bloomberg