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View Full Version : How do I stop insulting my neigbor?



zebo-the-fat
2005-Nov-20, 09:46 PM
One of my neigbours turned up on my doorstep and told me that he had just "bought a star" for his wife. He wanted me to help him find it in the sky.
How do I tell him that he has just thrown his money away without actualy insulting him?
(Why not pick a nice, easy to find star, like the Sun?) :lol:

LurchGS
2005-Nov-20, 10:06 PM
there's no way to do it..

I suppose you could ask him for all pertinent information, and then explain that such info is bogus (I don't know, but do they actually include catalog numbers?) Should also ask under what international law the company was operating, to make said naming internationally official.

After that, grab the nearest baseball bat and bash him in the head.

I grant, it's a nice romantic gesture, and if it had a lick of honesty to it, I'd be at the head of the line.. but really!

turbo-1
2005-Nov-20, 10:25 PM
One of my neigbours turned up on my doorstep and told me that he had just "bought a star" for his wife. He wanted me to help him find it in the sky.
How do I tell him that he has just thrown his money away without actualy insulting him?
(Why not pick a nice, easy to find star, like the Sun?) :lol:My aunt's family did this for her, then one of my cousins asked me to set up my 6" APO refractor in her light-polluted back yard and let everybody look at "her" star. Personally, I did not want to engage in a couple of hours of driving and equipment set-up as an adjunct to some flim-flam artist's scheme, but I figured I was stuck. Luckily, a quick look at Uranometria and a spin of the Whitney star-finder showed that the star was going to be coming over the horizon at a spectacularly late (actually early morning) hour for all the little grandchildren and the project was put off, and never revisited. :dance: I did explain as gently as I could to him that although the star's new name would be included in a book (the scammer's come-on included a promise that included incorporation into the Library of Congress in some fashion), nobody who cares about astronomy would ever even open the book, much less incorporate the "new" name into their work.

If your neighbor has an email account, you can send him this link:

http://www.enzerink.net/peter/astronomy/starfaq/

If he's a decent guy, he will realize you are trying to do him a favor and won't take it personally.

Enzp
2005-Nov-20, 10:41 PM
Y'know what? Just help him find where in the sky it is located, and maybe try to foster some interest in astronomy. let him find out on his own that it is a scam. This ain't the Nigerian bank transfer. Why take away someone's joy? It would be like telling his kid there is no Santa/Easter Bunny/Tooth Fairy. Yes, it is a scam. But to me it falls under a pick your battles philospohy - you can't fight all the wars, pick the ones that matter most.

Enzp
2005-Nov-20, 10:42 PM
And then offer to sell him more stars at a discount rate. Everyone knows astronomers can get stars cheaper. "Bob, just because you are such a good friend..."

Just a thought...

turbo-1
2005-Nov-20, 11:23 PM
And then offer to sell him more stars at a discount rate. Everyone knows astronomers can get stars cheaper. "Bob, just because you are such a good friend..."

Just a thought...Good idea! You could sell him one that is easy to find naked-eye, like Arcturus (for Northern latitudes). You'd have to charge substantially more since it is so bright and prominent, but you could give him the "1/2 off for neighbors" discount, so it would only cost $250 or so. Print up a nice certificate, too. :evil:

Enzp
2005-Nov-20, 11:33 PM
A nice certificate,yes. You can even have it notarized - for a fee of course.

Arcturus is a good one, darn, I would have liked that one. And I think if you select one that is up all year round, that should command a higher price. SOmething like Sirius is flashy (style, not magnitude) but isn't visible half the year.

Double stars can be had at only 50% greater price than a single.

zebo-the-fat
2005-Nov-20, 11:33 PM
And then offer to sell him more stars at a discount rate. Everyone knows astronomers can get stars cheaper. "Bob, just because you are such a good friend..."

Just a thought...

I like that idea! :razz:

Stregone
2005-Nov-20, 11:53 PM
Why did you start insulting him in the first place? :p

Big Brother Dunk
2005-Nov-21, 12:09 AM
One of my neigbours turned up on my doorstep and told me that he had just "bought a star" for his wife. He wanted me to help him find it in the sky.
How do I tell him that he has just thrown his money away without actualy insulting him?
(Why not pick a nice, easy to find star, like the Sun?) :lol:
Actually it's quite a romantic, albeit misguided, gesture.

Unless the guy is a close friend, I wouldn't bother telling him. No one is the wiser, he and and his wife are happy. No point in ruining the moment.

The family of a friend of mine did the same thing for a sick family member. My friend knew the facts, but I don't think he told anyone.

Chuck
2005-Nov-21, 02:51 AM
The Star Registry lists all of their customers' stars in a book and copyrights the book. All copyrighted material is registered with The Library of Congress. It doesn't mean that The Library of Congress agrees with all of the material in every copyrighted book, but the Star Registry doesn't mention that. They say just enough to make their customers come to the conclusion that the names are officially recognized by the U.S. government.

genebujold
2005-Nov-21, 02:56 AM
One of my neigbours turned up on my doorstep and told me that he had just "bought a star" for his wife. He wanted me to help him find it in the sky.
How do I tell him that he has just thrown his money away without actualy insulting him?
(Why not pick a nice, easy to find star, like the Sun?) :lol:

Let someone else do it.

Instead, it's your job to enrichen his wife, and that of his wife, by helping him find his star, and then telling him all about it, so he can tell his wife.

Take a picture of "her star," frame it, and give it to them on their anniversary.

Of course they wanted the round-trip tickets to Vegas, but after a year or so, that picture on the wall will do more to communicate his love for her than anything he may have said since "Hey, honey! I just bought you a star! Only cost $50, there's so many of them!"

And you will have made their hearts proud of one another, joyous on all occasions.

Lianachan
2005-Nov-21, 11:10 AM
Instead, it's your job to enrichen his wife, and that of his wife, by helping him find his star, and then telling him all about it, so he can tell his wife.

His wife has a wife? How very liberal and modern.

:D

Maksutov
2005-Nov-21, 12:25 PM
...Instead, it's your job to enrichen his wife, and that of his wife, by helping him find his star, and then telling him all about it, so he can tell his wife...Somehow I get the feeling that this particular activity could cause you a lot more trouble than just telling him about the scam.

Maksutov
2005-Nov-21, 12:43 PM
I think I'll set up a new, competitive company that will put these "star naming" start-ups out of business.


My friends,

Why settle for the rather mundane idea of having one miserable star named after you or someone else? With my new service you can have 100,000,000,000 stars bearing your name in one fell swoop.

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Be the first in your neighborhood to have a barred spiral named after you! Are you a regular, even-tempered person? We have an almost infinite number of elliptical galaxies just waiting for your appellation! Feeling a little kinky? Irregular galaxies are in surplus mode right now, and for this week only we can get you one that has exceeded its gravitational restraints!

Galactic Gnomenclature® is ready to serve all your extraterrestrial needs. Give us a call today at 1-800-SPI-RL4U, or send an email with your checking account number, transaction code, and an unused check number to thisislanduniverse@gmail.com.

Thanks for your space-time!

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SeanF
2005-Nov-21, 04:11 PM
It would be like telling his kid there is no Santa/Easter Bunny/Tooth Fairy.
Well, no, 'cause that would be a lie! You certainly didn't intend to imply to the members of this board that Santa Claus doesn't actually exist, did you?! ;)

The truth is, though, we're talking about an adult, not a kid.

That being said, I agree with you. It's his $50, there's no real harm done. Don't go out of the way to tell him the star naming is legally meaningless, but answer truthfully if he gives an opening by asking about it. In fact, I would suggest acting like he already knew it wasn't legitimate, but did it anyway because he felt it was a nice gesture. After all, it's possible that that's exactly what happened.

hewhocaves
2005-Nov-21, 04:30 PM
I dunno.. i think that we go out of our way too much to not hurt everyone else's feelings.

I would say - don't offer your opinion. But if asked, tell the person very plainly exactly what they bought. Explain what "record" means, invite them to research it on the web, but be polite and do it without a sense of superiority. That's key. You're not laughing at him, just explaining exactly what he purchased.

as an aside... if people will pay $100- for a star, imagine what the IAU would get for selling out?? $10,000?? $100,000 a star? We could easily pay for the next generation of telescopes!!

Yes, i know.. im far too machiavellian. (evil grin)

john

TheBlackCat
2005-Nov-21, 05:52 PM
as an aside... if people will pay $100- for a star, imagine what the IAU would get for selling out?? $10,000?? $100,000 a star? We could easily pay for the next generation of telescopes!!
Now that's a good idea. There are plenty of folks with money to burn who would love to have something like that. only $100 people at $100,000 a pop is $10,000,000. Who would take a ride in MIR when they can get something more permanent like having a star with their name that will actually be recognized by the scientific community?

Moose
2005-Nov-21, 06:22 PM
Now that's a good idea. There are plenty of folks with money to burn who would love to have something like that. only $100 people at $100,000 a pop is $10,000,000. Who would take a ride in MIR when they can get something more permanent like having a star with their name that will actually be recognized by the scientific community?

... With some unfortunate side effects:

The supermassive black hole in the middle of our galaxy gets bought and named Microsoft.

Polaris would have to be renamed as the result of a trademark lawsuit with Polaris (the snow mobile company). Polaris would then buy it and rename it Polaris[tm].

The Trump Supernova?

Someone will think they've spotted the virgin Mary in some nebula somewhere and it'll get bought by that online casino GoldenMemorabilia.com.

That notorious Carina sub-cloud (http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap030630.html?list=true) would inevitably get bought by Dick Cheney. (Kidding. Kidding! :p Please don't ban me, Wolverine! Eek! :eek: )

genebujold
2005-Nov-21, 07:09 PM
His wife has a wife? How very liberal and modern.

:D

Oops. I meant to say "enrichen his life and that of his wife..."

Redneck
2005-Nov-21, 10:02 PM
You guys are really nice, not wanting to spoil the guy's fun. But I think it's better to let him know so he won't be so quick to fall for the next scam that comes his way.

Paul Beardsley
2005-Nov-21, 10:13 PM
One could sell iterations of the big bang...

But to the original question, my advice is to say what you think. By all means be tactful and courteous, but if your neighbour wants to involve you in the search for the star, then tell him you disapprove of the whole star-buying thing. If he asks why, then tell him.

It is a difficult one, though. A year or so back an old friend of mine told me his mother had died... and he bought a star in her honour.

Thinking about it, the whole thing really sickens me.

LurchGS
2005-Nov-21, 10:17 PM
and this little M-class Dwarf is Uncle Fred. Right next to Miss Strumpet, a blue giant...

Dragon Star
2005-Nov-21, 10:22 PM
One of my neighbors turned up on my doorstep and told me that he had just "bought a star" for his wife. He wanted me to help him find it in the sky.
How do I tell him that he has just thrown his money away without actually insulting him?
(Why not pick a nice, easy to find star, like the Sun?) :lol:

You already waited too long, if you said something as soon as he told you, it would be a much better situation, but now....I think your stuck in a bind. Play dumb and don't say a word.:shhh: :whistle:

hewhocaves
2005-Nov-21, 10:40 PM
there are two name a star ads thanks to google on the main BA site.

oh, i agree my idea was bad.. i never said it was good. just lucrative. who needs a soul anyway?

John

Lance
2005-Nov-21, 11:05 PM
Interesting disclaimer on their site:


International Star Registry star naming is not recognized by the scientific community.
Your starís name is reserved in International Star Registry records only.

montebianco
2005-Nov-21, 11:48 PM
Interesting disclaimer on their site:

Who would have imagined that.

I'll sell them for half price. My names won't be recognized by the scientific community either...

genebujold
2005-Nov-22, 12:56 AM
Forty percent! And I'm registered in an offshore community with unbelievable legal power and absolutely no extradition treaty with any country whatsoever!

Hideaways available for an additional charge of only $14.99 Million...

LurchGS
2005-Nov-22, 04:24 AM
Forty percent! And I'm registered in an offshore community with unbelievable legal power and absolutely no extradition treaty with any country whatsoever!

Hideaways available for an additional charge of only $14.99 Million...


Atlantis?

Trianglia?

Spaghettonia?

farmerjumperdon
2005-Nov-22, 02:58 PM
And then offer to sell him more stars at a discount rate. Everyone knows astronomers can get stars cheaper. "Bob, just because you are such a good friend..."

Just a thought...

I like that!

Just for you, . . . my friend, . . . today only, . . . This baby is loaded and has never been given anything but a number in millions of years - never named, not a blemish on her. Just look at those difraction rings. Observed by professionals only, always kept in the dark, waiting for someone like you, . . . my friend, . . . today only.

genebujold
2005-Nov-22, 09:03 PM
Atlantis?

Trianglia?

Spaghettonia?

Unamericana!

Just don't tell Uncle Sam.

Shoosh! I said don't tell him!

Aw, for Pete's sakes, why'd you have to go and do thaAAAAAAAAguck....