Voorwerp discovery Public appearances Astronomy adventures Everyday life Comic book Voorwerp discovery Public appearances Astronomy adventures Everyday life Comic book

Voting for ‘Common Decency’

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As you might be well aware, I’m half British in my mind and most of my friends live in the United Kingdom, so I’m well informed of what’s happening over there. Today they vote. Now I’m not going to pretend I’m an expert in politics, in any country, but of course it’s very important for everyone to use their voice and vote.
 

As you may also know, one of my English friends, Dr Brian May, has been tirelessly telling everyone to please use this right indeed, to try and make their little part of the world a better place. And to help everyone who’s not sure who to vote for, he set up the Common Decency concept. This is not a political party and neither does it support one single party.
 

What it does do is support individuals who’ve shown to be decent. Those who not only have the most decent plans, but also those who stick to those plans. Now as I said, I’m not an expert, but it seems to me this should make it easier to choose who to vote for and in making it easier, maybe more people will vote indeed.
 

It makes sense to me. So in support of Brian, everyone at Common Decency and all my other pals in blighty, I thought I’d post this reminder to 1) please go and vote and 2) maybe check out Common Decency first. As the line on the card reads: Only 24 hours of democracy every 5 years, make sure you use it – vote on May 7th 2015.
 

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Flyer contructed by Brian.
 

A little announcement

In 2007 I discovered a Voorwerp. In 2013 I lectured about said Voorwerp and I met my partner. In October 2015…
 

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We’re expecting a baby boy! Here is the little bug. I underestimated how exhausting it is for a female body to make a baby (I mean, the process after fertilisation). Then there was also the scary weeks of being diagnosed with a rare but life-threatening infection, for which I’m seeing experts in Belgium now. We seem okay, just very very tired (and that’s the reason I haven’t answered your e-mail yet! Sorry!) This blog won’t turn into a pregnancy/baby blog, but an occasional announcement like this seems appropriate, I think.
 

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Oh and thanks for all your enthusiastic messages, cards and gifts so far. Even all of those who spilled the beans on flipping Facebook before I was ready to do so. Yes, I can laugh about it now.
 

Northern Lights & Sun Eclipse

Remember those recent cool events? Even though they were visible in some parts of the Netherlands, unfortunately I was not in those parts for either. Steven Lantinga (my partner) was and he took these pictures, which I’d still like to show off. So, enjoy!
 

(It’s fairly late, but I’ve been busy. I’ll let you know soon with what).
 

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Media update!

I’m going to start another message here with “I’ve been meaning to show you…”. I’ve been meaning to show you these media appearances for a while and while I was saving some of these links, the list grew longer. So just for the record: here’s where my Voorwerp showed up lately.
 

I was asked to write a short bit for the American ‘Astronomy’ magazine, which would feature a whole article about some of the Hubble Space Telescope’s most successful stories. It’s in the April 2015 issue and you can see my contribution below, which they titled “From the classroom to pop culture”.
 

After my TED talk, I was also interviewed for the TED blog. This was called “Meet the accidental astronomer who inspired a comic book”. I was also interviewed by Telescope, an online magazine, which interestingly enough has not much to do with astronomy. They “exist to tell the stories of real-life heroes” and you can find mine on their website. Then there was another exotic appearance on a Finnish website, which I always think is rather cool. And there was the German radio interview, for which I spoke a bit of German for the first time too.
 

I also got an e-mail last month to notify me we’ll be mentioned in the Dutch Zenit magazine of May and we got a mention on Free Star Charts. Thank you, to everyone for these shout outs and for telling me about them. I appreciate it.
 

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In The Forest

Term break is almost over again and of course I didn’t finish everything I wanted. However, spending time reading and going for walks in the forest, is important too. Here are a few pictures I took during the walks, just because I like them. Carpe diem and all that. :D

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It’s a beautiful day…

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The sun is shining

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Colour!

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Sheep!

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“Shooting stars”

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Raindrops

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On the fence?

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A Moon jigsaw

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Set in stone

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Stick figures

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I’m your Venus!