A couple of days ago, Gay and I walked over to the old Harvard observatory for their Thursday Observatory Night, even though it was just a hair away from full moon, and there wouldn't be much to see through the telescopes.
Surprisingly, it turned out to be more of a musical than a science evening. The Summer Seasonals are an eleven-member a capella group, and they warmed up the crowd of about eighty with "Love Songs from the 16th Century."
John Dowland (1563-1626) wrote "What Poor Astronomers are They," which ends
"But such as will run mad with will /
I cannot clear their sight,
but leave them to their study still, /
to look where is no light.
Or, in a sexier vein, da Palestrina's _Osculetur me_ . . . .
Let him kiss me with the kiss of his mouth: /
for thy breasts are superior to wine, /
smelling sweet of the best ointments, /
Thy name is as oil poured out /
therefore young maidens havve loved thee.
Hot stuff for 1594!
After the concert there was an interesting presentation about amateur astronomical photography. (I may have mentioned this earlier.) The speaker was the current editor of Astronomy Magazine, which I edited in 1975. Gay took me up afterwards and introduced me, and I got a few moments of academic fanboyishness!
The walk home was long -- well, I'd been to Harvard and back earlier in the day. Anybody can tell you how hard it is to go to Harvard!