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insidethisissue - The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada

Pareidolia is a form of apophenia, which is described asthe “experience of seeing patterns or connections in random ormeaningless data.” So, with apologies to psychologists, I wouldlike to propose a new definition: “Apo apophenia,” which isto be defined as “the experience of seeing what is deemed tobe superior images based on the cost or prestige of a designor brand of telescope.” Those suffering from such an afflictionshould be excluded from the debate.Gerry Smerchanski’s interest in astronomy extends at leastas far back as his second spoken word, which was “Moon,” butit took a leap forward when he obtained his first departmentstoretelescope in 1969. Gerry is a scope-aholic and suffers from“ocularosis,” which is defined as the inability to ignore eyepiecesand other optical equipment. He is now in early stages of “apowithdrawal.”AcknowledgmentsI thank Jay Anderson and Ray Andrejowich for the gracious loanof their telescopes, and their trust that I wouldn’t drop them ormore likely run off to a tropical hideout with them.April / Avril 2008JRASCBuilding for the International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009)81

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