Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Recruiting for XRLs

An XRL is an eXtremely Remote Livingry situation, perhaps in some windswept high desert, complete with electric ATVs and training in the safe handling of rattle snakes (Glenn knows a lot about such things).

Those tracking my Winterhaven chapter recall my big push around Celestia and Stellarium, also features in some of my Saturday Academy classes.

These OMSI-like astrolabe and planetarium type tools help orient campers (e.g. BarCampers) vis-a-vis their local galactic space-time situation, which all seems more sensible when not trapped under a big city's light pollution dome. "Are city folk more self-absorbed because they can't see the stars at night?" some ask.

In any case, XRLs often feature HDTV and plenty of bandwidth. Hooking a laptop to the dome's AV system shouldn't be problematic.

Given the setting, it's more your Bob McGown and Allen Taylor types we need to "abduct," as you need that "forest ranger" or "tour guide" tier, able to interpret what's on screen, in terms of what's outside, and vice versa.

Amateur astronomers have an edge, in other words, when it comes to filling some of those key staff positions -- even better if your astronomy skills dovetail with your navigation skills in some way. Plus it helps to know what to eat or not eat, other kinds of awareness, in terms of a given terrain, ala Cascadia Wild.