You Can Actually Do Something Good With Those Eclipse Glasses

Now that the Great American Eclipse has come and gone, what do you do with those cardboard and polymer “eclipse glasses”? Here is an interesting option:

Astronomers Without Borders has offered to take them off your hands so that children will be able to use them in future eclipses. The organization says it will soon announce a program dedicated to redistributing glasses to schools in Asia and South America, where there will be solar eclipses in 2019.

The organization’s mission is to provide astronomy-related education and equipment for developing countries. It raises money to buy new glasses for children, but it is hoping to use this opportunity to build a stockpile. While the organization hasn’t yet announced an address for donors to send glasses to, it’s trying to spread the word before people throw them away and plans on releasing a list of addresses soon. Simmons said Astronomers Without Borders wants people to hang onto their glasses while it arrange for astronomy clubs and companies to receive them.

solar-eclipse-glasses

A parable for today’s world

There is unrest in the forest
There is trouble with the trees
For the maples want more sunlight
And the oaks ignore their pleas

The trouble with the maples
(And they’re quite convinced they’re right)
They say the oaks are just too lofty
And they grab up all the light
But the oaks can’t help their feelings
If they like the way they’re made
And they wonder why the maples
Can’t be happy in their shade

There is trouble in the forest
And the creatures all have fled
As the maples scream ‘Oppression!’
And the oaks just shake their heads

So the maples formed a union
And demanded equal rights
‘The oaks are just too greedy
We will make them give us light’
Now there’s no more oak oppression
For they passed a noble law
And the trees are all kept equal
By hatchet, axe and saw.

Geddy Lee, “The Trees”

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