This book will provide you with concise informative guides to avoid the pitfalls and misleading marketing when purchasing a telescope or other beginner astronomy equipment for yourself or others. This is NOT a buyer's guide for specific makes and models of equipment because such guides become quickly outdated and useless. This book will teach you how to determine for yourself what equipment best suites your needs. The misleading marketing of some telescopes is so bad that in my opinion it is even more flagrant than the marketing of "snake oil" alternative medicine products. But at least you won't be spending your health care money on beginner telescopes (that comes later after you are more involved in the hobby). With some products you can trust that a name-brand version is a good choice, even if you know very little about the product.. Unfortunately, that is no help with beginner scopes. Strangely, a large number of high end professional telescope companies make junk toy telescopes and use misleading marketing and advertising for these scopes. The aim of this book is to be a short, concise guide to becoming not only an educated consumer when shopping for a first telescope, but also to make sure you are not disappointed with your first experiences using an amateur telescope.
"The Guns Of Tampa" series was first published in 1971 in The Tampa Times, the long-time afternoon paper in Tampa, Florida. It was written by Tom Inglis, a no-nonsense, stick-to-the-facts reporter who thoroughly and accurately covered the colorful political goings-on at Tampa's City Hall and Hillsborough County's Courthouse for many years. As a colleague at the Times, I admired his professionalism and his old-style, hard-nosed news reporting -- traits rarely seen in today's media. Thankfully, the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library has preserved The Tampa Times on microfilm, as well as the Burgert Brothers photography collection, which enabled me to recreate the series and also add pictures and headlines of events at the time. In rereading the series, however, it became painfully obvious that the original narratives were not carefully edited and also cut to fit the available space, and so some rich detail has been lost forever. Nonetheless, what remains is still a delightful read -- and an eye-opener -- into Tampa's notorious underworld history.
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