Reaching for the Stars! 14 days to go....
As of this evening, we're halfway through the Kickstarter campaign for The Ancient Egyptian Daybook. I'm delighted to report that we're well on our way to our first stretch goal (see Update #3 for more details on the stretch goals). I'm told that all three are actually well within reach...if we keep boosting the signal and get more people to see the project and spread it far and wide.
This is the part where I ask for your help.
I'm asking as many people as I can think of to help publicize our campaign, but I'm not in this project alone. More than 120 of you have joined me in believing there ought to be a book about the ancient Egyptian calendars, a pocket calendar, and maybe if enough of us come together, an app we can use wherever we like. Thank you! I know that all of you probably know friends or colleagues who might be interested in this project, everyone from people who like ancient Egypt, astronomy, or mythology; from scientists to philosophers, tech geeks or neopagans. All of us will be able to use the book (and the interactive calendar app, after 40k pledges) that come out of this project.
But we need to spread the word.
I've recently heard back from some backers and friends that because my video (and its script, which are on the front page because there's no closed captioning in the video) is tongue in cheek, that they're concerned this project will be strictly a pop culture artifact, or that it will be only for kids. I'm a professional Egyptologist in addition to a geek with a terrible sense of humor, so I can assure you that while the end result might be fun and engaging, it will also include plenty of actual science, footnotes, etc.
I don't think there's any reason that science and education can't be fun, and never have. The best kind of science is the kind that anybody can relate to without running in terror or falling asleep from boredom. Ask Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye, or the Mythbusters gang about that if you don't believe me. There is absolutely no reason why ancient Egypt can't be smart AND fun.
So, let's talk about science a little bit!
I love science, and I love astronomy. In fact, I fell in love with moons and planets and stars and space long before I knew what Egypt was. (This sort of thing happens, when you're born during the Apollo 11 moon landing. I must've been listening to the TV they wheeled into the delivery room when I came out.)
If you weren't aware of the scientific background to this project, it's immense. Part of why the app will cost so much to create, is because the ancient Egyptians had four completely separate calendars. Each was calculated with precision, without the help of computer models or modern instruments. Astronomy in ancient times, while lacking the technological advances we have today, was complex – and accurate. In my research for the Daybook, I've started looking at interactive pieces to add/acquire more information, and I recently came across the following YouTube lecture by an astrophysicist, about the ancient Egyptian calendars and their science.
Really wish I'd been able to attend this symposium in person. But at least they put it on YouTube, so we can check it out! Here's Professor David Linton of Eastern Illinois University, talking about ancient Egyptian astronomy. Yes, it's an hour long, but it's well worth it - and even if you aren't that familiar with astronomy or physics, you might get something out of the lecture. Enjoy!
Thank you all, again, for your support and your continuing efforts to boost this project's visibility. Like the modern sky, our internet has a lot of "light pollution," and the Daybook's competing with far bigger and brighter objects out there. But that doesn't mean we can't reach for the stars we can see on this project. Keep making it happen!