No TidBITS Issue on 8 April 2024 for the Solar Eclipse

Originally published at: No TidBITS Issue on 8 April 2024 for the Solar Eclipse - TidBITS

We’re taking the next email issue of TidBITS off to view the total solar eclipse, although we’ll continue to publish articles on our website. You can look forward to the next email issue on 15 April 2024.


If I didn’t know you any better, I would think this was an April Fool’s announcement. But given one part of my family is flying to Austin, Texas, for the eclipse, I will assume we are steady as she goes on truth!

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Clear Skies!

(Pay no attention to the umbrella…)


Oh, gawd, I remember that eclipse! Our mother helped us make us these pin-hole-projection boxes to view it safely, because we only got the partial.

1963 was well before I was born, but I am a huge Peanuts fan, and that week’s strips (leading up to the eclipse) were always a favorite of mine and I remember them every time there’s an eclipse in the news.

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My late wife and I drove from Oroville, CA to Eugene, OR in 2017 to see that one. It was a several hours trip and an overnight stay for something that lasted less than an hour, but it was nice. Her second cousin lives in Oxford, NY and is going with her son and his family to some property he owns in the Adirondacks (near Moxham Mountain) which is right under the center part of the eclipse track. Out here in Prescott, AZ we’ll only get a partial eclipse.

When I was a kid in NY, we had one come near (but not total) in 1970. We made pinhole projectors in school as well, all that, and I hoped that someday I’d travel somewhere to see a total eclipse.

I’m finally doing it, as next week’s will be total in VT where my son lives. (It will also be total in northern Maine near where by brother-in-law has a ski place, but that was Plan B.) I’ve been planning this one since the last total eclipse in the US in 2017.

(Knock wood - so far extended forecasts look good.)

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Good luck and clear skies!

It’s not looking very good at my destination. Oh, well…

Well that’s a shame, because it was apparently wasted on my siblings, older and younger. None of them remember it or the Peanuts series (thank you for the fond reminder). I remembered it vividly, and wanted to see totality for years. Weather permitting, this will be my second one.

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Good for you! I hope you enjoy the experience. I am fortunate enough to live on a farm in the the path of totality of this once in a lifetime event, so I don’t have to travel anywhere. I am just praying for good weather.

It looks like you won’t need to travel far to be in totality.

In 1999, I viewed the eclipse from Devon, England, just out of totality. Even thought there was 100% cloud cover, it was light enough to see the discs overlap. The reaction of wildlife (and the streetlights) was amazing.

Headed to the eclipse myself. My family is gathering at my sister’s since she lives inside the path of totality. Email me if you need a place to observe from. We will have a small telescope and several large binoculars projecting images.

The 2017 eclipse was my first totality and it was amazing.

Enjoy the eclipse! I am flying from Amsterdam to Austin this week to see it. It will be my 4th total eclipse and the 2nd in the US. 2017 near Yellowstone was awesome.

Yes, everything I say in this article is completely true! I was pushing hard all day yesterday to finish the issue (and my monthly TidBITS Content Network content drop, and get yard signs—created in Canva—posted to warn drivers of the race next Sunday), so I didn’t even consider that people would read the article as an April Fools joke.

I’m quite looking forward to the eclipse—we’ve never seen one at all before, and having totality just a short drive away was impossible to pass up. I’ve also been focused on it since late last year with the planning for the Skunk Cabbage Classic race, since the theme I came up with is “Total Eclipse of the Skunk.” (Despite the race being named for the skunk cabbage plant, at some point in its history, we’ve ended up with a skunk mascot.)

Along with the similar sounds of “sun” and “skunk,” the other trigger for the name was Bonnie Tyler’s 1983 song Total Eclipse of the Heart. As a child of the 80s, I was familiar with the song, but even more amusing was the 2009 literal music video, which changes the song’s lyrics to describe the scenes of the surrealist music video.


Last year the annular solar eclipse occurred on the same day as our end-of-season fall race. (It was only a partial eclipse at the race site.) The race director bought eclipse glasses and placed them at all the aid stations. It was a hit!

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This would have been such a great April Fools – no TidBITS edition on April 8 because the eclipse would prevent you from seeing your computer screens.

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So very disappointed you didn’t go with the headline: “TidBITS Goes Dark for Solar Eclipse”…a pun is a terrible thing to waste!


For you eclipse enthusiasts, especially those traveling to experience totality, I’d reccommend this YouTube video from one of my favorite channels, “Smarter Every Day.” It’s 22 minutes long, and has lots of practical information on what to watch for and how to plan.

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From Stowe, VT, with an iPhone camera, somewhat miraculously. (And it was about 100% 1000% [edit: left out a zero] cooler than the photo looks.) A bucket list item for me for sure.