Deuce of Clubs Book Club: Books of the Weak

To Deuce of Clubs index page

I'm a Lebowski, You're a Lebowski

Guy Debord: Revolutionary

No Place to Hide

Command of Office

The Christ-Myth Theory And Its Problems

The Christian Delusion

Lincoln's Wrath

How to Do Nothing with Nobody All Alone by Yourself

The Sexy Book of Sexy Sex


Zombie Spaceship Wasteland

Catching the Big Fish

Dig Infinity

The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones

Crazy for God

Basin and Range

Anarchy Evolution

The File

John Ringo

The Supremes

End the Fed

Burning Book

The Hohokam Millenium

God's Middle Finger


In Heaven Everything Is Fine

The Shunning

Wisdom Sits in Places

The Marvelous Country

Hamilton's Curse

The Secret Life of Houdini

The Trouble with Being Born

Schulz and Peanuts

First Into Nagasaki

Joe Miller's Jests

Human Smoke

Dirty Tricks Cops Use

A Futile and Stupid Gesture

All For A Few Perfect Waves


Death in the Desert

American Signs

Secret Proceedings and Debates of the Constitutional Convention

Secrets Of A Stingy Scoundrel

The Self-Made Tapestry

A Constitutional History of Secession

The Neurotic's Notebook

Interrogation Machine

Monster Midway

The Harlot by the Side of the Road

Forced Into Glory

Imperial Life in the Emerald City

J. G. Ballard: Quotes

The Compleat Practical Joker

Laugh with Hugh Troy


A Liar's Autobiography


Chasing Rainbows

Letters from Tucson, 1925-1927

The Five Fosters

The Giant Cactus Forest and Its World

How to Cheat Your Friends at Poker

World Famous Cults & Fanatics

That's Not All, Folks!

God's Problem

Will Christ Return By 1988?

Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology

The Whiskey Rebellion

FDR's Folly

Wilson's War

Bully Boy

[If] I Did It

The Dark Side

Secret Origins of the Bible


The End of Faith

Why I Became An Atheist

"Life's Calendar for 1922"

Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War

The Negro Cowboys


Monty Python Speaks

Baseball Between the Numbers

The Psychopath's Bible


J. G. Ballard: Conversations

Days of War, Nights of Love

Gospel Fictions and Who Wrote the Gospels?

The Real Deadwood


The Revolution: A Manifesto


The Secret Man

Stormin' Mormon

From Psyche to Soma

I'll Gather My Geese

The Osama bin Laden I Know

Alias "Paine"

A Man Without Words

The Wild Trees

The World Without Us

Arizona's Changing Rivers

The Phoenix Indian School

Realm of the Long Eyes

John Dillinger: The Life and Death of America's First Celebrity Criminal

Buckey O'Neill: The Story of a Rough Rider

Thanks For Tuning In

Adventures in the Apache Country

Waylon: An Autobiography

My Life: Sunrise to Sunset

Mimes and Miners: A Historical Study of the Theater in Tombstone

The First 100 Years: A History of Arizona Blacks

Enter Without Knocking

City in the Sun: The Japanese Concentration Camp at Poston, Arizona

House by the Buckeye Road

Vanished Arizona

The Big Con

The Astronomy Cafe and Back to the Astronomy Cafe

A Handbook on Hanging

The Sinner's Guide to the Evangelical Right

A Mind Restored

Mr. Show: What Happened?!

Reclaiming the American Revolution

Stumbling On Happiness

Treasure Maps of the Superstitions

Sunny Slope

Did Genesis Man Conquer Space?

Look Homeward, America

Radicals for Capitalism

Kayaker's Little Book of Wisdom

God Is Not Great

The Echoing Green

The Secret Life of the Lonely Doll

K Foundation Burn a Million Quid

The Facts of Life and Other Dirty Jokes and The Tao of Willie

Just Six Numbers and Our Cosmic Habitat

Wild Goose Chronicles

Behind Bars: Surviving Prison

Silent Night: The Story of the World War I Christmas Truce

The Gang They Couldn't Catch


A History of the End of the World

Al Sieber: Chief of Scouts

Apaches & Longhorns

Deep Survival




Bo: Pitching & Wooing

You Are Worthless

You And Your Hand

Access All Areas

Field Guide to the Apocalypse

The War on Terrorism

Those Idiots From Earth

September 11: An Oral History

Mortal Questions

The Heresy of Self-Love

The White Flag Principle

Medieval Panorama

An Honest President

Those Words

À rebours

Peterson's Incident Report Book

Boo! Culture, Experience, and the Startle Reflex

Victory Denied

Nothing, Arizona

A Porcine History of Philosophy and Religion

O Holy Cow!: The Selected Verse of Phil Rizzuto


¿Hablas conmigo

Thirty-three Candles

Black Monk Time

Men of Distinction

Alexander the Corrector

Space Viking

Mark These Men

Hallucinogenic Plants

Prohibition: An Adventure in Freedom

JESUS! He's Our President


How to Watch Football on Television

Merrill Markoe's Guide to Love

Lincoln: The Man and The Car

Whatever Men Know About Women

Biographies of Italian War Heroes

ABC of Espionage

Art Colony Perverts


Starting Right with Bees

Planet Earth is a Cult

Baseball Letters


Dopey Doings

Democracy: The God That Failed

Handgrenade Talk

Hi, How Are You?

het zingen van het ijs

The Museum of Jurassic Technology Jubilee Catalogue

The Rector and the Rogue

Colorful Cacti of the American Deserts

Odd Jobs: The World of Deviant Work

The Hungry Man's Outdoor Grill Cookbook

How to Get Invited to the White House

How to Work for a Jerk

Never Work for a Jerk!

The Mentality of Apes

Your Vigor for Life Appalls Me

Dr. Strange: Sorceror Supreme

Nautical Notions for Nibbling

A Short Introduction to the History of Human Stupidity

The Fake Revolt

Coup D'Etat

History of the Town of Felicity

Hood of Death

Dolls' House Bathrooms: Lots of Little Loos

Border Security / Anti-Infiltration Operations

Living on Light

God is for Real, Man

Did the Apostle Paul Visit Britain?

Twin Peaks


Power Phrases

The Truth About Wagner

The Life of the Bee


Science Looks at Smoking

The Chiricahuas

The New Dark Ages Conspiracy

The Big Question

Everybody's Book of Epitaphs

The Death of the Fuhrer


Gorbachev! Has the Real Antichrist Come?

The World's Worst Poet

Alyssa Milano: She's the Boss

Home is the Desert

Nine Lives: From Stripper to Schoolteacher

How to Start Your Own Country

How to Found Your Own Religion

Sex Objects in the Sky

Indian Oratory

Bastard Without Portfolio

The Bedside Book of Bastards

Hopeless -- Yet There Is Hope

Bible in Pocket, Gun in Hand

Margie Asks WHY

Death of a Hippie

Wake Up or Blow Up

Feeling and Form


A Mile in His Moccasins

Mojave Desert Ramblings

Passing of the Outhouse

This Way to Happiness

The Happy Life

Young Only Once

The Monkey Gland Affair

Bert Bacharach's Book for Men

The Two Babylons

For Good and Evil: The Impact of Taxes...

Why Christians Crack Up!

Why Do Christians Break Down?

Hava Nagila!

Beethoven or Bust

How to Abandon Ship

Livin' in Joe's World

The Last Democrat

Salvation Mountain

The Varmint and Crow Hunter's Bible

Love in the Western World

Jack the Ripper: Light-Hearted Friend

Little Men of the NFL

No One May Ever Have The Same Knowledge Again

The Secret Museum of Mankind

James Bond's World of Values

We Did Not Plummet Into Space

The Boy Who Didn't Believe IN CHRISTMAS

The Great Escape From Your Dead-End Job

All About Tipping

My Loser Godfrey

A Haircut in Horse Town

Mucusless Diet Healing System

Jefferson Returns

Lincoln Returns

Churchill Returns

Corporation Freak

Null Bock auf DDR

So You're Going on a Mission?

Nudes in My Camera

Why I Hate the Nazis

Flesh, Metal & Glass

The James Beard Cookbook

Mortal Refrains


Amy Grant: A Biography

The X Cars

We Were Five

Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder

Hello ... Wrong Number

I'll Kill You Next!

Murder in Vegas

Did MAN Just Happen?

Terror at the Atlanta Olympics

Criswell Predicts

Your Next Ten Years

They Pay Me to Catch Footballs

The Phantom Menace

Just For Fellows

The Lopsided Gal

Astrology and Horse Racing

The Cokesbury Stunt Book

The Origin of Things

Remarks on the History of Things

U.S. Government Sewing Book

Funeral Tributes II

Blinky, the Friendly Hen

The Serbs Choose War

My Mystery Castle


Funeral Customs the World Over

The Right to be Let Alone

Mormonism and the Negro

The Church and the Negro

Preacher with a Billy Club

Fighting Parson of the Old West

Invisibility: Mastering the Art of Vanishing

How to Disappear Completely

The Gentle Art of Making Enemies

How to Catch a Man, How to Keep a Man, How to Get Rid of a Man

Langenscheidts Konversationsbuch

Marlene Dietrich's ABC

The Bible in the Hands of Its Creators

Realm of the Long Eyes: A Brief History of Kitt Peak National Observatory

James E. Kloeppel (1983; rpt. 1996)


By 1956, on the basis of the ground examination results, all but five of the possible sites had been rejected. The remaining sites were: Chevalon Butte, southwest of Winslow, Arizona; Summit Mountain, south of Williams, Arizona; Hualapai Mountain, southeast of Kingman, Arizona; Kitt Peak, southwest of Tucson. Arizona; and Junipero Serra Peak. near Monterey in California. During the next year Chevalon Butte and Summit Mountain would be eliminated, and a new possibility, Slate Mountain, northwest of Flagstaff, Arizona would take their place. (9-10)

Finally, after three years of searching and conducting exhaustive tests, the results were announced in March of 1958: Kitt Peak was clearly the best choice. In the Final Report on the Site Selection Survey for the National Astronomical Observatory, issued by Dr. Meinel, the relative merits of Kitt Peak and Hualapai Mountain were listed. In rainfall, sky transparency, and darkness of the night sky, the two mountain areas were about equal; and a water-supply problem existed at both sites. There were somewhat clearer nights on Hualapai, and the problems of road access, bringing in utilities, and land procurement would have been less than for Kitt Peak.
However, the latter was rated superior on eleven counts: good seeing, low wind velocity, temperature stability, microthermal stability, upper-air trajectories, absence of airplane vapor trails, developable area on the mountaintop, more southerly latitude, less interference from city lights, nearness of general support facilities, and proximity to an academic institution. (15)

The Papago people were less than thrilled about Kitt Peak being chosen as the site for a National Observatory. As Kitt Peak lay just inside the three million acre Papago Indian Reservation, permission was needed from the Tribal Council before work could begin. And this permission was not readily forthcoming. The Tribal Council was hesitant; they were unfamiliar with the science of astronomy, and were leery of an observatory being placed on their sacred mountain. That the presence of the observatory might despoil their land and upset their quiet way of life was among their concerns. (19)

Negotiations with the Tribal Council for permission to test Kitt Peak as a potential site for the National Observatory were lengthy. Permission was finally granted after Dr. Edwin F. Carpenter, director of Steward Observatory on the University of Arizona's Tucson campus, invited members of the Tribal Council and their families to look through the University's 36-inch telescope. The sight of the moon and planets awed the Council and convinced them that astronomical research would not despoil their land's natural beauty nor disturb their quiet peace. When Kitt Peak proved the optimal choice, the Tribal Council granted permission for the astronomers, whom the Papago call the People with the Long Eyes, to erect their telescopes on the mountain. (20)

A special bill was proposed allowing a perpetual lease for "as long as the land is used for astronomical study and research and related scientific purposes." The lease agreement was made binding in 1958 by a special law passed by the 85th Congress and signed by the President of the United States. The Papago received $25,000 for access rights to the site plus $10 an acre annually for about 200 acres of summit area to be then developed. The protective perimeter area of 2200 acres was to be rented at 25C an acre annually. (21)

After reconsidering their approach to the water supply problem the engineers came up with a novel solution. They decided the best way to supply enough water for the observatory was to take the rain which fell on the top of the mountain and keep it there. Based on a yearly rainfall of only eight inches, the engineers' calculations showed that a paved collection area covering three acres would supply over half a million gallons of water yearly. Since the minimum rainfall recorded in the Kitt Peak area during the years 1930 to 1940 had been eight inches, with the average yearly rainfall more than twice that amount, such a collection area would indeed provide an adequate supply of water. (30)

Plans were completed and construction of the collection area was begun. A natural basin was selected on the summit, smoothed, and coated first with asphalt and then concrete. In addition to the paved catchment basin, a water purification and filtering system was built, along with the necessary pumping station. Garland Steel Company was selected to construct two storage tanks— each to hold half a million gallons of purified water. The two tanks, costing $45,000, were finished by the end of 1959. (31)

The wing on the right served as a temporary museum for visitors from January of 1963, when the public road was opened, until June of 1964 when the museum was finished. Papago arts and crafts along with concessions were sold on the main floor which is now a laboratory for infrared detectors. (46, capt.)

Designing the solar telescope was a difficult task. The structure supporting the heliostat mirror had to be so rigid that even when a 25-mile-an-hour wind slammed against it, the image of the sun at the end of the 780-foot optical path would not deflect by more than 1160 of an inch. Additionally, to avoid thermal effects on the optical path, the air inside the structure would have to be maintained at a temperature equal to the air outside. Therefore, a design criterion was that all surfaces exposed to sunlight had to be temperature-controlled. (60)

Western-Knapp Engineering Company, a subsidiary of Western Machinery, was the prime contractor for the solar telescope. Excavation of the 300-foot tunnel and adit was perhaps the most dangerous task in constructing the mammoth telescope. All the necessary precautions were taken to ensure the construction workers' safety. As the tunnel was extended deeper into the mountain, rock bolts were driven into the sides of the tunnel and steel netting suspended to catch any rocks which might fall. But, man can not always protect himself from his machines, and a tragic accident occurred when an end-loader (used to remove boulders from the tunnel) rolled over and instantly crushed the driver to death. (62)

The skeletal framework of the diagonal wind shield is visible as construction progresses on the solar telescope. Installation of the tube-in-strip cooling panels had already begun on the vertical wind shield when this photograph was taken. Nearly 30,000 square feet of the cooling panels were installed over the framework of the telescope. Through the panels nearly 19,000 gallons of a special antifreeze solution are circulated. (63)

An offshoot of the Kitt Peak Space Division occurred during June of 1968 when astronomers successfully used the McMath Solar Telescope to direct a laser beam at the Surveyor VII landing site on the moon. Although six observatories made the attempt at bouncing laser beams off the lunar retro-reflectors, only Kitt Peak and one other observatory were successful. (82, capt)

The concept for the 58-inch telescope mounting was developed by W. W. Baustian, chief engineer for Kitt Peak, and is a modification of types originally investigated for the 200-inch, Mount Palomar telescope. In many ways the mounting is similar to the 200-inch, but the "horseshoe" is located at the declination axis. This allows the telescope tube to swing freely between the tines of the yoke, rather than between the struts running from the yoke to the south bearing. The moving parts of the mounting weigh about 300 tons, and turn on a thin film of oil only 0.004 of an inch thick on eight hydrostatic bearings. The telescope is so precisely balanced it can be moved by a 1/2 horsepower motor. (91)

The 36-inch telescope of the University of Arizona, originally erected on the Tucson campus in 1922, is now housed within a dome on Kitt Peak. This instrument was used to show representatives of the Papago Tribal Council the moon and planets in an effort to obtain permission to construct the National Astronomical Observatory atop Kitt Peak. (113)

Perched atop Horseshoe Ridge, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory began studying the heavens in 1966. More than thirty different types of molecules have been detected in the space between stars; most of these molecules were discovered with this 36-foot radio telescope. The staff informally named their site "Caboodle Knob" so the whole "Kitt and Caboodle" would be in the Quinlan Mountains. (116)

There are frequent training sessions to be attended by the entire mountain staff. When you are situated on a remote mountain top with the nearest hospitals and fire departments located 55 long miles away, emergencies can not wait for outside assistance. Therefore, the mountain-based staff is trained in such emergency procedures as handling the observatory's fire truck and fire-fighting equipment, and driving the observatory's ambulance. First-aid procedures such as treating rattlesnake bites, scorpion stings, and sprained or broken limbs, are also covered. Thus, Kitt Peak personnel are trained and equipped to handle most emergencies which might arise. (118)

All potential observers had to outline their proposed observing projects, as they vied for time on the great telescopes at Kitt Peak National Observatory. A panel of astronomers judges the requests, and only the most meritorious observing projects are approved. There simply is not enough available time on the Kitt Peak telescopes to satisfy the overwhelming demand. For example, three of every four astronomers requesting time on the 158-inch telescope must be refused. (121)

Buy this book

To Deuce of Clubs