As a child growing up in Peoria, Illinois, I spent countless hours reading and browsing my family's set of World Book encyclopedias. Within those bound volumes and innumerable pages, I researched my current hobbies, worked on school assignments, and (perhaps most importantly) gained a life-long appreciation for learning.
In January of 2005, I discovered Wikipedia, which rekindled this same "browsing for knowledge" that I first experienced so many years ago. I quickly realized Wikipedia's limitless potential, and I was excited by the prospect of adding my own knowledge to the collective knowledge contained in Wikipedia's thousands of digital pages.
My first contributions related to my current position as Director of the Cernan Earth and Space Center, a planetarium in west suburban River Grove, Illinois, USA. My primary interests include astronomy (particularly eclipses, occultations and transits), American history (particularly the Civil War era), historical events (e.g. marine disasters such as the Titanic, Andrea Doria and Morro Castle and the rise and fall of airships), natural disasters (e.g. tornadoes, earthquakes, volcanoes), Mesozoic Era paleontology (a.k.a. dinosaurs), numismatics and philately, to name just a few. My future writing/editing efforts will largely be drawn from this list. I am particularly proud of those articles listed below that are preceded by a red star. ()
For more about me, please visit my biography webpage. If you prefer . . .
Wikipedia articles I have created or improved
Gettysburg Address -- In early 2005, I conducted research and then substantially rewrote this article. My initial major revision was uploaded on Feb. 19, 2005. Later that year, with the invaluable contributions of User:Kaisershatner, this article completed two cycles of Peer Review and was nominated as a Featured Article Candidate on December 22nd. On December 27, 2005, on the authority of Wikipedia administrator and bureaucrat User:Raul654, this article became a Featured article! On February 12, 2006, it was the Featured Article of the Day, which marked Abraham Lincoln's 197th birthday.
SS Morro Castle -- I conducted research and then substantially rewrote this article and added illustrations. My initial major revision was uploaded on March 30, 2005. This article is currently in Peer Review.
Cernan Earth and Space Center -- I created this article.
Triton College -- I created this article.
Illinois in the Civil War -- I created this article.
Occultation -- I substantially rewrote this article and added primary photograph (my own).
Grazing occultation -- a work in progress.
Astronomical transit -- I made a few corrections and added illustration.
Carte de visite -- I inserted my CDV as an illustration, and plan to add a few more details to the copy.
1933 Century of Progress Chicago World's Fair -- I added section about the Graf Zeppelin's visit and added illustrations.
1893 World Columbian Exposition -- I added photograph and external links.
RMS Titanic -- I added the section about the rudder's ineffectiveness and Murdoch's unfortunate decision to reverse engines.
- Well done for the Barnstars on the Gettysburg address. Chaos Reaver beat me to it. Capitalistroadster 02:41, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
- 128065_Bartbenjamin -- a Main Belt asteroid named in my honor by its discoverer, Bert Stevens.