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Monday, November 29, 2010

A.G.A. Correa, I'll miss you most

I've decided to let most of my magazine subscriptions expire as a way of saving a few dollars every month.  No more Sky & Telescope.  No more Astronomy.  No more Wizard, though I will keep up some of my comic book subscriptions through my local comic book store.  No more Newsweek when it finally does expire, sometime in October of 2012.  (MAD I'm keeping.)

The world has changed since I first started subscribing to most of these magazines.  A lot.  Way back then, the only reliable way to get easily-accessible information about what was current in the world of astronomy was to check out Sky & Telescope or Astronomy magazine.  But then the Internet came along, and everything changed.  Now, instead of getting the latest news two months after it breaks, I can learn about things online as the news comes out.  Instead of getting a guide to next month's sky last month, I can just get a copy of Guy Ottwell's Astronomical Calendar (which has actually been around since 1974) and have a year's worth of star charts and detailed information for a fraction of the annual subscription rate to either magazine.  And I don't really need rehashed articles on elementary astrophysics or yet another guide to equipment I'll never be able to afford.

In that vein, there is one thing that I will miss more than everything else:  the annual inclusion of the A.G.A. Correa & Son catalog in the January issue of Sky & Telescope.

Because the Sky & Telescope demographic demands a $2350 pin of the Big Dipper (including Alcor.)
I have no idea how or when this association started, or how profitable it is for A.G.A. Correa & Son, a jewelry manufacturer specializing in nautical themes.  Whether it's a sterling silver Compass Rose Pendant with Working Compass for $375, or a Tinned Copper Captain's Kettle for only $325, or a 14k Diamond Empowered Four Strand Turk's-head Bracelet for $12,000, A.G.A. Correa and son have you covered.  If you, like most Sky & Telescope readers, are of a more astronomical bent, they have you covered too - with their "Diamond Astrological Jewelry" (Astronomy, Astrology, what's the difference anyway?) and "Diamond Constellation Jewelry." A fan of the Southern Cross?  $2300 will get you a five-diamond pin or pendant.  Fond of Lyra, the Lyre?  A pin will set you back a mere $3775.  Want to go all-out?  An Orion pin can be yours for $13,100.  On a budget?  The least expensive piece is a pin of the constellation Cancer for only $1400.

I've come to look forward to this annual celebration of wealth.  It's something of a Christmas tradition that reminds me of how ridiculously wealthy some people are.  People who can drop $3300 on 18k Monkey's Fist cuff links.  Unfortunately, the $37.95 renewal subscription rate for Sky & Telescope is a little too rich for my blood.  I guess I'll just have to remember to visit the A.G.A. Correa & Son website every year at this time.

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