Bill Arnett

My work:
I have written a number of WWW documents on various topics, mostly having to do with astronomy. Brief descriptions of each can be found on my site map.
This "home page" has been copied around the Net quite a bit. Sometimes the copies get out of date. Here's a link to the master copy.

Use of my materials:
Most of what I have made available is free for anyone to use for their own purposes. For more details, please see my copyright notice.

I would like to hear from you, especially if you have discovered a mistake in one of my pages. Send me email at or via this little mail form.

If you're looking for a good book on astronomy (or if you just want to do me a favor) then check out my online bookstore. It's really no more than links to but if you order after going thru my links then I get a little bit of Amazon's profit.

My pages have elicited a lot of nice comments and "awards". I've collected them together in a sort of virtual trophy case.
About me
By training and profession, I'm a software engineer. But I've tried over the years to learn a little about a lot of things. I sometimes envy the great men of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment who had a very real possibility of learning a large fraction of all human knowledge. But then I think of all we have achieved since then and I know I have the better deal.

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Astronomy, the History and Philosophy of Science, Classical Music, the Internet, and all things Macintosh.

Favorite quotes:
"I know that I am mortal and the creature of a day; but when I search out the massed wheeling circles of the stars, my feet no longer touch the earth, but, side by side with Zeus himself, I take my fill of ambrosia, the food of the gods." -- Claudius Ptolemaeus (Ptolemy)

"Never ascribe to malice that which can be adequately explained by ignorance." -- Oscar Wilde

"It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers." -- James Thurber

"Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself." -- Richard Feynman

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science." -- Charles Darwin

"If we die, do not mourn for us. This is a risky business we're in, and we accept those risks. The space program is too valuable to this country to be halted for too long if a disaster should ever happen." -- Gus Grissom, three weeks before he was killed in the Apollo 1 fire.

Favorite quips:
"Eschew obfuscation."

"I didn't claw my way to the top of the food chain to eat vegetables."

"Make it idiot proof and someone will make a better idiot."

"Puritanism: the haunting fear that someone, somewhere may be happy." - H.L. Mencken

"Quantum Mechanics: the dreams stuff is made of."

Contacting me
(Please read my copyright notice before asking permission to use my material.)

Snail mail:
William A. Arnett
722 Temescal Way
Emerald Hills, California
94062 USA
A final thought
Three Ships
Some say the world will end in fire,
some say ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

      -- Robert Frost

Last updated: 2000 Jun 12