Archive for August, 2018

Celebrate the Night Sky Week, September 16-22, 2018

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Prepare to shine, Northlanders and mark your calendars for an entire week of celebrating the night sky this September! Starry Skies Lake Superior has lined up another week of exciting events around the region, following the success of last year’s Celebrate the Night Sky Week A few events are highlighted below, many more are featured on this year’s schedule.

Sunday September 16 we will be kicking off our second annual Celebrate the Night Sky week 6-11 pm at the Oldenburg House with stories, food, fun and telescopes! Come join us in Carlton, MN as we celebrate our connection to the stars on beautiful grounds nestled into our beloved northern landscape and adjoining Jay Cooke State Park. Sky lore historian Mary Stewart Adams, producer of the Storyteller’s Night Sky, will wend us into why the stars mean so much to humans, and why our connection with the night sky is irreplaceable. Members of the Arrowhead Astronomical Society will be on board with telescopes to enhance our sky viewing pleasure.

About “Celebrate the Night Sky Week”

Celebrate the Night Sky

Photo courtesy of Matthew Moses Photography

Celebrating our Spectacular Skies

Northern lights, meteor showers and the Milky Way are common sights in our region. Our visual access to night skies is unusual in the United States, where 80% of our citizens cannot see the Milky Way, and most children may never see it at all. Celebrate the Night Sky Week recognizes the unique night sky opportunities in our region.

Learning About our Lighting Choices

Lighting technology is changing at a rapid pace, and we continue to choose ever-brighter night light­ing. We are inviting presenters to educate professionals and citizens on latest technologies, medical research, and cultural importance, empowering all of us in becoming decision-makers about our Night Skies.

Be sure to join us on Wednesday, September 19 for a presentation by Shadab Rahman, PhD, MPH at the UMD School of Medicine Research. Neurophysiologist Shadab Rahman is an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. His primary research is in how light can modulate behavioral, endocrine and molecular outputs, with secondary interest in metabolic, immune and reproductive rhythms, and the effects of light exposure on these rhythms. Rahman presented at last year’s Night Sky Seminar and is working towards inauguration a sleep study in our region.

Shadab will also be on hand Wednesday night 7 pm at Fitger’s Spirit of the North theater for the premiere of “City Lights, Starry Nights,” a documentary movie on light pollution and moving towards seeing the stars in Duluth and our region!

Connecting our Region

Light pollution travels, and skyglow becomes sky trespass as excess light from one area can hinder others’ views of the night sky. Safeguarding our access to the night sky is a regional endeavor. Com­munities on the North and South Shores are involved in the Night Sky Week, to ensure beautiful, Superior night skies.

Celebrate the Night Sky

Cynthia and RobBee model Starry Skies apparel available at many of the upcoming event locations this year and online here

Why Focus on Night Skies?

Honoring our Environment

All organisms in our environment, including humans, have evolved to depend upon daily cycles of light and dark. We need to protect the night in order to protect the environment we depend on.

Protecting Human Health

Our bodies are entrained to the cycle of day and night. Too much light at night compromises our endocrine system. stressing our bodies and contributing to cancer, obesity, diabetes, sleep disorders and depression.

Safeguarding our View of the Cosmos

Humans have always been curious about our place in the Universe. The marvels of northern lights, asteroids and comets; the movement of the planets and the cycles of moon and tides all point us toward the “bigger picture.” Curbing light pollution protects our access to the stars.

Supporting our Quality of Life

Our goal is to establish our region as a “Dark Sky Destination,” welcoming visitors to connect with our beautiful night skies, and maintaining the quality of life we enjoy.

Take a look at the fun we had last year. There’s even more fun in store for this year!

Celebrate the Night Sky

Author Paul Hoban reads from his book The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light

Celebrate the Night Sky

Celebrate the Night Sky

Lake Superior Stars, an original print by Rick Allen created for the event on display at siiviis

Celebrate the Night Sky

Celebrate the Night Sky

Local restaurants like Valentini's and Amity Coffee participated with tasty information and local "gAstronomical" food and drink specials

There is something for everyone, whether you are two or two hundred! Come and check in with the cosmos. We are lining up a spate of great events for the week: be sure to check them out! Stay tuned and check back often as more events are added at, or on Facebook at Starry Skies Lake Superior IDA. Or get in touch with Randy Larson 218-343-7332 We look forward to seeing you under the stars!

Life on the Deck: Dragonwood and Cutek Extreme

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Happy August! Summer in the Northland is sweet. We have spotted a few changing leaves and temperatures are cooler this week. There is time enough to enjoy the summer and the crisp autumn days ahead on an outdoor deck.

We are delighted to share some great deck ideas with you using a favorite Meteek combination: Dragonwood and Cutek Extreme.

Dragonwood and Cutek Extreme

Dragonwood  and Cutek Extreme for Decks

Dragonwood  is thermally modified wood.  Sustainably harvested wood is cooked at extremely high temperatures to become permanently water-insoluble. With most moisture, sugars and resins cooked out, the modified wood is less vulnerable to decay and also resists warping. The end result is a straight, true, high-quality wood. And the enhanced wood grain is gorgeous!

We recently completed a deck project in a Duluth neighborhood. First, we used Dragonwood for this beautiful two level deck with hot tub. We prefinished the material with Cutek Extreme  which imparts excellent dimensional stability to the wood. But what holds it all up?

Supporting Cast Member: Helical Piers

Helical piers are foundation solution used to secure new or repair existing foundations. They offer a simplified alternative to a poured concrete foundation, while minimally impacting the construction site.

Basically they are like a giant screw. And they are easy to install without tearing up your yard or lawn. Check out the animated video below to see how it works.

A Few Scenes from Life on the Deck

Dragonwood and Cutek Extreme

Check out the helical piers in the foreground. Andy levels the stringers.

Dragonwood and Cutek Extreme

Andy welds these nifty ties onto the exposed helical pier pipes.

Dragonwood and Cutek Extreme

Here is a closer look at the welded attachment.

Dragonwood and Cutek Extreme

The two level deck begins to take shape.

Dragonwood and Cutek Extreme

Look at the gorgeous enhanced grain of the Dragonwood  and water is beading nicely thanks to Cutek Extreme!

Be sure to give us a call so that we can assist you with your deck design. And we can send Andy over to build it if you like. Let's come up with some ideas together! 218.722.7599