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May 20, 2024

Articles by Cheryl Haimann

[Nonfiction] [Opinion] [News] [Poem] [Short] [Comics] [Essay]


Backyard Astronomy: Finding North With The Big Dipper (2003-04-07) (2003-04-07) nonfiction

Get familiar with the world above you. This week we take a look at Ursa Major, Ursa Minor and Polaris. The only fancy equipment you need is at the end of your hand.

Backyard Astronomy: Measuring the Sky (2003-04-14) (2003-04-14) nonfiction

How big is the sky? How large is the moon? Learn to estimate degrees to measure objects in the sky and their respective distances from one another - without equipment.

Backyard Astronomy: Leo, The King of Spring (2003-04-21) (2003-04-21) nonfiction

Easy tips to help you identify and locate the constellation of Leo.

Backyard Astronomy: Lunar Eclipse (2003-05-12) (2003-05-12) nonfiction

Thursday's event provides an opportune time to discuss the ins and outs of lunar eclipses.

Backyard Astronomy: Will the real Bootes please stand up? (2003-05-26) (2003-05-26) nonfiction

Late night Bootes calls in Greek mythology and modern-day astronomy.

Backyard Astronomy: Astronomy for Morning People (2003-06-09) (2003-06-09) nonfiction

This is one of those moony weeks, when the moon is up longer and growing larger each night, until it is full on Saturday. What can a backyard astronomer do with such a bright night sky? Get up early and look for Mars, of course.

Backyard Astronomy: How high the sun? How low the moon? (2003-06-16) (2003-06-16) nonfiction

What causes the changing seasons, and why do our nearest neighbors appear in such radically different places in the sky at different times of year? A little bit about how our neck of the solar system is arranged.

Backyard Astronomy: The Geometric Sky (2003-06-23) (2003-06-23) nonfiction

Summer constellations are taking over the night sky, and you will want to brush up on your geometric shapes for this tour. Learn to identify Lyra, the Summer Triangle, the Northern Crown, and the Keystone.

Backyard Astronomy: The Virgin's Neighborhood (2003-06-30) (2003-06-30) nonfiction

A last chance to enjoy the features of the spring sky as we welcome the stars of summer. A closer look at the constellation of Virgo.

Backyard Astronomy: The Claws of Justice and the 13th Sign (2003-07-07) (2003-07-07) nonfiction

Gaia gets even with Orion, Romans demonstrate justice, and doctors wield snakes and fling poisonous insects about the sky. Scorpius, Antares, Libra, Ophiuchus, Serpens and the latest in July's on-going moon watch.

Backyard Astronomy: The Birds of Summer (2003-07-14) (2003-07-14) nonfiction

This week we look at the other constellations in the Summer Triangle. Is Cygnus the Swan a joyriding youth in a stolen vehicle, or a philandering god in animal drag?

Backyard Astronomy: Sagittarius, The Hunter's Teapot (2003-07-21) (2003-07-21) nonfiction

Sagittarius. Kinder, gentler centaurs. Charles Messier's lists of things that are not comets.

Backyard Astronomy: Cassiopeia, Queen of the North (2003-08-11) (2003-08-11) nonfiction

Cassiopeia, the Ethiopian queen chained to her throne in the heavens for daring to brag about her own beauty.

Backyard Astronomy: Mars, Fact and Fiction (2003-08-25) (2003-08-25) nonfiction

This week is the one Mars buffs have been waiting for. On Wednesday, Mars will be closer to Earth than it has been in almost 60,000 years. Whenever an astronomical event catches the attention of the mass media, as this one has, myths swirl around it like a nebula. We're going to set straight some of those misunderstandings.

Backyard Astronomy: Wade in the Water (2003-09-01) (2003-09-01) nonfiction

A look at the neighborhood where Mars hangs out. You might say this article is the dawning of the page of Aquarius.

Backyard Astronomy: The soap opera of the north (2003-09-15) (2003-09-15) nonfiction

As summer fades, taking Sagitarrius and the summer Milky Way with it, let's turn our attention to the north. The constellations are so-so, but the story attached to them is first rate.

Backyard Astronomy: Summer constellations revisited (2003-10-06) (2003-10-06) nonfiction

October is a strange month for stargazers. Great weather, same old constellations. Revisit your nighttime favorites, and get the morning report on planets.

Backyard Astronomy: Pisces (2003-10-13) (2003-10-13) nonfiction

There's something fishy going on in the zodiac. Learn about gods and monsters in the night sky.

Backyard Astronomy: Lunar Eclipse Redux (2003-11-01) (2003-11-01) nonfiction

The year's second lunar eclipse will occur next weekend. Find out when to see it, and what else to look for in the early evening.

Backyard Astronomy: The Pleiades (2003-11-08) (2003-11-08) nonfiction

How can one little star cluster carry so much cultural baggage? Everyone, but everyone, has something to say about the Pleiades.

Backyard Astronomy: Taurus and Cetus (2003-11-22) (2003-11-22) nonfiction

Half a constellation is better than none. No bull? Yes, Bull.

Backyard Astronomy: Holiday Gift Guide (2003-12-06) (2003-12-06) nonfiction

You don't need thousands of dollars to get started in astronomy, no matter what the author's husband says.

Backyard Astronomy: Orion (2003-12-13) (2003-12-13) nonfiction

The biggest, baddest of the winter constellations struts his stuff.

Backyard Astronomy: Auriga (2003-12-27) (2003-12-27) nonfiction

What do you think of when you think of physically challenged goatherding demigods? Why, Auriga, of course.

Backyard Astronomy: Gemini (2004-01-03) (2004-01-03) nonfiction

Meet Castor and Pollux, two guys who rose from the lowliest of births to achieve celestial prominence.

Backyard Astronomy: Big Dog, Little Dog (2004-01-10) (2004-01-10) nonfiction

Astronomy goes to the dogs with the last two stars in the Winter Hexagon.

Backyard Astronomy: Orion's Prey (2004-01-24) (2004-01-24) nonfiction

Be vewy qwiet...Owion is hunting wabbits.

Backyard Astronomy: A Piker's Guide to Jupiter (2004-02-21) (2004-02-21) nonfiction

Don't spread it around, but Earth's best friend is a big toxic gasbag. Learn why we put up with it anyway.

Backyard Astronomy: Little Constellations You Probably Can't See (2004-02-2 (2004-02-28) nonfiction astronomy

Little constellations you probably can't see. The constellations closest the Leo are tough to see, but you'd keep a low profile, too, if you spent every night cozied up to the king of beasts.

Backyard Astronomy: Spring Planetary Fling (2004-03-20) (2004-03-20) nonfiction

Five, count 'em, five naked-eye planets are visible now. Learn how to find the smallest and most elusive of them all, Mercury.

Backyard Astronomy: Mailbag (2004-03-27) (2004-03-27) nonfiction

Open your mind (and your wallet) as we answer astronomy questions from our readers.

Poetry for Pikers 02 (2004-04-17) nonfiction poetry

Poetry for thieving Pikers. Poetry is everywhere you look. You can even get other people to write your poems for you! Well, almost. We continue our celebration of National Poetry Month with three more types of poems that non-poets - yes, even you! - can learn to write.

Poetry for Pikers 03 (2004-04-24) nonfiction poetry

Want to write a love poem? Or do your tastes run more to juvenile mockery? In this installment, learn how to satisfy both of those poetic urges, and everything in between.

Backyard Astronomy: One NEAT Comet (2004-05-01) (2004-05-01) nonfiction

In early May, C/2001 Q4 (NEAT) will blaze into view. Or maybe not. You never know with comets.

Backyard Astronomy: Summer School (2004-06-12) (2004-06-12) nonfiction

School may be out for the summer, but a clever parent keeps looking for teaching moments. The night sky is there to help. Just don't tell the kids they're learning about science and stuff.

Backyard Astronomy: Three Planets for September (2004-09-11) (2004-09-11) nonfiction

Discover which three planets are visible in the morning sky, and remember the sky from Septembers past.

Backyard Astronomy: January 2005 (2005-01-01) (2005-01-01) nonfiction

Bring in the new year with a new comet, and watch planets all night long. Practical advice on when, where and how to spot comet Machholz, as well as spotting Saturn for evening astronomers and finding Saturn, Jupiter, Venus, Mercury and Mars in the morning this month.

Schnozzmo Astrology (2005-04-03) nonfiction astronology humor

We've got a nose for the future! Don't make a single decision until you've looked up your Schnozzmo horoscope for the week!

Backyard Astronomy: The Rise and Fall of Planet Pluto (2006-08-28) (2006-08-28) astronomy

The astronomy community is all a-twitter about Pluto. How did it get to be a planet, and why isn't it one anymore?

Chesster On: Strategy and Tactics (2006-11-06) nonfiction chess strategy tactics

Everything the author learned the hard way, her husband learned over a chess board. In this first installment, they look at two words that politicians love almost as much as "free lunch".

Backyard Astronomy: Mommy, where did Martians come from? (08-18-2003) (2007-04-16) nonfiction

Marvelous Mars and the sadly misguided Percival Lowell. With a name like that, you'd see imaginary canals, too. (Originally appeared 08-18-2003)

Poetry for Pikers 01 (2008-04-07) nonfiction poetry

Haiku. To celebrate National Poetry Month, we look at poetry forms that everyone can learn to write. First up, the little Japanese gems called Haiku, as well as several related forms. Skills required: the ability to count to seven...or maybe not.Originally appeared 2004-04-03.

Backyard Astronomy: Foul Weather Astronomy (2004-02-07) (2008-04-07) nonfiction

If the lousy winter weather is keeping you indoors, you can still book up on science, history, and literature of astronomy. Originally appeared 2004-02-07.

Crank It Up! Homemade Ice Cream (2008-05-19) nonfiction food memoir recipe

What's the perfect way to finish a summer barbecue? Ice cream, of course.

Backyard Astronomy: 2009 Is For Astronomers (2008-12-29) nonfiction astronomy

Four hundred years after Galileo first looked at the sky with a telescope, The International Year of Astronomy 2009 wants to give millions of people the same experience.

Backyard Astronomy: What's Up January 2009 (2009-01-05) news astronomy

See what there is to see in the night sky this month.

Backyard Astronomy: Venus (2009-01-19) nonfiction astronomy venus night sky

A look at our inscrutable neighbor, Venus.

Backyard Astronomy: What's Up February 2009 (2009-02-02) nonfiction astronomy

In addition to Orion and the rest of the gang of winter constellations, February offers a dwarf planet, a comet, and a chance to steer the world's most famous telescope. You're gonna be very busy.

Backyard Astronomy: The Moon (2009-02-16) nonfiction astronomy moon

Take another look at the star of story and song--Earth's closest neighbor, the Moon.

Backyard Astronomy: What's Up March 2009 (2009-03-02) cover story nonfiction astronomy venus saturn leo

Venus is on the move, Saturn is keeping long hours, and a lion brings the promise of spring.

Backyard Astronomy: Saturn (2009-03-16) nonfiction astronomy saturn

The ringed planet has fascinated astronomers for almost 400 years, and is still being studied, and enjoyed, today.

Backyard Astronomy: What's Up April 2009 (2009-04-06) astronomy Venus Mercury Lyrids

Mercury is visible and Venus is not (briefly, anyway), and a meteor shower keeps you company in between.

A Little Poetry For Everyone (2009-04-27) nonfiction poetry in your pocket

"Is that a poem in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?" On Poem In Your Pocket Day, you may just find that happy people DO carry poems in their pockets.

Backyard Astronomy: Galaxies (2009-04-27) nonfiction astronomy galaxies hubble arp

The universe became much, much larger than anyone realized when Edwin Hubble started looking at some of the fuzzy spots in the sky.

Cold-Brewed Coffee (2012-04-23) food cold brewed coffee

The perfect cooler to wake up to on a warm, summery morning!

Backyard Astronomy: 2017 Eclipse Across America (2017-08-14) science astronomy

Are you ready for next week's eclipse?

Backyard Astronomy: Signs of Autumn (2003-09-22) (2017-09-18) nonfiction

The autumnal equinox will occur on September 22, but you don't need a calendar to know that the date is near. The sky gives you two unmistakable clues - one at night, and the other during the day.

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Movie Review: Funny Girl (2003-09-22) movie review

Latest don't mean greatest. Cheryl analyzes 'Funny Girl', the Barbara Streisand classic that has been tested by time and found worthy.

Warnings (2003-10-20) op_ed

Is nothing safe anymore? Safe from warning labels, that is.

Winter Style (2004-01-31) op_ed

There is fashion magazine winter, and then there is real winter. Don't be fooled by imitations!

Missing Tomatoes (2004-03-06) op_ed

In spring, one woman's fancy turns not to love, but to the possibility of tasting a tomato again.

Review: "The Creative License" by Danny Gregory (2006-12-04) book review

The desire to be creative is part of human nature, but often that desire withers from lack of respect. With this book, the author hopes to bring everyone's creative dreams back to life.

Notes From The Office 04 (2007-10-22) Announcement

Are you hungry yet? You will be...

Websurfing: Zombie Attack! (2007-10-29) websurfing

If you hear that zombies are a-foot in your town, let the web be your guide to survival.

Review: Mo's Bacon Bar (2008-02-11) opinion review food

She wants chocolate. You just want a decent breakfast. Now you can both be happy.

Notes From the Office 07 (2008-04-14) editorial

Tennyson wrote, "In the Spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love." The Academy of American Poets suggests that in spring, and specifically in April, you turn your fancy to poetry.

The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread: A Review (2008-07-21) book review

Piker Press Poetry Editor Cheryl Haimann reviews "The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread" by Don Robertson.

Notes From the Office 10: The Season Is Here (2008-10-06) news

It's crisply autumn, and a writer's mind turns from hot August stories to a chilling November to come -- NaNoWriMo!

Review: J. Herbin Ink, Vert Empire (2010-10-04) product review ink "J. Herbin Vert Empire"

Cheryl Haimann reviews J. Herbin Ink "Vert Empire."

A Tale of Two Readers: Kobo versus Kindle (2011-02-14) product review "kindle" "kobo"

Cheryl Haimann pits her Kobo reader against her husband's Kindle.

Stars, Planets to be Renamed (2013-04-01) Humor

No more nomenclature no-no's! The men and womyn of SCANC raise a stink about insensitively named celestial objects.

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Searching For Mr. Goodcandidate (2004-01-31) News

Take a peek inside the Iowa Caucus, and learn what really propels a candidate to the front of the pack.

"Write Fiction Like Cheryl" Contest Winner Announced! (2004-09-04) news, contest

The first Piker Press contest ever has concluded. Cheryl was amused and touched by the entries - but was she inspired?

Contests: Piker Press Poetry Open (2005-03-13) news writing contests

National Poetry Month is drawing near, so unleash your poetic urges on the Piker Press.

Contests: Piker Press Poetry Open (2005-03-20) news writing contests

You may not get rich by writing poetry, but you can gain fame and adulation in the Piker Press Poetry Open.

Contests: Piker Press Poetry Open (2005-03-27) news writing contests

There is still time to get your anapest together and enter our March poetry contest.

Piker Press Poetry Open 2005 (2005-04-17) news contest

And the winner is...

WebSurfing 17 (2005-05-01) news internet opinion

Cheryl Haimann appears as a guest columnist to reassure us that even though National Poetry Month is over for another year, the Web makes it easy to bring poetry into your life all year long.

Podcasts: Have It Your Way (2006-02-13)

Now that you have an iPod, what do you do with it? A list of podcast reviews that will round out your listening experience.

Introducing PikerCasts (2006-05-15) news podcast

The Piker Press is not just for readers anymore. Literature without the nutritive value is now on the go with the arrival of PikerCasts.

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Valentines Again (2004-02-14) poem

Poetry. It was just for the weekend - but they were like magnets. Even their friends were surprised at how they complemented each other, each tugging the other's shortcomings into place

DM (2005-06-27) poem unrhymed

A poem inspired by David Lehman's poem "SF".

On Listening To Glenn Gould Play Brahms (2005-07-18) poem unrhymed

Two TomKat Poems (2005-07-25) poem rhymed humor

Eggnog Season (2005-12-12) cover story poem acrostic

Tis the season.

Lying Still (2006-02-20) poem unrhymed

Eternity (2006-02-27) poem unrhymed

A story in ten lines, written with the help of the Magnetic Poetry generator (Rimbaud edition) at http://www.languageisavirus.com/magneticpoetry/rimbaud.html

Curl up with me under your grandmother's quilt (2006-04-24) poem

Poem.(Originally appeared 2004-06-26)

Stairway To Heaven Found (2006-05-08) poem unrhymed

Apart (2006-07-24) poem unrhymed

Iceberg (2006-10-23) poem unrhymed

NaNoWriMo 2006: Writing Some Words on November Evenings (2006-10-30) poem rhymed parody

It's National Novel Writing Month again and the Pikers are there! This poem accompanied the goodie bags given to NaNoWriMo participants at the kick-off party in Des Moines, Iowa.

Keeping House (2006-11-27) poem unrhymed

At the end of Mes de los Muertos, the author discovers a surprising connection to her ancestor. In memory of Lillie Mae Tanner Coffey, 1929-2003.

Heart Memory (2007-04-16) poem unrhymed

Poetry inspired by the Mummies issue.(Originally appeared 05-23-2005)

Making Bread With Maslow (2008-04-07) poem unrhymed

Originally appeared 2006-06-26.

Teetering on the Edge (2011-04-25) poem unrhymed

I was looking for sensible, subdued, and reliable, but there you were ... (Originally appeared 2006-06-05)

At Sunrise (2012-02-20) poem unrhymed

Poetry for a cold winter morning ...

Game Over (2014-11-24) poem unrhymed

You have to love a Mes de los Muertos that shakes a poem from the Tree of Creativity...

Other Mothers (2017-05-08) poem unrhymed

On Mother's Day, we remember that there are many ways to be a mother.

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NaNoWriMo 2006:NaNoWriMo is People! (2006-11-13) short nonfiction essay

Like many others, I joined NaNoWriMo the first time because I thought I could write a better novel than some of the schlock I had paid money to buy and read. Long before the thirty days were up, I realized how wrong this notion had been.

Turn Off the Main Road: Winterset, Iowa (2007-05-28) short nonfiction

Marion Robert Morrison was born in Winterset, Iowa, in 1907. At the time, no one knew he would grow up to be an icon of the American West -- John Wayne.

Turn Off the Main Road: Greek Festival (2007-06-18) travel

Getting off the highway and onto to streets isn't always enough. Sometimes, if you want to do something special, you have to be in the right place at the right time.

Golden Goose (2008-05-26) short story fairy tale

There is more than one side to any story, even a fairy tale.

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Fever Dreams 114 (2006-11-27) comics

Ginger's Christmas Dream -- guest art by Poetry Editor Cheryl Haimann

Fever Dreams 115 (2006-12-04) comics

Now you know why they leave us all alone in the Universe ...guest art by Poetry Editor Cheryl Haimann

Venus and the Moon (2007-05-21) photo art

Poetry editor Cheryl Haimann captures a sweet night sky image of the planet Venus and the Moon.

Peek of the Week 093 (2007-05-28) photo art

Flags line the property where John Wayne was born.

Peek of the Week 119 (2007-12-03) photo art

The first icicles of the season in Des Moines, Iowa.

Peek of the Week 060 (2008-03-03) photo art

An abandoned building in Fleetwood, Oklahoma, hearkens back to the days of being a trading post in Indian Territory.

Peek of the Week 147 (2008-06-16) photo art

Flooding in downtown Des Moines, Iowa.

Peek of the Week 151 (2008-07-14) photo art

Maple tree seeds, often dubbed "Whirlybirds."

Peek of the Week 153 (2008-07-28) photo art

Astrophotograpy: the Moon.

Peek of the Week 161 (2008-09-22) photo art

An ex-tree at Blackhawk Lake.

Peek of the Week 165 (2008-10-20) photo art

Rainstorms line up in the sky.

Peek of the Week 193 (2009-05-04) photo art

Lilac buds promise spring weather.

Peek of the Week 232 (2010-02-01) photo art

Rocky Mountains seen from an airplane.

Peek of the Week 237 (2010-03-08) photo art

A lovely fungus graces a mossy fallen branch.

Peek of the Week 270 (2010-11-01) photo art

Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Peek of the Week 274 (2010-11-29) photo art

The Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C.

Peek of the Week 297 (2011-05-16) photo art

A monstrous thistle among spring fern-like foliage.

Peek of the Week 315 (2011-09-19) photo art

Lightning disrupts the Iowa Star Party.

Peek of the Week 318 (2011-10-10) photo art

An arachnid to remember.

Peek of the Week 424 (2013-11-11) photo art

Brilliant foliage richer than any jewels.

Peek of the Week 431 (2014-09-15) photo art

A closer look at the crafting of yarn.

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Putting It Together (2009-04-20) essay writing

The letters change, the answers add up ... writing can be like a word puzzle.

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