neufer Memorial

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neufer Memorial

Post by bystander » Fri Apr 01, 2022 4:54 pm

1946/02/14 - 2022/03/04
2008/01/21 - 2022/03/01
Art Neuendorffer (neufer)
Vacationer at Tralfamadore
Physicist at NOAA (retired)
Total posts: 18805 (7.83% of all posts / 3.63 posts per day)
johnnydeep wrote: Tue Mar 22, 2022 9:02 pm Hey - where's neufer gotten to? He hasn't posted in a good while. Hope he's alright and just on vacation.
johnnydeep wrote: Thu Mar 24, 2022 3:57 pm ...
Fourth: where the heck is neufer?
Ann wrote: Thu Mar 24, 2022 6:19 pm ...
I wish I knew. ...
bystander wrote: Thu Mar 24, 2022 8:38 pm neufer's last post was on 2022 Mar 01.
Looking back at his previous posts, I see no reasons for his absence.
Ann wrote: Sat Mar 26, 2022 5:15 am Thanks for posting a picture of Medusa, Orin!

I wish Art was here. He would have had something quirky to say about Medusa.

Art, where Art thou?
johnnydeep wrote: Sat Mar 26, 2022 1:38 pm Yeah, neufer is missed. Would Medusa be an unfortunate name for an online U.S. pharmacy company? The domain name seems to be available for sale in case anyone is interested.
MarkBour wrote: Mon Mar 28, 2022 3:40 pm ...
I'm a bit concerned that I haven't seen any posts from neufer in a while.
Cousin Ricky wrote: Mon Mar 28, 2022 6:09 pm Neufer shows up in the “yellowish star” link (one of the solar spectrum illustrations). But yeah, he hasn’t posted here since March 1.
rwlott wrote: Tue Mar 29, 2022 9:44 pm Several of you have asked about Neuffer. Sadly, I have this to share. It was posted by his son in the Shakespeare Google Group earlier this month on March 4:

Hi all,

I wanted to let you know that my dad Art Neuendorffer died peacefully this afternoon after his health quickly deteriorated last week.
His passion for Shakespeare, et cetera, filled much of his time in retirement and he greatly appreciated this group. Whether you found his ideas intriguing or bizarre, you formed a good part of what I think of as my dad's own little secret society. Please pass the news in other groups that have appreciated his wit, puzzling, and reflections.

Rest assured that although his BONES will remain here, he will EVER live in our memory. Of course, his actual resting place will only be found by heroically solving a sequence of increasingly challenging hidden puzzles, navigating ingeniously laid traps, and perhaps outwitting a conspiracy or two along the way!

The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.

Stephen Neuendorffer
XgeoX wrote: Wed Mar 30, 2022 5:54 am Lord what horrible sad news. I am so sorry for his son’s loss. I always enjoyed his posts and the effort he put in to them. He will be missed.
God bless.
Ann wrote: Wed Mar 30, 2022 5:56 am I'm shocked and very, very sorry to hear this. I almost can't believe it. I'm so sorry.

Art seemed so alive and lively in his posts, as his mind roamed so freely and covered so many topics. He contributed enormously to this forum.

My condolences to Neuffer's family.
XgeoX wrote: Wed Mar 30, 2022 6:04 am I wanted to bump this forward as it was posted late last night in yesterday’s APOD…

Just terribly sad news.
Ann wrote: Wed Mar 30, 2022 6:58 am I'm shocked, and I can hardly believe it.

None of the rest of us regulars in this forum seemed so "alive" as Neufer. He had a fantastically nimble and quirky mind, bursting with inspiration and ideas, and he had a great general knowledge of many scholarly and scientific fields as well.

Neufer's posts at Starship Asterisk* were unique. Sometimes his posts were just confusing, at least to me, but often they shed surprising light on the topics that we were discussing. Or, more often, they shed light on things that could be associated with the topic that we were discussing. A beautiful example is one of the last posts he made here, which was inspired by our discussion of the yellow and blue binary star Albireo, Beta Cygni:

It was Art, and his quickly roaming mind, who saw Albireo in the sky as a counterpart to the Ukrainian flag, and as a symbol of the Ukrainian people and their fight for independence.

Thank you, Art, for what you and your posts did for Starship Asterisk*. You were the one who connected the dots between heaven and Earth. You were unique, and you are irreplaceable.

My condolences to Neufer's family.
orin stepanek wrote: Wed Mar 30, 2022 11:09 am May his spirit rest! Art gave valuable incite to this forum!
johnnydeep wrote: Wed Mar 30, 2022 2:13 pm Oh man, I am unbelievably sad. Actual tears. I really enjoyed Art's always intriguing posts for the two years I've been a daily reader and poster here. I will really really miss him! :(
pferkul wrote: Wed Mar 30, 2022 4:32 pm Condolences and prayers.
DonB312 wrote: Wed Mar 30, 2022 5:44 pm I agree with everything Ann said in her post above. There were so many times I learned something unexpected from Art's posts. And they so often made me smile. I did not know Art personally but I've been coming to this site every day for so long that it almost feels like losing a family member. I will really miss his presence here.

My condolences to his family and friends.
johnnydeep wrote: Wed Mar 30, 2022 9:05 pm Yes, so sad about Neufer. I'd LOVE to hear what he'd have to say about "Odd Radio Circles"! Perhaps something about crop circles, or "circles of confusion" (a real thing!), or...who knows what!
johnnydeep wrote: Wed Mar 30, 2022 9:06 pm Very well said. I felt the same way.
alter-ego wrote: Thu Mar 31, 2022 3:48 am Within the last few years, Art had taken a lengthy hiatus and I grew concerned. After a number of weeks, he reappeared to the forum. I was happy and relieved. This time I grew concerned again, and my heart sank after reading rwlott's post. I will forever remember the day Art passed - March 4 is my birthday. I will always take a moment to remember his wit, insight into many diverse topics, and the occasional creative sarcasm :) Some number of years ago, I believe Art posted a picture of a stately looking man sitting at tripod-mounted refractor telescope. I'm not sure who that person was or if he was mentioned. I probably forgot... I maybe embellished his description, but I've always pictured Art as being that man.

No doubt Art will be missed.

Thank you, rwlott for sharing Stephen's letter about his Dad.
Chris Peterson wrote: Thu Mar 31, 2022 3:52 am
AVAO wrote: Thu Mar 31, 2022 5:13 am To be or not to be is not a question. I will never forget Neufers posts. Unique and irreplaceable.
I will really miss his presence here!

My condolences to his family and friends.
johnnydeep wrote: Thu Mar 31, 2022 11:57 am Nice. Great pic! That's a pretty high end pair of binos he has there. Seems like maybe an older version of these?: ... 10520.html
ddorn777 wrote: Thu Mar 31, 2022 3:50 pm Though I rarely post, I've always been fond of Mr. Neufer's posts. Always informative, interesting and entertaining. He will be missed.
ddorn777 wrote: Thu Mar 31, 2022 3:58 pm Thanks for passing on the sad news of his passing. One of the greats has gone home to the stars, though a part of him will remain.
Fred the Cat wrote: Thu Mar 31, 2022 4:04 pm Since January 21st, 2008, Art contributed 18,805 glimpses into his personality and wit. That is no small amount. Thanks to this thing called the internet, we all have the ability to randomly revisit the man anytime we choose or happen upon an old post. To me it’s like he’ll always be here despite no longer adding to that vast body of thoughts and comments. I will miss his absence, ever wondering how he might interpret some thought I decide to post, but be glad I discovered this forum to “meet” a person I would never have gotten the chance to know.

I choose to think he is now a permanent resident on Tralfamadore; living happily in the bubbles of this life. :ssmile:
RJN wrote: Thu Mar 31, 2022 6:13 pm I am sad to hear of his passing.
johnnydeep wrote: Thu Mar 31, 2022 7:35 pm And checking Art's profile, he contributed an impressive fraction of all posts here!
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:57 am
Last active: Tue Mar 01, 2022 9:38 pm
Total posts: 18805 (7.83% of all posts / 3.63 posts per day)
alter-ego wrote: Fri Apr 01, 2022 4:43 am Thank you for finding and posting the picture of Art.
Ann wrote: Fri Apr 01, 2022 7:49 am
NASA's rover Opportunity's journey to and on Mars: 2003-2018

Art's journey to heaven and Earth on spaceship Starship Asterisk*: 2008-2022

In the end all our batteries get low, and it will be getting dark.
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor

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Re: neufer Memorial

Post by owlice » Fri Apr 01, 2022 5:58 pm

Shocking and very sad news. Neufer sometimes drove me nuts (to his delight, I suspect!), but he also provided and inspired a lot of fun, doggerel, and discussion. I will remember him as a brilliant polymath: a physicist with deep knowledge of literature, especially Shakespeare, and music, an incredible facility with words and the ability to explain science clearly, a kind heart, passion about justice and fairness, sense of playfulness and wonder, and an excellent pianist to boot.

Sic itur ad astra.

My condolences to his family.
A closed mouth gathers no foot.

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Re: neufer Memorial

Post by Ann » Fri Apr 01, 2022 7:06 pm

Each and every one of us is unique, because we are all the only one of our kind that has ever existed and will ever exist in the history of the Universe.

Art silhouette.png

But Art was more than unique. He was larger than life, and few of us are. He made quite a lot of people who had never met him ask about him and worry about him when they hadn't heard from him for a while.

Now he is dead, and he has left an Art-shaped hole in the fabric of the Universe.

The day after us Asteriskians* learned about Art's passing, it was announced that NASA had found the most distant star ever, Earendel, the Morning Star, which blazed forth during the cosmic dawn. As an atheist I don't believe in souls, but I'll make an exception for Art. I can see him visiting the Morning Star, perhaps becoming one with it, silver-surfing Earendel's home galaxy the Sunrise Arc, surveying the cosmic dawn.

Or perhaps he traveled no further than the location in spacetime where Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, was alive. So that Art could finally confirm once and for all that de Vere really was the author of all the works attributed to Shakespeare. And then Art could also ask Edward de Vere if that exquisitely elegant collar wasn't unbelievably uncomfortable.

And who knows where else Art's soul may roam, now that it is free from its Earthly shackles.

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Re: neufer Memorial

Post by Cousin Ricky » Sun Apr 03, 2022 6:53 pm


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Re: neufer Memorial

Post by MarkBour » Sun Apr 03, 2022 8:44 pm

Oh, this news hurts.

I only ever knew Art through this forum. But it was always a delight to see what his next post would be, even when he was simply correcting my mistaken ideas. The beautiful and thoughtful posts of you who are here is comforting.

Art chose the tagline "Vacationer at Tralfamadore". I am brought to this note:
The most important thing I learned on Tralfamadore was that when a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral. All moments, past, present, and future, always have existed, always will exist.
-- Vonnegut, Kurt (1969). Slaughterhouse-Five or the Children's Crusade
Still, it is now going to be a little harder to collect or pay up on that one wager I had with him (whether it will take 110 million years for the Earth and Mars day lengths to become equal, or whether it will happen in a mere 104 million years).

Godspeed, neufer !
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Re: neufer Memorial

Post by geckzilla » Tue Apr 05, 2022 3:25 am

Well, the forum certainly won't be the same without Art... and Vacationer at Tralfamadore happened when he took a hiatus from the board a while back. Prior to that, he was known as the Quotidian Quotationist. I think I was reading Slaughterhouse Five when I set it to the Tralfamadore one, because somehow it reminded me of him.

Just last month I was in Moss Landing, where there is a little Shakespeare museum, and I thought of Art. I suppose I'll always question whether the bard is really who they say he is because of neufer.

Goodbye, then.
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Re: neufer Memorial

Post by scotfree » Tue Apr 05, 2022 4:57 am

Hi Everyone,

Your amazingly kind words about my dad are truly heartwarming. I also had the benefit to learn from my dad in so many areas over the years. As a kid we often went on adventures where talking about physics and science filled much of our time in the car. There are so many stories about my dad
that I've been remembering. He attempted to make a telescope in high school, but made his mom furious when he tracked mirror polishing rouge all over the house. We would always detour to explore the Edmund Scientific warehouse store in New Jersey whenever it was only marginally inconvenient. The various science fair projects that we agonized over: The highlight for me was always getting a chance to go to his office at NOAA and getting to use the fancy HP pen plotter to make our presentation graphs... And how we would help him color in the daily maps of the ozone hole printed out on the big high-speed impact printers at work in the days before cheap color printers.
geckzilla wrote: Tue Apr 05, 2022 3:25 am Just last month I was in Moss Landing, where there is a little Shakespeare museum, and I thought of Art.
Isn't that place a hoot? Unfortunately, I don't think my dad ever made it there. He did get to visit both Lick and Chabot observatories on visits to California, along with the Exploratorium and the Academy of Science.

I'm somewhat astounded at the sheer prodigiousness of his postings here. Astronomy was one of his great passions and this group definitely gave him great pleasure and purpose to explore it and share it with you all.

Stephen Neuendorffer


ARTHUR CARL NEUENDORFFFER, 76, of Alexandria, VA, passed away on March 4, 2022, with his family by his side.

Art was born on February 14, 1946 to Joseph and Bettina (nee Daniels) Neuendorffer. He grew up in Alexandria, VA, and lived briefly in Virginia Beach, VA, Newport, RI, and Key West, FL, due to his father’s career at the Center for Naval Analyses. In 1958, the family moved to Allison Street, which became the center of family life for many years. After high school, Art traveled on youth hostel bicycling adventures across Europe and Canada; biking continued to be a favorite pastime. Art studied physics and literature at MIT. After graduating in 1967 with a BS in Physics he began graduate school in Astronomy at the University of Maryland.

As the Vietnam War escalated, Art was drafted into the Army and served as a SP3 at White Sands Missile Range, where he focused on using satellite sensors to measure the earth’s atmosphere.

On June 14, 1969, he married Carolyn Rawcliffe and they moved to Las Cruces, NM to complete his military service. In 1972, Art and Carolyn returned to the East Coast, and bought a house in District Heights, MD, where they raised three children: Stephen, Andrea, and Dawn.

Art took great joy in instigating spontaneous weekend adventures, often taking the family hiking in the mountains, biking along the C&O Canal, and exploring various museums and historical sites. Many family vacations were spent enjoying the beach at Ocean City, MD. After staking out early spots each day for the family’s umbrellas and chairs, Art enjoyed swimming in the surf, creating sand castles, and spending time with the kids.

Art spent the bulk of his career as a research scientist at NOAA. His work included developing satellite sensing techniques for use on weather satellites and studying climate change. In later years, he specifically monitored changes in atmospheric ozone using infrared for comparison with NASA’s ultraviolet studies. This valuable work focused on the enlargement of the ozone hole as scientists were just beginning to understand implications of climate change. He retired in 2007 after 38 years of government service.

In retirement, Art enjoyed his daily contemplative nature walk both through the Alexandria neighborhoods and parks and along Ocean City’s beach. Always appearing with a book or newspaper in his hand, Art enjoyed learning for learning’s sake and loved sharing the connections he discovered. Art continued his love of astronomy and physics, regularly attending NASA lectures and pondering emerging questions in those fields. Art spent many hours studying and discussing Shakespeare. He was particularly interested in the authorship question and the relationship between Freemasonry and English literature. As an “Oxfordian,” he was a regular contributor to the humanities.lit.authors.shakespeare community for almost 14 years.

Art is survived by his wife of 52 years, Carolyn. He leaves his children Stephen Neuendorffer (Cynthia), Andrea Waters (Corita), and Dawn Neuendorffer (Ryan). “Gramp” delighted in his grandchildren and enjoyed digging in the sand, walking to the playground, and playing board games with Teresa, Owen, Kai, and Maeve. Art’s siblings, Nancy Reed (Bob) and Tom Neuendorffer (Cheryl), survive him as well as many loving nieces, nephews, and cousins.

A Memorial Service was held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington for family and friends.

Art loved walking in local parks and enjoying nature. A donation in his name may be made to help kids get outside through Wilderness Kids Alexandria (111 E. Howell Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22301, www.wilderness kids Art avidly followed the news and current events and was very concerned about Ukrainian refugees and the effects of the war. A donation in his honor may be made to Razom for Ukraine, an organization working toward a democratic Ukraine (

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Re: neufer Memorial

Post by wonderboy » Wed Apr 06, 2022 10:41 am

It's been a while since I posted here. I used to be a regular and Neufer was a massive part of what made this forum great. If you posted a query, he would have no doubt got in touch and had his say on it. I logged back in today as the desktop at my work doesn't have that great a firewall and found this news.

Although it's been years since I was on this forum, I still felt the sadness that has come with his passing. Rest in peace Art.
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Re: neufer Memorial

Post by MarkBour » Fri Apr 08, 2022 4:51 pm

scotfree wrote: Tue Apr 05, 2022 4:57 am (above)
Thanks for posting that really wonderful note and bio, Stephen.

It helps me know more about the man. It seems that another of Art's most significant accomplishments that I never knew about, was to have raised an impressive group of next-generation Neuendorffers.
Mark Goldfain

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Re: neufer Memorial

Post by bystander » Thu Apr 14, 2022 4:14 am

All moments, past, present and future, always have existed, always will exist... It is just an illusion we have here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone it is gone forever... Now, when I myself hear that somebody is dead, I simply shrug and say what the Tralfamadorians say about dead people, which is "So it goes." ~ Kurt Vonnegut
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor

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Re: neufer Memorial

Post by rstevenson » Fri Apr 15, 2022 3:51 pm

I’m very sorry to hear about Art’s passing. What will I do now with my “Art is inscrutable” pun?

I’m a little worried that he was just two years older than me when he passed away, but his candle burned much brighter than mine so I’ll just console myself that my fuel will last longer—maybe.

Although at times he irritated more than entertained me, I will nevertheless miss his extraordinary posts.

RIP Art.


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Re: neufer Memorial

Post by saturno2 » Wed Apr 27, 2022 12:49 am

With great sadness I read about the passing of Neufer.
He was an important member in this forum.
Peace in his grave, and that some star in deep
space, blink in his honor.

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Re: neufer Memorial

Post by Orca » Wed May 18, 2022 8:12 pm

I am sorry to hear about Art. I always enjoyed figuring out the puzzling connections in the things he posted. My condolences to his family and friends...