Discover the Stars – a Review of the Popular Astronomy Book for Beginners

Digital visualization of an astronomical instrument

Astronomy is one of the most misunderstood sciences among the general public. Discover the Stars is the quintessential popular astronomy book for beginners certain to demystify the sky. It is just the book anyone who has ever looked up at the stars and longed to know more about them. Throughout the window the author makes use of simple, every day language shorn of all jargon and formulaic details.

About the Author

Discover the Stars is the work of Richard Berry, one of America’s leading proponents of popular science. He was also the editor of the popular Astronomy Magazine from the time its founder David J. Eicher died in 1977 to 1992. Mr Berry has published other books in astronomy and philanthropy.


First published in 1987, Discover the Stars was initially available in hard cover and paperback versions only. The present edition is available in five different formats: Kindle eBook, paperback, hard cover, PDF and as an MP3 audio book.

What Makes Discover the Stars Special
Here are three features of Discover the Stars which makes it a special choice for anyone just trying their hand in amateur astronomy:

1. Sky Maps

This book comes with a set of twelve sky maps showing the entire sky as it appears in each month of the year. The map outlines all the major stars and constellations which can be viewed anywhere in the northern hemisphere. The maps section is also enriched with text explaining all the mythology associated with different constellations and star groups. Also provided are easy-to-follow directions for the user to locate any celestial object and the best times to view them.

2. Star Charts

The second reference section of the book includes detailed star charts offering a much clearer look at important regions of the sky than could be provided in the sky maps. In total there are twenty three star charts with detailed information including stars with unusual colors, galaxies, variable stars and nebulae.

3. Simple But Comprehensive Coverage of Popular Astronomy

This book is simple enough for every beginner to get hooked up to the wonders of the skies. It also offers in depth coverage of astronomy that you will still find it useful, especially for reference purposes, once you have learnt to study the sky like a pro. Some of the most crucial chapters teach you how to find your way around planets and the moon complete with their orbital behavior, how to make an astronomer’s flashlight as well as how to choose a telescope and make the best use of it.

Book Review: The Beginners Guide to Choosing a Mortgage That You Can Pay Off In Record Time

mortgage hero book review

This month, we will be focusing on home loans, particularly Australian home loans/mortgages, and we will, consequently, be looking at a few of the most popular books on the subject. The Beginners Guide to Choosing a Mortgage That You Can Pay off in Record Time by Tom Porter discusses everything about buying and financing home – from identifying the ideal home, the best loan, all the way to paying off the mortgage in the shortest time possible.

The book is based on the Australian mortgage industry which means some of its details are going to be a bit different depending on various factors, such as what state you are in. In spite of that, the advice is going to be useful for just about anyone who is looking to buy a home.

Buying a home, especially if it’s your first home, is one of the most exciting, frightening, hardest, and most permanent commitment you will ever undertake in your life. It, therefore, goes without saying that you will need all the professional guidance and advice you can get.


The idea behind the book is to show aspiring home buyers that it is very much possible to acquire a mortgage that can be paid off in record time so as to be able to buy the home of their dreams and still live a debt-free life. The author, who writes from personal experience, explains little by little how he and his wife managed to pay off their mortgage in three and a half years.

Loans and Lenders

The books also talks about the loans options and lenders available in Australia in detail. This particular chapter will answer many questions that are probably running through your mind as a soon-to-be home buyer such as which loan and home/house would suit you best, what lenders would give you the best deal, and so on.

Another quite positive thing about the book is that it comes with a dummy loan application form to guide the reader through the mortgage application process. It also offers some excellent tips on how to avoid some of the most common traps of purchasing a home.


Another positive thing about the book is the mathematics formulas include therein. Numbers often speak more clearly when it comes to loans of all kinds. Tom gives extremely clear instructions and formulas on how to personally run some important calculations. Such calculations will make it easier for the reader to access his or her financial situation.


The only criticism we have about the book is that a few of the examples provided are a bit outdated. That could be because Tom and his wife bought their first home a few years ago when some important factors, such as interest rates and debt to income ratio, were different from what is available today.

However, according to the various financial advisors, mortgage brokers, and lenders we talked to after going through the book, 99% of the information provided by Tom is very helpful and still relevant even in today’s mortgage industry.


The Beginners Guide to Choosing a Mortgage That You Can Pay off in Record Time by Tom Porter may be a bit outdated, but prospective home buyers will find the book extremely valuable.

The author, Tom Porter is the director of Mortgage Hero in Perth WA.

Mortgage Hero
5/17 Pearson Way
Osborne Park WA 6017
(08) 6316 0408

3 ways education will change in the next five years

It is believed that education will transform in the next five years. Every aspect of education will be different than what we conceive now. Here are the major changes that are likely to take place.

Remote interaction with students will increase


Technology has reshaped the whole world, except the public schools. There haven’t been many changes in these schools due to technological innovations. There are computers in the classroom, but the way of doing things hasn’t changed. It is assumed that students will be able to communicate remotely with fellow students, teachers, authors, and others without any barrier.

People’s view about Diploma courses will change


More students are falling under student loan every year to pay for their college or university tuition fees. This situation will change by focusing on competency-based programs instead. The higher educators will understand the need to train students to make them fit for the job market.

Students will be able to speak out their mind


Students will be able to say their likings and dislikings. The educators and teachers must respect the opinion of the students. It won’t be like the traditional education which dictates ‘Sit down and read.’ Students will have their choices.

The educators need to learn how to adapt to these changes. Many educators are trying to come up with better ways of making a positive change in education in our society. We all should work together to achieve great results. This way we will be able to develop more creative minded people.

4 ways to develop creative thinking skills

Some people can generate new ideas quickly, whereas others lack the creativity. Creativity is very important to succeed in life. Here are some ways a person can develop their creative thinking skills.



You should jot down all the ideas that come to your mind without thinking. You don’t need to think whether the ideas are rational or irrational, relevant or irrelevant. All you need to do is just write down whatever comes to your mind. Group brainstorming is effective. But you must follow some rules. You must allow everybody to speak and value each idea equally. You shouldn’t criticize anyone’s idea.

Let your right brain do the work

There have been lots of research works regarding how the two sides of the brain work. The left side of the brain is concerned with logic and order; whereas, the right side focuses on the creative aspects. You can do some physical activities that let your right brain work more. One way to do this is by drawing or making something in three dimensions. You can use post-it notes, balloons, or anything you can think of to do this.

Mind mapping

This process uses words that are joined with arrows or lines. This way you can represent huge information in a compact manner. This can be used in planning presentations or for taking notes during a meeting. The mapping starts with a word at the center; then it gets connected to different ideas through branches.

Rich pictures

This is just the visual form of mind mapping. In this process, you use pictures instead of words. Researchers suggest that your thinking becomes more focused when you use pictures.

These techniques may seem weird in the beginning, but these are very effective and have been tested for years. So, apply these techniques to improve your creative thinking ability.

5 effective teaching practices that schools must follow

When new teachers are hired in a school, they go through training where the trainer tells them about the rules and regulations of the school and what books the teachers must follow. But more than the rules, it is important to practice good teaching style. Here are the best teaching practices that every teacher must follow.

Clarifying a new topic


Before starting any new chapter of the book, the teacher must tell the purpose of reading the chapter and what goals the students must achieve. It’s necessary to tell the students what the outcome will look like.

Encourage discussion in the classroom


Teachers should facilitate class discussions. This way student can learn from their classmates. This also helps to clarify areas that the student failed to understand. The teachers can also assess whether the students have understood what has been discussed or not.

Provide feedback


Teachers need to provide constant feedback to the students to tell them how they are doing. The teacher must also give feedback on the collective effort of students. Feedback must be a two-way process. The students must also provide feedback to the teachers on how they are learning.

Continuous assessment


It is important to assess the students throughout the learning period to know where they stand regarding learning. So, teachers should evaluate students to let them know their progress.

Self-learning practices

Students must be given a chance to plan, organize and monitor their work. They should steer their learning forward.

Teachers should understand learning from the student’s point of view. These effective teaching practices just discussed will improve the learning experience of students.