In the past twenty years the high end of amateur astronomy has moved to ccd arrays, rock solid mounts, and medium sized telescopes with wonderful optics. It isn't difficult to drop $100k or more on an amateur observatory and the biggest single piece of cash can be the telescope mount.
But some of us thrill at looking at the sky directly. Being in a dark area with just your eyes or binoculars can be a wonderful experience. But using a telescope for your eye rather than a computer is also fine and the type of telescope tends to be less expensive, but also not great for digital photography.
At the high end of simple observation are huge Dobsonians. Orion has a new line that go up to 50 (gasp) inches. The basic 'scope is $123k. Reading the description is amusing - they don't recommend this for people under 12 for example...
Now if I had a dark sky location in New Mexico or Arizona ... well, and a pile of money ...
One way of looking at this is to look at a human on a bike. Here the payload is about 80 kilograms. She can get about 1000 miles per gallon on a fuel with an energy density similar to gasoline (a vegetable oil). To even the playing field note that she gets around 400 mpg on something with the energy density of honey.
A honey bee has a mass of about 0.2 grams, so our rider is about 400,000 times as heavy. 400,000 honey bees could only go about 12 miles on a gallon of honey.
If you want to move mass very efficiently there are container ships, but for general transport of human sized objects bikes with human engines are remarkable.
This has been planned for some time and is a custom design so its frame will fit her frame. Custom paint and everything is recyclable, although hopefully that won't happen for many decades. This is a work of art. Go to her blog and look at the closeups!
Trek is very committed to supporting her and her program to convince kids and their adults that biking is a good form of basic transportation.
If you are looking for a new bike, Trek is a brand to consider.
Over a week ago I reported terrible performance to our cable company - huge packet lossage. They confirmed this and agreed to send out a repair guy on Wednesday. Repair guy came, said ~"you have a large packet loss problem. I need to escalate it to get someone to work on the box outside" - we were told service would return in a day or two.
Today it is still hosed - I call up the company to find they had "fixed" the problem yesterday .. but they still measured huge packet losses. Our neighbors on the service have similar problems.
What fun for about $60 a month. Our option is to us the very slow DSL service which is about $40 a month.