Solar Eclipse coming – glasses gone!

Phew, what a week! We saw a few hundred new faces this week looking for solar eclipse glasses. Many new fans were earned when the rest of Gemini’s was discovered on their visit. Why were the glasses so hard to find these last few days though?

Source: Wiki Commons

I had been hearing for weeks about free glasses giveaways – at libraries, colleges, astronomy clubs, etc. As a small retailer I couldn’t see the sense in investing in stocking something that no one will want after this Monday – especially when they are available for free.

I decided to order 100 last weekend; mostly to meet the needs of my immediate family and assuming I’d be left with several unwanted pairs. I opened the box Wednesday and tucked the announcement in with a new rock order post with little expectations.  Within an hour I realized how much unmet demand there was and scrambled to the Web to find more to be over-nighted.  At that point American Paper Optics (who I initially ordered from) had tripled the price and was only shipping packs of 25.  Most other suppliers had sold out. I was able to find who were accepting overnight orders until 3pm mountain time that day.  I ordered 500 – I really, really wish I had ordered 5000!

The box arrived as planned the next day. I opened the box around 12:15 and didn’t leave the register until they were sold out! The pattern was text someone with a hold, ring someone out, respond to a FB message to store, repeat.

Requests to hold glasses came in bunches.  I did my best to take numbers and inform people when they were in.  One thing I learned is that holds are a bad idea with hot items like this.  The frenetic pace of those 36 hours left little room to divide up glasses and contact customers – and it made little sense to do so when a line of customers were standing with money ready most of the day. The pace of the rush was unbelievable, I ended up shorting myself on glasses even! A pack of 50 I thought I had set aside got gobbled up in the rush and so several close friends, my sister and my own family got less than we wanted.  I’m taking my 3 boys to Nashville with a single pair. That pair I got from sitting in on an hour and a half astronomy club presentation at the college. I learned a few things about safe, indirect viewing at the presentation I’ll share.

Credit: Luc Viatour / Wikicommons A total solar eclipse where the sun’s atmosphere becomes visible.

First off what is the risk? The danger is in the power of the mind.  The iris of the eye is similar to the lungs. It operates automatically but the mind can override it.  When an eclipse is happening the light outside dims.  Here in Zanesville when it reaches 85% coverage, it will be about as bright as a full moon outside. That little sliver of the sun that is exposed is as bright as ever though.  As you look at the eclipse with the naked eye your eyes dilate because your mind expects something darker – making your eyes more vulnerable to being burned. If you look directly at it long enough the optometrist will know at exactly what moment you looked at the eclipse because that image will be burned in your cornea for life!

Credit: Wiki Commons Partial solar eclipse with coverage similar to what Zanesville area will experience on August 21st.

Now for alternatives to eclipse glasses. Those wanting to use welding glasses – NASA recommends shade 13 or 14 for safe viewing. 2 shade 7s stacked together will give shade 14.

The common indirect method is a projection box. I’ll be traveling with a lot of cardboard, aluminum foil and pins so me and the boys can experiment with different setups.  It’s very simple and nearly free. Here is one of many tutorials out there.

A cool thing I learned at the astronomy club meeting was to spread a white sheet on the ground.  If you place it under a tree where light is coming through the canopy it will work kind of like a big projection box. At some point some kind of snake-like shadows will show up and dance on the sheet. Scientists haven’t figured out what causes them and NASA wants pictures so here is a chance to participate in some citizen science!

Source: wiki commons Photographer: Sean Freese An eclipse seen through the shadows of a tree canopy. This is the sort of effect a white sheet on the ground will give.

The other thing I learned is that ever person doesn’t really need their very own pair of eclipse glasses.  This event happens over a couple hours – and you can’t see anything at all in the glasses besides the sun.  So the question is how long is anyone’s attention span to look at a single point of focus? Most people will only use the glasses for a matter of seconds or minutes. Passing a single pair of glasses amongst several people should be plenty of direct viewing time for everyone.

Seasonal Items at Gemini’s

Our selection of Fair Trade ornaments have expanded this year.  Metal work ornaments and tree toppers from Haiti have an elegant feel and couldn’t be more durable for a holiday ornament.

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Banana leaf and sisal Santa’s in a boat or on a bicycle are fun little guys.  Fair Trade from Kenya, they are a unique design great for the Santa collector on your list.


We also have added beautiful wood ornaments that are made in USA from maple wood.  An engine and caboose is sure to delight the train enthusiast in your life.  The laser cut maple wood ornaments are beautiful in their simplicity.

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Settling In

We’ve been at our new location for nearly a month now and are settling in nicely.  The exterior painting is finished and we’re working with an artist to develop some attractive permanent sign-age.  The second and third story windows on the front of the building will be replaced in the coming weeks as well.  It’s been exciting and fulfilling to be apart of the rejuvenation of a part of history and we’ve appreciated all the kind words.

Newly repainted façade awaiting sign-age.

We’re maintaining our habit of constant improvement through the move and beyond. With more square footage we’ve been steadily expanding our offerings as we fill out the new space.  We’ve added more items in all categories and will continue to do so through the holiday season.

Fair Trade goods from around the world.

On the move

After a three month scouting of downtown, we’ve found and negotiated for a new space for Gemini’s!!! We are very excited for this move as the space will serve us better in several ways; larger showroom, plenty of parking, more traffic being on a State Route and road with interstate exit feeding it, improved lighting and more space outdoors to have a presence to attract visitors and to host events.

IMG_0205_optOur new address will be 28 N. 7th St, the Conwell Candy Building, between Main and Market St. We will be very close to Paul Emory’s Gallery as well as Z.A.A.P. Michael Seiler’s Gallery is on the same street and the Masonic Temple is visible from the front door so we will naturally be more integrated with the Art Colony and the Art Walks as well as closer to existing retail.

Seven parking spots next to the new space plus room to display and demonstrate outside.






We will be in our original location until next Saturday, October 17th.  We plan to reopen Tuesday, October 20th in the new location. We are beginning to plan details for a grand opening/first anniversary event for First Friday Art walk in November.

View from front door. 50+ parking spots across the street, Paul Emory’s Gallery is center, Masonic Temple can be seen on right side.

We’re also pleased to announce  Clean Cut Custom Painting will be renovating the exterior; it will be looking very sharp with a nice two tone paint job in just a few weeks.

Hookahville and Resonance

September started and finished with a bang at Gemini’s.  Hookahville made it’s return to the region after 2 and a half years as The Ville at Clay’s Resort near Canton, OH.  Former front man Ed McGee returned for some solo work and to do a guest set with Ekoostik Hookah.  A lot of excitement around this and the great weather made for another wonderful weekend at Frontier Ranch.  Kudos to Alchemy House Productions for giving a lot of thought and consideration to the vendors; we will certainly be a part of their shows in the future.


Photo Credit: Giant Photo Buttons

Resonance Music and Arts Festival is in it’s second year and has a really nice thing going.  From the event’s website, “The Law of Resonance provides the answers as to how the law of attraction operates and creates the conditions and circumstances in your life. A gathering of like minded, motivated, music loving people.”  Workshops, art installations and ceremonies both officially organized and spontaneous throughout the grounds sets this event apart from the average music festival.  Being back at a show at Legend Valley after many years brought back good memories and the bounty of great hugs and conversations nourished my soul and the Gemini’s vision.  Found a great new unique product as well; the acorn stash necklaces.  These are beautiful, functional and great idea that’s sure to be copied.  I put my Sacred Space essential oil blend in mine and have loved anointing people out of it; couldn’t ask for a cooler vessel for special essential oils.

Okavark Acorn Okavark Acorns_

Onto the web!


As Gemini’s approaches it’s first birthday, we thought it was time to evolve our web presence beyond just a Facebook page into a bona fide web site complete with shopping cart and much greater control over our content.  This blog will give us a chance to better showcase our products; giving you more information about some of our Made in USA and Fair Trade producers.   We will be chronicling our travelling vending adventures and some attention will also be paid to the ongoing rejuvenation of Downtown Zanesville and the variety of local events and features to discover.