The Katniss Generation

The trouble with facts is that there are so many of them. – Unknown Professor Noreena Hertz, University College London, reporting on her recent surveys, described today’s teenage girls as profoundly anxious. The news reports deplored the abundance of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic films and TV shows that inundate us with peril and danger at every […]

Slither and Crawl

I grew up in Texas, where each of the four North American poisonous snakes lives, so it seems natural to me that I’m afraid of snakes. I grew up with horror stories of giant rattlers, quiet and sneaky copperheads, and vicious cottonmouths that aggressively defended their watery territory. We swam in many farm ponds, where […]

X-Bugs and X-Men

“You are one of the forces of nature.” Jules Michelet, quoted in the comic “Mutts” The other day I inadvertently stepped on one, thus proving that X-bugs are more mortal than X-Men. Every spring the boxelder beetles swarm out from the two boxelder trees at the back of the yard, coating various surfaces with their […]