Solistalgia

“When one is considering the universe,” Ella Frances Sanders observed in her lovely illustrated celebration of wonder, “it is important, sensible even, to try and find some balance between laughter and uncontrollable weeping.”  “Our life has become so mechanized and electronified,” said the Hungarian journalist and László Feleki “that one needs some kind of an […]

Butterfly Wings

In junior high and high school, I became interested in stories about World War Two and read dozens of books about the war. I got to know Europe and the Pacific in ways that I never learned in my classes. Of course, I had read National Geographic, Kipling, London, Burroughs and Haggard, so I was […]

Can’t See The Forest

“We wipe out whatever is complex and other and difficult to manage, and replace it with nice, easy farms and plantations full of monocultures of pigs and corn and wheat and palm oil. We like things nice and simple and symmetrical and easy to control, that’s the problem.” ~ Bibi van der Zee Reporter Jim […]

One Word: “Plastics”

“Mr. McGuire: I want to say one word to you. Just one word. Benjamin: Yes, sir. Mr. McGuire: Are you listening? Benjamin: Yes, I am. Mr. McGuire: Plastics. Benjamin: Exactly how do you mean? Mr. McGuire: There’s a great future in plastics. Think about it. Will you think about it?” ~The Graduate, 1967 Plastics appear […]

Solastalgia

They say I’m old-fashioned, and live in the past, but sometimes I think progress progresses too fast! ~ The Lorax, Dr. Seuss I found some new words recently. Maybe not new to everyone, but certainly new to me. It seems that the times we live in can create the need to invent new words — […]

Ass Deep in Alligators

“When you are up to your ass in alligators, it’s difficult to remember that your initial objective was to drain the swamp” ~ unknown The sign hung in the engineering grad student lounge at Georgia Tech in the 1970’s — to remind us aspiring engineers to keep focused and not get distracted from our objective. […]

Bug Me No More?

“Climate change, loss of natural habitats and overexposure to pesticides are among the factors contributing to the decline of insects, including once-common species of flies, butterflies, beetles, bees and numerous others. More than two-thirds of all caddisfly populations have disappeared in the past decade.” ~ Johnny Wood The smell of insect repellent pervaded the camp […]

Right-of-Way (Collisions Versus Collusions)

“One of the sad facts of the modern world is that humans are a nightmare for non-human animals. This is manifested in many ways, but one of the most devastating is how voraciously we gobble up wildlife habitat to suit our own needs.” ~ Melissa Breyer It was dark and my headlights had just picked […]

The Arts of Living

“Some students who don’t excel academically, they’re more engaged, because it gives them a different way to learn,” ~ Tiffany Thompson In Junior high, the school counselor asked us to think about what kind of future work we expected for ourselves. We had taken some proficiency tests to help inform our thinking and my test […]

Hard Work and Invasive Species

A weed is a flower growing in the wrong place. ~ George Washington Carver The crew was clearing the Texas ranch of mesquite trees, using a bulldozer and drag chain. Then the small group of “illegals” would pile up the small trees and brush for burning. It was dirty work, and between the heavy equipment, […]