If You Can’t Stand the Heat…

“Few serious scientists doubt that climate change is happening, or that it is man-made. But the fact remains that many still have a hard time grasping global warming, partly as a convenient way of ignoring the destructive impact it is predicted to have. “ ~ Frank Jacobs “But for simpletons like me, keeping Earth mostly habitable […]

Runoff

“A little water clears us of this deed.” ~ Lady Macbeth With the current loosening of restrictions on water quality and pollution discharges to streams and rivers, it’s worth thinking about what clean water actually means. We should all be familiar with the hydrologic cycle, where water evaporates into the atmosphere, condenses and falls to […]

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 […]

Clean Your Plate

Growing up, I was encouraged to “clean your plate!” It usually wasn’t a problem, my mother was a very good Southern, country cook and we ate well, even when we didn’t have much extra money. My older brother and I were big and had big appetites. One year, when we were in high school. our […]

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 […]

If You Can’t Stand the Heat

If you saw a heat wave, would you wave back? ~ Stephen Wright Actually, we did. Growing up in Texas, summers were hot and humid, and one thing you could do was fan yourself — not unlike waving at the heat. We also learned to stay in the shade, wear cool, light clothing, drink lots […]

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 […]