Bugging Out

“By one measure, bugs are the wildlife we know best, the nondomesticated animals whose lives intersect most intimately with our own: spiders in the shower, ants at the picnic, ticks buried in the skin. We sometimes feel that we know them rather too well. In another sense, though, they are one of our planet’s greatest […]

Take the Shot

Vaccine hesitancy, a reluctance or refusal to vaccinate or have one’s children vaccinated, has been identified by the World Health Organization as one of the top ten global health threats of 2019 … Hesitancy and debates have occurred since the invention of vaccination, and indeed pre-date the coining of the terms vaccine and vaccination by […]

Fresh Meat

The destiny of the other items (in the freezer) was indistinct. They were for the consumption of the various occupants of the house, the whole food chain — bird, amphibian, beast and beetle, reptile, arachnid, man. A sign over the kitchen sink read, “EAT MORE POSSUM” in black on Chinese red. ~ John McPhee I […]

Water on the Brain

The creek that runs a block from my house is bordered by open space, parks and trails. It makes for a nice transition into our old neighborhood with its large trees and established landscaping. It also makes the neighborhood feel more relaxed — casual and friendly. We’ve known that the presence of vegetation in nearly […]

Atomic Humanism: Green Nuclear Evangelism

“’Energy is the ideal thing to empower people,’ Emma Redfoot (nuclear engineer, devout environmentalist and unflinching advocate for nuclear power) told me … ‘Millions of people who lack access to the grid are forced to burn wood, coal, dung or even tires and other garbage for cooking and heating, to the detriment of their health […]

Lettuce Prey

As part of my pre-Thanksgiving dinner preparations, I made a big salad for lunch instead of the sandwich or hot dog I usually have. The romaine was still fresh, sweet onion, some left-over cooked beets, a little celery and a carrot from the garden. Some smashed up tortilla chips for croutons and probably a little […]

Technological Fix: Turn Off and Back On Again

“Climate change, hunger, disease, inequality, conflict. The list of problems facing humankind grows longer and more complex all the time. Emerging digital technologies may hold the answers to some of these and other challenges. But are people losing faith in what tech has to offer?” ~ Sean Fleming For most, the surprise from the Fourth […]

Thanksgiving Feast

Thanksgiving is truly a celebration of America. Our turkey probably came from North Carolina, Arkansas or Missouri. The stuffing from California, along with the celery, and the onions probably from Texas or Washington, but possibly from Colorado. The sweet potatoes were probably grown in North Carolina, Louisiana/Mississippi or California. The cranberries are likely from California […]

Down in the Dirt

Humans evolved in caves and fields — not in sanitized homes, cars and schools. And our immune systems developed to find and suppress foreign invaders, growing stronger with each battle won. ~ Christine Peterson It’s not there now, but I look forward to a time when we can essentially garden our homes — fill them […]

Handling Hard Times

“Like so many artworks, the brain is largely an object of mystery. One secret yet to be discovered is how the fragile folds of matter locked inside our skulls can not only conceive art, create it and contemplate it, but can also experience being transported by it, out of the head, out of the body, […]