The Last Word


Palm trees, appearing dark against a sunriseThis week, vacations from the ordinary from LWON writers.

Ann writes about the power of midday dining with other women in institutions dominated by men. Its a pleasant break from being an outlier, and it seems to make the men take notice in a potentially powerful way. Just what are those women up to?

Cameron describes atmospheric rivers, big wet weather phenomena that she organizes her memories around, moist anomalies in an arid California existence.

Helen takes a trip across the Great Sandy Waste to the Land of Oz, where she finds a description of the highly radioactive and therefore dangerous element radium as a beautiful and mysterious metal, suitable for wallpapering the interiors of fantasy houses.

Sarah bolts from the noise and post-Trump liberal gloom of Portland to seek peace in the desert. Instead she finds wind, wind, and more wind. Will it drive her mad? Actually, I am not sure that’s question has a definite answer yet, but her missive from the windy place has clues.

On Friday, Michelle brings us home to reality. Vacation over. She uses the untimely death of a highly endangered animal to ask one of the big tough questions about conservation: why do we tend to spend all our time and money on the species most likely to go extinct instead of intervening earlier, when steering a species towards a secure future is easier and cheaper?

Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and so Last Word on Nothing will mark it but be back on Tuesday with more bite-sized breaks from your day-to-day grind.


Image of Hanauma Bay, Oahu, at dawn by Emma Marris

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Categorized in: Miscellaneous