The Last Word


Desert-landscape-cactusJanuary 8-12, 2018

Michelle reduxes a post about a word she made up to describe daffodils that bloom during false springs—and wonders what other words the world needs these days. Honestly, all the Snowpocalypses and Snowzillas of recent years are starting to run together. If we’re going to keep naming nature in the Anthropocene, we need to branch out.

Erik snorkels on a beautiful reef in Cozumel and worries about sponges. With something as vast as the ocean, it’s hard to overstate just how little we know. So little that we can’t tell how many of its most iconic fish are left in it. So little that we don’t even know what lives in much of it. So little that we can’t say for certain if sponges are disappearing or taking over.

Cassie reports on a cellular immunologist who contemplates unusual measures to help her ailing dog. How dumb is it,” she asked her Facebook friends, “to consider giving her a brief helminth infection?” In other words, should she deliberately infect her dog with parasitic worms?

Becky writes from the desert, where she listens to ghost stories. Don Emilio was hanged, four times, on May 7, 1904. The bandits who came for his gold were apparently unskilled with the noose and he didn’t die, at least not that night. Instead he died four years later, of complications from the hanging(s). His ghost might come to visit sometimes.

Craig would be a good person to sit next to on a bumpy plane ride. Maybe. I’m not insensitive to the needs of fellow passengers. I just love the world and its storms. The sky is a cabinet of swirling, perilous curiosities. You think you have all your variables nailed down, then you step outside. . . These forces have us at their mercy, and make for the easiest small talk to share with strangers. We all have to face the weather head on.

We’ll face the weather head on with you next week.


Photo by Rebecca Boyle

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