Redux Because This Is Better Than What I Was Going to Write

I had dinner the other night with, among others, a graphic designer.  He said he liked looking at contemporary photographs but to be honest, he didn’t know why he liked looking at them.  He knew they were better than snapshots, he said, but he didn’t know why they were. I’m certainly the last person to […]

Redux: Falling

Back in 2012, I wrote about falling and gravity’s terrible vengeance when we don’t perfectly obey and how, if we’d just learned our physics, all this wouldn’t be so surprising.  Re-reading the post now, it seems also to be a nice science metaphor. That is, physics says the best way to not let gravity hurt […]

Stuff Chris Found

  Chris Whitaker, a neighbor, retired with a plan.  Most retired people’s plans are to travel or to follow up on a hobby or to have no plan at all – all of which seem to make these people happy — but as one self-educating photographer said to me, “You can show your wife just […]

Will You Find Me a Planet? Please?

For someone who’s not interested in planets around other stars, exoplanets, I write about them a lot.  But exoplanets have been hot news for some time now and they’re not cooling off any time soon.* The planets are big or little or in between; they’re made of gas or rock or maybe some combination; they […]

Redux: the Springtime of Robins

The robins are BACK, they don’t intend for you to miss them, flying like bats out of hell, tearing up the mulch, yelling at everybody and stalking around, sticking their tummies out. Wherever they’re going, they need to get there fast so they take a shortcut through my porch.  I was out one morning trying […]

The Junk-Bond Salesmen of Science: A Tribute

[UPDATE:  see links below* for the titles of predatory journals] In honor of the posts of Michelle Nijhuis and Christie Aschwanden, too many posts to link to, about the detection, prevention, and treatment of bullshit. I hate being lied to.  I purely hate it.  I hate it with a cold, hard hate.  I understand that […]

Honest to God, DARPA & Jet Belts

Dear Reader:  the above is a sketch of an Individual Mobility System (IMS) proposed by a very special agency in the Department of Defense. The sketch was unearthed by my friend and much-admired colleague, Sharon Weinberger, who generously shared it on Twitter.  You could call this an IMS.  Or you could call it a jet […]