Dog Days

These are the dog days. Hot as a dog, lazy as a dog, wanting to curl up and take naps like a dog. Please, let us lie, sleeping like them, on these summer afternoons. But the phrase didn’t originate from the habits of our earthly canine companions. Instead, it came from Sirius, the dog star. […]

Feet, Defeated

Right now, there are a bunch of people in Brazil—and a bunch more following along on television–who are paying very close attention to one particular body part: fast-moving, feat-making feet. But most of us don’t give our feet much thought until they start complaining.

On the Menu

A local restaurant reviewer has a monthly feature in which he lists openings and closings of eateries around town. The list only contains the restaurants’ names and addresses, which always seems especially stark when it comes to the places that have shut their doors. It’s the culinary equivalent of a gravestone. There’s nothing about the buckwheat crepe […]

Funny How the Knight Moves

The jokers in the house are starting to learn the game of kings.  The set they play with is piecemeal, with a wooden toy horse for a white knight and a lump of rainbow-colored glass for one of the pawns. The board is metal, designed for playing checkers on the road. But still the jokers learn. Until now, […]

Going Once, Going Twice

Spring is in the air, and with it comes the cha-ching of candy-bar sales. Of jogathons. Of hordes of students (and their parents) trying to raise money for books, for field trips, for the art program that’s on the chopping block, for scholarships. In some places there are also auctions. Here, we have themed auctions where […]

Sour Grass

Oh, but I was proud of myself yesterday. The rain was coming, at last, at last, and I had an hour and a willing assistant and with these two things I removed nearly all of the oxalis flowers from my front yard. Without flowers, the seeds would not fall, the rain would not sow them, […]

The Last Word

March 10 – 14 This week, Christie told us that story she doesn’t tell. Then lots of other people flocked to the comments to tell theirs. Guest poster Daniel O’Connell asked if there’s gold in them thar evolutionary hills. Cameron wondered if deep-sea species will be soon be forced to have their own reality show. […]

Mare Incognitum

This week, a great white shark named Lydia may be the first white shark seen crossing into the eastern Atlantic. Scientists tagged her a year ago in Florida; since then, she’s swum 19,000 miles and as of yesterday morning, she was about 1000 miles from the Irish coast. White shark populations, along with those of […]