Redux: The Scientist in the Garden

This is an updated version of a post that originally appeared in January 2012. I can’t remember why the seed catalogs started showing up, but once they did, I was a goner. If you haven’t ever gotten one, imagine full color photo spreads of produce, like the striped Tigger Melon and and the orange-red lusciousness of […]

The Last Word

February 2 – 6 Ann gave us a posthumous profile of Charles Hard Townes, whom you can thank for astronomers being able to peer inside the centre of the Milky Way, and for conscientious physicists advising the US Defense Department without being muzzled. Fancy a moth in maroon velvet? Grotesque ripple-lines? Giddy exclamation points and […]

Tongue in Beak

The other day while we were playing at a nearby park, a woman got out of her car and swooped over to where my sons and their friends were trying to flip over small boulders. She had these awesome knee high boots, and bright red lipstick. Seeing her reminded me what happens to everyman hero […]

A Few Good Maps

I’ve probably said this before, but I really like maps. In college, I bought a huge collection of used maps at a geography department sale to use as wrapping paper. When we lived in Oregon, we got a gigantic one of the state to put on the living room wall. (We also got an even […]

Holiday Redux: Funny How the Knight Moves

  LWON is celebrating the holidays by re-running some of our favorite posts. This post originally appeared in May 2014, but sadly, the fickle inhabitants of this household have moved on to blackjack and Michigan rummy. * The jokers in the house are starting to learn the game of kings.  The set they play with […]

Rainbow Connection

The other day, as our kids played around a big, messy tree–one with patchy bark and drooping sickle-shaped leaves–a friend told me she was going to show me a picture of a eucalyptus she knew I would love. A eucalyptus? Not one of these troublesome trees, I thought. But then she held up her phone. I peered in […]

Window Seat

At 3 a.m., a quiet settles like fog around the neighborhood, freckled by a few bursts of sound. Sometimes there’s the whistle of an incoming train. An acoustical trick might carry sea lion barks from distant buoys, the deep buzz of fishing boats, even a wave pummeling the rocks. Occasionally, a single too-loud bird call […]

The Last Word

September 8 – 12, 2014 The week began with a greatest hit from Cameron, a 2011 post that proved to be one of LWON’s most-visited—an ode to an astronomy professor who changed her mother’s life, Then came a new and no less viral post from Erik questioning the professional ethics of another academic, Henry Walton Jones, Jr., a professor of […]