Clamming Up

I find myself thinking about the word ‘clam’ more often than is decent, at least without some thought. I call certain pairs of pants ‘clamdiggers’, even though I’ve never worn them to do such a thing. When I scrounge around to find dollar bills in pockets and drawers—and then these clams disappear quickly into other […]


I know a guy who doesn’t have a birthday. Andy* was born in the Moroccan desert. His parents were nomads. There were no smartphones in the 1960s and a nomadic tribe didn’t have much use for the Gregorian calendar. And when it came to recalling the exact day and month of Andy’s birth, there were […]

A Moore’s Law Mystery

You know those things that people say as an aside? Things that aren’t their main point, but just kind of come out of their mouths. Fun facts, little anecdotes, steam of consciousness blips. I find that when I’m looking back at my notes from conferences, the things that pop out to me are, largely, those […]

The dark crystal

The electronics of the future could be made of a material you leave in your toilet. If you’re up on your electronics of the future, you’ll recall that they were supposed to be made of graphene. Remember graphene? It was supposed to be better than silicon, because it lets electrons go really fast. That’s great, […]

Redux: Dr. Jim Beam, DDS

REDUX WEEK!  This week, some LWONers choose their favorite posts that some other LWONers wrote. My choice-post is by Michelle.  This post is one of LWON”s public services unto humankind.  It first ran on October 7, 2011.  By re-running it here and now, we can assure that you won’t have to do this dangerous, costly, and […]

I Have A Few Questions For These Trees

Last week, in a charming story for the Atlantic, Adrienne LaFrance reported that the citizens of Melbourne, Australia, have been sending fan mail to their trees. Yes, people are emailing trees—and once in a while, the trees are emailing back. (“Hello,” wrote one willow peppermint, “I am not a Mr. or a Mrs., as I have what’s called perfect […]

Snark Week: The Wrath of the Sloth

If there’s a landmass that has them, get off of it now. As you’ll learn in this blog post, the last thing you want to do is find yourself trapped in a confined space with sloths, and I consider a continent a confined space. For starters, the sloth is the only animal listed as one […]

Redux: June Gloom

It’s Monday. And it’s June. And it’s gloomy. Or maybe it’s just that I’m gloomy about our recent oil spill and I can’t quite figure out how to write about it. So here’s a post that ran in June 2012 about June Glooms past.  I used to think the weather was something adults talked about because they were […]