The Dragons’ Third Stir: the Next Bigge One

In keeping with the brave tradition of gullible, single-source reporting, here’s an astounding science news report.  It ran in the News and Views section of the prestigious journal, Nature, a couple weeks ago, I don’t know how I missed it, and it surely deserved more than the brief flurry of attention it got on Twitter.  […]

Now We Rhyme The Science Times

  Dear friends! Forgive a change of form A deviation from the norm For on the feast of Saint Pat-rick A man who liked his Limerick We here present for all to see The science news from A to Z The facts from ‘cross the universe The Science Times, told in light verse Today above the […]

Redux Baltimore: Drugs, Guns, and Real Life

This was originally published 8/23/2011.  More should have changed by now.  This is a sort of permanent redux.Today is my birthday, a good time to reflect. And one of the things I have found myself brooding over lately is my love of Baltimore. As fans of The Wire know, the city has more than its […]

Do you speak English?

“The problem with France is that there’s no French word for entrepreneur.” It’s tragic that George W. Bush didn’t actually say this, because it perfectly illuminates the stealth with which languages insinuate themselves into each other. If you speak English, you probably know that when you say sans and en vogue you’re using import words. […]

Picking Your Brains

Dear LWON readers, I’d like to ask you a question. Twice recently I’ve written about properties of black holes that blow my mind. In each instance, my inspiration was a detail from a movie. First was Interstellar. The great gravitational grip of the black hole in that movie, as is the case for all black holes, distorts […]

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: The Ceremonial Stone

LWON is celebrating the holidays by re-running some of our favorite posts. This post originally appeared in slightly different form in July 2014. Sarah dipped her fingers in a red mineral paint and lifted them to her face. She put streaks above her cheekbones and up her chin, her design standing out against a backdrop […]

Hiding in Plain Out-of-Sight

If you haven’t seen the movie Interstellar, you might not recognize the image above. It’s the black hole that figures prominently in the climax. But even if you have seen the movie, chances are excellent you still don’t know what you’re looking at. I didn’t, anyway, at least the first few days I spent staring at […]