Birds and Songs and Bird Songs

I walked along the edge of a cliff. Under my feet, grass. To my right, a hundred-foot drop to the waters of the English Channel. A strong wind blew off the water and over the cliff, blowing the loose ends of hair in my face, obnoxiously. To my left was a field, planted with something […]

Holiday Redux: I Can’t Put It Down

LWON is celebrating the holidays by re-running some of our favorite posts. This post originally appeared in July 2012. Alarmist reporting about addictions to sex, to the internet or to exercise can suggest that new syndromes are being invented every day, that human existence is pathologized out of proportion. But some compulsive behaviors that caused […]

Bad Science Poet

Please join LWON today in welcoming a new occasional contributor, Bad Science Poet. (Motto: “It’s not the science that’s bad—it’s the poetry!”™) MAYBE, MAYBE NOT Is that uncertainty I see? Its position known to only me? Is that uncertainty I hear? Echoing (or not) from ear to ear? Said Heisenberg, “Yes.” Niels Bohr said, “One guess.” And Einstein?  […]

Give Me a Heroine Who Invents

It’s been a while since we had a roundup of children’s books. So long, in fact, that the last time we had one, I wasn’t yet interested in children’s books. Now, it’s situation critical. My town has one little bookstore, and our library is accessed through several flights of dingy staircase at the back of a […]

I Dream of Wrigley

I dream of Wrigley. All the time. More and more often. I grew up in Chicago and went to games at Wrigley Field all season long, season after season, and even though I left Chicago 30 years ago, Wrigley Field has never left me. The one-hundredth anniversary of the opening of Wrigley Field last month got me wondering […]

Guest Post: Can an Equation be a Poem?

“The most distinct and beautiful statement of any truth must take at last the mathematical form.” —Henry David Thoreau April is Mathematics Awareness Month. April is also National Poetry Month. Coincidence? Yep, almost definitely. But it’s also an opportunity: I’d like to propose that we—you and I, at least until the end of this blog […]

Kepler on the Moon, Part 2

(Part 2 of 2; Part 1 appeared yesterday.) Harry’s utterance “Damn damn Kepler on the Moon damn damn” immediately entered the lexicon of our little messenger world. I then introduced it to my non-work friends, who likewise adopted it as an absurdist catch-all. For years afterward my only knowledge of Kepler was as a punch […]

Kepler on the Moon, Part 1

My first job, post-paper route, was as a messenger in the advertising department of the Chicago Tribune. As a 15-year-old aspiring journalist (and, yes, underage hire), I thought the experience might be a career path to Woodward and Bernstein heights. By coincidence, the day I started—May 1, 1974—was Watergate Wednesday, the day that the Tribune was the only newspaper […]