Stupid Things My Dog Has Done, Part 2. (How to De-Skunk A Dog)

Note: Read part 1 here. Last week, my dog Molly invited me to try a chemistry experiment. That’s right, she stuck her nose in a skunk’s butt. You can guess what happened next. “To fire, the skunk extrudes a pair of nozzles from its rear.” (Caution: this video is graphic. You cannot unsee it. Consider yourself warned.)

The Last Word

July 20-24, 2015 A Saturday puzzler for your amusement: see if you can spot this week’s loose theme. Abstruse Goose (and Ann)—each a superhero of LWON–lament that being a mad scientist (or a mad writer) is not as fun as it looks in the movies. Helen has a number of brilliant ideas for Ant-Man sequels; […]

I Wish I Could Have One

If you’ve trolled the Internet any time in the last decade, you know that animals and their silly antics are very happening. And no wonder. For the most part the creatures we interact with are adorable and waggish, even if they can be annoying, childish, and smelly. Hell, they sound like husbands. What’s not to love? Those precious looks and […]

After Antman: More Amazing Bug Superhero Movies

This weekend the movie Ant-Man opened. It’s the latest in the pretty-entertaining crop of movies based on Marvel Comics characters, like Iron Man and The Avengers. I haven’t seen Ant-Man yet. But I’m not going to let that stop me from telling film executives what their next insect-based superhero movies should be. There’s already been […]

The Last Word

July 13 – 17, 2015 Brian Vastag is disabled by a disease the National Institutes of Health finds unconvincing, or maybe just unimportant. He writes a letter to the director. (67 comments later, the director responds.) Alcohol-fueled projectile weapons. Smoking volcanos. The latest summer blockbuster? No- it’s the middle school science fair, and Jessa is […]

A day at the science fair

On twenty minutes’ notice, I was recruited as a judge for this year’s middle school science and heritage fair. The numbered displays were set up in rows in the gym, where model volcanoes smoked near replicas of Sir John Franklin’s ships. We judges chose score sheets affixed to a clipboard and roamed the aisles looking […]

Go Occupy Those Forlorn Chairs

It’s summer, and I’ve been thinking of what poet Billy Collins called those, “forlorn chairs/though at one time it must have seemed/a good place to stop and do nothing for a while.” Even situated, as they usually are, to take in the view, it’s hard for those chairs to compete with the attention-grabbing distractions found […]

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 […]