Conversation: Girls Reading Boy Books

Ann:  May I introduce my friend and colleague, Sharon Weinberger. She once wrote a book about her trips to the world’s various nuclear test sites and it sold reasonably well, probably to boys.  But recently somebody else’s book, The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold History of the Women Who Helped Win World War II, […]

The Ballad of Brother Koch and Tiananmen Sid

My rural Colorado town, pop. 1,500 on a good day, is in many ways a laboratory-scale model of the U.S.A. We worship both community ties and unfettered independence. We’re gossipy and private, inclusive and provincial, divided by class and dogma even as we gather under our purple mountains majesty. Our community stew comes to a […]

On Culture and Biological Clocks

In our centuries-old tradition of interviewing the Persons of LWON who are authors of newly-published books, here is our interview with Jessa about her new book, The Siesta and the Midnight Sun. Q:  Your book is about, as you say, “the body clock as a biological universal, a foundation on which cultures lay their own rituals […]

Not One More Winter in the Tipi, Honey

There are a lot of ways to shrink a carbon footprint. Bike instead of drive. Eat low on the food chain. You know the drill. Where I live, in the boondocks of Colorado, a lot of people — myself included, but I’ll get to that in a minute — go on a carbon diet by […]

No More Clock-Punching

As part of LWON’s first birthday celebrations, Ginny set a question for me: Your upcoming book is about experiencing time in different cultures. I can’t wait to read it. In the meantime, could you tell us which country/city/village, in your opinion, has the best conception of time? (However you’d like to define best.) In other […]

The Art of the Insect

Earlier this week I was tickled by a study about dancing insects. European honey bees perform a rump-shaking ‘waggle dance’ in order to tell their hivemates where they’ve found food. The new research showed that when the bees don’t get any sleep, their dance moves become spasmatic and repellent; they clear the floor like a […]

The Language(s) of Time

Time flies; it passes; it marches on. Time can be hard, ripe, rough or sharp. It can be saved, spent, managed. I make dinner reservations ahead of time, and push back deadlines. I look forward to Christmas in New York. My teenaged years are over (woohoo!). ‘Time’ is the most common noun in English, and all of […]

Astronomy’s Ice Cream

The word, “data” – tables of numbers, incomprehensible graphs —  for most of us would make a good sleep aid.  For astronomers, though, “data” means a star-sized thing  that outshines a galaxy, or a galaxy just being born, or a star that spins in milliseconds.  Data for astronomers is a way to survive, a reason […]