The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Finally watched The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly for the very first time, after my son requested it. Good god, that movie takes forever! For those of you who don’t want to lose three hours of your lives for a film that could have 

On his terms

A few days ago, at the end of the Pilates class I teach, one of my Dutch students came up to me to say she wouldn’t be in class for three weeks. This is normal; my students are mostly expats and are always coming and 


All the DIY-ers out there will undoubtedly recognize aspects, if not all, of this story. It is the true-life account of our little chore last night: replacing a bare light bulb in the bathroom ceiling (made of plaster, brick, and cement) with a real light 


Once, while I worked at a public aquarium, I gathered eggs from one sea anemone and sperm from another and combined the two under a microscope. As I watched, one of the eggs divided into two cells, then four, then eight. That was as far 

On being happy

Two recent events have made me pause and ponder, so if you don’t mind a little philosophy… By now, pretty much the whole world has seen the video of gymnast Katelyn Ohashi scoring a perfect 10 at the Collegiate Challenge. If this somehow got past 

Egyptian grasshopper

We had a bit of excitement in the house last night. Our mighty hunting cat, who is constrained to several screened verandas filled with planters, was delighted when the largest insect she had ever seen dropped onto one of the plants. She pounced and ran 

Saturday picture show

The Big Picture at is one of my favorite sites on the web, with its regular themed collections of high-resolution photography. It covers such subjects as festivals in foreign countries, spring flowers in England, and the latest fantastic images from our space telescopes and 

That first step is a doozy

The Guatemalan government just released this photo from Guatemala City: The Brobdingnagian sinkhole opened up in the middle of an urban intersection on Sunday, courtesy of tropical storm Agatha. A larger version can be seen here. It reminds me of a scene from a book 

Saturday picture show

The picture show this weekend is a day late, due to pressing engagements yesterday (namely, sunshine and a bicycle). For today’s picture show, I will direct you to the NASA Earth Observatory, which is featuring side-by-side comparisons of satellite photos taken a decade or two 

Saturday picture show

As a birder and a photographer, my hat is off to the folks who produced these photos. Great tits are the European version of black-capped chickadees, and have a perpetual motion machine built into their little bodies. A freeze-frame photo is the only way you’ll