Hope, an unfamiliar emotion

All right, I’m going to say this out loud. I didn’t want to vote for Joe Biden. I was angry and disillusioned when the most diverse collection of presidential candidates in US history dwindled down to…an old White man. After watching sexism and outright misogyny 

Pompeii takeout and American assumption

Archaeologists have uncovered another fascinating glimpse into pre-eruption life in Pompeii — the recently excavated termopolium, or takeout counter. I’m agog at the brightly painted counter, still vivid after 2,000 years, and the fact that the physical design is so recognizable: we modern folks still use 

The chicken church

This image came across my Facebook feed today and made me laugh: …and then I saw this comment: This is The Church By The Sea in Madeira Beach FL. The owl/chicken/bird…whatever you see was intentional. It was a fishing town and there was a tale 

Down the research rabbit hole

While writing Resilience, I needed to estimate how much maintenance a shuttle might need after each hour of space flight. As a guide, I looked up maintenance requirements of US military jets and was floored. Not my shuttle. On average, a military jet needs 10-15 hours of 

“No shopping malls”

I was reading an article in Salon.com about a reporter visiting South Africa for the World Cup, and found this description of Soweto: Old photos of Soweto show tracts of tiny, rectangular, one-story brick dwellings with bald lawns of worn-down grass. The government built successive 

Saturday picture show

The Big Picture at boston.com 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 

BP = black humor

BP must be seriously annoyed with the folks behind the “BP Public Relations” Twitter feed. By carefully staying just behind the parody line and never venturing into actual imitation, the organizers give Twitter no reason to take the feed down. So BP can only fume 

They’re not listening to you

From the New York Times: Mr. Obama announced on May 14 a moratorium on drilling new wells and the granting of environmental waivers. “It seems as if permits were too often issued based on little more than assurances of safety from the oil companies,” Mr. 

Visualizing the BP oil spill

As executives from BP, Transocean and Halliburton all point fingers at each other in the Senate hearing, doing their best to shift the blame, concerned individuals are doing their best to convey to the populace just how devastating this spill is. But they have a 

Eight broken promises

Michael Milken’s opening presentation at a conference on “America’s Energy Future” included a damning series of slides quoting eight broken promises from American presidents regarding foreign oil dependence. The Christian Science Monitor collected the quotes into one column to make the hypocrisy (or utter ineffectiveness)