Just in case you haven’t heard the news…

Yes, I know the Mars Rovers had nothing to do with the finding, that being accomplished by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. But I don’t have a model of that […]

Convenient mediocrity

“Convenient mediocrity.” I mentioned it in an earlier post, and while it can be found in use here and there, it is not (yet) a common phrase, even if it is a remarkably common property. What it means (for my purposes here, anyway) is maintaining lowered standards because higher ones take too much effort. […]

Stick with fashion

So, right outside the same porch mentioned in the previous post has been a pair of large orb webs occupied by barn spiders (Araneus cavaticus), both females – it was only one for a few days, then another moved in. And curiously, their webs were almost stacked; while the centers of the orbs were […]

Making change

One of the most confusing things to attempt is self-evaluation. It might be easy to think that if there’s one person we’re intimately familiar with, it’s ourselves, but when it comes down to it, we realize how hard objectivity is in such situations. Ego is such a loud voice in our minds, it’s hard […]

Looking back, part four

We continue our quest to catch up with these images from only nine days ago – yeah, make any comments you like – when a torrential rain came through not long before sunset, followed immediately by a break in the clouds. Knowing what that meant, I trotted outside and, sure enough, there was a […]

Occam’s stubble

There is a concept, a meme if you will, that shows up a lot in critical-thinking circles, and I’ve even tackled it a few times before here. Commonly known as “Occam’s Razor” but also by the less folksy term of parsimony, it provides a very simple measuring stick: if multiple explanations can be advanced […]

On capital punishment

Capital punishment yet remains a contentious topic, even while we’ve found comfortable positions on many of the moral issues we struggled with for centuries – slavery and racism, women’s rights, legal adulthood, and so on. Perhaps the biggest reason behind this is, there are too many factors that motivate a response, most of them […]

In old New York

So, in the recent trip to New York (the state, not the city,) the schedule was tight and there were several obligations, so I had only tentative plans to get out to a couple of areas to do some exploring and/or photography, and they never came to pass. One of those plans was fossil […]

You animal!

You know, there are a lot of misconceptions about animal psychology and behavior out there, and they’re all over the map. I’m going to address a few of the more prevalent ones here, with the hopes of at least promoting a little more perspective and forethought among the topics.

Let’s get one thing out […]

On the negative side 3

So, this is one of those regrets from my past – admittedly minor, and when examined it becomes more a matter of perspective than anything. Let me explain.

In 1993 I think, when visiting a friend who lived on the edge of a bog in Georgia, I had been wandering the bog in pursuit […]