Exploring science and the humanities.
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“Spacequakes: Dodging Plasma Bullets”

July 15, 2013

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There’s a storm brewing in space. Not the kind that floods rivers, drops hailstones, or snatches up houses in Kansas, but the kind that messes with your cell reception. We know about it thanks to new information from THEMIS. Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms, launched by NASA in 2007, is an […]

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A Certain Slant of Light, Typographically Speaking

April 6, 2013

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The project was vastly ambiguous, and also constrained.  Assignments like this always break my brain in the beginning.  It’s like breaking in fresh clay, I think.  In the right hands, something good will undoubtedly come out of it.  Speaking of breaking, here’s the project du jour: I could have done an Emily Dickinson variety show. But […]

New Punctuation for Digital Communication

June 12, 2012

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Social networking and digital web-based media are creating a new set of unsuspecting creatives: People who never kept journals or wrote letters are now published authors in these new media. And these electronic authors are publishing to a worldwide audience. Amazingly, we are able to communicate in this new, integrated territory with relatively little difficulty. […]

The Superior Mirage of Mount Hood

January 15, 2015

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Today I discovered why mountains sometimes look bigger: Looking at Mount Hood, you are a standing y-axis on the ground with great distance on the x, between you two. 11,250 feet above its base, its icy spike chills the atmosphere. The air is dense, with compressed layers. Look up and imagine where that peak would […]

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Twelfth Night Comic

February 18, 2014

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This comic had to publish in two parts due to length. I hope you will read them both. The first image will appear small at first, but if you click it you can enlarge it to a readable size. Enjoy!

“Microwaves and their Ovens”

July 16, 2013

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digg Did your grandmother ever call her microwave a “radar range” when you visited her on the holidays? If so, blame the discovery of RADAR (RAdio Detection And Ranging). RADAR was big news back in the early 20th century, enabling the Navy to spot boats and planes while enabling biologists to explain how bats can […]

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“Why Space Exploration Still Matters”

July 15, 2013

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We’re human, and we’ve conquered Earth. That’s our history in a nutshell. In the 200,000 year history of our existence we’ve managed to sprawl across the entire habitable surface of our little blue planet. So what’s next may seem only natural: space. Scientists have been shooting for the stars as long as history has been […]

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“Clocks”

July 15, 2013

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From H.G. Wells to Batman’s villain Francis Grey to Heroes’ Hiro, humankind has been fascinated by the idea of controlling this phenomenon called Time. Perhaps it’s for the best that timepieces are as close as we can get to harnessing the power of chronology. But how did clocks come about? The first notable timepiece was […]

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GAs, ACO, and Traffic Lights

July 15, 2013

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Red, yellow, green. Where did traffic lights come from, and how do they work? From distributed intelligence to heuristic optimization by simulation, these guardians of auto safety are secret marvels of modern scientific mentality. Each year that goes by adds more new humans to our population, and within them, more drivers. Congestion has grown to […]

Posted in: pop-science, science, writing

The Humble Pencil

July 15, 2013

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digg   Is it safer to do your crossword puzzles in pen? Some say yes, if only to avoid lead poisoning. Do pencils really contain toxic lead? Where’d they come from, anyway? The instrument we know as a pencil was called a stylus back in ancient Rome. At the time of its creation it was, […]

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