Category Archives: Uncategorized

Fleetwood Mac: “Rhiannon”

Presented for your approval on the fourth day of Fleetwood Mac Week, this is, for many, the best of all Fleetwood Mac songs. “Rhiannon” was of course written by Stevie Nicks, and first appeared on the 1975 album named after the group. Curiously, though, it never got higher than #11 on the U.S. charts and […]

The undeniable racism of food culture

The BBC presents more complaints about inappropriate presentation of ethnic foods, which are now seen as “microaggressions.” Some of the transgressions that led to outrage, many catalogued by Filipino-American Celeste Noche on her podcast The Racist Sandwich, deal largely with food photography. (The bullet point prose is taken from the BBC): “Whether it’s taking photos of dishes with chopsticks sticking straight […]

Friday: Hili dialogue

Good Friday (well, not the real one): it’s March 3, 2017, and it’s National Cold Cuts day. (Do they call them that in other English-speaking countries?) It’s also Cold Weather Day in Chicago, with a temperature of 20° F (-7° C) when I walked to work, and it won’t rise above the freezing point all day. […]

New York Times to air anti-Trump ad during Oscars, Trump fights back

In all my life I’ve never seen anything like this. First Trump goes after the press, which of course has alienated the media to the point that it’s striking back—not explicitly at the President, but at the cavalier attitude towards truth held by him and his administration. Here’s a 30-second ad, prepared by the New York Times, […]

Tigers versus drone: no contest!

Here’s a bunch of Siberian tigers (Panthera tigris altaica: there’s only one species of tiger; all the named versions are subspecies) in a Chinese “tiger park” being photographed by a drone. Although they’re largely fat and out of shape, they take the gadget down handily in the last bit of the video. I wish they didn’t fence […]

Today’s Google Doodle: The Bravest Woman in America

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates someone I’d never heard of, but should have: Ida Lewis (1842-1911). She tended the Lime Rock Lighthouse off Newport Rhode Island, and saved many lives, winning her the monicker of “the bravest woman in America.” The Doodle (click on screenshot below to see it) gives ten scenes from her life, which […]

Which scientists saved the most lives?

Scientists are the unrecognized benefactors of humanity. How many laypeople will recognize the name of Fritz Haber or Karl Bosch? Togetether they’re estimated to have saved over a billion lives. What about Norman Borlaug? He saved over 259 million lives. Ann Holloway, Samuel Katz, Kevin McCarthy, Milan Milovanovic, Anna Mitus, and Thomas Peebles? Together—over 100 […]

Trump’s bizarre press conference: Is he mentally ill?

If you missed Trump’s press conference yesterday, you missed one of the most bizarre behaviors of an American President I’ve ever seen. It’s matched in my memory only by Clinton’s “I did not have sex with that woman” assertion, and Nixon’s “I am not a crook” statement. But this went on for 74 minutes, and […]

Poor Nemo!

by Matthew Cobb Here’s a gorgeous photo of clownfish, which just won the photographer, Qin Ling of Canada, an award in the Behaviour category at the Underwater Photographer of the Year competition (click to enlarge) – you can see all the winners here. Ling’s photo is entitled ‘Your home and my home’. Look closely at […]

Darwin’s only selfie

Darwin scholar John van Whye put this on Facebook: it’s Darwin’s only known depiction of himself. John’s notes: Darwin sketched himself as this little stick man on the island of St Helena in July 1836 as the Beagle was sailing home. The sketch represents the strong winds blowing up the sea cliffs while the air on […]