Monthly Archives: May 2011

Driving on the left

In a recent email chat with my friend in Sweden, I was surprised to learn that Swedish drivers used to travel on the left. The country switched over to the right in 1967. Curious, I asked how this came about. … Continue reading

Posted in culture, Europe | 12 Comments

The Ultra Deep Field

In 1995, the Hubble Telescope team recorded the famously mind-blowing “Deep Field” image of the universe. By allowing the telescope to stare into the same area for ten consecutive days (“an area the width of a dime viewed from 75 … Continue reading

Posted in science, wallpaper | 8 Comments

Our living Earth

Once again, our planet reminds us that it never sits still. Iceland’s Grimsvötn volcano blew an immense plume of ash 11 km (7 miles) straight up to the stratosphere last Saturday, giving rise to some amazing photographs like this one … Continue reading

Posted in life, tech | 3 Comments

Feed me, my forehead is glowing

A fascinating study has recently come out of Spain, using a bird species called the European roller (Coracias garrulus). This bird, like many others, has “asynchronous hatching,” meaning that the eggs do not hatch all at once. Since baby birds … Continue reading

Posted in science | 2 Comments


Back in 2008, Tim Minchin performed his 9-minute beat poem “Storm” live at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. Minchin fans have loved it ever since, and when word came out last year that an animated short film version was … Continue reading

Posted in humor, video | 5 Comments

American (coffee) in Paris

While in Paris, I saw tourists of all nationalities, and merchants or vendors making open efforts to draw them in. And of course there were restaurants for every conceivable region. But we didn’t see anything specifically American — nor did … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, travel | 12 Comments

Wallpaper Monday

The Algarve is heating up, the wildflowers and grasses are turning brown, and I’m already missing the lushness of early spring. So this photograph of a cemetery in Berlin, Germany was very appealing. It looks like a lovely place to … Continue reading

Posted in wallpaper | 3 Comments

3D graffiti

On the stairs to the top of Montmartre in Paris, I ran into some rather unusual 3D graffiti: The face in the center was a mask that had been glued to the wall. Right next to it was a similar … Continue reading

Posted in culture, Europe | 1 Comment

The swankiest loo in Paris

Often, the hardest part of visiting an unfamiliar city is finding bathrooms. The usual trick is to go to a café and buy a drink as a ticket to the loo, but in Paris the drinks were so outrageously expensive … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, travel | 3 Comments

Ripple skyscraper in New York

Still sorting Paris photos, but in the meantime, check out this BBC News video on an eye-catching skyscraper just completed in New York City. There doesn’t seem to be much actual architecture on display in the soulless, boxy skyscrapers that … Continue reading

Posted in tech, USA | 1 Comment