Monthly Archives: April 2013

The spread of gurkor, pepinos and cucumbers

An etymology geek’s idea of fun: tracking the twists and shifts of a word throughout its “native” ranges. Portugal remains united in its embrace of pepino, but Spain seems to have a split personality. That Galicia would be French-influenced is … Continue reading

Posted in language | 5 Comments

Wallpaper Monday

Wired featured a gorgeous shot of Enceladus as its Space Science image of the week last week: This face-on colour view of Enceladus was taken by the international Cassini spacecraft on 31 January 2011, from a distance of 81 000 … Continue reading

Posted in astronomy, science, wallpaper | 2 Comments

Saturday picture show

Earlier this week, NASA released a greatest hits video of its Solar Dynamic Observatory, which has been watching the sun for three years. During those years, the Little Observatory That Could snapped images of the sun every 12 seconds, in … Continue reading

Posted in astronomy, science, video | 3 Comments

“Oh YEAH!” news of the day

I do love a story like this one from Dubai: A bus driver who tried to rape a passenger at knifepoint chose the wrong victim, a court heard yesterday. The woman, an off-duty US navy sailor, knocked the knife from … Continue reading

Posted in good news | 2 Comments

Wringing out water on the ISS

If you have not already seen this video, stop now and watch it. It will answer the question you never knew you needed answered: What happens when you wring out a wet washcloth in space? My nerdly little heart went … Continue reading

Posted in science, video | 8 Comments

Last day in London

On our final full day in London, we hopped a Thames Clipper and headed downstream. The catamarans are so smooth on the water that even my mom had no issues, and my dad was happy as a clam out on … Continue reading

Posted in travel | 3 Comments

Probation violation

I just ran across an article in my news feeds that caught my attention, and not in a good way. A Philadelphia couple – serving 10 years’ probation for the 2009 death of their toddler after they turned to prayer … Continue reading

Posted in culture | 11 Comments

Wallpaper Monday

Local photographer makes good: Portland reader Paulo alerted me to this Astronomy Picture of the Day, which was taken by his friend, and which is undeniably gorgeous. That eerily moonlit cloud hovering near Mt. Hood (Oregon) is a lenticular cloud, … Continue reading

Posted in Oregon, wallpaper | 1 Comment

Kew flowers

For some reason, all of our previous trips to London have been in the dead of winter. This time we managed to arrive in early spring, and were thus treated to the spring bulb display at Kew Gardens. I have … Continue reading

Posted in travel, wildflowers | 10 Comments

Good news

Jeez, this has been an awful week for my home nation. The Boston Marathon bombing, the Texas fertilizer plant explosion, and now the Senate Republicans’ sneering, in-your-face proof that a 90% American public preference and a 54-vote Senate majority still … Continue reading

Posted in politics, video | 8 Comments