Monthly Archives: June 2013

For photographers and bird lovers

My wife found a whole page of glorious photos of this bird — the Taiwan (or Formosan) Blue Magpie, Urocissa caerulea, and I suddenly had an urge to travel to Taiwan. In the meantime, however, I’ll be happy with my … Continue reading

Posted in life, wildlife | Leave a comment

Geek moment

While watching Rizzoli & Isles last night, my wife hit the pause button to fetch something from the kitchen, leaving me in front of a static screen. In the scene, one of the police detectives was typing in commands to … Continue reading

Posted in humor | 5 Comments

New word for me: argle-bargle

I didn’t bother reading Scalia’s dissenting opinion in yesterday’s DOMA decision, but after hearing about his creative word usage, I had to go back and check it out. This marks the first time I have ever searched a PDF for … Continue reading

Posted in language | 8 Comments

The highlights of the DOMA decision

I was one of those people waiting by my computer at 10:00 EST — the moment that the decision on the challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act was announced — and downloaded the file as soon as I could … Continue reading

Posted in culture, history, politics, USA | 7 Comments

Portuguese idiom of the day: Lança perfume

I just learned a new Portuguese idiom, courtesy of an old (well, 1986 counts as old nowadays, right?) Brazilian song: Lança perfume, which translates literally as “throw perfume.” It means to be charming or flirtatious. How great is that? I … Continue reading

Posted in culture, video | 4 Comments

Wallpaper Monday

I love the name of this place: Doubtful Sound. That’s either a great band name, or the perfect title of a book. It’s on the South Island, New Zealand, a place that appears frequently in my fantasies about a long … Continue reading

Posted in wallpaper | 3 Comments

Go here, and forget about being productive.

National Geographic has launched a new Tumblr, called “Found.” For every image published in the magazine over the past 125 years, many, many more were rejected for various reasons, dropped into archives, and never seen again. Now they are finding … Continue reading

Posted in culture, good news | 3 Comments

Say “Cheese!”

UPDATE: This is July 19, not June 19. I must need new contact lenses. Get ready to smile next month! Was everybody in the US smiling at around 2:30 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time today? Because that’s when Cassini was taking … Continue reading

Posted in astronomy, science | 5 Comments


Electron scanning microscopes famously offer immense magnification, but with a similarly large caveat: anything being viewed must be in a vacuum. The machine uses a stream of electrons to take the magnified picture, and air molecules would interfere with that … Continue reading

Posted in science | 1 Comment

Wallpaper Monday

Grand Teton National Park, early one morning in May. The park’s name actually refers to only one of the mountains in the Teton Range. Grand Teton was originally named Mount Hayden by some extremely unimaginative people who said, “Hey, you … Continue reading

Posted in wallpaper | 8 Comments