Walked Upon

When summer comes to my neck of the woods (which this year is looking less and less likely with every passing week of rain, but that’s another issue), the kiln of July and August bake the heavy clay soil of my garden to a hard surface that rivals a brick for impenetrability. Woe is me…

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Red Farms

Back in the deeply-tanned 1970s, I knew someone who decided that he would augment his early spring paleness to get ahead of the season. Spray-on fake tans didn’t yet exist, and the bottled stuff was not only streaky, but considered to ‘unnatural’ for those groovy lentil-and-granola days. So what did he do? He ingested beta-carotine…

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Sideways Vessel

Well, this could save numerous trips to the recycling center as well as to the supermarket. Such a simple, elegant solution to urban gardening, something that is do-it-yourself and requires no land. The materials are readily accessible, the soil requirements are minimal. Even the tutorial offered by the Brazilian design firm that originated this vertical…

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Peach Diversity

When we first moved into the small French village where we live, our elderly neighbors brought over some peaches from their orchard. They weren’t peaches I’d ever seen – greenish-grey, furry enough to be mammal rather than plant, and upon pulling them open, they were burgundy red inside. They tasted like they’d been marinated in…

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Alien Goldilocks Zone

By now most people know that the Earth’s climate is just one small facet of all possible planetary climates. Most of the other climates along the spectrum of all possible climates are not what we – or life as we know it – would survive. But if Earth’s climate has been a long continuum of…

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Champagne, Temporality & Spatiality

It’s not that I can’t find my way around a given situation or place without champagne, because that is most certainly not the case. But I know for a fact that after a glass of champagne, I usually feel a bit more sparkle. It’s always gratifying to have my subjective feelings substantiated by science. In…

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Seasonal Reverse and Updates

I took the picture above on my run yesterday morning, 23 May. Usually around this time of year I can pull out the warm-weather running gear, shorts and a T-shirt, but yesterday I was still in long running tights and a jacket. Why? Because it was unseasonably chilly, and snow was predicted. The pictures below…

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Living Archive

If you’ve ever had the good fortune to walk among ancient trees like the giant sequoia of Yosemite Park (some over 2000 years old), or perhaps seen The Sisters grove in Lebanon (an olive tree grove estimated to be over 5000 years old), or even an old-growth forest, then you know that there’s something special…

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Tiny Warriors

We’ve had a previously undescribed immune system right under our noses, and we never noticed. Or rather, in our our noses and any place else we have mucus membranes. And not just humans – all animals that have mucosal surfaces, from sea anemones to humans to, presumably, gnus and geckos. Bacteriophage are viruses that infect…

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