Butterfly House

There’s a new building going up in San Francisco, just a block or so from where I used to live when I was right out of college. It’s got all the bells and whistles of the kind of green, sustainable, fashionable and expensive development one might expect from that city, up to and including the…

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Salt Road

Funny how natural resources rise and fall in our estimation. There was a time when salt – plain old salt, the stuff we buy for pennies – was the cornerstone of empires, the arrow of conflict, the reason for Roman roads and the thorn that pricked societies to revolution. Precious salt preserved food for long…

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Placing Value

There’s a well-known old American film called It’s A Wonderful Life. It stars Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey, a good and generous businessman who finds himself in deep financial trouble. A banker, the infamous cinematic villian named Mr. Potter, reminds a desperate George Bailey that as a last resort, Bailey has a life insurance policy.…

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Greener Gaming

In an alternative approach to going green, there’s a computer game called Botanicula that is not only delightful to look at and listen to, but is also fun to play. It’s inspiring in a manner both quiet and thoughtful, very unusual for a video game. There are countless educational games that have been created as…

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Seasonal Calendar

On an evening run last night, the sky was blazing while the meadows and paths held strange flying carpets of white. Autumn is creeping in, leaving the first tentative misty patches at ground level before the great fogs of winter settle over the Lake Geneva basin. Time to prepare for the upcoming season. And so…

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Amassed Lights

This NASA satellite image shows large clusters of moving lights far away from any human settlement, and far away from any land. Out in the middle of the ocean, where one might assume there shouldn’t be large gatherings of human-generated light. Most of the articles I found were playful: What could possibly be out there…

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Precedent Setting

Update below. At its 2014 convention, the Dallas Safari Club will be auctioning off the rare chance to kill an adult rhinoceros in Namibia and the even rarer chance to bring the trophy parts back home. The organizers say they can expect up to $750,000 dollars, and that every penny will go to the ‘Conservation…

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Hidden Paths

We were up in northern Germany over the weekend, near the Elbe River. The river sees major shipping traffic, massive container ships chug in and out all day long, but I caught a quiet and oddly empty morning. Ships don’t work on Sunday, perhaps? I was on an early morning run, which was soft and…

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Skyward Run

The day started like this. By evening, the clouds had cleared, so at one point the run looked like this in one direction. Like this in the other. And like this straight ahead. Then I looked over my shoulder, and this fine fellow popped up over a cloud. It was a pretty good day, sky-wise.…

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Southern Swirl

Over on the ever-mesmerizing UXBlog, I found these hypnotic examples of historical cartography – a backward glance at a century of hurricanes. These maps are oriented with the Antarctic at the center, and show both the trajectory and intensity of each storm for which data was available. According to John Nelson, who created the maps,…

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