Submerged Lines

We humans are visual creatures. It’s in our nature to focus on what we can see, it’s in our nightmares to focus on the unseen and the hidden because we just aren’t very good at preparing ourselves for what isn’t readily visible. Even within our own bodies, some of the most dangerous illnesses are the…

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Pantry Bubbly

There are a few staples people always like to have around the house. Whether it’s rice, or eggs, or beer, or bread, if it’s not in the pantry, the pantry is lacking – even if full of other things. It should come as no surprise that one of these items in our household is champagne (well,…

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Transboundary Pulse

It’s a strange notion, the cutting off of water across an invisible territorial boundary. There are few actions we can take as humans – both for communities and for the environment – that are more baldly assertive than diverting rivers and water flow. The Colorado River delta sits at the very end of the 2330…

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Serendipitous Find

It’s one of those stories which, if it were written in a story, would be labeled implausible. An amateur fossil collector is walking along the banks of a river when he sees a strange-looking stone sticking out of the mud. He bends down to have a closer look, and realises that the stone is, in fact,…

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Future Investment

This year marks the first time that all Monsanto Roundup Ready genetically-modified seeds will be off-patent. This means that any company can start making ‘generic’ versions of the GM soybeans, corn and so on – unless, of course, their use and the use of the companion Roundup-based herbicide has been banned*. The path ahead is…

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Small Fold, Big Surprise

Last week I posted a story about Big Origami. This week, it’s Small Origami. Namely, an origami microscope.   The Foldscope website says it as concisely as I possibly could, perhaps due to their experience with efficient use of space: “Foldscope is an origami-based print-and-fold optical microscope that can be assembled from a flat sheet…

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Unexpected Sights

We were out on an evening walk when we saw this very strange sight: On the edge of a golf course, an intact (but dead) fish located right below an electric fence. There’s a small pond on the course, a few long strides away from where the fish lay. The fish wasn’t clawed or damaged…

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Fountainhead Reflections

There are several old public fountains in the villages that surround mine, and I pass them on my runs. Our village dismantled its fountain many years ago for reasons unknown to me – I do know, however, that the former mayor uses the former stone fountain trough in his garden as decoration. Be that as…

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Branched Embrace

I spent a large part of my youth living deep in a forest that was relatively untamed, a temperate rainforest of bay laurel and Coastal live oak on the Inverness Ridge in California, part of the Point Reyes Peninsula north of San Francisco. There are large stands of Bishop pine and Douglas fir on the…

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Generative Art, Rootworm Evolution

What do we call evolution that plays with the toys we provide, jumps the obstacles we set, which meets us on the field of our own choosing, and then bests us? In the case of the shared technology created by Scott Draves for creating ever-changing, computer-human collaborations of software art known as Electric Sheep, we…

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