Flea Glasses and Hidden Spaces

Imagine the excitement of using one of the world’s first magnifying glasses back in the 16th century. All those creatures and items too tiny for examination with the naked eye would have suddenly revealed some of their secrets. Early magnifying glasses were so popular for looking at minuscule life forms such as fleas that they…

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Heedless Ways

Chimpanzees in Uganda’s Kigali National Park have been getting up to some unusual business at night. These daytime foragers with poor night vision have been leaving the safety of the forest, crossing a bridge over a large ditch meant to keep elephants out of neighboring crop areas, and raiding corn fields. And they aren’t the…

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Telling Time

There’s a new chill in the morning air, in spite of unseasonable warmth. Winter is still around the corner, according to the calendar, but it’s still as warm as late summer. We wore shorts yesterday. A few roses shoot another round of late blossoms that might cost the plants dearly, a couple of the tomato…

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Serious Buffoonery

A gathering of orangutans is called a buffoonery. A buffoonery of orangutans implies some very high amusement, and indeed, I imagine if enough of the ginger apes were to get together, hilarity and hijinks might ensue. But as most people know by now, orangutans don’t have much to laugh about. Between deforestation and the illegal…

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Tapping Out

The town of Porterville, California has been in the news over the past couple of months because it is one of the places where taps are running dry as the state’s drought grinds on into its fourth winter. Several municipal wells have run dry, some residents are coming to rely on charitable deliveries of bottled…

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