Long Shadows, Long Light

We’ve had a break from all the clouds, torrential rain, intermittent hail and nights of snow – so I went for a run. At this time of the year, the sun is low at 4:30 in the afternoon and sets only 20 minutes later. It casts long, reaching shadows from its last point of illumination…

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Stone Cold Facts

Switzerland just experienced its coldest winter in thirty years; back in October, several meteorologists predicted this winter would be Europe’s coldest in a century. From my vantage point on the Franco-Swiss border, where temperatures didn’t get above freezing and were further chilled by a strong northerly wind, I can testify that January was desperately cold…

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Fueling Fossil Feelings

Over the past year, a variety of elections, polls and movements have demonstrated that, for all the endless access we have to information, we are entering an era that emphasizes acting on emotions and fears rather than weighing facts. Maybe it’s because the constant tsunami of facts threaten to overturn our personal vessels – it’s…

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Beneath the Sea

It always counts as a surprise when we find out that unexpected networks have been operating right under our collective noses. We use the word ‘discovery’ to describe the newness to our understanding, even if, in retrospect, it might be a bit like describing a city’s take-out food delivery system as a ‘discovery’ just because…

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Tactile Topography

I came across some maps the other day and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about them since. Carved wood maps are well-known Inuit instruments of cartography, made to navigate the coastal waters and inland areas of Greenland. The maps are read by feeling along each ridge, and are legible up one side and…

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Covering Our Eyes

The main centers of the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) lay like a loose pearl necklace around the coastal edges of the nation. I’ve never been to any of the NASA sites, but I grew up watching them from a distance. As a child of the Sixties, the moon launches that took…

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Memory Theater

I came across images of fallen logs painted with landscapes and images of the woods from which they might have come. Fictional forest history painted on the remnants of real forests, a reminder of life on something no longer living, a singular specimen in its own cabinet of curiosity. Renaissance cabinets of curiosity, those private…

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Going, Gone

Just a short time ago, I posted some images of the prolonged and glorious autumn we’ve been enjoying here in eastern France. A time to revel in the moment, because it passes all too quickly. And see, that suspension of the seasonal march is coming to an end, the first snows are anticipated for the…

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Reclaiming The Stuff That Matters

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised to read the results of a poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research showing that three-quarters of Americans are not very worried about the effects of climate change. After all, a lot of money and energy has gone into sowing doubt when it comes to climate…

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Adding It Up

Not so very long ago, processing large amounts of data was a tedious business, riddled with human error, machine failings and limited reach. These days, information availability can feel like a tsunami. There’s so much of it, all the time, all around. It’s become easier than ever to share information and images, sometimes involuntarily. The…

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