Browsing All posts tagged under »science«

The Red Planet is Orange (Part 2)

May 18, 2012


The flight to Mars should take about six months, but depending on how the planets are lined up, it could take seven or eight. When you consider how much planning will be involved, that’s a pretty cloudy estimate. It sounds a little like the response you get from a teenager who’s fleeing the house: “Where […]

The Red Planet is Orange (Part 1)

May 10, 2012


I want to be the first human to go to Mars. I say this not because I think I’m the most qualified, or because I even have anything to offer a space program that’s been hovering close to death since the shuttle missions of the early eighties. Rather, it seems that no one else really […]

A Waste of Consciousness (Part 1)

March 17, 2012


I have no real understanding of the human nervous system, this mass of interconnected cells that I use every second of every day. For example, it baffles me that I can start talking about something, especially in response to a question, without hesitation and with no idea of what’s going to come out of my […]

Eating Quicksand, and My Words

July 17, 2010


I resisted blogging for a long time. I even made fun of the word: blogging. It seemed to describe the sound you’d make if you were drowning in quicksand. Even worse was the term blogosphere. I’m not sure why, but I pictured a huge glass ball splattered with mud. I still do, actually. The truth […]

Sarcasm: It’s in the Blood

July 7, 2010


I see articles in magazines and newspapers that speculate about the existence of genes for certain traits. Is there a gene for religious belief? Homosexuality? Intelligence? Alcoholism? These are mildly interesting questions, and I usually read the articles at least halfway through before going off to fold my socks. But what about the sarcasm gene? […]

Buy Now, Die Later

June 10, 2010


The July issue of Discover magazine has a full-page ad for a product called Vinotrol, which is supposed to help you live longer. It’s one of those paid advertisements designed to look like a news article, and it refers to various doctors, scientific studies, and of course, researchers at Harvard Medical School. Vinotrol is really […]