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Category Archives: Uncategorized

Send in the ghosts

The Helix Nebula, a highly ordered part of the galaxy 650 light years from earth. Source: Wikimedia Commons, Spitzer Space Telescope. People, I think, sort roughly into two categories: Those who want to live in a universe in which some magic and an occasional ghost are possible; and those who insist that magic and ghosts […]

A 1944 Willys MB Jeep

Click here for high resolution version. One of my neighbors has a friend who has restored a 1944 Willys Army Jeep, model MB. My neighbor, knowing that I’m a Jeep fanatic, arranged for me to have a ride in the Jeep, off road on some of the trails through the surrounding woods. This Jeep, I […]

Two short drone videos

I’m a long way from making any thrilling drone videos shot in exotic places. For one, I’m a drone newbie. And for two, I’m still so pinned down by the late-summer heat that it’s miserable to venture outdoors except in the mornings. One socially useful thing to do with a drone is to take videos […]


Augustus: First Emperor of Rome. Adrian Goldsworthy, Yale University Press, 2014. 598 pages. I’m almost ashamed of my interest in Rome. The more I read about Rome, the more distasteful the Roman story becomes. But Augustus, at least, was in pre-Christian Rome (born 63 BC, died 14 AD), and therefore wasn’t responsible for any of […]

A half Norfolk jacket

I have mentioned here in the past that, on a visit to the Isle of Harris in Scotland in 2019, I got bitten by a bug for collecting Harris tweed jackets (and also some Irish tweed). I stopped collecting jackets (by buying them secondhand on eBay) quite some time ago, not least because I have […]

Saturday afternoons at 1

Vineta Sareika-Völkner, the new concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic. Once upon a time, Saturday afternoons at 1 (at least, on the east coast of the United States where I live now) was when the Metropolitan Opera broadcast on American radio, from New York, a live Saturday matinée from the Met. I don’t think they do […]

Roger Penrose

I am not the first person to say that we are very lucky to be living during the lifetime of Roger Penrose. He is, I believe, the Einstein of our time. Though Penrose is very much a celebrity with certain types of nerds, the popular media have paid little attention to him, even after he […]

Cigar boxes for storage

At least around here, tobacco and “vape” stores seem to be everywhere these days. Normally I would have no reason for going inside of one. But I’ve been picking up my Amazon packages at an Amazon “hub counter” so that trucks don’t have to drive down my unpaved road. The nearest hub counter is a […]

How we model the world, and how well we adapt to it

Hidden Order: How Adaptation Builds Complexity. John H. Holland. Addison-Wesley, 1995. 176 pages. This is not a book review. Rather, this is about why I think the ideas in this book are important, and how those ideas apply to what we think and what we do. This is one of the most important books I’ve […]

Workouts for the brain

In a few days, I’ll turn 74. And though I don’t feel my memory or logic circuits slipping, I don’t want them to slip. I read an article recently that mentioned something that I should have known but didn’t know. Reading fiction is very good exercise for the memory, because one has to remember at […]