science


In precisely one week Maureen and I will take the public bus of the skies to San Jose, CA. Our destination: A writers’ conference in Mount Hermon. In preparation for this (or any) trip, I must create what’s known as The List—an inventory of each day’s attire and complementing accessories to pack. (It’s a shameful habit, I know.)

Rather than suffer through my list, you might prefer one from astrophysicist Jeff Zweerink. Here Jeff shares his top 5 reasons to believe. (more…)

It’s a peculiar thing to be surrounded by people and feel all alone. Yet such was my predicament last week. With a few hours to spare before IAM’s Encounter 11 began, I wandered, in solitude, the streets of Tribeca. The city’s pace and air brisk, as I, shivery and slow, sought adventure in this foreign land. (more…)

Call me a skeptic. A nonbeliever. Even a hater. But in a perfect world—a world that suits my preferences, I should say—it doesn’t exist.

What is “It,” you ask? The Star Wars prequels, of course. (more…)

In case you haven’t heard, ABC’s The Bachelor is back. This season Brad Womack returns to endure once again the attempts of a couple dozen women to flirt, flaunt, and fight for his affection. (To me, the show plays out like a stale romance novel, but people enjoy it enough to stomach fifteen—yes, fifteen—seasons of it.)

What’s curious about the whole premise (finding “the one”) is that it seems hindered by the process (simultaneously dating many). (more…)

O Christmas Tree!

Used in both secular and religious festivities, Christmas trees have become a ubiquitous holiday symbol. (The modern Christmas tree originated in sixteenth-century Germany.) It’s my favorite holiday decoration. Yet, as I put the finishing touches of tinsel on our aromatic evergreen, I said to my husband, Darren, “Have you ever thought about how weird this tradition is? We bring a 6-foot tree into the house and hang shiny objects on it. Why?” (more…)

Sir Isaac Newton sitting beneath the apple tree where he was inspired to formulate his theory of gravitation.

It rained on Wednesday—I could tell because I spotted at least five cars stopped along the freeway (and one right in the middle lane). Rain does something to Southern California drivers—it messes with our heads and puts us in a muddle. (more…)

Peanut butter and jelly. Cookies and milk. Chocolate and just about anything. When you consider all the great food combinations of the world, perhaps the last grouping that comes to mind is chicken and waffles. But if you’ve tasted the two together, you understand why there’s always a wait outside of Roscoe’s. (more…)

What were you born to do? I posted that question on Twitter earlier this week. The responses I received varied, with people claiming they were born to teach, protect, and even hit others. (The latter was my favorite, just because it was funny.) (more…)

Most non-native Californians travel to the Golden State to bask in its seemingly endless sunshine. But over the last few days, our typical 70-degree weather has been replaced with torrential rains. Back-to-back winter storms continue to slam Southern California cities—with some areas getting as much as an inch and a half of rain per hour. And residents, especially those in burn areas, are definitely recognizing the power of water. (more…)

The New Year brings with it a collective “and now for something completely different” mood. A closing of one chapter and the opening of another.

For RTB scholar Fazale “Fuz” Rana, it means the end of the writing stage for his upcoming book (working title Life in the Lab). For the editorial team, it means picking up the baton and running full speed toward the copyediting process (among other things). This is my favorite part of the process—not only do I get to do what I love (edit), but I also get a sneak peek at the scholars’ next book. Bonus! (more…)

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