Tag Archives: read_me

For Leta: 5

I delivered a version of the following remarks at Grace Episcopal Church on Saturday, 4 February 2017. Leta and I were sweethearts for sixteen years. She liked to say that, in our relationship, she was Ernie and I was Bert. … Continue reading

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Contemporary American Theater Festival 2013

It’s usually the case that two or three of the plays at CATF share a thematic affinity. This year, three shows are connected by the theme of religious zealotry—not precisely extremism, but perhaps overcommitment, to the point of a fault. … Continue reading

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Sax-Zim Bog

The weather cooperated with me for my visit to the Sax-Zim Bog Birding Festival in northeastern Minnesota. Though the temperature never rose above freezing, the snow and wind held off until I had departed for home. Saturday’s field trip covered … Continue reading

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Warner decoded

Or, rather, not. I rather like it that William W. Warner doesn’t slow down to define every bit of terminology that he uses in Beautiful Swimmers: Watermen, Crabs, and the Chesapeake Bay. Words like cultch and shunpike (a great word, … Continue reading

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For Lydia Davis

13 June 2002 This evening on the subway I saw a man reading a comb-bound book with a green cover. From the side I could see diagrams, small circles arranged in orderly polygons. I reasoned that I was seeing diagrams … Continue reading

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Bird Phenology Program

Consistent with another of my volunteer gigs (with Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic), I seem to have positioned myself as a wetware information transcriber. A couple of months ago I started working about an hour a week as a … Continue reading

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Some arithmetic

I read about a program to convert marine waste—fishing nets and other gear—into energy. The claim is made that 1 ton of waste can power a household for 5 months. That number sounds high, but not completely unrealistic. Does it … Continue reading

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The street name signs in Fairfax City constitute the most egregious mess of colors and styles in the metropolitan area. The smaller intersections are marked with generic black on white signs, with or without block numbers. These simple, functional signs … Continue reading

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Time to go

I like to say that the D.C. metro area, up out of the floodplain at least, is optimal for avoiding natural disasters: hurricanes and tornadoes are infrequent, earthquakes almost nonexistent, heat, cold, and water are in moderation. Of course there’s … Continue reading

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Wildlife & Wind Energy Conference

Wind power isn’t quite the unambiguously benign source of electricity that some have made it out to be—for example, the author of the article for Worldchanging. That’s our big takeaway from the Wildlife & Wind Energy Conference, hosted by the … Continue reading

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It Happened in 1956

Frederick Reines and Clyde L. Cowan, Jr., of the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory discover the first evidence of the neutrino in a chamber 12 m under the Savannah River nuclear reactor (called, in the August 1956 Scientific American article that … Continue reading

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We drove out to the Eastern Shore yesterday to say goodbye to Marlie, who died last week in a traffic accident induced by the heavy rains we’ve been experiencing. “Boisterous” is perhaps the first word that comes to mind when … Continue reading

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