For Hallogeek’s Eve: Who’s who among scientists buried in The Princeton Cemetery.

While searching for the graves of long-lost relatives in the Princeton Cemetery earlier this year, I was amused to spot the epitaph of William Hahn, who is perhaps best known for these last, now oft-imitated, words. But I was even more intrigued by the postscripts on the back of two tombstones: In case you can’t make out the weathered words, his […]

Check out my three recent reviews in Science News of some pretty decent reads.

In all my spare time, I’ve managed to read a few interesting science books lately and you can catch up on my reviews in Science News. The above image, from Arthur Allen’s latest book, The Fantastic Laboratory of Dr. Weigl, is one of the lice-feeders in Rudolf Weigl’s typhus-vaccine lab in Nazi-occupied Poland. Yes, those are matchboxes strapped to her […]

Plant a Geiger counter in your garden.

Nature has always served as Mankind’s early warning system — the canary in the coal mine, and possibly, the spiderwort in the nuclear plower plant. You may not think of garden plants as particularly active, but many have unique “behaviors” that are somewhat entertaining, and at times even useful. The ephemeral blooms of Tradescantia, also known as spiderwort, among other […]

Rooting out wildlife’s frenemies: How human hubris can victimize–or save–a species.

As we note the death a hundred years ago this week of Martha, the last Passenger Pigeon, I’ve been thinking about how the mindset of the time contributed to the extinction of a species that was once the most abundant in North America. Despite growing evidence to the contrary, people of the Victorian era deluded themselves with the twin fallacies that […]

My kids isolated the hemochromatosis genes.

Narcissism runs strong in most kids, so to teach them science, it helps to make it all about them. On a recent trip to The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, kids of all ages were excited to make a robot read their names, design their own roller coasters, create sound circles with their fingers, and see infrared shadow images of […]

ICYMI: “Everything you think you know about… leprosy is probably wrong.” Including one fact in this NYT article.

This article about leprosy in the New York Times earlier this month did a good job summing up the basic conundrums about the disease that have confounded researchers. But the writer got carried away in stating that most of the 200 cases of leprosy diagnosed annually in the US are thought to stem from contact with […]