The Mid-Atlantic Ridge (Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

Plate Tectonics: What Makes It Go?


WC had a question from a reader, noting that WC writes about plate tectonics “all the time” but has never explained what makes the various plates move. Oddly enough, plate tectonics as a geological theory was well developed before the mechanism that causes the movement was understood. If the evidence for plate tectonics was not…

Idaho State Capitol, via Wikicommons

Why Does the Idaho Legislature Hate the Voters?


WC is convinced the Idaho Legislature, a body overwhelmingly dominated by Republicans, hates, distrusts and ignores Idaho voters. Exhibit A: The Legislature refused for years exercise the option of states to expand Medicaid coverage to make health care more widely available under the Affordable Care Act. Idaho voters went ahead and did it by the…

Margaret Bourke-White, Louisville Flood, 1937

Bourke-White: Lessons from History


Old age brings perspective, WC was told. Well, WC has achieved old age, and what it has mostly brought is a sadness that so little has changed. WC will illustrate his point with some photos from another of his heroes, Margaret Bourke-White, a great photographer of the first half of the 20th Century. Here’s her…

John William Kirby Kelley: Lazy, Stupid and Dangerous


John William Kirby Kelley is a 19-year old member of the far-right group Atomwaffen Division, one of the seemingly endless series of would-be paramilitary squads composed of thugs, racists and neo-Nazis spawned by Trump’s election. The Southern Poverty Law Center classifies the Atomwaffen Division as a hate group. There are reports that Atomwaffen Division is…

Siberian Wildfires, July 1, 2020 (via NASA)

Another Sip from the Fire Hose


The thing to remember as we struggle with COVID-19, Trump’s lies, Trump’s Brownshirt tactics and the country’s seemingly ongoing descent into chaos; the thing to remember is those aren’t even the biggest crisis. WC doesn’t know about you, but the unrelenting bad news is exhausting. It all sucks the energy and compassion out of WC.…

"That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain." Hamlet, Act I, scene 5

The Most Evil Act Yet


President Donald Trump has committed a long string of truly evil acts since his inauguration. But this past weekend, he set a new low mark. It wasn’t his continuing denial, obfuscation and outright lies about the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 140,000 Americans are dead as a result of his Administration’s grossly incompetent mismanagement of the…

Comet Neowise, July 17, 2020, from the Western Snake River Plain

Neowise 2, WC 0


WC went out comet chasing last Friday night. To escape the light pollution in the Boise metropolitan region, WC and Mrs. WC headed out onto the Snake River Plain, at the westerly end of the Morley Nelson Birds of Prey area, along Swan Falls Road. We found a bumpy, dusty side road, and settled in…

The Ron Santo Heel Click

Notes on Major League Baseball


Major League Baseball starts up its shortened season next week. WC is a huge Chicago Cubs fan, and misses the game badly. It’s been a part of WC’s summer since the early 1970s. There’s a major league hole in WC’s summer. But, really? Baseball? Now? Sean Doolittle, a relief pitcher for the Washington Nationals, put…