Freedom Enterprises Etowah Landing Facility

Almost Heaven Hell, West Virginia


Events along the Elk River in West Virginia were disastrous for the 300,000 residents who depend upon the watercourse for tap water. WC doesn’t mean to minimize those immediate and long term consequences. But the “accident” there points to numerous problems in the chemical industry, not just in West Virginia but across the United States.…

Red-headed Barbet Male

Bar Bet


Perhaps you could win a bar bet with the Barbet. It’s among the odder birds in Ecuador; a big-billed, fruit- and bug-eating, ridiculously colorful bird of the cloud forest. This particular specimen is a Red-headed Barbet, photographed at Tandayapa Lodge. They are cousins of the Woodpeckers and Toucans. The Red-headed Barbet is found from Costa…

A Cash Machine for Hackers?

Technogeekery: The Looming ATM Crisis


There are 420,000 ATMs in the U.S. About 95% of them run under Microsoft Windows XP, the world’s most hacked operating system. On April 8, 2014, a deadline looms for all those ATM systems. That’s when Microsoft will end tech support for Windows XP, meaning that ATMs running the XP will no longer receive regular security patches…

Masked Flowerpiercer, Tandayapa Lodge, Ecuador

Another Way to the Nectar


Hummingbirds, with their wildly variable bills, are adapted to extract nectar from flowers, and in the process to transfer pollen between blossoms, like bees and other insects. But the endless diversity of birds has coughed up two genuses of birds that cheat. Flowerpiercers extract nectar from blossoms, too, but they go directly to the source,…