Marvin Minsky, 2008

R.I.P. Marvin Minsky, 1927-2016


Marvin Minsky is one of the four or five scientists who invented the computer as we know it today. A polymath, a genius and an inspiring teacher, he had a role in most aspects of computer programming, and especially artificial intelligence. Every time you use Apple’s Siri or the similar programs on other smartphones, you…

Western Screen Owl male, singing for a lady

WC Has a House Guest


Mrs. WC may be known to some of you as “the Owl Lady.” Or at least the most recent Owl Lady, the latest in a string who have shown owls to school kids across the Fairbanks North Star Borough. She’s out of the educational owl business now; there are no longer mice thawing in WC’s…

Miracles and Wonders: New Horizons and Pluto


The Earth is a mind-boggling 93 million miles from the sun. It takes sunlight, on average, some 8 minutes 20 seconds to reach us. Pluto, the recently demoted planetoid, is more than 39 times further away, and its take sunlight 5.5 hours to get there. The inverse square law says that the amount of light…