Would you buy a used car from this man?

Fixing Things That Aren’t Broken


President Trump issued an Executive Order on March 13, 2017. It’s something like the 19th of his presidency, if anyone is keeping count. It’s grandly titled, “A Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the Executive Branch.” It’s not a plan, it’s not comprehensive and it doesn’t reorganize anything. But it is potentially very dangerous, and worth a look.…

The Argument for Federal Research: the Oleo Sponge


The late Senator William Proxmire (D, Wisconsin) used to belittle pure research, handing out “Golden Fleece Awards” to federal-subsidized researchers whose work he thought had no scientific value. Eventually, his name became a verb, meaning to unfairly obstruct scientific research for political gain, as in “the project has been proxmired”. Senator Proxmire was accused of recklessly attacking…

Engraving of Kilroy on the WWII Memorial in Washington DC

Geology 101: Meet the Ophiolites


Remember the “Kilroy was here” meme and doodle? It originated in World War II as a doodle by G.I.s. It was a way of saying, “An American G.I. was here.” Ophiolites are roughly analogous to Kilroy. Ophiolites are a characteristic geologic formation which says to a geologist, “An ocean was here.” And they turn up…

State of the Art 2008: Olympus E-3, 300mm f2.8 with 2.0 Teleconverter

Olympus: A Final Note


On March 10, 2017 Olympus ceased production of its Four-Thirds lenses. It was hardly a surprise. It’s been more than six years since Olympus released a new Olympus 4/3rds DLSR. Long-time readers may recall that WC used the Olympus 4/3rds system through four generations of cameras. In April 2013, WC faced the inevitable and switched…