Juniper Slash Pile, Steens Mountain Loop Road, Oregon

Juniper Madness


The smoke of burning juniper wood was said to aid clairvoyance, and was burned for purification and to stimulate contact with the Otherworld at the autumn Samhain fire festival at the beginning of the Celtic year. Maybe dubious contact with the “Otherworld” is the source of the “evidence” behind the campaign to remove Western Junipers…

Justus Susterman's Portrait of Galileo Galilei, 1636

Galileo, Pisa and Those Two Famous Balls


Galileo Galilei famously faced the Inquisition for steadfastly asserting the Earth revolved around the Sun, rather than the Sun around the Earth. But before that, he is credited with the equally famous experiment at Pisa, where he dropped two heavy metal balls, of different sizes, from Pisa’s Leaning Tower. Aristotle had written the heavier metal…

Now THIS is a time suck!

Geology 101: WC’s New Internet Toy


WC can report a new and entertaining way to waste time assiduously study on the internet. Sometime in 2016, the United States Geological Survey created an on-line, interactive geological map of Alaska. If you are a geologist, professional or amateur, it’s about as cool a toy as the Series of Tubes™ has to offer. WC…

Congress: Let’s Have Another Thalidomide!


One of the most infuriating aspects of the Trump Administration’s roll-back of federal regulatory powers is the implied assumption that those laws and regulations exist for no reason. That’s dangerous nonsense. Those laws were passed in response to real, serious risks. The major revisions to the Food and Drug Administration laws and regulations in the…

Missing Mass: No WIMPs Here. Try ADMX?


WC has written before about the two mysteries confronting astrophysics: dark matter and dark energy. It turns out that visible matter – the stuff we can detect with existing astronomy equipment – accounts for only about 5% of the apparent mass of the universe. The other, missing mass is a mix of dark matter –…