Bernd Heinrich at Boise State University, April 17, 2019

Some Time with Bernd Heinrich


Bernd Heinrich is a highly regarded biologist. The Birds of North America note on Common Ravens cites to him an amazing eighteen times. He’s now an emeritus professor at the University of Vermont and, at 80 years old, still runs ultra marathons. He’s also the author of some twenty popularizations, of wildly uneven quality. Here’s…

Measles, Day 4

WC Blames the Lawyers


There is a measles epidemic in New York City. So far, it has sickened some 329 people, with no end in sight. This isn’t to be confused with the ongoing epidemic of measles in eastern Washington State. New York City has declared a public health emergency. The City has issued an emergency health order. ll…

Notes on Ken Philip


WC has written of the sad death of his friend Kenelm Philip, physicist, fellow fan of good books, programmer and, above all, astonishing lepidopterist. WC has also written of Ken’s little “surprise” for WC: Ken named WC as his executor, to WC’s consternation. There have been subsequent events that merit a blot post. First, Ken’s…

This view of asteroid Bennu ejecting particles from its surface on January 19 was created by combining two images taken by the NavCam 1 imager onboard NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft: a short exposure image (1.4 ms), which shows the asteroid clearly, and a long exposure image (5 sec), which shows the particles clearly. Other image processing techniques were also applied, such as cropping and adjusting the brightness and contrast of each layer. Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona/Lockheed Martin

Meet Bennu, Who Is a Little Strange


OSIRIS-REx, the very ambitious effort to obtain a sample from an asteroid in space, is a success to this point. The manmade satellite is in orbit around the small asteroid 101955 Bennu. It’s a triumph of celestial navigation and technology. There were serious critics of the OSIRIS-REx’s mission, who asked “What was the point, what…

Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Clostridium tetani endospores and vegetative cells, Gram-positive, anaerobic, endospore-forming, rod prokaryote.

Children Are Not Property


At the start of WC’s legal career women and children were still property of men in many states. Women have made great progress in erasing that historic detritus. Kids, not so much. And no where is it more evident than in the childhood vaccine debates. If a parent mistreats his or her children, the state…