I Google-image searched this moth pic. Could it be the elusive “Moustiquaire”? And what does that have to do with oxpeckers?

Silly me. “Moustiquaire” is French for mosquito netting. I suppose this search result is a testament to the power of nature’s camouflage in that either my iPhone camera or Google image couldn’t detect this winged creature of the night but instead focused on the screen where it had alighted last summer. Not being a lepidopterist, I’m […]

All the pretty boxes: Upcycling hacks for electronics packaging–the Tribbles in your closet!

Over the better part of a decade my husband and I had accumulated stacks of handsome, sturdy die-cut boxes for MacBooks and MacBook Airs, ChromeBooks and Surface tablets, iPhones and iPads and iPods. Long after some of those gizmos had died or passed into obsolescence, we hung onto the Original Packaging as if it were some kind of totem. […]

Awesome Slate headline: “McDonald’s, Bewildered by Modernity, Is Now Selling an ‘Artisan’ Chicken Sandwich”

Still chuckling over Jordan Weissman’s analysis of Mickey D’s desperate menu semantics, which called to mind this shot (left) I took of our local franchise awhile back. Let’s face it, the Golden Arches have been a beacon of cluelessness for a long time now. Empty calories = empty heads. Photos of McDonald’s marquee by Laura Fisher Kaiser

Thank you, Casey Trees for planting 2,104 trees in 2014 including these two Shagbark Hickories in my yard!

There are few things more thrilling on a fall day than having a couple of cheerful, hunky guys show up at your house with shovels and burlap-wrapped root balls, and then proceed to sink a couple of tree seedlings in the yard in less time than it takes me to find my gardening gloves.  A huge shout out to […]

How Betty Crocker duped generations of youngsters with the obesity-inducing breakfast of chocolate milk & “tiny doughnuts” cereal aka Cheerios.

As greenwashing describes bogus eco-friendly claims of products, is there a neologism for fake health food? For their prefab PB&J sandwiches, Smucker’s already coined Uncrustables, which are probably as barfy as they sound.  Bisquackery perhaps? Or Wonderbreading? I’ve been pondering this ever since I came across these oh-so-wrong images on my box of Wheaties. As it turns out, the clever marketing department at General […]

A conversation with “Fantastic Lab” author Arthur Allen about typhus, “thought collectives,” and his odyssey through obscure medical archives and the Nazi claptrap.

On a recent Sunday morning, I sat down with Arthur Allen over coffee at Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, DC, to talk about his latest book, The Fantastic Laboratory of Dr. Weigl: How Two Brave Scientists Battled Typhus and Sabotaged the Nazis. (Read my brief review in Science News.) The two scientists in the […]

For Hallogeek’s Eve: Who’s who among scientists buried in The Princeton Cemetery.

While searching for the graves of long-lost relatives in the Princeton Cemetery earlier this year, I was amused to spot the epitaph of William Hahn, who is perhaps best known for these last, now oft-imitated, words. But I was even more intrigued by the postscripts on the back of two tombstones: In case you can’t make out the weathered words, his […]