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 […]

Check out my three recent reviews in Science News of some pretty decent reads.

In all my spare time, I’ve managed to read a few interesting science books lately and you can catch up on my reviews in Science News. The above image, from Arthur Allen’s latest book, The Fantastic Laboratory of Dr. Weigl, is one of the lice-feeders in Rudolf Weigl’s typhus-vaccine lab in Nazi-occupied Poland. Yes, those are matchboxes strapped to her […]

Plant a Geiger counter in your garden.

Nature has always served as Mankind’s early warning system — the canary in the coal mine, and possibly, the spiderwort in the nuclear plower plant. You may not think of garden plants as particularly active, but many have unique “behaviors” that are somewhat entertaining, and at times even useful. The ephemeral blooms of Tradescantia, also known as spiderwort, among other […]