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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

The science behind defiance: when PopSci covered Gandhi’s charkha.

A footnote to the recent sale of Gandhi’s famous spinning wheel is that the one of the earliest known references to his practical tool of nonviolent civil disobedience appeared in the December 1931 issue of Popular Science. Mahatma Gandhi invented the portable teak spinning wheel, or charkha, which folded into a bundle about the size […]