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DNA: What a Tangle

People have been talking about DNA for quite some time now. I’m approaching seventy years old, and yet the accepted model of the structure of the molecule — the double helix — is older than I am. Anyone of my generation, and anyone of the generations that have come after mine, has been able to […]

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A Rambling Writer Guest Post: Geologist Thor Talks More Rocks

By popular demand, Thor explains the colorful variety of stones found in our Pacific Northwest. Sara asked me to contribute a blog on our recent obsession with rock tumbling.  First a little prologue about the local geologic context, and why we have such a variety of stones here in the Pacific Northwest: A few hundred

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A Rambling Writer Guest Post: Geologist Thor Talks Marble

Join my paleontologist/geologist husband Thor Hansen as he talks about our fascination with marble pebbles we collect on Greek beaches. Today we talk about marble.  Marble is beautiful, relatively easy to carve, and takes a nice shine, so it is no wonder marble is prized for sculpture and the interiors of buildings (not so good

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I decided to talk about teeth today for purely personal reasons. (Picture from here.) Teeth are a structure unique to vertebrates. There are similar feeding structures in some invertebrates. Some molluscs have a tongue-like radula that is studded with chitinous bits that serve a similar function. But these bear no embryonic relationship with vertebrate teeth.

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SWC: A syllabus for learning about 21stC money

I’ve been writing about class all my working life, although I didn’t always recognize it, because I wasn’t foregrounding it. Since I began researching the question “How do pyramidal hierarchies die?” I’ve tripped over dozens of really, really interesting texts. Here are some of the books that have blown my mind while I research the background

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I’ve been thinking about how we’re going to get shut of fossil fuels. (Picture from here.) Oh, yeah. Why? We have an increasing carbon dioxide footprint in the atmosphere. It’s causing the earth to grow warmer than it has ever been in the history of our species. We have built our civilization based on that

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