I have not said much about my time with the visiting students a few weeks back. I was only with them as a central figure for a couple of hours, and it was an eye-opener. Granted, most of them were in curricula related to marketing, communications and business and not biology. But their lack of knowledge and therefore of concern about or engagement towards the planetary conditions their generation will face was alarming. I was stunned. And so I said a bit about this …

Shifting Baselines: Visible with Age Read more »

SITTING IS THE NEW CIGARETTE SMOKING: If I was still advising patients about lifestyle choices, I’d most likely advocate that many of them cut calories but also reduce their sitting by half. “But my job requires computer work” they’d counter. And I’d say “There’s an app for that.” I’m considering a standing workstation for my desk at home. Varidesk: Turn any desk into a standing desk Treadmill Desk & Standing Desks: Workout at Work with a TreadDesk THE RELENTLESS WHINE OF MOSQUITOES IN MY …

Creek Jots 25 March 15 Read more »

You may remember the lyrics from the song made popular by the Carpenters. The lyrics come to mind, painfully to an aging BoZo (part botanist, part zoologist) as I witness the winking out in my lifetime the extinction of life on Earth. And we scarcely seem to know or care. We trivialize it by calling it “a loss of biodiversity.” For some, it is the most egregious, blasphemous form of hubris, and perhaps the greatest irreplaceable and tragic consequence–so far–of the same economic dragon …

Bless the Beasts and the Children Read more »

I count myself among those back-nine science-watchers who see both the threat and the promise of our blossoming talents for engineering in a realm that once, not long ago, was the domain of nature and genetic “random chance.” Among us old-schoolers, a species was a species, and we’d just as well be content to leave such boundaries alone, if you young whipper-snappers know what’s good for ye! When all along, the academic construct of species has, in the background of the lay-public eye, been …

Gene Swapping: The Next Old Thing Read more »

In the deep south the stuff is everywhere. I remember this time of year heading out with my .22 and shooting it out of the tops of oaks. Back inside, we taped or tacked sprigs of it over doorways before parties and added it’s gray-greenness to seasonal arrangements on table and mantel. I guess I never really thought about the lifestyle or history of a plant we call mistletoe–but the word origin actually translates as “dung twig.” Buzzkill? Sorry. The plant is a partial …

Kissing Under the Dung Twig Read more »