My Latest Favorite Things


1. The Feedback column in New Scientist. It is a rich vein of nerd humor with  wordplay like “Freddie Hg” and readers who send in the many illogical, incorrect and unscientific uses of scientific-sounding language in the media and the world. “Radioactive peanuts” is the punchline to one of these jokes. (I won’t spoil it […]

Make Me Laugh

It’s hard to make people laugh. Scratch that. It’s easy to make people laugh, especially in America. I read once how Europeans tend to think we’re brain-damaged because of our habit of adding a chuckle to every minor interaction, as if a cashier telling you, “Have a better one” is a hilarious bon mot worthy […]


When I was back east for the holidays last year, we took the usual trip through Philly on our way to see the Doting Grammy. As we passed near the abandoned industrial zone, with the skyscrapers in the distance, I kept thinking I was traveling through the remains of a lost civilization — as if […]