Pluto Reduced to a Plutoid Object

In 1930 the ninth planet was discovered. A month later it was officially christened Pluto for the Roman god of the underworld, a name suggested by an 11-year-old girl. School children added Platte to My Very Elderly Mother Just Sped Up North to help them memorize the planets in order. Fifty years later, another astronomer [Read More...]

Cannibalism, Sandwiches, and the Secret of Eternal Life

From the creepy world of science-not-fiction, cannibalism made its way into The New York Times this week. Carl Zimmer reported that parabiosis experiments from the ‘50s have been revived. An old mouse’s flank was sliced open and sutured to a young mouse, binding the pair like conjoined twins. As they healed, their arteries and veins [Read More...]

Don’t Trust Anyone Be My Friend

Captain’s orders. What’s in the Bag Captain America has a problem. Nick Fury, his boss, doesn’t trust him enough to reveal the full mission to the Captain ahead of time. By way of explaining himself, Fury tells the Captain a parable about Fury’s grandfather, an elevator operator, who walked home every night with his tips [Read More...]

Get a Face

“Why am I here?” asks Wang-mu, one of Orson Scott Card’s characters in Children of the Mind. It’s a question worthy of every infatuation. She answers with a healthy dose of self-suspicion and finds beneath her messy hunger a call to something greater. “I’m no part of any of these events. There is nothing of [Read More...]

Vessel Characters: Pipe, Katniss Everdeen, Jesus

“Think of yourself as a pipe,” suggests M. Robert Mulholland. At one end of your pipe is a flange specifically designed for loving union with God. The other end of your pipe has a flange specifically designed for loving service for others. When the connection is made at both ends of your pipe, then the [Read More...]

Evangelism 101: Speaking Evolution

A couple of days ago, I commented on a college-friend’s Facebook post. Unlike me, she used our biology major to become an environmentalist with a PhD. I used our major to edit my husband’s first book. ***Shameless plug: Buy Nature’s Witness: How Evolution Can Inspire Faith. Send our daughter to college.*** Our genetics professor also [Read More...]

Have Been and Always Shall Be Your Friend

Need a chuckle? Watch this Audi commercial. Don’t buy an Audi. Or a Mercedes. Just watch the ad. iO9 called it the “the greatest car commercial ever” and the 2:43-short is a fascinating piece of meta-science-fiction. [youtube WPkByAkAdZs Zachary Quinto vs. Leonard Nimoy: "The Challenge"] “I have been . . . and always shall be [Read More...]

The Art of Death: Dulce et Decorum

I remember the first time I stood in front of a Civil War memorial and puzzled out the Latin words that ran across its top: Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori. That’s the stupidest thing ever written, I thought. Sweet and right it is to die for one’s country? It might be the right [Read More...]

14 Fictions for Surviving Snowpocalypse 2014

When ice turns into vapor without melting first, it’s called sublimation. I wonder what it’s called when millions of Americans murmur a collective complaint, our breath huffing out in white clouds, which waft upward, merge, and dump deathflakes on us. Again. Snowpocalypse. Snowmaggedon. Snowzilla. Snoverkill. Call it what you will, I am weary of it. [Read More...]

Lego Movie, Leaf by Niggle, and the Urge to Perfection

“All I’m asking for is total perfection,” instructs President Business pleasantly. When his Lego citizens fail to arrange themselves in the ideal pose, he calls in Micromanagers to do it for them. Then he aims his ultimate weapon, the KraGl, and squirts them with Krazy Glue. “Everything is awesome!” his Lego people sing, unaware of [Read More...]


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