Willow Spring

Not to be confused with the Willow Spring Figueroa Trail or the Willow Spur trail, also in the Los Padres Mtns. Went for a hike yesterday with my daughter to a place I’ve not gone before, which is surprising when you consider all the times I’ve hiked other trails around here. It was lovely. It’s […]

An Ancient Lament

In the long, sordid history of scoundrels and rogues, Gilgamesh would be right up there with the worst of ’em. Gilgamesh, a mythical figure* from the first modern civilization, that in ancient Sumer, a.k.a. the Cradle Of Civilization, a collection of towns along the Euphrates and Tigris rivers in what was the Fertile Crescent, was […]


Though not rich by a looong shot, I try to do something with my wonderful daughter every year during her summer break from school. Of course, I have fun too. So we climbed in the old truck and headed out. Last year it was Big Sur. This year Big Sur is sadly burning, so we […]

Bright Night Lights

The human population has been growing at an incredible rate since the advent of industrialization. Take a look at this 6 minute video by Population Connection and you’ll see what I mean. With that growth in numbers has been an inexorable spread of various kinds of pollution. When people think of pollution, though, they usually […]

Space or Bust! III

A Discover Magazine interview with Louis Friedman makes clear that those pinning their hopes and faith on space colonization for the future of humanity should the earth “fall”, are dangerously barking up the wrong tree. Following are some snippets. “Louis Friedman has always balanced his optimistic vision for the future of human space exploration with […]

Study: Without humans, the whole world could look like Serengeti

An extension of another post, What Killed the Great Beasts of Prehistory? “In a world without humans, most of northern Europe would probably now be home to not only wolves, Eurasian elk (moose) and bears, but also animals such as elephants and rhinoceroses. “This is demonstrated in a new study conducted by researchers from Aarhus […]

What Killed the Great Beasts of Prehistory?

From a recent study: “Scientists at the universities of Exeter and Cambridge claim their research settles a prolonged debate over whether humankind or climate change was the dominant cause of the demise of massive creatures in the time of the sabretooth tiger, the woolly mammoth, the woolly rhino and the giant armadillo. “Known collectively as […]

When the Going Gets Tough

The tough get whiney. And greedy. As most everyone knows, the American west, and especially California, is experiencing a pretty bad drought. The worst in 1,200 years. Yet there are some here who refuse to get the message. Snippets from a few articles. Farmers From Use It or Lose It Across the West, Exercising One’s […]