Category Archives: Uncategorized

Polyps A-Plenty

I spent quite a while this weekend talking to Fritz, Will, and Candy about my tiny corals and, more generally, the complicated symbiotic relationships that allow lots of sea creatures to be mostly solar-powered rather than gut powered. So, mostly … Continue reading

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A half-finished essay about ‘Ex Machina’

First of all: nothing in Ex Machina resembles a Turing test. Here’s how a Turing test works: There are three participants: Human A, Human B, and an AI. Human A interacts with Human B for a while and the AI … Continue reading

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gone rogue

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Why I am still here

Practically everything we do, from eating an ice to crossing the Atlantic, and from baking a loaf to writing a novel, involves the use of coal, directly or indirectly. For all the arts of peace coal is needed; if war … Continue reading

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California Carnivores

We finally made it to California Carnovores in Sebastopol today, and it was much bigger and better than I expected. It also turns out that sundews are incredibly photogenic. The guys who run this place are very serious about their … Continue reading

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Ladybirds

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Elephant Seals at Año Nuevo

Up close, everything about elephant seals is hideous. They’re smelly, noisy, shapeless and angry, and they can barely wait to abandon their young. They are also terrifyingly gigantic! I’m really glad I got to see them, but after the graphic … Continue reading

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Slogans and Graphs

Over the weekend we visited an exhibit about Singaporean history. The beginning prehistoric/archeological section was charming because there were all these photos of people digging in lawns and backyards… I guess that’s what they have here. I’m left with the … Continue reading

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999

Sometimes when people talk about buying HDB flats (housing built by the Singapore housing authority) they will mention with a scowl “of course, you don’t really /own/ the flat, you only get a 99-year lease.” To which my thought is … Continue reading

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