what a scientist looks like.

“Why is everyone wearing glasses?”

I’m standing with my six-year-old daughter outside of the entrance to the Science Night hosted by her elementary school.  Families of children at the school were invited to delve into the world of discovery at an array of demo and workstations and of course to eat greasy pizza and have sugary drinks.  (I swear, my kids learned all their bad eating habits at school…).  Students were told in advance that there would be some sort of door prize if they showed up looking like a scientist.

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I am officially homeless these days.  Not that I don’t have a place to sleep, but insofar as I no longer have a permanent place to live. For a year I am vagabonding with my family, so we’ve become short-term renters in various locations.  I measure my expenses in the daily rate I pay for a place to be.  Currently that place is Punta Cana on the east coast of the Dominican Republic.

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puerto rico: a case for cleaner water.

The water has been off for two days now.  We woke up in the beautiful country house we are staying in, surrounded by tropical forests and the cacophony of early morning rooster crows to find that the faucet at the sink was hissing air and nothing more.  We planned to be gone all day and hoped for running water on our return.  Later, when the kids came back from a long day at the beach expecting showers to wash off that mix of sunscreen and caked-on sand, there was still nothing flowing.  First world problem, right? Continue reading

gender preference.

Winter of 2013, I am living in a small mountain town in California.  It’s a progressive kind of place, a place full of artists and misfits and lovers of nature.  I was standing in line at my local post office, the type where everyone who is waiting knows something about who everyone else is, and the clerk knows your first name and grabs your 2 year old over the counter to give her a squeeze.  I’ll never forget the day that an acquaintance stopped me in that line and asked about my wife’s pregnancy.  The usual stuff.  Are you excited?  Are you ready?  Have you chosen a name?  And then, do you know the gender?  Yes, I said, and then volunteered, “it’s a girl.”

“Oh, I’m sorry” Continue reading