The evening looks promising. Transparent air, crystalline blue—emblematic of Flagstaff even in summer—has soothed my soul since childhood. “I can see for miles and miles…” spins in my head, unbidden, as I walk a short patch of worn asphalt, dull gray and pitted from winter’s … Continue reading

Impending Disturbance

vap’rous backlit wrack flee the cold turbulent flow blear that baleful winter’s orb … Continue reading


You recognize as a youngster that science, and music, and literature and writing—creative wonders—draw you along comfortable invisible force lines.† But not opera. Overbearing, embarrassing falsetto vibrato is just wrong. As your joints grow creaky and more of your pate warms to the Sun, you … Continue reading

Primordial Realm

Primordial realm, ice and cold — we near the mists of Niflheim … Continue reading

Flagstaff Skywheel 2015-11-07

Dark skies are a treasure, a part of our culture, a part of who we are as humans that we must preserve. Due to some enlightened and forward thinking in the late 1980s, the outdoor lighting code implemented in Flagstaff … Continue reading

Panopticon Inverted

A 360-degree panorama from the U.S. Naval Observatory 61-inch telescope dome catwalk, stitched together from nine photos. (You’ll notice I caught the catwalk railing in one of the photos. Oops.) This was on 2015-11-06, with a Canon G3 X. Probably the best … Continue reading


  Eight cores, working hard: orbits, orbits… more orbits. Suki is cold. Laptop is warm. Suki sits on keyboard. Machine vexation, reboot. Sadness.   … Continue reading

Zodiacal Light West of Flagstaff, Feb. 2015

The zodiacal light at 7:51 pm (MST) on February 10, 2015, as seen from the west parking lot of the U.S. Naval Observatory near Flagstaff. If you’re wondering where the Observatory is, it’s about five miles west of downtown (Google maps link). … Continue reading

Sense and Sensibility and the American Gun Culture

Sense and Sensibility. Jane Austen put these two words together for a specific reason. Sense: meaning, understanding, prudence, sound judgement. Sensibility: sensitivity, awareness, empathy. She didn’t have to worry about guns the way we do, the way America does today. But if … Continue reading

Fun with Python

Draw your own conclusions: The red points are data from a analysis of nonnegative Facebook comments on the pages of these presidential candidates. The black curve is the most-optimal least-squares fit of a polynomial (fourth-order, in this case) that, among the … Continue reading


Fast hairy monsters high up on a wall, incognizant of their fortune, being as they are—at least on occasion—and in more than one sense of the word, ascendant, beyond the ken of three prowling, ever-watchful, and even faster (as if … Continue reading

Protected: Why doesn’t everything mix into everything else?

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Is Trump’s Lead Significant?

At the moment, The Donald leads nationally among Republicans, with 29.8% favorability. Roughly 30% of polled Republicans currently favor Trump over the rest of the Republican Field of Clowns. People argue that 30 percent is not terribly impressive. Are they right? … Continue reading

Hotel Balcony

Open the sliding glass door to a wall of humidity. Look! The Scorpion— its supergiant heart Antares reaching further than Mars— an unaccustomed ten degrees higher in the evening sky.       … Continue reading

Prevailing Wind

Kalaeloa runway 22L from seven thousand feet: one end is heavier in skid marks. … Continue reading