Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The North Remembers

I'm not going to talk about spring. It is simply way too early for such talk in the mountains. Our environmental palette remains subtle: white, greys, blues, white, greens so dark they appear black... white. Our feet adjust to snow, ice, slush, snow, ice, slush. Our crocuses continue their dormancy. We don't hold our breath.

Last month some friends and I spent a long holiday weekend volunteering for the park's fisher DNA study (read about similar work here) assembling and re-bating old hair-collecting stations in Many Glacier, in hopes of detecting an animal who is hard to detect. This involved skiing into a backcountry cabin, getting pounded by wind and snow, and reveling in the rare pleasure of having the busiest part of the park all to ourselves. The trip reminded me of everything I love about winter--the smell of the cold caught in your hair, hands wrapped around a hot mug, fire crackling, fresh tracks on the snow, the way the landscape feels monochrome--and my mind returns to it on this misty, drizzly day.

Objects are as fuzzy as they appear
Four feet
Freshening the meat packet
Harvesting hair
Adding the love scent
And not a shanty in sight
Drip daggers
See you in spring...

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Where the Science Goes

I am very happy to report that I shall be a regular writer for the excellent and nerdy mini-lecture video series The SciShow. If you like learning about bizarre phenomena, famous brainiacs, current science news, and super awesome stuff, check out the YouTube channel. Recent topics have included: What happens when a body is subjected to the vacuum of space, how birds get drunk in spring, the history of blood transfusions, meteorite hits and near misses, giant squids, spider rain, genetically modified foods, and what happens if identical twins procreate with identical twins.

Oh, and my very first scripted episode on Extreme! Animal! Cannibalism! (Don't worry, there is a little bit of brother-eating, but no bath salts are involved.) I'm super excited about this gig and to be part of such a curious and creative team. Upcoming assignments range from Explaining Gluten, to updates on Human Enhancement Technology, to Why Do Cats Purr? Hope you'll check in on occasion and get your learn on...