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AUCKLAND, NZ – This week, I missed Wednesday.Normally, the perils of crossing the International...

Tall, Dark, And Successful

BOSTON, MA—“The trees are certainly shorter out here,” said Luke.The East Coaster in me bristled...

The Days Of The Dead

With Halloween just around the corner, storefronts, lawn ornaments, and general décor have adjusted...

Measuring Up To The Happiness Standard

By all accounts, my friend Lori has a fabulous sense of style. Plus, she really knows how to find...

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Holly MoellerRSS Feed of this column.

I'm a graduate student in Ecology and Evolution at Stanford University, where I study ecosystem metabolics and function. In particular, I'm interested in how changes to plant and animal communities... Read More »

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I’ve been meaning to write a column on steady-state economics for some time. Last year, I even did some preliminary research, before getting caught up in topical current events instead. Then, last week, I returned to my internet perusal, again typing in my search phrase, “zero growth economy.” To my consternation, the results had changed dramatically. While the radically different economic philosophy I was after still topped the list, many of the recent hits came from news articles reporting on the dire economic straits of Europe, the United States, and even China.
AUCKLAND, NZ – Twelve hours after liftoff from San Francisco airport, fifteen hours after my roommate dropped me off at the international terminal, I was hauling my luggage toward my connecting gate when the strap of my laptop bag abruptly tore off.  Fortunately, somewhere in the back of my sleepy brain, I remembered that I’d packed a backup for the cheaply made bag, which hadn’t looked quite up to the task I’d asked of it.  I re-packed books and electronics in a canvas tote, and ditched the ruined mess of plasticy fabric at the next trashcan.
When I was small, the word “desert” conjured images of towering Saharan dunes: windswept sand punctuated by rare oases, the only sign of life an occasional animal track quickly buried by the next sandstorm. Then, when I was 13, my parents took me to the Southwest. We visited Saguaro, Joshua Tree, and other parts of the Mojave Desert, chased tarantulas, and watched cactus wrens build nests. 
CHERRY HILL, NJ -- Standing next to my Dad under the watchful eyes of the sculpted Jesus I remembered well from childhood church services, I resolutely censored a mental curse. I hadn't attended Catholic mass regularly in years, and while I was embarrassed by my stumbling responses to some recently-reworded portions of the service, I was still absolutely certain of profanity's sacrilege during this particular Sunday hour.

Whenever I'm home for a visit, I'm reminded of religion's formative importance during a childhood that included attending weekly mass and religion classes, singing in the children's choir, and, later, lectoring during services.
End-of-year academic stress getting you down? Here’s a spirit-lifting tip: Open your browser and Google “Heartland billboard.”

You’ll quickly find The Heartland Institute’s latest propaganda piece: a mugshot of Ted Kaczynski next to the words, “I still believe in Global Warming. Do you?” Heartland’s not-so-subtle subtext: If you think the climate is changing, you’re no better than terrorists like the Unabomber.

The billboard, which appeared alongside a Chicago highway, was the first in a series that, Heartland said, would have included other standout characters like Osama bin Laden and Charles Manson.
Last week, word came from Prudhoe Bay that sent chills through me as surely as if I’d been standing in the Alaskan North Slope drilling outpost myself. The United States Department of Energy – in collaboration with energy giant ConocoPhillips and the Japanese nationalized minerals corporation – reported success from a month-long test extraction of methane gas tucked into an icy lattice below the permafrost.