This week I read about

Being a freelance writer and refusing to work for free

The 40th anniversary of NASA’s Viking Mission and why NASA still believes we might find life on Mars

A fascinating history of the linguistic origin of “about” in Canada

How the media tore down Clinton while building up Sanders and Trump

The Trump/Putin connection

Started reading

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

Serialized in three parts in The New Yorker, where President John F. Kennedy read it in the summer of 1962, Silent Spring was published in August and became an instant best-seller and the most talked about book in decades. Utilizing her many sources in federal science and in private research, Carson spent over six years documenting her analysis that humans were misusing powerful, persistent, chemical pesticides before knowing the full extent of their potential harm to the whole biota.


Omaha and straddled the Nebraska-Iowa state line on the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge



A love letter about TerraGenesis

See those clouds in the screen grab? That’s the atmosphere at the half-way point on Mars. The goal is to terraform the place, making the red planet habitable for earthlings in this iPhone game by Alexander Winn. Throughout the game, your colony makes cultural and scientific breakthroughs, such as a musician composing a symphony. But the colony also suffers setbacks in the form of marsquakes and asteroids. As the decision maker, you have to deal with all of it.

Playing the game, I find myself making decisions that I hope will benefit the majority of people living in my little off-world settlement. But a lot of those choices come at a cost: corporations and lobbyists want to have a say in planetary policy, for example. Turns out I’m willing to give up quite a bit if it means I can build a new palladium mine to keep our ledgers in the black.

I love this game so much.