Remembering Valerie Eliot

I learned about Valerie Eliot's death before the news went out on the wire services yesterday because an acute reporter at The Times (that is, The Times of London) found my 2005 article about the Eliot Letters and emailed me (proving how easy I am to locate). He introduced himself as a science reporter who happened

By |2013-02-12T11:54:07-05:00November 12th, 2012|Karen's Letter|0 Comments

Trainspotting, from Beijing to the Berkshires (Karen’s Letter, August 2011)

Trains have been on my mind since April, when I tried the new service from Shanghai to Hangzhou. The plum and cherry trees were in full bloom and the weeping willows freshly in leaf - what a day to see the West Lake for the first time! And how incredible it seemed that high-tech companies like

Marvin Mudrick and his Chickens

I chose UCSB over Yale because of Marvin Mudrick, and there were times I thought I’d been crazy to do so. (I know that many other people, then and later, agreed.) But I never truly regretted going to the College of Creative Studies (CCS), a tiny place in the middle of the UC campus, and twenty-five

By |2010-10-07T09:07:56-04:00October 7th, 2010|Uncategorized|3 Comments

Was Töfood töo convincing?

I'm rather disappointed. People seem to have believed my April Fools Day joke. Tom says this means it was really good, but I'm not so sure. Anyhow, here it is for anyone who missed it, and do click that link at the end of the paragraph. China introduces global food sensation: Töfood 1 April, 2009, Great Barrington,

By |2013-04-02T09:57:43-04:00April 1st, 2009|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Science lesson

We literary types, not to mention the social scientists I spend so much of my professional life with, are not particularly au fait with the latest in scientific research, but I've always had an affection for physicists, and spent quite a lot of time with them in college. I even wrote a long article about the

By |2008-09-12T08:09:24-04:00September 12th, 2008|Uncategorized|2 Comments

My first widget

It's probably not the first. The Flickr badge you see below is a widget, too, I think. But I had a long conversation this evening about widgets with Dan Gisolfi, the mashup guru from IBM, and Ken Wasch, president of SIIA, and I can't resist trying to add one to my blog tonight. This is a

By |2007-09-11T06:50:14-04:00September 7th, 2007|Uncategorized|0 Comments

New Yorker or New Scientist?

You might think that my favorite magazine would be the New Yorker, or Granta, but in fact it's the New Scientist. New Scientist is the British equivalent of Scientific American, a serious but popular journal about science. (I should mention a much newer publication, Seed, that aims to connect science and culture, too, and will write

By |2007-03-10T05:30:40-05:00March 9th, 2007|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Beyond the ivory tower–in English and Chinese

I am in Atlanta, Georgia, on a quick visit to meet two remarkable people working on global sustainability issues, C.S. Kiang, dean of the new College of Environmental Sciences at Peking University, and Ray Anderson, founder and chairman of Interface. This new work on sustainability, especially with the China connection, is rapidly expanding our networks. One

By |2007-02-20T09:06:15-05:00February 20th, 2007|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Seriality and synchronicity

I was at a "Lunch with a Commissioning Editor" at the World Congress of History Producers last month and experienced something called seriality, or better synchronicity, when the editor, Jennifer Batty, mentioned having received four proposals on the same subject one day, from people scattered across Europe. I had just been reading about this concept so

By |2006-12-08T16:27:03-05:00December 8th, 2006|Uncategorized|1 Comment


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