Plato is sitting at the feet of his mentor Socrates, writing down what the old philosopher says. What Socrates is saying, ironically, is that writing is bad for you: It rots your memory. Preserved in Plato’s Phaedrus, Socrates’s opinion of the then-emerging technology sounds strange to us now—until you recall that that’s pretty much exactly what pundits in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have been saying about TV, video games, and texting.
Dene Grigar, director of Washington State University Vancouver’s program in Creative Media and Digital Culture, laughs and nods. She’s also the president of the Electronic Literature Organization, an international team of scholars and … » More …
The Washington State Twin Registry is a powerful aid in promoting better health.
Glen Duncan is an outlier in an obesogenic environment. While he’s fit and trim, two in three Americans carry too much weight for their own good and are largely sedentary during work and leisure time. It would help if he had a twin to compare himself with. As it is, he studies other twins in the hope of teasing out why some people are drawn to healthy behavior, others not.
Duncan has long been a runner, from high school races to weekend 10Ks. For the past ten years he has practiced … » More …
The first letter in the [August] “Talkback” on the Olympics struck a special note for me. We live in San Gabriel, and prior to 1984, I’d submitted my name as a volunteer for the Olympics.
Imagine my surprise when I got an acceptance letter and was assigned to Santa Anita track…just 3 miles away! It was one of the most gratifying experiences of my life. I was an asker for the jumping and gated activities.
After I retired from the Pasadena city schools, I became a docent for the Huntington Library, Art Collection, and Botanical Gardens. I took kindergarten and … » More …
On the south end of Puget Sound, where I lived for a number of years, water surrounds Olympia: Black Lake, Budd Bay, Capitol Lake, inlets, rivers, and creeks. It’s part of the picturesque scenery that I enjoyed daily, until I saw a half-submerged SUV at an intersection. The storms of 2007 flooded some streets, not to mention covering I-5 just south in Centralia. Water had become an unexpected hazard.
We can expect even more heavy storms and major floods, especially in the Midwest and Northeast, as the climate changes. Floods that were once seen every 20 years are projected to happen as much as … » More …
When the tides are high in parts of San Francisco, Charleston, and Miami, city streets experience an odd new kind of flooding that happens even on bright, sunny days.
In San Francisco’s Embarcadero district, king tides caused flooding between Mission and Howard Street last winter. Seattle’s Georgetown and South Park neighborhoods have experienced sewer back-ups into streets and basements after large storms.
These are quite literally waves of the future, confronted by Hope Hui Rising and her students at Washington State University. They are working on the front lines of sea level rise, developing urban design strategies to help communities adapt.
The Dominican boy had a leaf draped over his head, secured with a length of vine. Anthropologist Marsha Quinlan was intrigued.
“I asked him, ‘Is that a hat?’” she recalls. “And he explained that, no, he woke up with a headache and the leaf makes your head feel better. And I thought that was so cool!”
Quinlan was a graduate student at the time, on her first trip to the Caribbean island of Dominica (not to be confused with the Dominican Republic). And that was the moment she realized she had to delve further into ethnobotany.
How people around the world use plants for food, … » More …