Energy and the Environment: Global Issues, Local Actions

by Nancy McGuire, Wordchemist.com A newly assertive federal executive branch, push-back from the legislature and judicial system, unintended effects of social activism, unanticipated effects of leaking storage tanks and Arctic thaws, who’s using coal, reasons to “go green” that don’t involve tree-hugging — 2014 will have no shortage of news …

Where Do We Go From Here?

Last in a three-part series on unmanned vehicles (see Part 1 and Part 2) At present, unmanned aerial vehicles — “drones” in popular parlance — are used for military surveillance and strikes, civilian environmental and wildlife monitoring, and scientific research purposes. Private citizens use remotely operated toy airplanes and helicopters …

What Is a Drone?

Second posting in a three-part series (see previous post) Recent news stories have familiarized us with military drones bearing names like Predator and Reaper. Popular television shows feature tiny spy drones, conjuring images of CIA black ops. You could be forgiven for assuming that drones are a new and pernicious …

Don’t Drone Me, Bro

by Nancy McGuire (wordchemist.com) (Washington, DC) A quick news search on the word “drone” pulls up associated words including “strike”, “attack”, “secrecy”, and “protest”. Polls and surveys indicate that the word “drone” triggers an anxious response, based on military-heavy news coverage and fears of the various things that drones have …

Can We Talk?

(Reprinted from Flying Lessons: verbal-aviation.blogspot.com) My year off is officially over. I’m still at home, but I’m actively looking for work. Maybe that will be a job in the conventional sense of the word, or maybe it will be a more creative way to bring in income. I’m not sure. …

Signal to Noise Ratios

Back to the science metaphors today. I got to thinking about how radically I have emptied out my schedule this year, and how it’s helping me pay attention to things too long ignored. Improving the signal-to-noise ratio, as it were. Right after grad school, I spent three years as a …

No Scientist is an Island

The myth of the lone scientist working tirelessly into the night in his converted garage lab is compelling, but fictional (at least over the last 100 or so years), according to the panelists at How to Save America’s Knowledge Enterprise, a May 21 symposium sponsored by Future Tense (a collaboration …

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