Dr. Martin Poliakov
Dr. Martin Poliakov

Chemicals are amazing things, especially for a nerd like myself who can watch YouTube videos of this man with wild frizzy hair – who looks like science – Dr. Martin Poliakov of Nottingham University, for hours on end. If you have even the slightest interest in Chemistry, I highly recommend checking out the Periodic Videos channel; it will educate and entertain for hours. Continue reading “Oxytocin”

Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring

While today it is almost heard exclusively at weddings and during the seasons of Christmas and Easter, “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” or more properly in German “Jesus bleibet meine Freude” by itself, it is the final movement of longer piece. The cantata “Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben” was composed by Johann Sebastian Bach between 1716 and 1723 during what is known as his Weimar period.  Today it is rarely heard in its original setting. Continue reading “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”

…that word; I do not think it means what you think it means.

“You keep using that word; I do not think it means what you think it means”

-Inigo Montoya (the Princess Bride)

I try not to pander to the pedantics of politics in my my blog posts, but this morning I woke up with this quote from The Princess Bride running on repeat in my head. Today’s earworm, as with most words that end up being earworms, seem to be without external stimuli. But everytime it happens I still try to figure out what prompted the day’s particular thought or song. Looking to explain its peculiar presence in my mind, I began to think through things I had said, done, seen, or read the previous day or night – one thing sticks out in my mind. Continue reading “…that word; I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Azimuth | Music of the Spheres

Major celestial bodies, like the larger, nearer planets or lower magnitude stars are easily found in the night sky without much need for computerized assistance or even coordinates. One can just walk outside at night and using a finder scope quickly home in on those objects. However, a large portion of the objects that fill the night time sky: planets, moons, higher magnitude stars, nebulae, distant galaxies are not observable by the naked eye or even with lower magnification finder scopes; thus it is necessary to use coordinates on a chart to find these objects.
Continue reading “Azimuth | Music of the Spheres”

An Innocent Man

This morning I was greeted by the sounds of Billie Joel’s well loved “I Am an Innocent Man” stuck on repeat in my head. Billy Joel is so much more than just a piano man – pun intended – he’s a sociologist, a balladeer, and an historian.  His music covers a slew of social issues far bigger than the artist, including topics such as the Vietnam War, the Cold War, the struggle of American steel workers and North Atlantic fishermen to make ends meet, and the effects of mass media on popular culture. Continue reading “An Innocent Man”


This ‘word’ didn’t exist until just now. My brain concocted it this morning as I woke. ‘Mellifervescent.’  From the Latin mel, mellis (honey) + -(ef)fervescere (boil up, seeth, bubble, effervesce). The only thing I can think of that could be directly described by this new word is sparkling mead.
Continue reading “Mellifervescent”