The power of the sun

Fire is useful but also potentially dangerous, even lethal. One need only consider the devastation from wildfires to realize the potential for damage. While hiking at Red Rocks Canyon midday, the blazing sun was a force to be reckoned with. On an exposed trail with limited shade, it doesn’t take long to overheat. Fire, sun, heat–sometimes good…

Challenge the paradigm; change your perspective

After a hard landing following a parachute jump, I couldn’t feel or move my legs. With lengthy surgery and rehab, I regained movement and sensation—not quite as good as before, but better than expected post-injury. After moving to California, I became a patient at the Spinal Cord Injury Center (SCIC) at the Palo Alto Veterans…

Feel the burn

We returned from a week-long vacation to shriveled plants in the yard. The flowers succumbed to a combination of heat and lack of water.  But it shouldn’t have come as a surprise. The northern states were as oppressively hot as the mid-Atlantic, interspersed with occasional deluges of rain that created humidity. Since the end of…

Litter that lasts

The businessman advises The Graduate: “I want to say one word to you. Just one word: Plastics.” We have taken that one word to heart. You don’t have to look far to realize that “plastic” has spawned industries, inventions and unfortunately mounds of trash. Plastics, derived from petroleum or natural gas, have transformed our world…

Whose needs are being met?

What came first: the chicken or the egg? One could argue about that topic without coming up with a definitive answer. But determining whether legs or wheels came first is not debatable. No child has yet been born with wheels instead of legs. Go ahead, google “child born with wheels.” There are no aliens or…

By the numbers…

The average woman today weighs approximately what an average man weighed in the 1960s. Women have grown in girth, but not height. The average man today weighs about what a typical professional football player weighed in the 1960s. So far, the heaviest human was a US man who weighed 975 lbs. Walking speeds vary, but the…

Simple tools

Sometimes the simplest tools are the best. Being in the thesis phase of a grad program, I’ve found that my best rhythm balances head and hands—pairing work projects with the writing that starts most days. Being able to use my hands is always at the top of my gratitude list, after an accident last year…