Irma, Harvey, and Awe

Irma, Harvey, and Awe

Awe: "an emotion variously combining dread, veneration, and wonder that is inspired by authority or by the sacred or sublime" (Merriam-Webster) I spent a good part of yesterday (Sunday, September 10, 2017) watching Hurricane Irma blast Florida on live TV. I watched a...

Hurricanes’ cruel beauty

Hurricanes’ cruel beauty

It's ironic how lovely a deadly hurricane can look from outer space. It resembles a spiral galaxy, which also looks much more docile from afar than it would feel if you could ricochet around its gaseous stars. (See the resemblance below.)   Spirals hold a lofty...

Totality

Totality

The total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017 in many ways encapsulates GeoSensibility. If you saw it (total or partial), and if you had any experience of awe as the moon crawled across the sun in the sky, you have a sense of what I'm talking about. I was in Torrington,...

Tour de France

Tour de France

There couldn't possibly be anything more boring than watching a bicycle race on TV, except watching a golf tournament, or maybe fishing. Right? But after hearing excited commentary every morning for two weeks on FranceInfo, a news station from Paris, I finally turned...

While you’re brushing your teeth…

While you’re brushing your teeth…

I'm a little behind on my National Geographic Magazines, and I finally read through the February 2017 issue this weekend. The gorgeous photos in the cover story, Saving Our Seas, impressed me not just for their underwater brilliance, nor because they offered some...

Aviation waypoints – practical and clever

Aviation waypoints – practical and clever

Mark Vanhoenacker, in his wonderful book Skyfaring: A Journey with a Pilot, talks about waypoints. These are points on aviation maps with easily pronounceable - and sometimes cheeky - five-letter capitalized words. He calls them "the sky's audible currency of place."...

Atlas Obscura around the world

Atlas Obscura around the world

Well, this is cool. Atlas Obscura, which "catalogues the most unusual, surprising, and amazing places around the world," has a clickable map. I have the Atlas Obscura book on my dining room table, and I flip through it at random during breakfast when I'm avoiding the...

What’s that down there?

What’s that down there?

I posted this to my Facebook friends last month and was pleased I got a winner. I'm returning from a vacation, on my way home to Denver but soon to land elsewhere before getting my connection. The photo is cut off at the top - I'll try to fix it. But for now, an...

Shortwave magic

Shortwave magic

When I was about ten, my grandfather gave me his Zenith shortwave radio. It looked like this. I think he gave it to me because I’d expressed interest in it at his house, and he was not using it. I remember sitting in the basement, the antenna raised to its limit so it...