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...
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...
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...
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...