Keiran's World World by word by word
Chanterelle mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of a mycorrhizal fungus. Photo © Charle de Mille-Isles via flickr/Creative Commons

Scooping the dirt on soil

November 29—Celebrating a three-tined tribute to the stuff that makes gardens grow seems odd at this time of year. But Global Soil Week, punctuates the end of the U.N.’s International Year of Soils and ends in a trifecta with Saturday’s World Soil Day, relates as much to winter here as Read more →

Gadget frenzy. Photo © Roland Moriz, via flickr/Creative Commons

Gadget rich and money poor, British Columbians increase household debt

A relative remarked to me recently about a particular couple of our mutual acquaintance. “They both have good jobs. They have a beautiful house. They have no kids. They travel. They drive expensive cars. They heat their garage throughout the winter. Oh, and you should see all the gadgets and Read more →

Christmas sweaters get respect. Photo © UglySweaterShop-com via flickr/Creative Commons

Ghosts of seasons past appear in many guises

During this season of celebrations, seasonal concerts and parties, the subject of holiday traditions inevitably comes up. At a recent party, a friend admitted she had a number of tangible Christmas memories hanging around her place. “I think of them more like skeletons,” she said. “In the closet.” Her closet Read more →

Seeing a patient. Photo © Seattle Municipal Archives

Hollywood dramas influence real-world medical practice

I recently asked Nature Boy when he had last seen a doctor. He answered, “Not since the final season of House M.D.” Other British Columbians share a similar rate of exposure to medical practice. Most of us are more familiar with characters who take medical license on TV than with Read more →

Carolling. Photo © Dwight Sipler, via flickr and creative commons

Consider the messages in holiday carols played in minor keys

“This qualifies as a barbaric cultural practice,” Nature Boy said the other day when we were grocery shopping. “I’m sure I’m not the only person who feels deep and lasting psychological distress at being subjected to holiday carols non-stop from November 1 through December.” He paused to survey the candy-cane Read more →