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Once Home to a Roman Emperor, Now For Sale

How did a Roman Emperor's palace end up as a private residence today?

Personal Chemistry

A funny video that imagines chemical elements as people gets at a deeper question. Do scientists anthropomorphize their work, and how does it affect their research?

Otter Nonsense

Otters are notoriously playful creatures. But does their playfulness serve some greater purpose? Or is it really just pure fun?

Anatomy of a Nor’easter

A meteorological and personal recap of the winter storm that left the Northeast buried in two to three feet of snow between February 8th and 9th.

Snowflake Perfection

We often think of snowflakes in terms of the perfect, crystal forms featured on holiday cards and sweaters, but these perfect-looking snowflakes are actually very rare.

Humongous Fungus!

In a forested area along the western edge of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula lurks a very large fungus. It doesn’t inspire awe in the way that a giant redwood or blue whale might, it isn’t grand, and it isn’t majestic, but this prodigious fungus is among the largest living things in the world.

Honey Bees, Whiskey, and Juicy Fruit Gum

For a blog called Smells Like Science, you might have noticed that I haven’t written much about smelly science. That all changes here as I get to the bottom of the “Juicy Fruit: which fruit does it taste like?” debate. Plus, what do Juicy Fruit Gum and honey bees have in common?


Having lived in New England most of my life, I’m not used to seeing rainstorms approaching from miles off, but it turns out this is a pretty common sight out in the wide-open West. I took this picture two weeks ago in Arizona. At the time it was the tail end of the monsoon season [...continue reading]

Photographic Memory

How does the quality of photographs influence our relationship with the past? Plus photographs of the final years of the Russian Empire in vivid color.

Cities Before They Were Cities

Just in time for Earth Day, what did San Francisco, New York, and Boston look like before they were cities?

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