America the Beautiful

I don’t often shill for multi-billion dollar corporations, but the past few weeks have got me thinking about one of my all-time favorite commercials. It’s the now-famous ad for Coca-Cola that features “America the Beautiful” being sung in multiple languages. The commercial irked a surprising number of people when it first aired during the Super Bowl Read More …

Hillsides and Hippies

There’s a very good chance that you and everyone you know have probably seen the photograph in the overhead banner hundreds of times.  That’s because Microsoft used the photo as its default desktop wallpaper when it released Windows XP way back in 2001.  This was around the same time that approximately 95% of Americans were Read More …

The Verdict Is In

While watching the first episode of Cosmos last night, I found myself wanting to scribble down notes each time Neil deGrasse Tyson effortlessly rattled off an amazing fact about the universe.  That, my friends, is the sign of a good show.  I’m sure there are more comprehensive reviews of the first episode elsewhere on the Read More …

Cosmos Redux

Hard to believe that more than thirty years have passed since Carl Sagan first shared his remarkable labor of love, Cosmos, with the rest of the world.  The thirteen-part miniseries was an instant success and an unlikely cultural phenomenon.  Originally broadcast on public television in 1980, the show spread the gospel of science to hundreds Read More …

Dr. Egon Spengler

The world of cinema has lost another great one.  Harold Ramis made some truly great movies over the years.  My personal favorite was Groundhog Day, one of the most profoundly original movies of all time.  You can listen to Ramis reflect on the film’s enduring popularity and spiritual appeal at this link.  Fans of the Read More …

The Real da Vinci Code

This week, my students will begin learning about some of the strange ways that art and science commingled during the Renaissance.   For example, they’ll learn how Leonardo da Vinci used his considerable artistic gifts to improve our understanding of science and medicine.  It was fortuitous luck that I also just happened to come across Read More …