I heard it on NPR. Researchers linked DDT exposure to obesity generations later. I was skeptical, with thoughts such as, “correlational data…” and “rats are not humans…” and even, “isn’t this like inheriting an experience? sort of Lamarckian, right?” I was intrigued. How could an external influence (DDT) result in changes that are inherited? I was glad to find open access to the original published research. I’ve learned some stunning things. An environmental event in one generation could affect the phenotype in subsequent generations! And in this case,…

Fall permeates Southwest Portland Terwilliger’s Totem. Hints of Germany tucked away in Multnomah Village. Nasturtium (native to Peru) petals tickle pollinators while they reach for deep-set nectar. Fleeting sun and blue sky reflected in shop window. An unripe pumpkin has run out of time. Halloween comes quickly. Flames of maple. Watchful. Far from arid Persian origin, pomegranates split; fail to ripen Community uproar over sale to developer. Due-sprinkled web in prickly teasel. Promise of spring. Embryonic pink bloom inside the rhodie’s bud. Licorice fern.  

We were on the last half of a long hike when we came across this sign (kindly note the people running in both directions) which reads: “There is a risk of part of the glacier breaking off into the lake and causing a flood wave in the stream! Please cross the bridge QUICKLY! Do not stay near or play in the water!” We were somewhat excited and kept our eyes peeled for the bridge that we needed to cross quickly. We passed at least 3 more warning signs….

When in Switzerland, my day begins with cheese; a trail lunch will be either cheese and crackers or a stop at a chalet for some fondue. During this last trip, I became attuned to the nuances in flavor, even within the same appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC). How does cheese get its taste? My investigation began during a rainy day visit to La Maison du Gruyère My favorite part was sniffing the various alpine plants which alpine cows eat. Finding #1. Flower-filled Pastures with a View of the Alps…