Blog | California

Summer’s end. Also, mountain lions.

Yesterday, my neighbor told me there’s a rampaging mountain lion in our area. Well, not rampaging exactly, just causing some trouble for a few of the neighbors, but he likes us to be cautious. Mountain lions aren’t really a danger to people, especially when there are so many deer around. Because they do occasionally take […]

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Blog | Not California

Aliens are so not real

As a science writer, my official position on ghosts and aliens is that they Do Not Exist. As a layperson who really likes to watch Ghost Adventures, I love ghost stories and tales of alien abduction. It’s all fiction, of course. Officially. In case you’re wondering, and you’re not but I’m going to tell you […]

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Blog | Not California

The Grand Canyon is sick of all the lookie-loos

It seems wrong to visit the Grand Canyon and not write something about it, especially since I’ve written something about every other national park we visited in the American southwest. But what can I say about this place that hasn’t already been said? Hmm, this seems like an exercise in “finding an angle.” Here’s my […]

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Blog | Not California

When meteors make that giant sucking sound

On our way to Flagstaff, we started to encounter speed limit signs: “Motor vehicles: 50mph. Meteors: 26,000mph.” My kids did not notice, of course, because they had their faces buried in their stupid phones. As usual. But at least there are minor benefits to the phone stuff because when we pulled into the parking lot […]

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Blog | Not California

How Metropolis lost the West

I have a kid who loves ghost towns and abandoned places, so every time we go anywhere we end up hiking down some overgrown, abandoned railroad tracks or getting way closer to a crumbling former hotel than we’re supposed to. So driving through Nevada was kind of like going through a time portal in the […]

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Blog | Not California

American castles

I love castles. I mean, I would never live in one because ghosts, but I love the stillness of a centuries-old stone building, the scale, and the history that you can feel in your bones even if not much of it has ever been written down. Anyway, America is great and everything but it doesn’t […]

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