A brief history of health and medicine

By John Silveira Issue #100 • July/August, 2006 As little as a century ago, the average life span in the United States was 49 years. Today it is 77. Fifty years ago, the average life span...

Gee-Whiz: Coffee

By O.E. MacDougal May/June 2018, Backwoods Home Every second of every day about 26,000 cups of coffee are drunk around the world. That’s about 2¼ billion cups a day. But it’s still not the most widely...

The threat of electromagnetic pulse!

By John Silveira Issue #132 • November/December, 2011 I like "doomsday" scenarios — even ridiculous ones, such as the supposed Mayan calendar prophecy for 2012 or what had been Y2K doom-and-gloom leading up to the year...

Subduction zone tsunami — What the residents of the Pacific Northwest have to fear

<!-- Subduction zone tsunami --> By John Silveira Issue #94 • July/August, 2004 I was sitting in my cubicle poring over a map of the Oregon coast—actually, just that part of the coast that is Gold Beach where Backwoods...

Gee-Whiz: Dinosaurs

By O.E. MacDougal July/August 2014 Backwoods Home Biologists and paleontologists are now pretty certain that birds are part of the dinosaur lineage. Their extinct relatives include the T-Rex and velociraptors. So, dinosaurs are not really extinct,...

Three more ways the world can end … and I’m not kidding

By John Silveira Issue #155 • September/October, 2015 "What are you doing?" a voice asked. I looked up and saw O.E. MacDougal, Dave's poker-playing friend from Southern California, and he's now my friend, too. Accompanying him was...

How big is the solar system?

By John Silveira Issue #60 • November/December, 1999 In artists' renderings of the solar system we often see the sun represented by a small sphere with the planets drawn fairly close by. In truth, drawings like...

Zombie Apocalypse

By John Silveira Issue #134 • March/April, 2012 "Can you survive a zombie apocalypse?" a familiar voice asked. I turned in my seat to see O.E. MacDougal, Dave Duffy's poker-playing friend from Southern California, walking toward me....

Gee-Whiz: From Paper to Canning

By John Silveira (aka O.E. MacDougal) May/June 2017 Backwoods Home The greatest inventions in history are the ones we now take for granted. Fire and the wheel-axle combination are among them. If we weren’t taught in...

Gee-Whiz: Time

By O.E. MacDougal July/August 2016, Backwoods Home Time. We can’t see, feel, hear, smell, or taste it, but we can measure it and we break it up into smaller and smaller increments. We’ll probably never know...

The coming ice age

By John Silveira Issue #139 • January/February, 2013 I'm putting my apocalyptic ice age novel, Danielle Kidnapped, on Amazon's Kindle and also producing a paperback version on Amazon's website. (See the ad on page 65.) The...

The MTHFR mutation and why it may matter to you

By John Silveira Issue #170 • March/April, 2018 This is an article with both anecdotal evidence and science. It is about me, anxiety and depression, a gene mutation, and a 17-cent-a-day “treatment” that works (for me). All...

A doomsday scenario to sleep on

By John Silveira Issue #109 • January/February, 2008 I once wrote a science fiction novel that I never tried to sell. Titled The Perfect Defense, its first chapter appeared in the premier issue of BHM in...

Gee-Whiz: Trees

By O. E. Macdougal September/October 2015, Backwoods Home We’re told they include some of the oldest and largest living organisms on the planet. But do they? The fact is, only about one percent of a...

The world is ending! … Again?

By John Silveira Issue #85 • January/February, 2004 People love to talk about scary stuff. Especially when it's end-of-the-world scary, such as the big asteroid recently in the news that was supposed to hit Earth and...

Testing Soil

By Tom Kovach Issue #119 • September/October, 2009 Testing the soil content of a garden is very important and is quite easy to do. Soil tests are needed because some plants prefer slightly acidic soil, while...