Gee-Whiz: Alcohol

By O.E. MacDougal Backwoods Home Did early man first cultivate grains just to get drunk? The brewing of beer is older than civilization and goes back at least 9,000, and perhaps more than 12,000, years. Evidence of...

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....

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: 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...

Science and truth. Are they related?

By John Silveira Issue #46 • July/August, 1997 It was an argument about science. Dave and I were on one side, Dave's friends Tom and Bill, though curiously nonallied, were on the other. I say nonallied...

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...

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...

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...

Can we make a Tyrannosaurus rex from a chicken?

By John Silveira Issue #169 • January/February, 2018   Do you have chickens, ducks, turkeys, or geese in your yard? They’re not “just birds” because scientists now realize birds are dinosaurs. Real dinosaurs! For 150 million years,...

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...

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...

The gee-whiz! page — Cats: Why they rule our world

By O. E. MacDougal Issue #170 • March/April, 2018 House cats A recent Gallup poll showed that cat ownership is pretty much evenly distributed between men and women, and that roughly 34 percent of all U.S. homes...

Gee-Whiz: Bad Fish, Big Fish

By O.E. MacDougal January/February 2015, Backwoods Home Fish were the very first vertebrates. That is, they were the first animals with backbones, the purpose of which is to sheathe and protect the nerves in the spinal...

The world is coming to an end… and this time, I’m not kidding

By John Silveira Issue #114 • November/December, 2008 If you haven't already heard, on September 10, 2008, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), located on the border of France and Switzerland, was turned on for a test...

Theories of the universe

By Dave Duffy Issue #66 • November/December, 2000 In a relatively short span of time, mankind has travelled from profound ignorance of our planet and the world in which we live to a rather detailed picture...