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...

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...

Gee-Whiz: Ice Ages, Past and Future

By O. E. MacDougal January/February 2016, Backwoods Home Most people don’t know that we’re currently in an ice age and have been for the last 2.58 million years. It’s called the Quaternary Ice Age. Again and...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Avian Flu — How afraid of this

<!-- Avian Flu How afraid of this chicken should you be? By John Silveira --> Issue #97 • January/February, 2006 There's been a lot of talk in the mass media recently about Avian flu, also known as Bird flu and...

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...

The ‘risks’ with Swine Flu

By John Silveira Issue #118 • July/August, 2009 Do we have anything to worry about the reemergence of Swine Flu — Novel Influenza A (H1N1) — this fall? The short answer is: Probably not. There are...

Gee-Whiz: Insects

By O. E. MacDougal November/December 2015, Backwoods Home Some 400 million years ago, in the Devonian Period, insects evolved from crustaceans. Since that time, they have been one of the most successful life forms on the...