Listening to Vernal Pools

Alicia and I went for a walk in the woods around a local pond and heard this very loud sound coming from the side of trail opposite the pond. We followed the sound and found this vernal pool.

Take a listen, can you help us identify the sounds in the video? Leave your responses in the comments.

Happy Greening!
Jon and Alicia

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Neil deGrasse Tyson came to Medford and it was Awesome!

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Tyson in 2017 receiving Stephen Hawking’s Science Award

Last week I took my teenagers to an amazing talk by Neil deGrasse Tyson, famed astrophysicist and climate science (and all science) proponent.  We didn’t actually know the topic for the talk, but when someone like him comes to your home town theater and you can get tickets, you just go.

He was engaging from the start, teasing the audience that we had all chosen to come to an astrophysicist’s talk willingly.  Throughout he made numerous jokes that the geek in me and many others enjoyed.  The part of his talk that sticks with me and that I am going to share was about TRUTH.

Neil deGrasse Tyson explained that there were three kinds of truths:

  • Objective truths are established by evidence.
  • Personal truths by faith.
  • Political truths by incessant repetition.

He was very clear that personal and political truths are real and that everyone is entitled to them, but he did have a big point about them.  Legislation and policy should NEVER be made based on personal or political truths, they should only be based on objective truths.  Unfortunately, the current administration is anti-objective truth and only seems to operate from personal and political truths.  He called for us to speak up and challenge untruths and require objective truths from our elected officials.  

While climate change was brought up several times during the talk, it wasn’t the focus.  He also very briefly pitched his newest book, Accessory to War: The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics and the Military, as well as his best selling and much easier and shorter read, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry.  He wrapped up the talk with a bit of hope, by looking at the number of twitter followers of top pundits from the conservative and progressive perspectives, and surprisingly to me, the progressives dwarf the conservatives in this respect.  

Neil deGrasse Tyson ended the talk with a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. that is as important now, if not more important than when he first said it:

“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Happy Greening!

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887 miles on first tank of gas in our minivan

graph of electric vs hybrid miles driven

We recently purchased a Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan and we drove over 25 days and 887 miles before our first fill up at the pump. Over that time we only used 13.3 gallons of gasoline, which works out to 66.7 MPG for a 7 passenger minivan.  … [Continue reading]

First week with our new plug-in minivan, the Pacifica Hybrid

fuel gauge showing 7/8th of a tank of gas

Driving our new plug-in Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid has been amazing this week. With the exception of one problem, which I'll get to later , we have been very pleased with this plug-in hybrid minivan.  The acceleration is fun, so far I've … [Continue reading]

How we went from zero to owners of a plug-in hybrid minivan in 2 weeks

Blue Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Minivan

The weekend started off as pretty much every weekend, our kids had a ton of lessons and practices to be shuttled around to and Alicia had yet another sustainability conference she was trying to get to. This one happened to be at Tufts, which was … [Continue reading]

Cute Kids and Cats

One of our sons is internet-obsessed.  He was very excited to learn that we have a blog (it's as old as he is!) and a YouTube Channel.  He thinks it's very important to have a post on cute kid and cats.  He even posed with the cats so … [Continue reading]

How bad is Bitcoin for the planet?


With the value of Bitcoin (and other digital currencies) more than doubling in December, lots of people are exploring mining for fun and profit.  I get it, I'm interested too.  Who wouldn't want to take an idle computer and have it … [Continue reading]

Busy little Hummingbird

hummingbird collecting pollen

Back in April, I was in San Diego, California for a conference.  While walking back to my hotel room, I came across this cute little hummingbird who caught my attention. Happy Greening! Jon If you liked what you just read, … [Continue reading]

Checking the Bee Hive

It's an important practice to check your beehive periodically.  We check ours to see if the bees are doing a good job filling out their frames and if they're ready for a 2nd brood box.  We also check for evidence that the queen is laying … [Continue reading]

Camping in the Rain

When you've got a trip planned with 40 of your favorite people to hang out with, you just don't want to cancel because of a little rain!  My babysitting exchange, which also includes the members of our bee co-op, likes to go camping every … [Continue reading]