My History or Yours?

My fiction project about a black girl growing up in antebellum Kansas and Philadelphia tends to generate a lot of curiosity. People want to know why I am not writing about Indian Americans. Or about historical indians. What could possibly resonate with me about a black girl in the 1850s? How could I possibly understand…

the long habit of invention

After initially stumbling on clumpier-than-expected Martian soil, the Phoenix lander has successfully revised its soil-delivery methods to fit the conditions on the ground, so its research can continue. What’s awe-inspiring about that (aside from the fact that we have robots smart enough to fly to Mars, navigate the atmosphere to land properly, explore the surface,…