Over the turbulent past couple of years, many Americans have become more politically aware. No matter which party you back, the challenges to balance of power in the United State of America has been complicated by a lack of facts.
Science has essentially been neglected or even tossed aside by the Trump administration. The book Not a Scientist: How Politicians Mistake, Misrepresent and Utterly Mangle Science, author Dave Levitan attempts to identify the many ways in which politicians have abused or ignored science. The book was quite humorous and a quick read. Continue reading
For the past couple of months, I’ve been hiking all over Central Virginia. My wife and two children have joined me several times, visiting some old favorites and several new ones, including some fantastic Virginia State Parks.
I love the outdoors, but this is “work,” as I’ve signed on to write a revision of the great book 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Richmond by Nathan Lott and published by Menasha Ridge Press.
I rarely read books before everyone else and I’m even less likely to finish a book quickly. However, with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Edward Humes’ Door to Door: The Magnificent, Maddening, Mysterious World of Transportation, he had my attention and was I strapped in for a fast ride.
The book is a wonderful read and inspiring to me as a writer and transportation planner. Humes covers many forms of transportation — from walking and biking to rail freight and cargo ships and even self-driving cars — and he touches on how fragile our entire transportation system is, especially thanks to our addiction to the solo-driven automobile. Continue reading
At long last, I finally read Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail. Since it was published in 1998, it only took me about two decades to check it off my reading list.
Bryson’s story telling was fantastic. It was easy to get a sense that for some the Appalachian Trail is a form of sadistic torture for those who have attempted to hike 2,200 miles up and down hundreds of mountains for weeks and months on end. Continue reading
Science is awesome. I recently read “Chesapeake Invader: Discovering America’s Giant Meteorite Crater” by C. Wylie Poag. For a book about science, it is well-written, easy to read and thoroughly explains a fascinating topic, namely “America’s largest meteorite impact crater.”
Though the crater was formed 35 million years ago, it continues to influence Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay. So many mysteries about our region can be tied back into that catastrophic event. Continue reading
I recently read “Wrestling With Moses: How Jane Jacobs Took on New York’s Master Builder and Transformed the American City.”
There were many great lessons in this book, which I recommend not only for planners but for historians and fans of politics. The tales of battles between Jacobs and Moses were well represented in the book. Times have changed so much from the 1960s – I suspect that most of what Jacobs and her committees accomplished would be fodder for social media in today’s world. Continue reading
Harry F. Byrd statue at the Virginia Capitol Square
I’ve been reading Richmond’s Unhealed History by the Rev. Benjamin Campbell. It is a fascinating look back through the more gruesome and dirty details in the history of the settlement and development of Virginia and Richmond.
This is the kind of history you didn’t read in your grade school textbooks and I highly recommend the book.