Welcome to OZ, by Penny Smith

The arrival of a new movie about the last months of Judy Garland’s life started me thinking about my first encounters with her professional work. It was all those “Let’s put on a show” movies with Mickey Rooney. You’d rush to your neighbor’s house after school (they...

Beware Invasive Species, by Penny Smith

At Governor’s School, where I taught for several summer, a famous computer scientist from MIT was once a guest speaker. I’m talking a name that was off the charts in his field. Yet, early in his lecture he completely lost his audience of high schoolers, when he...

An Imperfect Metaphor, by Penny Smith

Organ Pipe Cactus National Park is in Arizona. It contains some of the oldest plants in the United States and is one of our globe’s most fragile eco-systems. Home to Saguaro and Pipe Cacti, it also houses at least 22 archeological sites. Its existence is so rare and...

American Numbers Game

Golf and Hurricanes: a Story of Two Sets of Numbers By Penny Smith In an age of truthiness, even numbers lie. Well, one could argue they have always concealed facts (see Mark Twain: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”). Yet the skewed...