The Noodle Scratcher

I was forced to wear a bike helmet when I was a kid. Our house was on a fairly busy road and my mom was (and still is) a total safety nut; a bad combination. What she didn’t know is that I tossed the helmet into the woods whenever I got beyond the view of


Quieting Our Cleverness

“But, why?” These may not have been the very first words I uttered as a child but, much to my parents’ chagrin, these were certainly my two favorite words to say, repeatedly, incessantly. To this day, they remain a daily inquiry. Not to say it’s a bad thing, I owe these two little words a

Idea Ecotones

After sitting and observing in my local park for several minutes, I was taken aback by the incredible number of edges that I noticed: cloud-shaped boundaries between plants, pockets of light and dark where snow gave way to dark soil beneath, trails of use and lack thereof. The more I considered these edges the more

Nature’s Business Plan

If you have a new idea for a business, conventional wisdom says that you need to write a 3- to 5-year business plan and then execute that plan. You want a business loan? Write a business plan. Want a grant? Write a business plan. It’s easy, of course – there are hundreds of websites and

The Year in Biomimicry: Mussels, Elephants, Water Bears and More

It’s that time of year again; time for the second annual Tommies, my 2010 kudos to the most impressive of recent bio-inspired designs or discoveries. As always, I will arrange the awards by the creatures that inspired the innovations, and invite any of the discoverers to have an Irish coffee with me at the Buena

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