Dirk OdenDirk Oden




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Science Humor

Science Essays - The Best of Science Spectrum*
An online collection of science-related essays

Hummingbirds in a Nutshell
If you are like most people you have seen and heard them. You are amazed by their acrobatic adventures and appreciate the beauty of their iridescent coloring. But you may not know a lot about...more

An "En-lightning" Experience
A number of years ago my family had a hair-raising experience - literally. We were climbing Uncompahgre Peak, and our excitement over the nearness of the summit was stronger...more

On Time Machines and Buried Treasure
As a science enthusiast I often hear people debate whether it will ever be possible to build a time machine. I am not sure why there is such a debate as I have a time machine and enjoy...more

Is Anybody Out There?
There is no doubt about it, we have been invaded by aliens! Actual alien beings have not traveled to our planet, of course, but they have definitely become a part of our culture. Hollywood...more

More Than Sticks and Mud
As a child I was fortunate enough to spend many of my summers at a guest ranch high in the San Juan Mountains. Near the ranch was a chain of twenty-eight beaver ponds, one of which...more

Sir Isaac and Seat Belts
Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven" was written in memory of his young son who died in an accidental fall from a multistory hotel window. In a tragic instant, his son climbed out the...more

El Nino (What Child is This?)
We will remember for some time the record storm that buried the front range in several feet of snow in late October. On one hand, cities were paralyzed. Roads were closed, businesses...more


Winter's Wonders Come in Small Sizes
(Also appeared in Colorado Outdoors)
One of the things I look forward to every Christmas vacation is spending a little time cross-country skiing in an area of the San Juans that is seldom visited by other people. Winter's...more

A Sign of Spring in the Air
Punxsutawney Phil may have recently seen his own shadow (as well as those of many reporters), but my own family's personal indicator that spring is somewhere around the corner

It's About Time!
It dominates our lives. If we don't know what to do with it we just kill it. If we can't find it, we still use it. We can spend it trying to save it. Whether we take it, keep it, or give it, we still run...more

Asteroid "near" miss: false alarm or wake up call?
March 11, the day my last column ran, will no doubt be remembered as one of the most significant dates in science this year. The importance of this date, of course, has nothing...more

The Dipper: Plain, yes, but not so ordinary
(Also appeared in Colorado Outdoors)
While standing at the edge of a beaver pond watching for any clue as to which fly I should use, a movement out of the corner of my eye caught my attention. Glancing...more

Dikes of the Spanish Peaks Still Stand the Test of Time
For anyone who has coasted into Walsenburg from the top of La Veta Pass, the Spanish Peaks are a familiar sight  A double-dose of rugged beauty, the twin peaks dominate the...more

Sometimes Earth Just Goes With the Flow
There is a river near Lake City that is rather unusual. In some places, it is over 1000 feet wide and 300 feet deep. Yet you can stand in the middle of it and not get wet. At just four miles...more

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*Science Spectrum was a monthly science column by Dirk Oden appearing in Lifestyles Magazine in seven Valley Publishing newspapers in Southern Colorado.






This site was last updated 02/16/09