The Last of 2012

Another year is ending. It is a day to take stock of what has happened in the past year….and put off goal setting (i. e. resolutions) for the 2013 until tomorrow.

I started out 2012 knowing that it would be a transition year - from working for a big corporation to doing whatever I pleased and could afford. Some of my plans for the year did make it to reality. I posted to my blog every day and did a lot of writing ‘practice.’ Career and corporate related reading declined; the other topics increased to fill the gap. Most of my travel was planned early in the year and happened as planned - Shenandoah in the spring, Tennessee in early summer, Colorado in late summer, and New York for fall foliage. All the trips were enjoyable and kept me from getting too comfortable on home turf.

There was serendipity along the way as well: watching the heron cam at Sapsucker Woods for hours, attending a Women in Computing conference in Baltimore, volunteering for the Friends group of a local nature center, planting trees and cutting kudzu in a watershed, taking my first Coursera course and participating in the National Novel Writing month. Toward the end of the year I found myself in Texas caring for an older relative and learning more about hospitals, atrial fibrillation, and hematomas than I ever thought possible.

2012 has lived up to my expectation of it being a transition year. I am going to start thinking more about what my expectation is for 2013 for my blog post tomorrow. My initial thought is that the variety I created for myself in 2012 is something I want to continue!

Lady Bird Johnson

Tomorrow is the hundredth anniversary of Lady Bird Johnson’s birth. I’ve been reminded of it by the stamps issued in her honor by the US Post Office.

But today I am thinking about what I remember over the years about Lady Bird. Of course - my impressions are through the veil of the way the media portrayed her….but they are overwhelmingly positive. When I read her A White House Diary, her interests and approach to problems seemed so rational.

Every time I see wildflowers growing along a high way - the mowers avoiding cutting them before they go to seed - I think of her. Her advocacy to remove the eyesore of litter and excessive billboards has been so long lasting that many people in our country don’t really remember that ugly aspect of 60s.

So - here’s to legacy of Lady Bird Johnson.


Gleanings of the Week Ending December 15, 2012

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles I read this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article:

Tasty and Gluten Free - consumer tests done as part of the EU project GlutenFree….appetizing and nutritious alternatives

The Next 100 Years Bring New Challenges to Rangeland Science

Why Is the Flu More Common During the Winter Season?

Strange, Beautiful and Unexpected: Planned Cities Seen From Space - Washington DC is the one in this series of photos from the US

Seven Myths of Performance Management - mistakes may prevent benefits

The catfish that strands itself to kill pigeons - (watch the video)

Top 25 Photographs from the Wilderness #2 - my favorite is the cheetah cubs

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #31 - my favorite is the Goliath Heron

Lion Numbers Plunge as African Wilderness Succumbs to Human Pressure - no good news for lions

Easy microwave fudge - I am going to try the butterscotch pumpkin spice fudge

5 top health benefits of blueberries - one of my favorite foods

3 Free eBooks - December 2012

The Internet has a growing number of online books….and many of them are free. This is the third monthly post highlighting 3 that I have found within the past month.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery have a number of online exhibitions available. The first one I looked at was Lino Tagliapietra in Retrospect: A Modern Renaissance in Italian Glass - but I am now working my way through others that look interesting.

Miltoun, Francis. Italian highways and byways from a motor car. Boston: L.C. Page; 1909. Available at this book includes color and black/white illustrations that capture the essence of a road trip through Italy in the early 1900s.

 Paul May at the Bristol Chemistry Department Home Page has been posting a Molecule of the Month since 1996. Reading the postings for 2012 (or an earlier year) is a short book. Learn about the molecule that gives raspberries their smell and botulinum toxin (anti-wrinkle/neurotoxin).

The previous eBook posts can be found here.

10 Years Ago – In December 2002

Many years ago I started collecting headlines/news blurbs as a way of honing my reading of news. Over the years, the headline collection has been warped by the sources of news I was reading…increasingly online. Reviewing the December 2002 headline gleanings - I forced myself to pick 10.   

  1. Combining Key Ingredients Of Vegetarian Diet Cuts Cholesterol Significantly – soy, nuts, leafy greens
  2. According to the most comprehensive global analysis ever conducted, wilderness areas still cover close to half the Earth's land
  3. The Great Pyramid of Khufu at Giza consists of one million limestone rocks. The number is under half of the previously estimated amount of 2.3 million stones, indicating that the Egyptian pyramid builders were even more organized and efficient than previously thought.
  4. The Eves of the dog world are five or six wolf females that lived in or near China nearly 15,000 years ago
  5. The Olmec initiated many of Mesoamerica's cultural traditions, including urban settlement and monumental architecture…it makes sense that they would be the first to use a system of writing
  6. Ebola shares a closer relationship with several bird viruses than was previously thought, bolstering the case for a common ancestor and hinting that birds might carry the deadly virus
  7. NSF-supported researchers drilling into Lake Vida, an Antarctic "ice-block" lake, have found the lake isn't really an ice block at all. … Antarctic Lake Vida may represent a previously unknown ecosystem, a frigid, "ice-sealed," lake that contains the thickest non-glacial lake ice cover on Earth and water seven times saltier than seawater.
  8. This year, the United States suffered the biggest reported outbreak of West Nile encephalitis in the world, killing 232 people across the country.
  9. Someday stores may sell a jacket that senses your slightest chill and heats up before you even notice the cold.
  10. U.S. greenhouse gas emissions linked to global warming fell by 1.2 percent last year, the largest decrease in a decade, due in part to slow economic growth and a milder winter


Revisiting the Scene of Career Beginnings

Today I am celebrating the place where my career began…..this place launched the career that I pursued (and enjoyed) for the next 40 years. Now that I am making the shift to the next phase of my life - and next career - I am more objective about tracing the threads over the years and a lot of those threads go all the way back to this place.

When I first started in Information Technology almost 40 years ago - the building was as new as my career. The grass was newly planted. The trees along the sidewalk were spindly saplings. I moved away from the area 30 years ago but had an opportunity earlier this week to revisit the place.

The picture at the left is what the building looks like today. Now the grass is thin from soil compaction and too little sun. The trees are showing their age. The bushes that were planted around the foundation are gone but the flood lights that made the side of the building bright still exist. They helped me feel more secure when I arrived for test time on the computer at 4 AM 40 years ago. The brick has cracked below the large windows and been repaired. The railings along the sidewalk to the front door and the likes on poles are still the same. The whole scene looks remarkably enduring after 40 years.

I didn’t go inside but I could tell some things from the sign our front that the building is no longer used for a computer. It is a support building for the hospitals in the area so the original design for providing abundant cooling is still probably in use.

Christmas Decorations as Heritage

As I got out Christmas decorations this year, thoughts of how and when they became part of the collection contributed to the joy of unpacking the bins and boxes.

The oldest ornaments were acquired when I was in elementary school in Wichita Falls, Texas. The caroling girls candle holder (minus a candle) was a gift from a friend. The gold and red tree was part of a set purchased by my mother and then passed along to me about 20 years later; I remember the drug store as a place we got a special treat for me: ‘cherry limeade with plain water.’

The felt birds were among the first ornaments for our tree as we moved into our first house almost 35 years ago. It was a red and white themed tree for years - birds and apples and lights.

The dough ornament is part of a set made by my sister almost 25 years ago - before either of us had children.

The ‘old woman’ ornament was purchased by my mother-in-law over 20 years ago; there is an ‘old man’ too. They were just a small part of her contribution to the one Christmas she lived with us. She really enjoyed decorating for Christmas!

The ‘tomato’ is part of a set of vegetable ornaments that we got by saving labels from cans - my daughter enjoyed them as a baby and now - 23 years later - our cats sometimes take them off the tree.

I am celebrating the memories of the many Christmases these decorations remind me of today.


Scissors are a popular tool. One of my grandmothers always used to emphasize using the right tool for the job - and somehow scissors are often the most appropriate tool.

I have accumulated many pairs of scissors over the years - rarely lose them - and am surprised at how frequently I use them. There are the black handled office scissors that I use for opening packages and envelopes as well as trimming labels and stickers to the perfect size. The red handled sewing scissors left over from long ago when I made quite a few of my clothes. Now I use them infrequently and mostly for just cutting thread and patches rather than yards of fabric. Cuticle scissors have done double duty to tighten the tiny screws in eyeglasses. The sturdy kitchen scissors I use most frequently of all - cutting up herbs, pizza or pieces of chicken; they are the scissors that tend to wear out from use and myriad passes through the high heat of the dishwasher. And lastly - the steel scissors I inherited from my mother-in-law. I don’t know their whole history but they are still quite sharp and I think of her every time I pick them up to cut wrapping paper or curl ribbon or open a package.

3 Free eBooks - November 2012

The Internet has a growing number of online books….and many of them are free. This is the second monthly post highlighting 3 that I have found within the past month.

Cooper-Hewitt. Kata-gami : Japanese stencils. Washington: Smithsonian Institution; 1979. Available at - Another feast for the eyes. It is hard to pick a favorite but I keep coming back to “Grain Plants on a Lattice” on page 19 (partial image at left).

Mathew, Frank James; Walker, Francis S., illustrator. Ireland. London: A&C Black; 1907. Available at - Look at this one for the illustrations. They are in color and depict Ireland in the early 1900s. 

Clock, Emma Graham. Wild flowers from the mountains, cañons and valleys of California. San Francisco: H.S. Crocker Co; 1915. Available at - How many of these do you recognize? The flowers are ‘reproductions from water colors’ - strikingly vivid against black backgrounds (example at right). 

The previous post is here

10 Years Ago – In November 2002

Many years ago I started collecting headlines/news blurbs as a way of honing my reading of news. Over the years, the headline collection has been warped by the sources of news I was reading…increasingly online. Reviewing the November 2002 headline gleanings - I forced myself to pick 10.  

  1. Earthquakes and volcanic activity over the past few days in Indonesia, Ecuador, Pakistan, the United States and Japan are totally unrelated to each other or to the seismic events surrounding Italy's Mount Etna, experts said: the earth is not going to crack.
  2. Elderly adults who perform as well as younger adults on certain cognitive tests appear to enlist the otherwise underused left half of the prefrontal cortex of their brain in order to maintain performance. In contrast, elderly people who are not "high performers" on the tests resemble younger adults in showing a preferred usage of the right side of the prefrontal cortex.
  3. A severe shortage of people in the United States who know languages used by terrorists and who can decipher intelligence
  4. A team of astronomers, routinely monitoring Jupiter's moon Io, have witnessed the largest documented volcanic eruption in history.
  5. Last year's Nisqually earthquake caused damage to nearly 300,000 residences or almost one out of every four households in the Puget Sound area
  6. About 10,000 years ago, glaciers pushed the range of North American earthworms southward and today the only earthworms found in most of Minnesota are non-native species introduced from Europe. New research suggests that non-native earthworms are radically changing the forest floor in the northern U.S., threatening the goblin fern and other rare plants in the process.
  7. Enormous Irish Temple Discovered Underground once surrounded by 300 towering oak posts…each tree was approximately 2.2 yards wide.…dates from 2500 to 2300 B.C.
  8. In the 1930s, wild turkeys were near extinct and numbering only about 30,000… the wild turkey population now stands at around 6 million.
  9. Nepal - A security officer at the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu has been shot dead by unidentified assailants in what police said appears to be a deliberate escalation of violence by Maoist rebels.
  10. Open-heart surgery was performed without opening the chest


Gleanings of the Week Ending October 27, 2012

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles I read this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article:

'Time-Capsule' Japanese Lake Sediment Advances Radiocarbon Dating for Older Objects - provides a much more precise way to examine radiocarbon ages of organic material that is 11,000-53,000 years old

Poetry in Motion: Gemini Observatory Releases Image of Rare Polar Ring Galaxy - two galaxies interacting

Shuttle Endeavour’s Complete LA Journey - less than 3 minute time lapse video of Endeavor’s trek through LA streets from National Geographic

Space Oddity - comments from Richard Watson about the famous picture of the earth seen from the moon

Roasted Sweet and Spicy Butternut Squash - my grocery story has bins of the squash already cut up…making this recipe very simple. I’m going to try it.

Antibiotic Contamination a Threat to Humans and the Environment - a study from Greenland

New Way to Mimic the Color and Texture of Butterfly Wings - a way to create colorful surfaces that won’t fade like conventional pigmentation

Archaeologists to Mount New Expedition to Troy - less than 20% of the site has been scientifically excavated. Without about 4,500 years of nearly uninterrupted settlement at a crossroads between Europe and Asia…there is a lot to learn

'Large and Dirty' Companies Adopting Greener Strategies to Earn More Green - more companies are seeing environmental safeguards as a business opportunity to embed innovations that save production costs in the long term and that also improve their standing as good corporate citizens in the public mind.

A Long and Winding Road: Cassini Celebrates 15 Years - It’s already sent back some 444 gigbytes of data and more than 300,000 images. There is a still a lot in the plan for it too - before it enters Saturn’s atmosphere on September 15, 2017.

OneZoom Tree of Life Explorer - a zoom in and out visualization of the mammal ‘tree’ from Imperial College London; the project’s goal to eventually include all life on Earth

12 Expert Tips for Fall Fitness - from Marlo Thomas. Anything on this list you should turn into a personal habit?

Ada Lovelace Day Celebrates Women in Science - it was 10/16…and I didn’t see the story until too late. I’m celebrating away. And - becoming more of an activist for the idea that we need more women in the sciences. When I was in college in the 70s, I thought the increased availability of education would lead to increased women in the sciences but the numbers didn’t increase the way so many of us thought they would by now.

The Conversation Project - a starter kit with tools and tips to have the conversation about ‘when it comes to the end of life, I want mine to be…..’

Design for the Public Good (infographic overview of an exhibit at the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco)

Gleanings of the Week Ending October 6, 2012

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles I read this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article:

Sunrise time lapse at Havre de Grace

Earthworm invasion: Aliens causing more harm than good? - Did you know that there are different kinds of earthworms….and they influence what kinds of plant grow?

America’s Greenest Presidents - Teddy Roosevelt tops the list….but Richard Nixon is second!

Celebrating the Remarkable Mark Catesby - the man that published the first scientific description of the New World’s plants and animals….his first trip to America was in 1712. Several of his illustrated books are available online via Botanicus

6 Futuristic Sci-Fi Gadgets That Actually Exist - hurray for self-driving cars!

15 Ways to Enjoy the National Park System This Fall

2012 time lapse of Aurora Borealis from Denali (video)

100 Million to Die by 2030 If World Fails to Act on Climate - and more than 90% of those deaths will occur in developing countries

Nantucket Cranberry Cake - I’m going to make this rather than cranberry sauce this year!

Is it green to be green? - infographic comparing costs of ‘green’ vs ‘non-green’ choices over a life time

10 Years Ago – In October 2002

Many years ago I started collecting headlines/news blurbs as a way of honing my reading of news. Over the years, the headline collection has been warped by the sources of news I was reading…increasingly online. Reviewing the September 2002 headline gleanings - I forced myself to pick 10. 

  1. A Florida man who was lost at sea for more than two months was rescued 40 miles off the coast
  2. Canada plans to create 10 huge new national parks and five marine conservation areas over the next five years to protect unique landscapes and animals 
  3. Enrollment at major Canadian schools by U.S. citizens has risen by at least 86 percent over the past three years, to about 5,000 students.
  4. King Tut - an abnormal curvature of the spine and fusion of the upper vertebrae, a condition associated with scoliosis and a rare disorder called Klippel-Feil syndrome, which makes sufferers look as if they have a short neck.
  5. Sniper keeps D.C. area on edge
  6. Jimmy Carter wins Nobel Peace Prize
  7. Peruvian archeologists have discovered a complete mummified human skeleton in the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu
  8. Bacteria found in a 2,000-year-old piece of cheese could be the final evidence that this food was a continuous source of infectious disease in the ancient Roman world.
  9. All 115 hostages killed in the raid that ended a Moscow theater standoff died of health problems stemming from the gas used by Russian forces to end the siege
  10. About 150,000 years ago, an anomalous ice age was triggered by an increasingly salty Mediterranean Sea, a development that's occurring today and may start new ice sheet growth in the next few decades

Gleanings of the Week Ending September 29, 2012

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles I read this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article:

Speaking of Science: September 2012′s selection of notable quotes

Gender Bias when Hiring Scientists - Both male and female researchers are less likely to hire a female candidate than a male candidate with the same experience.

Pictures: Fire "Tornado" Spotted—How Do They Form? - from National Geographic

Flatworld Knowledge Catalog - online that textbooks that can be read online for free

Chia Seeds - more ideas from VegKitchen on incorporating chia seeds into your diet every day

Cloud Collector’s Reference - from the Cloud Appreciation Society

Lighter-than-air craft rise again - made possible by advances in materials and computer control systems…potential for transporting freight, big enough to be a hotel, casino or spa

Snacking Outside the Box - geared to children…but these are good for adults too

Of Frogs and Embryos - micrographs that could be art

Chip Kidd: Designing books is no laughing matter. OK, it is. - Book cover designs you’ll recognize and how they came into being

Gleanings of the Week Ending September 22, 2012

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles I read this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article:

Another Way to Think about Learning - from Nicholas Negroponte, chairman of the One Laptop per Child Foundation

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #22 - from the Wild Bird Trust

Antlion  - otherwise known as doodlebugs…find out what the ‘bug’ at the bottom of that conical pit really looks like?

Antietam 'Death Studies' Changed How We Saw War - 1862…. photography of the aftermath of the battle at Antietam

Does cracking your knuckles cause arthritis?

New Test House to Generate More Energy than It Uses - a stereotypical suburban house that can generate as much energy as it needs to run

U.S., Russia Move Closer To Sharing Their "Beringian Heritage" - Beringia National Park in Russia to be linked with Bering Land Bridge National Preserve and Cape Krusenstern National Monument in Alasak

Crews Uncover Massive Roman Mosaic in Southern Turkey - 1,600 square feet of mosaic….from a Roman bath

Rx Guide for High Blood Pressure - BP medications are currently failing millions. The author of a new book on the topic says “Despite their best intentions many physicians continue to place their hypertensive patients on blood pressure medications, drug combinations or doses that may not be the best treatment available to them”

Give peace (and quiet) a chance - Is there any place to hear the early morning bird song without the backdrop of traffic?

10 Years Ago – In September 2002

Many years ago I started collecting headlines/news blurbs as a way of honing my reading of news. Over the years, the headline collection has been warped by the sources of news I was reading…increasingly online. Reviewing the September 2002 headline gleanings - I forced myself to pick 10.    

  1. Jordan is hoping to save the Dead Sea from dying completely by channeling in water from its large and less-salty southern cousin, the Red Sea
  2. Millions of Muscovites have been advised to stay indoors as thick smoke from forest fires shrouded the city.
  3. A Pennsylvania judge has imposed an injunction against Hershey Foods from selling itself
  4. Military jets have resumed round-the-clock patrols over New York and Washington as the anniversary of the September 11 attacks approaches.
  5. World Security Tight Ahead of 9/11
  6. Milk and other dairy products can be as effective as some conventional fungicides in controlling powdery mildew in vineyards
  7. Using DNA extracted from the dung of wild elephants in Africa, biologists have determined that three different types of elephants exist on the African continent
  8. The Pyramid Rover -- a robot the size of a toy train -- took two hours to crawl through a narrow shaft in the Great Pyramid outside Cairo, drill through a door at the end and push through a camera to reveal: another door.
  9. A top Russian space official has proposed temporarily shutting down the International Space Station (ISS) because the cash-strapped country can no longer pay its bills
  10. "Vampire" appliances cost consumers $3 billion a year -- or about $200 per household. 


Blog: September Celebrations

September begins tomorrow. What do you celebrate in September? Here are some items that are listed on my calendar.

Labor Day on 9/3. It makes a 3 day weekend for many in the US. Even though summer is not officially over until later in the month - Labor Day is typically the last hurrah of summer. Schools are starting and swimming pools are closing. Celebrate with end of summer foods like watermelon and corn on the cob.

Grandparents Day on 9/9 in the US. If you have grandparents living, this is a prompt to celebrate your relationship with them by sharing some aspect of your day with them. If your grandparents are deceased, acknowledge the legacy they left and their positive influence on your life.

First Day of Autumn on 9/22. In most parts of the US, the majority of leaves will still be green but this is a good time to get organized for cooler weather - deciding on additions/deletions for your fall wardrobe - and to plan a fall foliage excursion for the appropriate time in your area. Celebrate the change in seasons.

And - there are two Jewish holidays celebrated in September 

  • Rosh Hashanah on 9/17.
  • Yom Kippur on 9/26.


Gleanings of the Week Ending August 11, 2012

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles I read this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article:

NASA images reveal massive forest die-off from tiny beetle - Before and after satellite pictures of Colorado

Movement Along Fault Line Threatening Cliff Palace At Mesa Verde National Park

Video Sampler Introduces You To The More Than 20 National Parks In Virginia

Zentangles - Get more out of doodling!

Black Drink: Evidence of Ritual Use of Caffeinated Brew at Cahokia - made from a holly tree that grew hundreds of miles away

10 Green Ways to Improve Our Cities

Sky-High Design: How To Make A Bird-Friendly Building - tweaks to make modern architecture better for birds

How Olympic athletes' bodies have changed over the last century - an infographic from NPR

The Bison: A National Symbol for All Americans - From National Geographic…the first post in a series about the American Bison

Chart: the world's endangered mammals - From the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The primates are faring the worst with 49% of the species being ‘threatened’ - which means that they are threatened with extinction. Overall - 21% of mammal species are in ‘threatened’ status.

Pictures: Surprising Effects of the U.S. Drought - From National Geographic

Past, Present, Future - Where are your thoughts?

We all go through cycles where we become skewed temporarily; overwhelmed by something in our past or worrying about something in the future. If we are at a high school reunion or looking through a book of old family photographs our thoughts are probably dominated by the past. If we are checking on our retirement savings or planning a wedding anniversary party for our parents we are thinking of the future.

Normally the present dominates.

Is that true through all of life? That may be counter to the traditional ideas 

  • Of the young being more focused on the future - growing up fast and making a place for themselves in the world.
  • Of the old thinking more about the past because they have more life that is past than ahead. 

Having past the mid-point in my life (assuming I might be lucky enough be healthy at 100) - I have been thinking about how my thoughts have shifted over the years. I enjoy history in the broad sense but tend to enjoy only brief sojourns into my own. It is true that now there are more pictures of my past and more opportunities for reconnecting with people from years past. But I remember enjoying looking at the baby book my mother had created of my early years even before I was 20 years old. Seeking to savor our personal past is not just for people past mid-life.

I’ve always enjoyed planning which is clearly a future oriented activity. Thinking of things that might happen and developing contingency plans…playing with ‘what if’ scenarios…has always been part of the way I set out to accomplish the goals I set for myself. Earlier in my life my planning was oriented to career and young family goals; now my planning is focused on goals for an older family and the next generation (i.e. grandchildren) when and if they arrive. While all along the way I’ve had an overarching desire to leave the world a better place; now I am thinking more about that more frequently as well.

So - what about today? Between the foundation of the past and the potential of the future - the present is always where the action is.

Gleanings of the Week Ending July 21, 2012

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles I read this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article:

Jared Ficklin video - (TED talk) sound visualization

Photos: Big sunspot kicks ball of energy toward Earth - views from the STEREO Ahead spacecraft and the Solar Dynamics Observatory over the past year

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #16 - from National Geographic

Brits Top Energy Efficiency Ranking; US Ranks 9th (Out of 12) - Wow! Even China is ahead of us. How can we be competitive with so many of the major economies of the world ahead of us in this arena

States Lead in Freeing the Grid for Small-Scale Renewable Energy - How well is your state doing?

New Metric for Obesity Strongly Correlated to Premature Death - A Body Shape Index (ABSI) is a combination of Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist circumference

Web Quiz Tells You Which Presidential Candidate Best Fits Your Worldview - Interesting quiz

Cassini Spots Daytime Lightning On Saturn - Seen for the first time on the side illuminated by the sun

Green Plants Reduce City Street Pollution Up to Eight Times More Than Previously Believed - and they look good too! Green 'billboards' of vines or grass may be more effective than trees.

Storm Scents: It's True, You Can Smell Oncoming Summer Rain - Just what are you smelling before, during and after a summer rainstorm? Here are some answers from Scientific American