Panama City: Historic, Modern, and Vibrant

This could be Miami. The thought hits me for at least the hundredth time since I arrived here in Panama City, Panama. Blue waters, green parks, and tall glass buildings blend together in, if not harmony, at least a reasonably peaceful understanding. It stands in sharp contrast to most other major Central American cities I've…

How Greenwich Changed the World

There are so many things I take for granted in my life, and especially when I travel. I carry in my pocket more computing power than existed in the entire world in 1980. My phone tells time and always knows where I am. It's hard for me to remember a time before smart phones, let…

Salisbury and Stonehenge

"It's just a stone circle." "It's too crowded." "I don't see what the big deal is." These were the things people told me before I went to Stonehenge. And... yes, it's a stone circle. Yes, it's crowded, even in the pouring rain. But Stonehenge is absolutely a big deal. For that matter, so is Salisbury,…

The Most Amazing College Town

The Wren Library is bright, despite its complete lack of electric lighting. Even on this cloudy day, its huge glass windows allow more than enough sunshine in for the eight or so researchers and librarians lucky enough to work here, and the fifteen visitors allowed in at a time. It smells of old books, of…