Glory be! I spent last weekend just hanging out at home, taking advantage of the November hiatus between all the usual fall events and activities in these here parts. Sort of like taking a breath before things start gearing up again next week with the Festival of the Cranes, followed by Than…

Happy All Hallow's Eve! Today's the first day of Dia de Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. Dia de Los Muertos has nothing whatsoever to do with movies or TV shows, but an honoring of family members who have passed on.

This month we are in for a special rare treat given us by the tiny planet Mercury. It is often difficult to see Mercury as it is usually only visible for short periods of time near the eastern or western horizons in the early mornings or evenings. On Monday November 11, Mercury will appear a…

I decided to swing by the Hamfest Saturday morning out at the Fire Training Academy, where all the ham radio operators get together once a year to check out the latest in the shortwave radio world and swap stories. And to be clear, Hamfest has nothing to do with ham … you know, the kind that…

Events Coordinator Sandi Lucero helps in putting together a variety of programs that showcase and raise money for New Mexico Tech University throughout the year. El Defensor Chieftain visited her crowded advancement office as the school was preparing for the 100th anniversary of the 49ers parade.

It happens every year. Just when I’m really enjoying sleeping with the bedroom window open, things outside change. No, I’m not talking about the imminent zombie apocalypse seen so often this time of year on movies and TV. Rather, the temperature unexpectedly dipping down to freezing.

Bathsheba Demuth has written "an Environmental History ot the Bering Strait " in Floating Coast. She starts with the story of the whales, much abused till the environmentalists came along, since we used them for their oil and blubber and baleen. Sometimes whales were so smart that they notic…

The three-day celebration of being indigenous and from Alamo kicks off Friday. It’s Indian Days, when the whole reservation turns out. There’s a parade, Indian market, traditional Navajo singing and drumming and dancing, lots of food, arts and crafts, and the Miss Alamo Indian Pageant.

For several weeks now, I’ve been venturing out in the rural areas to watch chile being harvested by local farm laborers. As an old farm girl, I never tire of watching crops being harvested.

New Mexico schools are back in session, and the fall sports season is well underway. We all have heard the horror stories of angry parents on the stands yelling at the coach, the referee, other parents, and even student-athletes.

Unbelievably, in the young, frenzied, “trending” world of craft breweries, a Dallas outfit has hit breathtaking new lows. The Manhattan Project Beer Co. features canned varieties pitifully named Half-life, Necessary Evil, Plutonium-239, Hoppenheimer [Get it?], and Bikini Atoll. Although Oppe…

This past Monday was the official first day of fall, or if you’re one for correctness, the autumnal equinox. If you’re one for detail, it happened at 1:50 a.m. And if you’re one for astrology, it’s the first day of Libra, a time of reflection, understanding, and balance. If you’re not one fo…

Avast, me hearties! Shiver me timbers! Today is Talk Like A Pirate Day. Someone once said the autumn wind is a pirate, and we’re on the verge of the end of the season with the first day of fall just a few days away. So, up that rigging and break out those sails and watch them fill with the c…

The great Boreal Forest is a broad, emerald ring encircling the globe — a crown of fir, larch, pine and spruce, with alder, aspen and birch scattered through it — extending south from the Arctic tundra. This dense, vast, virgin forest encompasses most of Alaska, Canada, Scandinavia, Russia a…

Today marks the 110th anniversary of the invention of rubber, synthetic rubber that is, giving the erstwhile rubber tree a much-deserved hiatus. Since then just about anything and everything has been synthesized into synthetics by the syntheticians, from synthetic oil to synthetic vegetables…

Here we are into September already and they’re telling us in the big city media summer is unofficially over the day after Labor Day and the smells of summer are wafting their last. And I’m thinking here of charcoal briquettes.

With the Socorro County Fair finishing up last week, I can’t help but reminisce about my time spent in 4-H, attending the local county fair and the lessons I learned back in Iowa. Growing up around chickens, ducks, geese, hogs, cattle and more, it was a natural progression when you turned th…

Michael Voegerl has been the Director of Student Affairs and International Programs Coordinator at New Mexico Tech University. With students coming in for the fall semester, Voegerl and his staff are in the early stages of providing services that will aide in the success of incoming and retu…

My vote for the bumper sticker of the week: “I’d Rather Be Showin’ Pigs.” Yes, the Socorro County Fair is in full swing this week. A county fair is one of those great American levelers where you’re not judged on who you are, but rather what your pig looks like. Or goat or chicken or lamb or …

I decided to take a few days off last week, and since we’re out of the dog days of summer and into the cat nights of August it seemed like good timing. I have no idea what that’s supposed to mean, but it was a chance for me to get back to the practice of sitting on the back porch, piddling a…

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