Motherhood Week: O Mother, How Art Thou

“There is something to be said for being with your teenage daughter and not showering for six days,” a mother told me recently. Daiva had just gotten back from a trip to Death Valley with her 16-year-old daughter where they cooked on a backpack stove and climbed over dunes. They drove to the farthest ends of […]

Kiss of the Assassin Bug

    I was bitten the other night. I would have taken a picture of the turgid, blood-filled bug that stuck its rostrum inside of me for a liberal helping of hemoglobin, but my girlfriend smashed it with a rock and spattered the thing while I cheered her on. It was hard to resist the killing. Normally, I try and treat other […]

The Sock Barometer

    I’ve been losing socks lately. One at a time. I correlate this with my state of life and work: picking up and dropping off kids, scheduling plane flights and cross-country drives, article deadlines, a final book manuscript due tomorrow, a blog post tonight. This week, I’m teaching 15 high school classes on the writing process, why we […]

The Last Word

March 13-17   Ann started the week with a Q and A with Sharon Weinberger author of The Imagineers of War, unraveling the history of DARPA, making a secretive weapon-creation agency not so secret, including the rise of the jet pack. Bring your fire retardant pants! Jessa welcomed the new robot overlords, introducing us to […]

Sexist for All I Know

Last night I ran through quotes in my new book manuscript, making sure they were all amply annotated, meaning I spelled the names right. There were a lot of women in this run. For a book on the Ice Age and paleo sciences, mostly archaeology and paleontology, I’d had no trouble finding female researchers to write […]

Holding the Last of Winter

You’ve noticed the cold starting to leave. The light has been strengthening, sun lifting every day, and the wind has lost some of its bitterness. Twenty-three and a half degrees of tilt to the planet, you can feel every degree. Two mornings ago a blizzard hit where I live in Colorado. It was a fierce […]

When America was Great, the First Time

We were great in the Ice Age. Big weapons, big animals, big land. While parts of the world were crawling with hominids for a million years or more, this side of the planet was off limits. Getting here was never easy, not in the late Pleistocene, not now. The Americas are bookended by the world’s two […]

No Rings, Pops, or Bells

I don’t know what to do with my phone. It makes noises that I don’t understand. Sometimes it sounds like a jackpot machine and I want to throw it as far as I can. The last few days I found myself out of range while driving across southern Utah, trying to call my boys to […]