My Liver’s Bloody Buddy

Periodically, I get an MRI to confirm that all is well with my internal organs. It’s because at one point some years ago all was not well. As a result of my bodily dysfunction, I now have no spleen, a tailless pancreas, plus ulcerative colitis and weird chronic pain and the beginnings of arthritis in […]

Jewish TMI

In my family, we talk an awful lot about bowel movements. If. When. Consistency. Pain level. I call my Aunt Judy. “How are you?” I ask. “Terrible,” she says. “All I do is schlep back and forth to the bathroom. Sometimes I sit on the toilet and cry.” I call my Dad and his lady […]

The Last Word

The big theme of the week at LWON: Nature. Probably because many of us who should be in puffy coats and moon boots (remember moon boots?) have been sunbathing and strutting around in flip flops. But Rose kicked off the week with a look inside, at our digital limbs (cell phones) and computer-network-wired brains (think Facebook). […]

Saccorhytus coronarius Is Your Weird Cousin, Too

Let’s get down to brass tacks. Mouth. Anus. Reproductive bit in between. Isn’t that all one really needs to get by? I’m oversimplifying, of course. Lungs are helpful if you live on land, for example. But check out our newly discovered really ancient fossilized ancestor. Saccorhytus coronarious, unearthed recently by paleontologists in sedimentary rock in […]

Stop Underestimating Chickens

One of my favorite things about my usual writing beat (living things) is that we humans never stop learning new things about animals. We’re even still discovering species that are new to science. (Check out the glorious ruby sea dragon, previously known only from beach corpses, and Hoolock tianxing, a gibbon just determined to be its own […]

A Matter of Choice

My friend, I’ll call her Anna, is dying today. She was dying yesterday, too, and tomorrow she’ll be even closer to death than today. That’s true of all of us, I suppose, but she’s on the fast track: Her gut is so clogged up with cancer that there’s nothing left to do for her but […]

Thanks, Kids

The girl sits on the edge of the chair with her knees pressed together, hands twisting in her lap and chin jutting out slightly. Her braids are tight and smooth, hanging just past her shoulders and secured with matching red bands. A little comic strip kid, neatly drawn, eyes big and sparkling. “I can’t believe […]

Looking Up

About seven years ago, a good friend of mine experienced an unthinkable tragedy. Her 38-year-old cousin—to whom she was extremely close—and the woman’s two young daughters were walking hand in hand to school when a driver, having passed out due to an illness, swerved into them. They were dragged to their deaths. Ever since, my friend […]