The Last Word

Happy 12th month, readers! Lurch with us into December with these fine offerings: On Monday Christie brought back a 2015 essay in which she reminds us that, sure, posting our most enviable moments for all to see is good fun, but it’s way less fun than the actual doing. “When we focus on the rendering,” […]

Redux: A Case of J-Shame

This post ran back in June 2016 after the shooting in the Orlando nightclub. I’m running it again because, sadly, it is as relevant as ever. The atrocities keep coming, and as a writer I continue to feel unsure of how to handle them. (Here’s what’s happened since then.) ———— I’ve been working on a […]

The Last Word

Did you miss anything from last week’s LWON joint? Have a look at the offerings. Craig gave us sand—in our hair, in our teeth, in the minds and hearts of children. He waxes poetic about his family’s tackling of Great Sand Dunes National Park. Eric, in a Redux, opens a window to a very personal […]

There’s Shrinkage

I love it when research into other animals is totally applicable to humans. A recent report on the common shrew (Sorex araneus), by Max Planck Institute researcher Javier Lazaro et al., reveals that the animal’s head shrinks drastically in winter. That includes its brain mass. Running this discovery up the food chain, I think I […]

It’s Raining Baby Oak Trees

These early fall days have been especially musical here, in my house under the trees. The mornings ding and clink and the afternoons ping and donk and the nights are broken up by knocks, clangs, and cymbal crashes that startle me awake. (Part of my roof is metal.) It’s the acorns falling, but in a […]

The Last Word

Greetings, Gentle LWON Readers, Here’s what happened this week on your favorite science blog: Guest blogger Elizabeth Svoboda made us a little woozy (in a good way) in her post about seasickness. In her essay she dives into the psychology of her own gut-wrenching experiences. Then Rose rolled her eyes at the shock many men […]

Speaking of the Trees

The fires, the fires. When I started writing this some weeks back there were 137 of them torching forests across the American West. There are many fewer now—thank firefighters and weather—but so far they’ve consumed some 8.5 million acres of trees, some of them old growth, many of them on parkland filled with wildlife. British […]

The Last Word

And how did we entertain our gentle audience this week? Hopefully with great aplomb, Oxford commas, and the finest of verbs. You be the judges: Rose kicked off the week explaining why talking about online harassment to people who get harassed, rather than to harassers (who don’t bother showing up to listen), seems pretty damn pointless. […]