Redux: N is for Norman, eaten by a lioness

This post originally appeared in March 2012. “It is with the deepest sorrow that I have to inform you of the death of your son Norman. He died after an encounter with a lion near the Keito River in Portuguese West Africa 10/5/15. He made a very gallant fight and killed the lion with his […]

Fukushima’s legacy in the Arctic Ocean

When the official photographer’s helicopter hovered above the Arctic Ocean for the bank note photo shoot, the Canadian Coast Guard ship Amundsen carried Jay Cullen’s oceanographic research equipment prominently on its deck. The icebreaker was to feature on the red Canadian fifty-dollar bill, and Cullen saw his chance at immortality. Unfortunately, when the mint released […]

The Great Polar Bear Debate

Last month, biologist and National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen shot a video of an ailing polar bear. He shared it online to bring attention to seasonal starvation that is aggravated by climate change. The story got my attention: More than a decade ago, in my first real job as a journalist for a magazine about Northern […]

The Historically Slippery Age of Puberty

Puberty is happening earlier now. Girls in the West, particularly those living in poverty, get breast buds a year or two earlier in the 21st Century than they did in the mid-20th Century, and on average the age of menarche—a girl’s first period—has fallen by about 3 ½ months per decade. Boys’ development is accelerating […]

The Last Word

December 11-15, 2017 This week on the Last Word on Nothing: Wildlife tracking can be a way both to keep data on charismatic megafauna like wolves and to involve the public in their individual stories, especially when your protagonist shares her name with a mafia-linked belly dancer, says Emma. Michelle has been looking into ways […]

If you had a third parent, would you know?

On a quiet summer evening in Brighton, Alison Pike was reading to her 9-year-old son the Roald Dahl children’s classic, Danny, Champion of the World—perhaps the most flattering portrayal of fatherhood in literature. Harry turned thoughtfully to his mother. “Sometimes I wish I had a dad,” he said, then paused. “But I’d rather have two […]

Corvid Redux Week: Corvid Cousins

Ann, I see your crows and raise you ravens. With a beak like a Swiss army knife and an intellect to match, the raven is an icon, mascot and pest, as mysterious as it is ubiquitous. For me, as for most people up North, these winged scavengers hover just below my conscious radar. They steal balls from […]

The Last Word

August 21-25, 2017 Cast your mind all the way back to Monday and you may remember something special happened then. LWON had been gearing up for the eclipse with a week of related posts, and this week continued that theme, for an Eclipse Fortnight. Craig stayed home instead of driving the eight hours to the […]