Turning Left on 39th

I grew up in rural and small-town midwest.  Some people were richer than we were, some poorer.  And being normal, hierarchizing humans, we always knew who was rich and who was poor.  But regardless everybody went to the same grocery stores,  schools, churches, dime stores, movie theaters, summer concerts.  In other words, nobody was so […]

Guest Post: How the Bolivian Navy Became Landlocked

Cassandra wrote a post about the landlocked Bolivian navy in which she explained, in passing, that Bolivia once had a coast but lost it to Chile in the War of the Pacific.  One of the comments on that post, by guest poster Nick Suntzeff, was a post in itself and we thought you’d like to […]

An extraterrestrial social experiment

When I put on the metallic silver unitard and homemade alien mask that rainy morning, I had no idea that I was about to embark on one of the most stressful weekends of my life. How could I? I love wearing costumes. One Halloween, I dressed as a vulture-like Skeksis from Jim Henson’s The Dark […]

Guest Post: the Grandmother Hypothesis

Recently I’ve started seeing examples of those much-mocked New York Times trend stories that are not about Millennials, the way the trendiest trend stories usually are. In the articles I’ve been noticing, the trend-setters are Baby Boomers — who are, according to the Times, relocating to New York City to help raise the grandkids. Now […]

I Got the Post Puppy Blues

Anybody who knows me at all, in any context, probably knows that I adopted a dog two weeks ago. It’s all I talk about all the time. Sources know that she might try to get in my lap during an interview. Friends know that they’re invited over any time to see her and teach her […]

Boobies Behaving Badly

In my last post I made the case for why we are not, in fact, slaves to nature and our genes. Today allow me to do the opposite. First let me set the stage. You are on a tiny island – maybe the size of a few city blocks – looking out to sea. You could […]

Animals in their Seasons

Bowhunting season in Western Colorado opened yesterday, which means the rut is underway, the next season coming into view. By the time you see this, I will be sitting in the quiet of the woods with my 12 year old boy listening for bugling elk, their haunting, whale-like calls rising through dusk aspens and sea-green […]

Guest Post: I Had a Hamster. I’m Pretty Sure He Killed Himself.

This week, while working on a little story for Science about hamster emotions, I decided to do some hard-hitting journalism, so I called my mother. “Mom, I want to know what happened to Hamlet,” I said over the phone, interrupting her dinner party in California. A pause. “Really?” Hamlet was my childhood hamster. He looked […]