Snark Week: A Lurking Threat That Wants To Eat Your Testicles

It was a sunny morning in Ton Sai Beach, Krabi, Thailand, 2003. The birds sang, the Andaman breeze blew its gentle perfumed air through the trees as I sat down to my morning banana pancake. Oblivious to the danger lurking above me. Watching. Waiting. My girlfriend and I were on a yearlong rock climbing trip and, as […]

The Map Box

I keep a wooden box on my bedside table. It’s cheap – an old Yalumba Wine case that I found on a curb somewhere, with a hinged lid and a shred of price tag still attached. Usually, it’s stacked high with magazines half read, a thing seldom opened and often dusty. But in all of […]

Sensory Underload

Three years ago on about this day in early June I was stuck in a whiteout. Camped in an icebound mountain range in south-central Alaska, my buddies and I found ourselves pinned down for two days in near-zero visibility on an icefield. A heavy, snow-laden sky had come down and smothered us. As mountaineers say, it […]

Guest Post: Pip, Part Two

(Pip too big for jar) One year ago I rescued a one-eyed tiny frog, a spring peeper, from my pool.  Since then I have gone to lengths to not only keep it alive, but also to try and make it happy, as if that is something that is doable, rational, or admirable. I have long […]

Funny Bird

  Here comes dawn. The sky yawns and the sun flicks its lids above the horizon. But just before the lights come up on Virginia’s rolling hills, the sound of morning commences. Can we call it a song? That might be a stretch. There’s a certain musicality to it. You’re no doubt familiar with its silly refrain. […]

Pictures with an 8-Year Old: A Failure of Citizen Science

I’ll start this at the beginning.  Recently Friend of LWON, Chris Arnade, posted a picture of himself — which itself was not unusual because Chris is, among other things, a photographer and posts pictures of himself right along with pictures of other people. But the picture was unusual.  Chris is a very serious guy and always […]

Damage Patterns

The other night I was in the midst of writing about the Ice Age when I strayed to the internet. Up came the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography that went this year to New York Times photographers Mauricio Lima, Sergey Ponomarev, Tyler Hicks and Daniel Etter for their coverage of the European refugee crises. Fresh from writing a […]

Book Review: The Informed Parent

Being a new parent is a lot like trying to land an airplane with an engine on fire: barely controlled chaos in which all kinds of people are yelling different ideas in your ears. None of it is all that helpful but no one is volunteering to take the controls either. How long should you breastfeed? How […]