What Should We Do About Comments?

I have a policy: never read the comments. This rule applies to most of the publications where my work appears online, such as FiveThirtyEight, Slate and The Washington Post. (LWON is the exception. Comments left here require approval before they’re posted, and I read them all.) It might seem unfriendly to ignore people who are […]

The POOS Personality Matrix

I’ve got a confession to make. Despite living in the age of the BuzzFeed quiz, I’m not one for personality tests. I don’t know what Harry Potter house I would be in, what Myers-Briggs type I am, what “Big 5” personality type I have, or what Disney Princess I would be. But recently I have […]

Redux: Boobies Behaving Badly

In 2015, I wrote a post ostensibly about a funny-looking seabird called the booby. It’s about evolution and biology I suppose but in truth, it’s really about the forces of nature that drive at least some of our actions. And how those forces aren’t always good.  In my last post I made the case for why we […]

How To Be A Good Online Friend

For better or for worse, I have a lot of experience dealing with online harassment. I also have a lot of experience with friends who are kind and caring and largely oblivious to what online harassment looks for feels like. Which is good! I hope they never have to experience it. It is not fun. […]

Guest Post: Deep and Unspoken Hopes

With fewer than a dozen days left until Election Day, I’m having a hard time looking at the news. The blurzy noise of the past few months has become unbearable: polls, rigged elections, pantsuits, emails, orange, yelling, balloons. I’m still processing some of the answers I gave my ten-year old when she blurted out at […]

A Wolf Dies

“The Silver Lake Wolves” sounds like the title of a young adult novel, or possibly an indie rock band with lots of close harmony and beards. Actually, it was the name given by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to a small family of wolves […]

How Sexual Harassers Get Away With It

  Donald and Billy on the bus and the sexual harassment and assault allegations against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, including at least 20 lawsuits accusing Trump of mistreating women, have left many people asking why more women don’t report sexual assault and harassment when it happens. I’ll tell you why: it’s a terrible burden to be forced into […]

Your Brain on Sexual Assault

This recent revelation about Donald Trump and crotch-grabbing has triggered an outpouring of stories and memories. I posted something on the matter on Facebook and people’s deeply sunken tales came out comment after comment. The same has happened on a national scale. People are stepping forward with their stories. A friend of mine, a touring […]