The Hard Realities of Raising Humane Food

This is a story that begins, like so many local controversies, with a post on my local Facebook message board. Last summer, someone posted a photo of a bunch of chickens, perhaps as many as 100, that had been dumped on a road outside town. The hens had obviously been well-cared for, and some of […]

How losing my smart phone made me smarter

A few weekends ago, I hiked a deep canyon with a couple of friends. As has become my habit, I toted my smart phone along. I set it to mute so that I’d remain undisturbed by pings and rings, and I pulled it out of my pack only to take a few photos. After the […]

The value of collegiate sports

As I’ve followed the NCAA basketball tournament (join me and some folks from Radiolab tonight, as we live tweet the final game), I’ve been thinking about the value of collegiate sports. My first experience with sports in college came as an NCAA division I cross-country runner. I lettered in cross-country at the University of Colorado […]

The Last Word

March 10 – 14 This week, Christie told us that story she doesn’t tell. Then lots of other people flocked to the comments to tell theirs. Guest poster Daniel O’Connell asked if there’s gold in them thar evolutionary hills. Cameron wondered if deep-sea species will be soon be forced to have their own reality show. […]

The story I won’t tell

I was having lunch with a vegetarian friend recently, when I caught myself wanting to tell her the story. When you’re a vegetarian, a lot of people — friends, distant relatives, complete strangers — barrage you with the story. It starts like this: “Yeah, I tried going vegetarian once.”  During my 13 years as a […]

Death Barged In

Pia’s birthday was last week. I didn’t call her or send a card or bake a cake. Such efforts would have fallen on deaf ears, because she died six years ago in January. Pia was the older sister I’d never had, and she’d welcomed me into her life with apricots and a warm pot of […]

Breast cancer’s latest saga: misfearing and misplaced goalposts

What’s the number one killer of women? It’s a question that practitioners asked every new patient at a clinic where physician Lisa Rosenbaum once worked, and she hasn’t forgotten the answer given to her by one middle-aged woman with high blood pressure and elevated blood lipids. “I know the right answer is heart disease,” the […]

24 Reasons to Ignore Best Places Lists

The latest issue of Sunset Magazine arrived in my mail last week, and the cover story immediately caught my eye — “24 Best Places to Live and Work 2014.” “Looking for the perfect place to launch a career? Start a family? Just relax? We’ve found the ideal city, town, or neighborhood for you.” For instance, […]