The Last Word

April 6 – 10 Have you ever had to endure the smug cocktail party contention that “biology is just chemistry, chemistry is just physics, and physics is just math” (and so all of life is reducible to math)? Abstruse Goose demolishes that glib noise with a thought experiment that reverses the formula. Michael Balter’s brontosaurus story […]

Journalists Should Act More Like Scientists

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” — Some wise person who wasn’t Einstein. “I don’t think we need to necessarily institute a lot of new ways of doing things,” [Rolling Stone managing editor, Will] Dana, said. “We just have to do what we’ve always done […]

G is for Goddamned Goshawk

I knew something was wrong the moment I opened the orchard gate. My guinea fowl were squawking like crazy, buckwheat!, buckwheat!, and none of my two dozen or so chickens were anywhere in sight. I scanned the area around the poultry barn for signs of a predator, but saw nothing. Until I reached the chicken […]

I Did It Dad! I LOVE This!

I’d been pondering the consequences of modern self-chronicling when Facebook sent me its rendering of my life in 2014. If Facebook’s Year End Review is any indication, my life boils down to this: adorable dogs, skiing, trail running and mountain biking. Lots of mountain biking.

Sassy Smocks and Moist Panties

  Words are a writer’s currency, and we each have our favorites. The first word I remember falling in love with was onomatopoeia. It had a satisfying rhythm, plus there was the delight of discovering, oh — there’s a word for that. That joy of discovery was exactly what I felt reading Lost in Translation, […]

The Last Word

January 5-9, 2015 Roberta tried out the Japanese art of decluttering and offered vindication to pilers like me with news of a study finding that people who organize paperwork in piles accumulate less stuff than those neatniks who file them. Guest poster Anne Sasso told us about her devotion to a pocket calculator so beloved […]

Ira Glass is Not My Friend and Some Thoughts on Serial

Last year, I told a story for This American Life (TAL), my favorite radio show. My story was about being so lost in grief over my sister-in-law’s death from cancer that I mistook a pizza delivery guy for an undertaker. My error wasn’t as ridiculous as it seems. The pizza guy had the wrong house, […]