Holiday Review: Why Blog?

On a recent episode of the literary podcast All Write Already! Susan Orlean said, “I’ve always been skeptical about the value of blogs.” While I agree with her arguments in favor of writing for pay and under the guidance of an editor, I’ve also come to believe that under the right circumstances (i.e. you are not blogging […]

Y’all Need this Word

  Most people don’t adopt a new manner of speech in their 40’s, so when my husband recently started using the phrase “y’all” I wondered what was up. It wasn’t like his Swiss parents taught him to use this slang, and he’d grown up in Colorado, where y’all is uttered only by Texas transplants. After […]

The Last Word

25- 29 November This week, we gave thanks. Ann pointed out that sexual harrassment may be a subset of a deeper inability to keep other people from suffering the consequences of your own inner demons. Kant is involved. Jessa identifies a central mechanism keeping us from flying off into virtual existences — that pesky inner […]

Obsessions, Dreams and Premonitions

  For most of my life, I’ve been obsessed with plane crashes. It began when I was in first grade, and my dad and his squadron went to Turkey on TDY (temporary duty assignment — the military equivalent of a business trip). They were there to practice dropping bombs from their fighter jets. Dad qualified […]

Physicians Who Do Harm

First, do no harm. It’s a commandment often incorrectly attributed to the Hippocratic oath yet it provides an ethical foundation for modern medicine. The American Medical Association’s principles of medical ethics begins, “A physician shall be dedicated to providing competent medical care, with compassion and respect for human dignity and rights.” But what happens when a […]

The Last Word

21 – 25 October What happens to sperm and egg donors in the era of cut-rate genetic testing? Cassie discovers that anonymous donations come with a cost. A growing class of viral clips — generally misinterpreted as cute or funny — actually shows animals in anger, pain, or sexual arousal,  says guest poster Whitney Robles. […]

A Taste of Authenticity

Growing up, I hated red apples. The grocery store specimens, which were always Red Delicious, looked pretty in the grocery bin, but their perfect skin tasted slightly bitter, their flesh bland and mealy. I didn’t mind varieties like Yellow Delicious, Granny Smiths, or Galas, but they still provided too little flavor to evoke desire. I […]

FAQs about breast cancer screening

Regular readers of LWON know that I’m fed up with science denialism among breast cancer advocacy groups like Susan G. Komen for the Cure®.  As I write in the Washington Post today,  I’m also exasperated with my doctor (one I won’t be going back to). I’ve been reporting on breast cancer and mammography for more […]