Go Occupy Those Forlorn Chairs

It’s summer, and I’ve been thinking of what poet Billy Collins called those, “forlorn chairs/though at one time it must have seemed/a good place to stop and do nothing for a while.” Even situated, as they usually are, to take in the view, it’s hard for those chairs to compete with the attention-grabbing distractions found […]

Guest Post: Upvote This Post, Pleeease!

You won’t believe the 17 ways you’re doing online science journalism wrong! Number 25 will make you cry[1] Are you a long-time science journalist? Maybe just starting your career and seeking exposure? Maybe only have a vague idea of what science even is? In today’s online marketplace, it doesn’t matter. If you can write quickly […]

A Council of Writer Dads

Sunday is Father’s Day, a national holiday built around the giving and receiving of ugly ties, power tools and camping gear. I’ve always felt that Father’s Day is a sort of second class holiday – an awkward “me too” to Mother’s Day that is just a tick above Administrative Professionals’ Day (4/22/15) and Fairy Day (6/24/15). […]

Truth vs. Beauty, Again

I haven’t got much on my mind today that I want to think about so I distract myself with pictures. This one, as science pictures often do, conflates beauty and truth and let me repeat, beauty.  It’s a result of letting the Hubble Space Telescope take repeated pictures of a single cluster of galaxies.  Clusters […]

The Tyranny of Planned Obsolescence

The post has taken me entirely too much time to write. Not because I’m procrastinating or writing slowly, but because I’m being held hostage by the spinning beach ball of death. I bought my current iMac in early 2011, which means that enough time has elapsed that the Apple Care warranty I purchased with it […]

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 […]

We Are Still Arguing About Jonathan Franzen

Since Jonathan Franzen’s essay “Carbon Capture” went live on the New Yorker’s website last week, environmentalists and the journalists who write about them haven’t been able to stop bickering about it. Whether Franzen was wrong-headed or visionary, dumb or prophetic, he clearly touched a nerve when he asked, “Has climate change made it harder for […]

The Greatest Athlete in the World

On Wednesday, at 3:25 Pacific Standard Time, two scruffy, skinny men embraced atop Yosemite’s El Capitan. To the casual observer, just a couple dudes in a national park trying to get off the mountain before sunset. Yet, these men had accomplished something so amazing that the sitting US president would call and congratulate them. So difficult […]