The Quaking Giant

On the western edge of the Colorado Plateau, in the mountains of central Utah, is a tree that weighs an estimated 13 million pounds—as much as three giant sequoias, or 55 blue whales, or 10,000 grizzly bears. (Hey, I just thought you might like to imagine a pile of 10,000 bears.) This tree is the […]

Truth + Beauty

A couple of Harvard astronomers just wrote an essay in a new journal called Nature Astronomy.  That’s not the most riveting opening sentence you’ve ever read; I apologize. But the essay was odd, a kind of rumination-with-examples about how things in astronomy on vastly different scales nevertheless have similar structures.  That is, electrons orbit atomic […]

Cicada On My Window

I’ve written before about how much I like seeing a bug on a window. Usually I see those bugs on the outside. This is a story about a bug that I saw on the inside. It was a chilly morning in November. I was in a hotel in Tatopani, a Nepali town along the Kali […]

My Latest Bad Business Idea: 3D Printed Custom Menstrual Cups

Friends of mine know that I’m full of weird, mostly bad business ideas. There was the science tattoo consultant service, to help fact check your tattoo before you put the wrong DNA sequence on your body. There was the Brooklyn dog running company, that would go for runs with your dog. There was the proposal […]

What’s the Poop?

I have been paying attention to poop and where I find it. This isn’t a passing interest, I’ve been noting for years where animals choose to squat. In the out of doors, you can’t help noticing because they squatted to get your attention, like a billboard that reads GOTCHA! With a little chub of scat […]

A Tale of Two Fish

I am taking care of two fish this weekend. One is a nice, respectable goldfish. It’s orange and black, it lives alone in a bubbling tank with some seaweed and a little fake wooden log to swim through. It eats a few pellets of food every few days. The other has three eyes, and it […]

The Othering of Tom Hayden

I need you to know this: I had my name before he was famous. And though my family moved from Detroit to Saskatoon during the Vietnam War years that made him so, I need you to understand that my father was never a draft dodger. I have no quarrel with the decisions, to flee conscription […]