The Gig Economy

A number of the People of LWON are freelancers.  They work from story to story, one publication after another, holding multiple positions all the while. One reason for freelancing is that staff jobs at newspapers or magazines, which have always been sparse, are now outright rare. So writers go out on their own; they put […]

Zoned Out

There a few moments in your childhood that stick with you the rest of your life. I don’t mean first kiss, prom, or that time you punched Kelly Weir in the stomach for stealing your bike (believe me, he had it coming). Those are big moments. I mean the little things – the things that […]

A Placebo a Day…

The other day I was walking home and I noticed that the local herbal remedy place in the neighborhood had closed down. It was a cheery place, with pictures of flowers on the windows, and often a pretty girl outside to lure in customers. It may have been a tad corporate-looking but I never really […]

What’s in a Word?

Next week, in the July issue of Scientific American, you can read a story I wrote about the fascinating archeological site of Teotihuacan. You may remember it as the Mexican site I wrote about in 2012 with an almost magical ability to draw in hippies. The story focuses on our growing understanding of the politics […]

All Shaken Up

Last Saturday morning at 2:36 AM, Central Time, I woke up to the sound of my house creaking. For a split second I thought I might still be tipsy from the long night out in the La Condesa neighborhood of Mexico City, where I live. But that wasn’t it. “Earthquake!” I yelled and hit the […]

It’s Time to Evolve. Yes, You Too.

A few years ago, I was driving back exhausted from a rock climbing trip in the mountains. My buddy Bryan Fong, was bored and feeling a little punchy. When he gets like this, he tends to bring up politically sensitive topics and starts looking for buttons to press. In this case, he honed in on […]

A Bookseller And His Well

In the May issue of the Rotarian Magazine next month – for those of you who can find it – you will be able to read the full version of a story I did last year on toxic mine runoff in highland Bolivia. It’s a nice story of a tiny valley high in the mountains […]

This Is a Story About Dancing Monkeys. Really.

What do you do if you are trapped in a room with a chimpanzee, a macaque, and a sea lion? The answer, apparently, is pump the tunes and get the party started. This week at the annual conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (basically the US version of the Royal Society) scientists […]