So Hard Core

Many years ago, before I was a science writer, but after I tried being a scientist, I spent some time in the outdoor industry. It’s a weird phrase, I know, but it covers anything related to activities like skiing, backpacking, kayaking and generally avoiding getting a real job. We did a lot of guiding and working at summer camps while […]

Ethical Quandaries

Last weekend, nerds from across the US and the world gathered in Cambridge Massachusetts to discuss the media coverage of other, often bigger nerds. It is known as the National Association of Science Writers annual meeting and it’s one of the highlights of my year. This year I thought it might be fun to participate […]

What’s Your Word?

Living in a foreign country can be exhilarating. Every time you step out your front door you are exploring a strange and exciting land. It’s like you are always on vacation. Likewise, reporting in a foreign country can be amazing as you get to dig into another culture in a way that no one else […]

Redux: Donald Trump Is the World’s Greatest Performance Artist

Since I wrote this post one year ago, “The Donald” has only grown in the public consciousness and is now the GOP frontrunner. I can’t understand why the rest of the media ignores the obvious fact that he never existed. “For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don’t believe, no proof is possible.” […]

Boobies Behaving Badly

In my last post I made the case for why we are not, in fact, slaves to nature and our genes. Today allow me to do the opposite. First let me set the stage. You are on a tiny island – maybe the size of a few city blocks – looking out to sea. You could […]

The Brain I Wish I Had

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately thinking about my bloodlines. Perhaps it’s my impending fatherhood, perhaps I’m just at that age. I’ve been tracing my grandfathers’ heritages back through the Revolutionary War and to the Tudor conquest of Ireland. I’ve planned a trip to Norway, which is my grandmother’s homeland, and hope to […]

Snark Week: A Silent, Adorable Killer

I have noticed a disturbing trend on the internets recently. A series of videos, pictures, and posts have portrayed the duck-billed platypus as an adorable, lovable creature. As if it is some cute little bundle of playful, ticklish fun. They’ve even been given a cute little web nickname of “puggle.” In fact, I might go so far as […]

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). […]