Guest Post: The Art of Losing Paperclips

Not long ago, walking past some court buildings with a friend, I kept stopping to pick up paper clips. Besides the usual little Gem clips, like ACCO Brand Trombones No 1, I found a black-and-silver binder clip and a rare angel-shaped “ideal clamp”–all of them no doubt carelessly dropped by lawyers who once used them […]

Who Gives Press Releases Their Power?

Newsflash — Press releases about medical studies may contain hype. That was the conclusion of a report published last week in the medical journal BMJ. Petroc Sumner, a professor at Cardiff University, compared 462 press releases on medical studies from leading United Kingdom universities in 2011 and found that 33 to 40 percent of the […]

Guest Post: What science can learn from religion

Sharel was twenty when she died from an overdose. Her funeral was held at the Holy Temple Christian Church on Althea Street in Providence, Rhode Island. The church tried to raise $5,000 for the expense, but only managed to raise $347. Althea Street is short, only three blocks long. It is poor. Boarded up buildings […]

Guest Post: the Truth about Cats & Dogs

Dogs have owners; cats have staff. Dogs are man’s best friend; cats are man’s best frenemy. Dogs come when called; cats take a message and get back to you. As long as we’ve had dogs and cats, we’ve had dogs versus cats. Dogs are obedient, loyal, and love unconditionally. Cats are obstinate, fickle, and love […]

Yay Philae! Yay Europe, Europe, Europe!

I’ve just about recovered from my trip to Darmstadt, just outside Frankfurt, which was home to mission control for the recent landing of the tiny and now ‘sleeping’ Philae lander onto the surface of Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko.  One of the joys of covering a European mission is the variety of accents and backgrounds involved; just as […]

Spider at the Window

My first impressions of the spider: It was big and seemingly smart. The brownish spider was nearly two inches long. It had constructed a thick, complicated web in the corner of my kitchen window’s frame, outside of the house. On the wall inside, right next to the web, is a light fixture that almost always […]

Guest Post: Affair of the Heart: VII: $64,000 Questions

I spent about seven hours in the operating room at Johns Hopkins Hospital being worked on by a highly skilled surgical team, followed by a day in intensive care and five days in regular care. I also had a battery of pre-op and post-op tests and consultations to investigate the aortic aneurysm that put me […]