Story, History, Story

Ann:   Some time ago, I got interested in why European languages so often use the same word for “story” and “history.”  Every English speaker knows that having one word for two such different things — fiction and truth, respectively — is anathema.  But my thinking didn’t go much farther than that, it rarely does.  So […]

Guest Post: Postcard from El Salvador

Agricultural engineer Irene Varela is a compelling presence. Six farmers are gathered on the patio of a church library in Santiago Texacuangos in El Salvador, about an hour outside the country’s capital for a workshop she’s leading. “What’s the soil like when you have worms?” Varela asks in Spanish. “Moist,” says one famer. “Rich,” says […]

Guest Post: How to Stop a Tsunami in Three Easy Steps

Right now, parents newly versed in the vocabulary of doom are discussing the Cascadia subduction in Seattle backyards, in Portland parks. They’ve read the recent New Yorker article about the devastating earthquake overdue in the Pacific Northwest. Maybe they’ve also read the stories in Outside and Discover. They know that three thousand schools around the […]

Guest Post: I Had a Hamster. I’m Pretty Sure He Killed Himself.

This week, while working on a little story for Science about hamster emotions, I decided to do some hard-hitting journalism, so I called my mother. “Mom, I want to know what happened to Hamlet,” I said over the phone, interrupting her dinner party in California. A pause. “Really?” Hamlet was my childhood hamster. He looked […]

Guest Post: On Being Pro-Frog

When my first daughter started getting teased for her obsession with sharks I comforted her by lying that everyone had an animal they especially loved. When pressed I randomly choose frogs (I was hung over and just wanted quiet), which started a pro-frog avalanche: Walls filled with frog paintings, desks with frog playdoh figurines, and […]

Guest Post: Waiting Out the Latter Days

Steven Smith — a photographer who grew up in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Mormon church, and whom I’ve known a long time — sent me a book he’s just published.  It’s called Waiting Out the Latter Days.  It’s almost entirely photographs which I love but am incapable of reading, […]

The myth of the breastfeeding diet

Breastfeeding is often sold to new mothers as a bulletproof way to lose the baby weight. The promise is the same whether you’re getting advice from lactation experts, mummy blogs, Unicef, midwives, or official medical sites such as the NHS in the UK and the National Institutes of Medicine in the US: feed your baby […]

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 […]