The Last Word

April 13-17 Ann on a recent Nature study linking dragons and climate change: “The authors recommend the obvious — increasing research in consumer-friendly fire-resistent clothing — and further suggest that monarchs desist from running around conferring knighthoods.” A sharp-eyed commenter notes publication date. Michelle on a disease affecting couples living in tipis and other small, off-the-grid […]

Guest Post: We Gaze at Dogs, Dogs Gaze at Us, Is It Love?

Yesterday, scientists reported that dogs have found an unusual way to steal our hearts. When we stare at our human infants and they stare back, we both experience a rise in the hormone oxytocin, which has been linked to trust and maternal bonding. Now it appears that dogs have hijacked this hormonal response, causing our […]

Guest Post: Brontosaurus and Me

The biggest science story this week was really, really big. Brontosaurus, weighing in at about 16 metric tons, is a taxonomic contender once again, thanks to a 300 page long cladistic analysis in the online journal PeerJ.  (Spoiler alert: Yes, the rest of this piece will include puns, jokes and allusions to classic films just […]

Guest Post: Learning to Appreciate the Untracked Life

In the weeks after I bought a Fitbit, I noticed I was acting bizarre. I started carrying bags with my left arm so my right arm – the one with the Fitbit – could swing freely to ensure the Fitbit’s accelerometer would count my every step. In the evening, I would pace around my apartment […]

Guest Post: Cinderella and the Cinema Hangover

This weekend, I took my five-year-old daughter to her first movie in the theater, the new Cinderella. We got popcorn and Whoppers and great seats. The lights dropped, the previews and Frozen short ran, and then the film began, plunging us into another world. Two hours later, we were both hungover. This new Cinderella plays […]

A Visit From the Christmas Squirrel

He must have come in through the mail slot. I imagine him watching the mailman stride up the front steps Christmas Eve, flipping open the metal flap and thrusting the envelopes inside. The flap is propped open a smidge by the metal binder clip we use to hold outgoing mail. It is snowing — cold. […]

Rainforest Drop In

I didn’t intend to fall in love with the rain forest. It crept up on me, imperceptibly at first, because the West Coast was never a place I had intended to stay. My roots were nurtured in the farmland, lakes and forests of Ontario before transplantation to the West, an alien habitat of strangely mild […]

Guest Post: In Praise of Snow Geese

On New Year’s Day, my friend Randy Roberts and I put on white hazmat suits and went out to shoot snow geese.  We were told that the birds regard a human in a white suit as one of their own and they let you walk freely among them, something hunters supposedly discovered a while back. […]