Guest Post: Wax Work

I took my place at the gray table in the gray, poorly-lit room, meeting the gaze of the eyeless skull staked upright before me. A stiff rectangular block of white wax was my only material, and a simple metal implement, sharp like a scalpel on one end and rounded like a spoon on the other, my only tool—other […]

Scientist in the Field: The Mosquitoes of Two Towns

I must tell you up front that Kathleen R. Walker, second author on “Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) Longevity and Differential Emergence of Dengue Fever in Two Cities in Sonora, Mexico,” published recently in the Journal of Medical Entomology, is my stepdaughter.  She’s an entomologist, she studies bugs; I occasionally have a bug question.  I asked […]

Guest Post: Swimming in the Charles

The hot, thick summer air in Cambridge, Massachusetts, can make you feel like you’re sitting in a sauna, wrapped in a soaking-wet wool blanket. As a recent, temporary transplant, staying in a house without air conditioning, I needed a place to cool off. I’ve gotten to know all my favorite places by immersing myself in their water—the lakes […]

My Science Fair Project Was Better Than Yours

I remember my 7th grade science fair project pretty clearly. You may think you aren’t interested in what it was, but you should be—because it was fabulous. It was truly unique. I didn’t grow plants under different colored lights and I didn’t build a lame volcano using paper maché and some sticky baking soda and Sprite mixture (or whatever). […]

Controlling Cancer with Evolution

In 2001, Dean Spath was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. He had surgery to remove his prostate, and for nearly a decade, Spath appeared to be cancer free. Each year he would visit the doctor to have a blood test and a scan, and each year the tests came back clean. “They thought they got […]

Pain Management Hurts

I take painkillers. The kind with names that end with “done” and start with “oxy” or “hydro.” I’m not happy about it, but, like millions of others out there—actually about 100 million—I suffer from chronic pain, mine related in some way to my twisted gut and mixed-up immune system. I’ve seen all kinds of doctors, […]

A Pilgrimage for the Soul

On Friday, May 13, group of road bikers got together for the 44th annual Pacific Coast Century Ride. I guess that’s its name. Honestly, I have no idea what to call it. Ever since I was a kid, we just called it “The Ride.” It started back in the 70s with a guy named George Andrews, […]