What’s So Great About Walking

The other afternoon, at work, I suddenly got stuck thinking about a couple of things I’m worried about–and which I’m going to do, even though they make me want to hide under the covers. I expect my medal any day now. By the end of the day, I was jumpy and exhausted from pointless worrying, […]

Moors: Love or Hate? Discuss.

Helen: Ann, we’re here because you said you hate moors. I am currently having a love affair with moors, so I want to know: Why? Also, we’re here because I suspect this will give us an opportunity to talk about how much we hate Wuthering Heights. Unless you like Wuthering Heights. Do you like Wuthering […]

On the Path of Totality

I’m writing this from a traffic jam on I-95. When we were choosing days on the schedule for Eclipse Week, nobody wanted the responsibility of writing a post the day of the eclipse. Because I have an overactive sense of duty, I signed up for this post, then joked that I’d be writing it on […]

Wild-Animal Painting in the Jungle

It’s not obvious how to draw a snake. Here, let Isabel Cooper tell you about it, in a 1924 article she wrote for The Atlantic Monthly. For instance, there’s no such thing as a school of snake artists, so when the problem of making a portrait of a snake presented itself I had to think […]

Bat Facts

Last week was National Pollinator Week. Did you eat your pollinator cake and enjoy pin-the-tail-on-the-pollinator games at your neighborhood pollinator party? Yeah, me neither. But, thanks to an observant friend who’s on a lot of e-mail lists, I did get to celebrate with a bat walk. Some bats are pollinators. None of them happen to […]

Redux: U2 Gets Onto People’s Skin

U2 is touring again, and I saw them last week for the 12th time, so I thought now would be a good time to rerun this post from 2015 about a research project on U2-themed tattoos. Get your concert tickets here.  Once upon a time, I was a fan of bands that gave me some […]

The Cicadas Come, on Little Hook Feet

  One evening this month I was coming back from the library. The pollen was at its worst, but I was sick of being indoors and thought I’d sit down on the grass in front of my building for a few minutes. I opened up one of my books, then felt guilty about choosing the […]

Sketches of Panels

Every year, Johns Hopkins Medicine runs a boot camp for science writers in Washington, D.C. They cover some topic in science. For science writers, it’s a free introduction to a hot area of science (with breakfast, lunch, and tasty snacks). For Hopkins, there’s a chance someone will decide to use one of their experts in […]