The Last Battle

For every year since 1840, life expectancy in the Western world has lengthened by three months. Many more of us can look forward to a full retirement and, in the Commonwealth countries, a letter from the Queen on our 100th birthdays. It’s worth asking, though, whether large-scale longevity is worth pursuing if more than half […]

Holiday Redux: I Can’t Put It Down

LWON is celebrating the holidays by re-running some of our favorite posts. This post originally appeared in July 2012. Alarmist reporting about addictions to sex, to the internet or to exercise can suggest that new syndromes are being invented every day, that human existence is pathologized out of proportion. But some compulsive behaviors that caused […]

The Last Word

December 14-19, 2014 In the second half of Ann’s reflections on Marvin “Murph” Goldberger, the subject turns from academic life to Jason, the group of physicists who advised the US government on science, including tactics to be used in the Vietnam War. As before, she lets Murph do the talking. Press release-driven science journalism is […]

Gasp. Pant. Brr.

“Go on, get ‘em!” is what I could have sworn he said to his dog. And get us he did. I don’t remember what kind of dog it was, but the key factor here is that the dog was heavy. I was on assignment, the second year in my job for Up Here magazine, and I […]

The Last Word: October 27 – 31, 2014

In the beginning: The week started with Part IV of guest Colin Norman’s every-Monday series on undergoing heart surgery. (Spoiler alert: He lives to write another day.) Next: Craig went looking for a creature from an extinct species—and saw one, sort of. Then: Christie got her gun and went looking for creatures from non-extinct species—and saw them, for real. And: Jessa […]

La Vie Souterraine

At Lisgar Collegiate, my old public high school in Ottawa, whenever I had gym class, band or strings, law or – as I vaguely recall – accounting class, I had two choices. I could either pack my books away, pin my sleeves over my hands and charge out the door, through 15 seconds of -20C […]

Redux: A Dead World at Sunset

This was first published in March of 2011. As winter descends upon the sub-Arctic once more, I revisit these moments of awe on a frozen lake. “It may not strike you as a marvel; it would not, perhaps, unless you were standing in the middle of a dead world at sunset, but that was where […]

The Berger Inquiry

The normal course of action would have been to collect reports from biologists, anthropologists and sociologists – all hired by the gas company – to assess the environmental, economic and social impacts of the pipeline. But this was to be the largest project ever undertaken anywhere by private enterprise, in the history of the world. […]