Meal, Worm

I eat meat. Most kinds. Beef, pork, chicken, bison, turkey.* Dark meat, white meat, legs, breasts. I’m not big on lamb—too much flavor, or perhaps too fragrant. Same goes for goat and venison. And I say no to veal, no matter how delicious it may be. Not that other farm animals aren’t treated poorly, but those […]

Bugs on My Window

Here’s a thing that reliably brings me delight: seeing a bug on a window. I don’t know how this love started. But it’s real. Here’s what happened when I was walking to the water cooler at work the other day. I saw a dark spot on the glass. A step or two more and wings […]

Redux: June Gloom

It’s Monday. And it’s June. And it’s gloomy. Or maybe it’s just that I’m gloomy about our recent oil spill and I can’t quite figure out how to write about it. So here’s a post that ran in June 2012 about June Glooms past.  I used to think the weather was something adults talked about because they were […]

Bees Are Us

Early the other morning, I woke up to a strange humming noise. My first thought was the ceiling fan motor was petering out, but it turned out the sound was coming from outside. So I stepped out onto my little balcony for a look, and listen. The hum hummed louder. It took a minute before […]

Manifesto of a Wasp Scientist

The following was inspired by my recent purchase of the clever and entertaining book, The Bees, by Laline Paull. All characters are fictional and should not be confused with real scientists. I especially ask that no bee researcher take offense, as 80 percent of science writers would shrivel up and die if you stopped talking […]

My Mom on the Bering Land Bridge

All this week Last Word on Nothing is geared toward Mother’s Day, which is next Sunday. Tell your mother you love her and share some of our posts, things are about to get maternal. Pictured above: my mother. I held her cold hands in mine, rubbing warmth into them as she crouched behind a rock […]

The Opposite of Extinction

Last Thursday, a study in Science predicted that if global carbon emissions continue on their current “business-as-usual” trajectory, climate change will extinguish one-sixth of the species on earth. The figure comes with the usual caveats, which you can read about here and here. As a rough estimate of what lies ahead, though, the study is useful—and […]

A Sense of Many Places

In the past half year, I’ve traveled a lot. I’ve always traveled a lot. Until recently there’s been a heavy emphasis on longer trips: going to live in a foreign country or hang out on a ship for a few weeks or months. In the five and a half years I was freelancing, time was […]