No, Mr. Penn, That Is Not Why We Hate You

Like every foreign journalist living in Mexico, I’ve been watching the Sean-Penn-interviews-notorious-drug-lord with a mix of humor and mild disgust. It’s like some kind of adolescent game of Mad Libs. El Chapo meets Sean Penn in the mountains to talk about farts and penises. I tried to read the article but could only force myself […]

Redux: Science Plus/Versus Religion

I don’t think much about the climate debates; the problem seems so multivariate, and each part of it so difficult, I don’t see a solution.  Accordingly, I really appreciate the people who do think about and cover it because goddam, it really needs covering. Anyway, when I read about the Paris agreement, I was most struck […]

Halfway

  We had been driving across the Bay Bridge into San Francisco when I noticed the flags. They were everywhere, on top of the silvery tall buildings, on top of the squat red-brown ones, even on some places that seemed too precarious to fly a flag. They all unfurled themselves halfway down the flagpole, making the […]

Let Us Celebrate The Lack Of Total Failure

This past Friday evening, when I heard that the 195 nations represented at the COP21 climate meeting in Paris had reached a draft agreement, I was pleasantly surprised. On Saturday morning, when I saw the stronger-than-forecast draft text, I was shocked. And on Saturday afternoon, when the final agreement was signed—signed!—I was thrilled. The Paris agreement won’t singlehandedly head off the worst […]

Ethical Quandaries

Last weekend, nerds from across the US and the world gathered in Cambridge Massachusetts to discuss the media coverage of other, often bigger nerds. It is known as the National Association of Science Writers annual meeting and it’s one of the highlights of my year. This year I thought it might be fun to participate […]

What’s Your Word?

Living in a foreign country can be exhilarating. Every time you step out your front door you are exploring a strange and exciting land. It’s like you are always on vacation. Likewise, reporting in a foreign country can be amazing as you get to dig into another culture in a way that no one else […]

Redux: Donald Trump Is the World’s Greatest Performance Artist

Since I wrote this post one year ago, “The Donald” has only grown in the public consciousness and is now the GOP frontrunner. I can’t understand why the rest of the media ignores the obvious fact that he never existed. “For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don’t believe, no proof is possible.” […]