The Last Word

March 10 – 14 This week, Christie told us that story she doesn’t tell. Then lots of other people flocked to the comments to tell theirs. Guest poster Daniel O’Connell asked if there’s gold in them thar evolutionary hills. Cameron wondered if deep-sea species will be soon be forced to have their own reality show. […]

A tiny cave creature, eyeless and deadly

Joey Pakes was swimming in a cave in Mexico on July 4, 2008 when she spotted her first remipede. Pakes, a graduate student in biology at UC Berkeley, had seen pictures of these aquatic centipede-like creatures before. But when she encountered one in the wild, the experience was completely different. “They’re such graceful animals,” she recalls. “It […]

Seattle: Land of Amazon, Boeing, and Ancient Mammoths

On February 16, 1961, the Seattle Times reported that geologists had dug out the roughly 10,000-year-old bones of a giant sloth from a peat bog near the Seattle-Tacoma Airport. Two years later, alongside an article about Boeing’s plans for a supersonic jet and an ad for “Ladies’ Days” bargains on bedspreads and cribs, the newspaper […]

Why I’ve Become a Distracted Driving Bore

Lately, I’ve become a nag. I reprimanded my husband for fiddling with the navigation on his smartphone while he was driving. I chastised a friend who said she talked on her speakerphone on the road and another who admitted to texting while “only going 30 miles an hour.” Last weekend, I looked up a bunch […]

A mushroom that smells like maple syrup

On a Saturday afternoon visit to an ice cream parlour, I saw a flavour that looked absolutely disgusting: mushroom. Feeling unadventurous, I ordered chocolate instead. But my husband went for the mushroom, and it was delicious. “It tastes like waffles,” the server told us. The ice cream was pale yellow, with a flavour more complex […]

Holiday Review: For his bairns, and his bairns’ bairns, and their beavers

Here at LWON we’re celebrating the holiday week by bringing back some of our favorite posts. This post originally appeared in July 2013. The Ramsay family has lived at the Bamff estate, 1300 acres of heathery hills and woodlands in eastern Scotland, for nearly eight centuries. Today, environmentalists Paul and Louise Ramsay share the property with three families of […]

My love-hate relationship with e-books

Ever since I read a New York Times article about the possibility of bedbugs spreading through library books, I’ve been too paranoid to check out a book from my local library. (Yes, I know people have argued that the article was way overblown. What can I say? I have an irrational fear of the bedbug.) […]

The Last Word

25- 29 November This week, we gave thanks. Ann pointed out that sexual harrassment may be a subset of a deeper inability to keep other people from suffering the consequences of your own inner demons. Kant is involved. Jessa identifies a central mechanism keeping us from flying off into virtual existences — that pesky inner […]