Redux: Something About Sharks

Despite the occasional tragic outcome of such encounters—and they truly are occasional relative to attacks by other wild animals—I love meeting sharks in the wild. So, dive in with me as I recall this experience with Emma the tiger shark in the Bahamas. I don’t know that she was as intrigued with me as I was […]

I Have So Many Ideas, I Have No Ideas At All

Whenever I talk to students or aspiring journalists there is one question I dread. It’s also a question I can almost guarantee someone will ask. And it’s this: “Where do you get your ideas?” I usually answer first, with a performative groan. I hate this question, I say. It’s a good one of course. It’s […]

The Last Word

What a diverse week of posts! Seriously, take a peek at these: You’ll love Helen’s artistic take on a scientific meeting about immunity. She sketched her experience rather than jotting notes, and it’s pretty great. Emma introduced us to a field you’ve never heard of, taphonomy, the study of the gritty transition of a human corpse, especially the […]

Redux: Ravens among us

My son and I have been reading Neil Gaiman’s new novelization of Norse Mythology, which includes glancing reference to Odin’s raven informants Huginn and Muninn. It reminded me of this post from March 2011, which featured the artwork of raven-obsessed Yukon artist Nicole Bauberger. Ten years ago I asked Bauberger why she spent years on painstaking […]

Redux: Newsprint is dead. Long live newsprint!

This post first ran in 2013. I died a little inside when I heard about the recent Today Show interview in which Jeff Bezos said, “I think printed newspapers on actual paper may be a luxury item. It’s sort of like, you know, people still have horses, but it’s not their primary way of commuting to […]

On Taphonomy

Taphonomy is the study of what happens to bodies, especially bones, after death on their way to fossilization. Few remains make it that far, but when they do, taphonomy is the journey through which the biological becomes geological. In life, bones are tissues, despite their rigidity. Calcium flows in and out of the bone bank as […]

The Last Word

In the run-up to Mothers’ Day, we at LWON honored motherhood and, in some cases, the amazing women who gave us the gift of life. (Some of us might have preferred a new bike, but we got what we got.) It all started with Michelle getting to know the Perfectionist (purposeful capital P) in her daughter, a character […]

Motherhood Week: Indecision 2017

I wasn’t sure I would become a mother. I struggled with the question for years. I fretted about the loss of freedom. I worried I would become someone I didn’t recognize. And then, I found myself pregnant. Nine months later I had a daughter. The early months were harder than I ever could have imagined. There […]