The Last Word

The big theme of the week at LWON: Nature. Probably because many of us who should be in puffy coats and moon boots (remember moon boots?) have been sunbathing and strutting around in flip flops. But Rose kicked off the week with a look inside, at our digital limbs (cell phones) and computer-network-wired brains (think Facebook). […]


I’m in love with a houseplant. It’s a maidenhair fern, its frilly little leaves dangling from willowy stems. There’s something about it that just makes me incredibly happy. It’s true, my heart even flutters a bit when I see it. This is my first adult relationship with a houseplant. As a kid, we had plants […]

Redux: Reading Beyond the Shallows

A wave of books in the last couple of years has warned of the mentally-unhealthy click bait diet and what it means for our attention spans. We are enjoined to unplug, descend from the shallows and engage in “deep work.” After all, the creator of every great work of culture has been able–at minimum–to pay attention, and that […]

The Last Word

Feb 13-17, 2017 Rose loves watching people dance (check out her favorite YouTube videos). This paper about women dancing? She does not love it so much: Oh, so, the paper here isn’t really asking “which woman is a better dancer” but rather “which woman would you rather sleep with?” That is… a completely different question […]

The Quaking Giant

On the western edge of the Colorado Plateau, in the mountains of central Utah, is a tree that weighs an estimated 13 million pounds—as much as three giant sequoias, or 55 blue whales, or 10,000 grizzly bears. (Hey, I just thought you might like to imagine a pile of 10,000 bears.) This tree is the […]

When America was Great, the First Time

We were great in the Ice Age. Big weapons, big animals, big land. While parts of the world were crawling with hominids for a million years or more, this side of the planet was off limits. Getting here was never easy, not in the late Pleistocene, not now. The Americas are bookended by the world’s two […]

Saccorhytus coronarius Is Your Weird Cousin, Too

Let’s get down to brass tacks. Mouth. Anus. Reproductive bit in between. Isn’t that all one really needs to get by? I’m oversimplifying, of course. Lungs are helpful if you live on land, for example. But check out our newly discovered really ancient fossilized ancestor. Saccorhytus coronarious, unearthed recently by paleontologists in sedimentary rock in […]

Dance Like Science Isn’t Watching

Last week, researchers published a paper about dancing in the journal Scientific Reports. And the internet was really into it. The little dancing lady GIF was all over the place, and Shakira jokes washed over us all. But after I made my own jokes, I had some questions about the study. So, being a journalist, […]