Unknown legends in their time

One if by land, two if by sea. And it was the sea that the two of them came on—first, an 18-foot-long fish spotted by a snorkeling science teacher off California’s Catalina Island last week. Fifteen people had to haul the creature to shore. And then, on Friday, a slightly smaller one—just 14 feet—washing in […]

Why the Debate over Abortion is Secretly Awesome

I woke up this morning, had a cup of English Breakfast tea, and thought to myself, “This seems like a good point in my career to alienate all of my readers.” So I sat down and wrote a blog post about abortion. If you are even a mildly thoughtful person, it’s a good chance you’re […]

Skeletons in the Closet

I shouldn’t say this. In fact, as someone who covers the field of archaeology for a living, I probably shouldn’t even be thinking this. But I find myself wondering increasingly whether it’s time for some dirt archaeologists to relinquish one of their great pleasures, namely the beloved rite of summer:  field season. I say this […]

Galápagos Monday: World Within Itself

This is the third installment of a six-week series about my recent trip to the Galápagos. You can read the first post, about tortoises and donkeys, here, and the second, about eerie mounds of black coral, here. If you go to the Galápagos, and even if you go, as I did, in a herd of clumsy American tourists, […]

Family Ties

It’s been almost a year since I wrote about my genetic testing results from 23andMe. That’s because, despite paying $5 a month for the site’s mandatory Personal Genome Service®, I rarely look at it. It’s not that I’m scared of the data (been there), and not because I forgot — every six or eight weeks I get […]

Fitting In

** The new study, certainly not the last word on DNA, was published last week in The EMBO Journal. The music is Chopin’s Minute Waltz, the subject of another post.