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 […]
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 […]
San Francisco is in the midst of a heat wave this week, and the ability to walk the summer streets without a parka is having a regrettable effect on our workforce. For once, the shorts-sporting tourists are properly dressed, and office workers are lingering alongside them on the downtown sidewalks, noticing that it actually feels […]
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 […]
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, […]
As a science journalist, I sympathize with book reviewers who wrestle with the question of whether to write negative reviews. It seems a waste of time to write about a dog of a book when there are so many other worthy ones; but readers deserve to know if Oprah is touting a real stinker. On […]
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 […]
** 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.