Unwelcome Worm

I’m not the kind of girl who ordinarily irons her underwear. But two weeks ago I found myself hunched over a flimsy wooden board doing just that. I was visiting friends in Mozambique, and they assured me that everything must be ironed—shirts, pants, sheets, towels, and, yes, even underwear. It’s not about aesthetics. You need the […]

Galápagos Redux: When Is It OK to Kill Goats?

Two weeks ago, I wrote about scientists who intentionally killed 80,000 feral goats on one of the islands in the Galápagos archipelago. The effort was in the name of biodiversity and conservation, sure, but was it right? The post spurred some fascinating questions and comments, particularly from Jason G. Goldman, who writes The Thoughtful Animal […]

Galápagos Monday: When Conservation Means Killing

Judas knew what he was doing when he double-crossed his friend Jesus. “What will you give me if I betray him to you?” he asked the conspiring priests in the famous Bible story. The story of the Judas Goat is more tragic. She had no idea that she was leading her friends to their deaths. […]

Polio: No End in Sight

Since the launch of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988, intense vaccination campaigns have dramatically reduced the number of cases of polio worldwide. Between 1988 and 2000, the number of polio cases dropped 99 percent — from 350,000 to just 3,000. But the polio eradication effort appears to have stalled out. Despite an investment […]