Do Penguins Need Sweaters?

I’m a lover of science and a devoted knitter. Science-related projects that appear on the internet and have to do with yarn find their way into my inbox. That means I am aware of the project in Glasgow to knit microbes for elementary schools. I am in love with that shawl that depicts the night […]

My frenemy; or, Chanel the corpse flower

Oh, Chanel, you were such a tease. Maybe I should have figured that out from your fancy name, or from your Facebook page. When I look back, it’s not that you posted anything actually untrue, but you did get me all excited about your debut, your flowering, your signature scent. You were constantly updating the […]

I am not my data.

Earlier this week, Facebook unveiled its new search engine, called Graph Search. Facebook promises that it will help you find people who share your interests. “Want to start a book club or find a gym buddy? Connect with friends who like the same activities—and meet new people, too.” Having moved around for most of my […]

Natural Hazards in the Age of Social Media

At 1:52pm on August 23, my office began to shake. I saw the photos on the walls gently swaying right and left. Since my walls typically remain motionless, my brain had trouble making sense of what I was seeing. Construction, I thought? No, too much shaking. To cause that much motion, a machine would have […]

Voyeurism and Facebook

Several years ago, my mom decided to move from Grand Forks, North Dakota — a city of 50,000 — to Lakota, North Dakota — a town of about 700 people. She had grown up in small towns and had no desire to return to one. But Lakota happened to be the midway point between her […]

The Antisocial Network

In his October 8 New York Times op-ed column, David Brooks offered his assessment of the character of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in the movie The Social Network:  “It’s not that he’s a bad person.  He’s just never been house-trained.  He’s been raised in a culture reticent to talk about social and moral conduct.” This […]