The Last Word

June 2-6, 2014 This week began with cosmic conundrums. Jessa looked at the maladies astronauts suffer after long periods in zero gravity. For Mars-bound explorers of the future, the toll on their bodies–and their psyches–is unknown. “Travelers won’t even see stars. Outside the window, there will be blackness. Utter blackness.” And Ann wrestled with what to […]

The Last Word

October 14 – 18 This week. Oh cripes, this week. We’ve been told that the US government shutdown cost more than the NASA budget, and had all kinds of knock-on effects on everything from basic science to public health. But what’s it like on the ground when a city shuts down? Helen gave us the […]

The Last Word

31 December – 4 January Well, I guess we made it through 2012 without dying. So, drink up and get back to work. Heather wrote about the strange therapeutic, cultural, and linguistic history of the tattoo. Guest poster Emily Underwood examined a part of the body so complicated that it requires 10,000 processors to simulate. […]

The Last Word

10 – 14 December Turbulent week here at LWON HQ. We started with a crushing loss: our Ginny decamped to National Geographic. We wish her, obviously, every success and all the happiness there — and we’re so proud that she was poached by a place with such an impeccable pedigree. But wow, will we miss […]

The Last Word

3 – 7 December 2012 This week, Richard Branson’s spaceflight-for-megabucks scheme might be the trending, but Heather is far more interested in the intriguing history of the Zambian space academy. It’s a great post – not least because of the utterly hypnotic video – but can I get a show of hands for anyone who […]

The Last Word

26 – 30 November This week, Heather reveals the man behind the jade mask. 932,891,133 galaxies, over a 14,555-square degree patch of the sky, going 3 billion years back into a universe that’s 13.6 billion years old. You can’t comprehend numbers like these, but Ann tells you how to feel them. How big a role […]

The Last Word, Turkey Day edition

November 19 – 23 I hope you nice people in the States had a lovely Thanksgiving. This week, Ginny introduced us to the sleep molecule. Jessa explained the 21st century superbear. It’s a hybrid between a polar bear and a grizzly, and it’s straight out of the anthropocene. Christie considered a status symbol shared by […]

The Last Word

October 15 – 19 “People who expose fraud are often ostracized and harassed and may find themselves fired or blacklisted. They have stress-related health problems, including shingles, psoriasis, autoimmune disorders, panic attacks, asthma, insomnia, temporomandibular joint disorder, migraine headaches, and generalized anxiety.” Christie examines why whistleblowers do it anyway. Cassie explains why people run marathons […]