The Lies Maps Tell

I’m fascinated by those maps of places people have visited. You know the ones. Mine is below. You can make your own to show how much of the world you’ve traveled, or haven’t. There’s an element of bragging – why, yes, I have been to New Zealand, the Middle East, and more than one country […]

The Last Word

April 13-17 Ann on a recent Nature study linking dragons and climate change: “The authors recommend the obvious — increasing research in consumer-friendly fire-resistent clothing — and further suggest that monarchs desist from running around conferring knighthoods.” A sharp-eyed commenter notes publication date. Michelle on a disease affecting couples living in tipis and other small, off-the-grid […]

A Sense of Many Places

In the past half year, I’ve traveled a lot. I’ve always traveled a lot. Until recently there’s been a heavy emphasis on longer trips: going to live in a foreign country or hang out on a ship for a few weeks or months. In the five and a half years I was freelancing, time was […]

Of Time and Turtles

On Tuesday two people who I met a few years ago posted similar pictures. One still lives in the town of Kiruna, north of the Arctic Circle in Sweden, where I briefly lived; the other, last I heard, had moved even farther north, to somewhere in the Norwegian wilds. Each posted a picture showing the […]

On the Trail of the Great Tinamou

Three years ago, I spent a while in the rainforest of Panama, for a story. It’s one of those swashbuckling freelancer stories, except—like so many of those—it’s not all that swashbuckling when you get down to the details. I was an hour’s drive (on good roads) from an international airport. I was staying in a […]

Coming Home From Saudi Arabia

It was water that impressed me first when I got back to the U.S. I spent the month of June in Saudi Arabia, teaching teenage girls about writing and science. On the van ride home from the airport the other day, I couldn’t believe the trees. I’d forgotten about trees. The highways are lined with […]

On Eating Whale

Whales are impressive, enormous, beloved animals. Whaling has been banned since the 1980s, but it still goes on in a few pockets of the world. I spent three years of my life in two of those pockets, Norway and Japan, but somehow had never eaten any whale meat. Until this spring. Over the 17th of […]