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Redux: A Vocabulary for the Almost-Lost

My dog died this week. It was entirely without warning; she was fine Saturday and on Sunday she collapsed, and then she was gone. I am shattered. I am in a state of constant saudade, a Portuguese word meaning the feeling of longing for something or someone you love that has been lost forever. I

The Internet Protection Agency, Content Moderation Division

A Facebook content moderator is suing the social network for psychological trauma after watching thousands of hours of toxic and disturbing content. “There is no long-term support plan when these content moderators leave. They are just expected to melt back into the fabric of society.” -“An online decency moderator’s advice: Blur your eyes”, Jane Wakefield, BBC

Canada Goose, American Dream

In the fall of 1969, somewhere in Ohio, scientists put a numbered plastic tag around the leg of a one year-old, female Canada goose, and released it into the wild. When it was eventually shot down in Ontario, in 2001, it was 33 years old — the oldest Canada goose to be recorded in the United States Geological Survey’s archive of bird longevity. 

Redux: The Wonderful World of Oz…and Science

I was just sick for two weeks with some dumb respiratory virus, and writing a new post was low on my list of priorities. So please enjoy this old one, which originally ran December 3, 2013. Lately I’ve been reading my way through the series of Oz books. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is only the first

Orchid Care for the Uncertain

I wake up this morning on the prickly side—or at least, I’m prickly once I look at my phone. There are a series of misunderstood texts, frail disjointed things that have good intentions but poor phrasing, or lack the perfect emoji. My phone is sitting right next to an orchid. It’s a new type of

Impossible Feats of Strength and Endurance

This is me. I am ripped. On Friday, January 9, I went to the gym and did a chin up. Here’s what should have happened next: The clouds should have parted to allow a single beam of light to cast its golden glow on my body. Winged trumpeters should have surrounded me. Confetti should have

Redux: Old Bone Song

I am turning 40 on the day I am supposed to write this, so instead, I am re-running my favorite LWON essay–one suited to summiting the peak of midlife and looking out towards the horizon of death (ideally still just at the limit of one’s vision). Enjoy! Taphonomy is the study of what happens to

We Need More Than A Tweet

A local network. Image by See-ming Lee via Wikimedia Commons. It just happened again. My Twitter mentions blew up, because someone posted a tweet soliciting names of favorite female science writers after most of the students in a science communication class couldn’t come up with a single one. I have no doubt that the tweet

Lugworms? Why, Certainly!

I warned you. Well, I warned someone…probably one of my fellow LWONers…that if nobody suggested a compelling way to fill this space for today, I’d write about lugworms. Time’s up! I’ve actually been thinking a lot about lugworms of late because of a recent diving experience in Ria Formosa, a sandy-bottom coastal lagoon in the

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