Blog

I blog at Last Word On Nothing, an independent, non-commercial labor of love among a small group of friends. Find my latest posts here, or peruse recent posts below.

Journalists Should Act More Like Scientists
The discredited Rolling Stone rape story and how an escalating fixation on perfectly drawn characters and beautiful narratives has emphasized storytelling over truth

G is for Goddamned Goshawk
The beautiful bird that’s killing my chickens

I Did It Dad! I LOVE This!
On the joys of experiences left ephemeral and unrecorded

Sassy Smocks and Moist Panties
In which I discover word aversion

Ira Glass is Not My Friend and Some Thoughts on Serial
Journalists, sources and the dance between them

Outdoors After Dark
On the joys of venturing outside at night.

Forward By Failure
What elk hunting has taught me about my habitat and myself.

Stepping Off the Multi-Tasking Treadmill
Why I don’t love my treadmill desk.

The Case for Tracking Outcomes
Belief-based medicine and the human brain’s remarkable inability to self-assess. 

The Gig Economy
National Geographic editor Dan Vergano discusses the “gig economy” with me and some other LaWONians.

The Wisdom of a Summer Afternoon, Redux
A dying friend teaches me how to live.

Report from the Solutions Summit 2014
A summary of the data and survey results presented at our conference on women in science writing and a recap of the solutions we discussed and our next steps.

A Stark Introduction to Geologic Time
My favorite mountain is falling, and there’s nothing I can do to stop it.

Gold Stars
On Memorial Day, let’s also honor the families who’ve lost loved ones to wars fought in our name.

The Hard Realities of Raising Humane Food
Why small-scale chicken farmers who want to do the right thing may not have the resources or infrastructure to do so.

How Losing My Smart Phone Made Me Smarter
Without my phone, I had stop offloading my brain to a tiny glass rectangle.

The Value of Collegiate Sports
How college sports made me a better person, and why winning isn’t the most important thing.

The Story I Won’t Tell
I’ll do anything to avoid not running. Even this…

Death Barged In
Grief is an unbecoming emotion. It’s raw and unvarnished. It exposes truths we’d rather left unsaid.

Breast cancer’s latest saga: misfearing and misplaced goalposts

24 Reasons to Ignore Best Places Lists

How an internet quiz put me in my place
I am from nowhere. Until my husband told me this — stated it as a fact, like “it’s raining” or “the sky is blue” — I’d never had a truthful answer to a question that has always given me pause: where are you from? 

Holiday Review: Why Blog?

Y’all Need this Word
Why y’all is a feminist term.

Obsessions, Dreams and Premonitions
For most of my life, I’ve been obsessed with plane crashes.

Physicians Who Do Harm
Doctors at Gitmo are violating medical ethics.

A Taste of Authenticity
The delightful flavor of real apples, fresh from the tree.

FAQs about breast cancer screening
Some background on my decision to opt out of mammography.

Newsprint is dead. Long live newsprint!

What is a good death?

This week’s worst press release (so far)

Snark Week: The Rooster and the Puppy

I hate climbing, but love having climbed

Thank God It’s Sexy Friday: The mysterious art of chicken sexing

The Godless Particle

Returning to my roots

Digits of the Devil
A mysterious phenomenon, solved.

Guns on the brain
How holding a gun changes the way we think.

This is what a meaningless study looks like.

Dust on our crust

Is CPR for the victim or the bystanders?

Was it worth it?

The sniffle, hack, sneeze blame game

Why is falling so funny?

I am not my data.

Murmuration. The poetry of the morning walk.

Secret Satans: Chem 101

How creeps get away with it
How sexual harassers make it hard for victims to speak out.

Season of the snood.

TGIPF: The Dawn of the Deed Edition

Blowing the whistle

A real cancer hero
Spoiler: her initials are not LA.

The false narratives of pink ribbon month, redux

Lost in the Cloud

Ahhhh…autumn

Another Cheater Confesses

Can cheaters repent?

The mundaneness of science

Summer of Smoke

To hell with grass
This is a discussion about an uncomfortable subject—an emotion that everyone has felt, but no one wants to admit. Envy—it’s a four letter word.

Why I Blog

Why the eclipse mattered.

Motherhood: never is ok

The Impasse: When the “truth wins” assumption fails.

Spoetry

The Compulsion to Count

I don’t know why the caged girl screams

LWOVE

The real scandal: science denialism at Susan G. Komen for the Cure®
Is breast cancer threatening your life? This Susan G. Komen for the Cure® ad leaves no doubt about who’s to blame —you are.
Winner, the National Association of Science Writers’ 2013 Science in Society Award for Commentary/Opinion

Life without beer: part 2 of my beer & running science experiment

What beer and running taught me about science (part 1 of 2)

When is it time to revise our story?

The seven deadly sins: Lust

Let’s stop pretending we give a damn about climate change.

How many victims are there?
How common is recidivism among child molesters?

Do readers grasp nuance?

You’ve got mail, you idiot!
What reader mail has taught me about science writing.

Breast Cancer’s false narrative.

Ethical eating: why this tree-hugging former vegetarian is learning to hunt

IBracing: A military brat remembers 9/11/01

Is passion for science a heritable trait?

Fungus among us — How I learned to love taxonomy

The wisdom of a summer afternoon
Lately, I’ve been thinking about the nature of knowledge and how we acquire it.

How to build a better conference 

You Don’t Live in the Twitterverse: a Plea to Ground Yourself in Place

Avastin and the Power of Hope

Could we make conferences less sucky?

Lies and the Lying Bicyclist Who Tells Them
Tyler Hamilton has finally confessed. I am not inclined to give him another hug.