Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Let 'em play!

My most recent piece for Scientific American MIND is about the importance of spontaneous free play for kids -- and what might happen as a result of its demise. Parents and schools are letting kids play less and less these days, and this could have implications for the social and emotional health of generations to come. (If you get the chance to peek at the print version, do -- the pictures of kids and animals playing are heart-melting!)

I also talked about this piece (and a few others I've recently written) on New Hampshire Public Radio's
Word of Mouth a few weeks ago. You can listen to the segment here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I know, I know...

I haven't posted in SO LONG. Mostly because I've been so busy and feel bad just posting links to my new stories. But some people have been asking me to do that anyway, so.... I'll try posting some links to my most recent stories and maybe -- just maybe -- occasionally write up a blog post or two.

Most recently, Popular Mechanics has come out with my feature on 20 Biotech Breakthroughs that Will Change Medicine. Included among them are rocket-powered prostheses, contact lenses that can diagnose glaucoma, spit tests for cancer, and pills that tell you when you've taken them.

You can read the whole story
here, or check out their March issue (where the art is much better!).

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Word of Mouth

Today I made my radio debut on New Hampshire Public Radio's Word of Mouth. They invited me to talk about my article on flavor enhancers featured in August's Scientific American. You can download my 8-minute segment here.

I was a nervous wreck, but somehow I held it together. That's despite the fact that when the producer first called, I couldn't hear anything because I had accidentally hit the mute button (I guess it mutes both ways!). Luckily, I figured out the problem fairly quickly -- but not before hanging up on him, too. Heh.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Cellphone Games

I know. I haven't posted in eons. I've lost all three of my regular readers and I should be ashamed of myself. But alas, I have been busy! Which is a good thing when it comes to, you know, paying rent and stuff like that.

In fact, I have nothing to blog about right now, either, but I will be kind enough to post a link to my latest piece, published in Canada's The Walrus magazine. It's about cover-ups in the telecommunications industry over cell phone safety. I started writing the piece as a student at NYU, and now, three years later, it's finally being published. I couldn't be more thrilled!

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Get smarter & save the world

The website was started with two goals in mind:

1. Provide English vocabulary to everyone for free.

2. Help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free.

Lo and behold, that's exactly what it does. When you arrive at the site, you're asked a vocabulary question (don't worry, you don't have to sign up or anything - no forms, I promise). If you answer it correctly, the site donates 20 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program; then you're asked a harder question. With each question you answer correctly, the site gives another 20 grains away. In January, the site donated a total of 4,551,581,980 grains (that comes to more than 150,000 pounds).

The best part is, even if you get an answer wrong, you can still continue to play. And the site keeps track of how much rice you've donated in a cute little ricebowl icon to the right. You can also change your settings so that the site remembers you when you return, keeping a tally on how many grains of rice you've given since you first started playing.

So. Next time you want to procrastinate, why not increase your word knowledge and give a little something to the poor? It's that easy.

(Many thanks to a commenter on the WSJ Health Blog for pointing out the site.)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Must I eat greens to be green?

Dear science enthusiasts: If you haven't yet been introduced to the fabulous online science magazine Inkling, please, pay it a visit. It's run by a handful of feisty young science writers and is one of the coolest mags around. Lucky for me, I recently had the chance to write a little something for them. Ever wondered what a green meal looks like? I don't mean a plate full of spinach -- I mean an environmentally friendly meal. Well, I did some digging and here's what I found out.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A periodic table of microbes?

Yes, yes, I'm still alive -- just running around like a mad woman. Sorry for not posting! But I have good news: my very first Nature piece has just been published. I've been wanting to write about viral interactions for ages, and I'm super excited to have had the opportunity to do so for such a great publication. You can read my article here.