Animal Eating Plants: A Delightfully Frightening Reversal

Carnivore…the word conjures meat and bones. A fleshiness. Thick fur or leathery scales and two rows of sharp, gleaming teeth. Today, however, I’ll tell you three stories (with three videos!) for which “carnivore” has a leafier connotation. Continue reading


Upload Your Memories to the Cloud, Just Don’t Get Hacked!

No more dangling your arms through a forest of outstretched limbs, phone in hand, to capture a slice of reality on a screen while you, well, miss it. In due time, our eyes may be enough.

A group of scientists from Harvard and The National Center for Nanoscience and Technology in Beijing have developed a syringe-injectable neural net that can overlay and interface with neurons. In other words, they’ve figured out how to plug your brain into the Internet. Continue reading

The Planets and Their Names—a Few Stories About How We Decide to Label the Skies

A pregnant woman digs her nails into the (supposedly) comforting arm of her husband and, in a howl of unchallengeable pain, declares the name of their baby boy. The husband decides against protest this time, and so Champe is born.

That’s how I got my name. Two parents, a debate, and then not much of one. But what about the planets? Who names them if not ballooning mothers in fits of birthing rage? Continue reading

Slaves to a Gun

Slaves to a gun:
Rips up my insides but outside I’m still.
Slaves to a gun:
A uniform don’t make you more but gun lets you kill.
Slaves to a gun:
Pointed at my head, our heads, we’re dead ‘less you choose.
Slaves to a gun:
Power papered over,
Put on pause for money orders,
Politicin’ proppin’ up an image,
Paralyzed and pressure’s buildin’,
Killin’ ourselves, women, blacks, and children—
Police or mental patient, easy guns mean we lose.

Nothing Makes Sense, and That’s Life

What’s the ratio of boys to girls in a given town? Infiniti. *Evidence in hot-hand link

If someone with two children tells you they have a son born on a Tuesday, what’s the probability that their second child is a son? Well…one half, one third, or thirteen twenty-sevenths—the problem is under-defined.

Is there such a thing as a hot hand in basketball? Everyone knows that one: it’s an illusion! Actually, no, it’s not. There is such a thing (and its got nothing to with athletic hand temperature).

If your friend flips a coin three times, you ask whether she got any heads, and she replies, Continue reading

Diseases Stink…Literally

If you could have any super power, what would it be? The ability to fly? To be invisible? Super strength? Super speed?

How about super smell?

No? No takers? I understand—it’s not the most appealing power. But maybe it’s the most realistic.

Meet Joy Milne. She’s, to my knowledge, the world’s first real superhero (we’re excluding firefighters, police, mothers, and the like for lack of actual superhuman abilities). Now Joy can’t fly faster than a speeding bullet. She can’t stop a train with an outstretched forearm or make breakfast with her mind, but boy, can she smell. Continue reading