A sampling of other published work, broken out by subject.
R We Going 2 Dai Alone?
“There was a time during the middle of 2007 when every junior staff member at the magazine where I worked was looking for love on the internet. The art director, an amiable Scandinavian in his mid-twenties, set up a white umbrella lamp in his tiny office and snapped some pictures of our coworker Rob that revealed a pair of bee-stung lips and dreamy eyelashes we had never quite noticed while sitting hunched in the glare of our computers. Rob had wanted the pictures for online-dating purposes, and he posted them, next to descriptive text that made him sound noble and introspective (maybe, all this time, he really was noble and introspective). Within a few weeks, he began dating a beautiful Cuban law student. I felt a sense of envy, but not of loss. I didn’t quite want to date Rob. Sitting four feet away from me, day in and day out, he was too close already to want to bring into that other kind of closeness. But the rest of New York, it seemed, was too far away. Surely there were other offices on our block where people our age also toiled with computers and ideas. Why couldn’t we meet them? We could invite them to our office for Friday-afternoon beers, and the next week, they could have us over to theirs. Like many sensible things, it seemed impossible to arrange…”
Girl, Lightly Medicated
The Brooklyn Rail
“It’s 1998 and I’m sitting on the long front porch at Kate Simpson’s house on Cora Street in Portland, Oregon. Freshman year is over. The end-of-year parties have stopped and the Pacific Northwest sun, shy at first, has grown hot enough that we can sit here languidly, our feet up on the dusty railing, drinking amaretto sours and fanning ourselves in the golden afternoon. ‘We’ is me, Kate, and Kate’s three glamorous housemates, one our year and two older. They’re brilliant, and picture-perfectly Portland hipster. Lauren and Helen, the older two, rock the vintage-librarian look, thrift-store dresses and old-lady glasses frames. They study serious things like anthropology and linguistics. They know French theory and a dozen tasty ways to prepare seitan. I came to college hoping that women like this existed, and I’m flushed with pleasure to be sharing their porch, like a little sister who’s been indulged to stay up with the cooler older kids...”
Washington Post Magazine
November 6, 2005
“The first thing that struck me about my sixth-grade drama teacher was his appearance. Michael Demick dressed in flannel shirts unbuttoned over clashing tees, rumpled shorts and beat-up sneakers. His beard and mass of auburn hair looked as if they’d been styled by a chicken…”
Science & Technology
Hyper One Day, Calm the Next: Changes in ADHD Over Time
Scientific American Mind
“Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic condition, and if left untreated, it can set a child up for a lifetime of difficulties in learning and forming relationships. At least that is the assumption that has guided the popular approach to treating ADHD for decades. But new research suggests that ADHD might be much less persistent than previously thought. A team led by Prudence Fisher and J. Blake Turner, both at Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute, reviewed the records of nearly 1,500 children from four studies that had used a standard diagnostic interview to screen for ADHD. They found that a majority of children who qualified for an initial diagnosis had lost their diagnosis by two years later.
ADHD has three subtypes: hyperactive, inattentive and both combined. More than half the children with the hyperactive and inattentive subtypes of the disorder had reverted to no ADHD at a two-year follow-up interview. Although the combined subtype was more persistent, between 18 and 35 percent of children in that group had also lost their diagnosis by the follow-up. Kids with many symptoms and significant impairment were just as likely to lose their diagnoses as children with milder forms of the disorder. Nor were the losses attributed to successful treatment…”
Field Museum: Constructing art and science on a frozen Minnesota lake
“The Art Shanty Projects, now in its sixth year, is an art-science-design expo constructed annually on the deep-frozen surface of Medicine Lake in Plymouth, Minnesota, 10 miles from Minneapolis. This year, more than 20 teams won grants to construct “shanties” on the lake, which range from the Norae Bang Shanty, where visitors can belt out a karaoke tune, to the Radical Mapping Shanty, where people can draft experimental diagrams of the laketop community. Art Shanty “is about creating an experience that interacts both with a community of people, and with the surrounding physical environment,” says Project Press Secretary Andrew Sturdevant…”
It’s Your Factory
“Adrian Bowyer thinks that Marx got it only half right: The means of production shouldn’t just be seized, they should be shared by all. To that end, Bowyer, a mechanical engineer from the University of Bath, in England, has realized one of technology’s holy grails-a machine that can replicate itself. In 2005, he began work on RepRap, a device that extrudes layers of plastic to create physical objects from digital designs. In addition to forging a seemingly infinite number of useful items, RepRap can make almost all of the parts for a working “child” version of itself, a feat first accomplished this May. With RepRap, the thinking goes, you can print yourself a pair of shoes of your own design, and then you can print your friend a RepRap of her own, generating wealth almost from thin air (the plastic it extrudes costs about $10 a pound). “My ambition is to allow people to have the freedom to make anything they want for themselves,” without corporate industry intervening, says Bowyer. “Why shouldn’t people run their own factory?”"
Retrieval: Of A Fire On the Moon, by Norman Mailer (PDF)
“It’s July 1969. Nixon is president and the hippie era is in full swing. In a country still reeling from protest, war, and assassination, teams at NASA prepare to attempt the most audacious technological feat in history. And Norman Mailer—who thinks that NASA’s ‘blind push’ is a distraction from problems on Earth—nonetheless finds himself in Houston, enduring press conferences to write a book about it…”
Museum: The Peenemünde Center, Peenemünde, Germany (PDF)
“One can argue that the Space Age began years before Sputnik, on a lonely spit of land in the Baltic Sea. There, in 1942, technicians at the Nazis’ Peenemünde test site launched the first man-made object into Earth’s atmosphere, a V2 (Vergeltungswaffe) rocket…”
Better Living Through Chemistry
“Not so many decades ago, a cut or scrape, if it became infected, could be deadly. On the battlefields of World War I, dirty wounds bred gas gangrene, a condition as revolting as it was hard to treat. For women in childbirth, the touch of an attendant’s unwashed hands often caused a mysterious fever that carried off thousands of women and left as many children motherless. Bacterial infection dogged humanity for millennia, until a mild-mannered German chemist named Gerhard Domagk dosed a group of strep-infected lab mice with an experimental compound called Kl-695…”
It’s a Wild, Wild Life
“While a friend and I were combing design shops in New York City last spring, we found ourselves at The Future Perfect. There, in Brooklyn, my friend spied a neon ceramic ladybug sculpture. At the checkout counter, the clerk told us about the ladybug’s provenance: It was made by a Mexico City-based duo who lived, he mentioned, in an apartment unlike anything he’d ever seen. Eventually, that comment led us all the way to Mexico.
In a corner apartment in Mexico City’s La Condesa neighborhood, at the top of a 1952 apartment building, Tony Moxham and Mauricio Paniagua make their home. But the 3,229-square-foot space isn’t just a place to live: They also use it as an office, an event space, a showroom, and a lab of sorts for the design principles that inform their company, DFC…”
“When Michael Pollan blogged that one of the best things we can do for the environment is to grow some of our own food, he was flooded with comments from apartment dwellers who insisted that they couldn’t. Britta Riley, an artist who works on crowdsourced solutions to environmental problems, remembers reading that post and thinking, “Come on, there’s got to be a way.” In February 2009, Riley and collaborator Rebecca Bray built a prototype of the first window farm—a vertical hydroponic system that uses inverted plastic water bottles as growing containers. By April, they were harvesting their first salad.
Besides bottles, a window farm mainly consists of two PVC pipes that hold water, and a small pump that cycles water from the bottom to the top of the farm, where it drips slowly down a ladder of inverted “Eco–Shape” bottles, each containing a plant. (Lettuce, cherry tomatoes, beans, herbs, and green beans have grown especially well so far.) A few regular compact fluorescent bulbs supplement ambient light…”
Room and Board: How an artistic couple transformed their blank-slate rental loft into a cozy live/work abode (PDF)
“‘Home Sweet Rental,’ reads the cheeky welcome mat outside the Philadelphia loft where Shauna Alterio and Stephen Loidolt live and work. It’s an appropriate declaration for the couple’s space, which is the result of three years’ worth of DIY build-outs, custom furniture-making, and art-gallery-worthy decorating.
While some people might not lavish such serious effort on a rental, the choice was natural for Alterio and Loidolt—both MFA grads with backgrounds in graphic, retail, and museum exhibition design. During their nine years of marriage, they have lived in four states; as such, they’ve perfected a system for converting a temporary dwelling into a refuge that reflects their aesthetic and stays within budget…”
Death Becomes Her: An artist rethinks the look of the afterlife (PDF)
“The demand for good design has bought us candy-colored vacuum cleaners and laser-cut dog dishes. Death, however, isn’t nearly so well outfitted: most of us are destined for a gaudy gasketed steel number or a Grecian urn. But Nadine Jarvis, a 24-year-old Briton, is out to reimagine the casket. Her collection of elegant vessels lends a high-concept twist to the sweet hereafter…”
Comfort Food (1940s food writer MFK Fisher inspires a new generation of bons vivants to discover the pleasures of simple food and good company) (PDF)
“‘Where are the scallions?’ calls a voice from the kitchen, where a dozen twenty- and thirty-somethings chop, rinse, stir, and pour. Someone is perched on a chair, the better to reach down into a steel pot the size of an oil drum. Ten-pound meatloaves glisten with ketchup coatings. The scent of lemon zest wafts through the air, which crackles with laughter and activity. We’re in the spacious, plywood-floored loft that Laura Braslow shares with her roommates in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood. It’s early afternoon, and preparations are well under way for “Umami: People + Food,” an occasional dinner party for 75 guests that strikes a note somewhere between a fancy supper club and a chaotic community social. The woman whose spirit hovers over these proceedings is M.F.K. Fisher, an American food writer who’s best remembered for her luscious prose and her conviction that the pleasures of eating are deeply important—not just to gourmets, but to everyone…”
The GOOD Guide to Better Neighborhoods
“Say the word “commune,” and it calls up certain associations: hippies, yurts, big pots of bean stew, awkward free love experiments gone wrong. But the idea of cooperative living arrangements predates all of that, and if current-day advocates like Stephanie Smith of WeCommune and Alex Marshall of Brooklyn Cohousing have anything to do with it, it will survive long into the future. Smith, an architect in San Francisco, is aware of the sex, drugs, and yurts cliche of communes, but she defines the essence of a commune as a simple and sensible pairing. “To me, a commune just means community and resource-sharing together,” she says. It’s the economic advantages of sharing, combined with the “low hum of support” that comes from knowing that the people around you are watching your back. Struck by the lack of traditions around sharing in our society, Smith is at work building simple, web-based tools to make resource sharing easier…”