Science, Nature, Tech

When Coral Reefs Die, Even the Midwest Loses

    Lacy, blossomed, branching, glowing in neon pink, green, yellow, purple, or orange—coral is a bouquet strewn on the sea floor. Who dives for fish when you can dive to be hypnotized by such beauty? Had I the courage to carry my breath in a tank, I would hang underwater for hours, trying to […]

Get Ready for Roadkill

      Most of us remember well our first sight of a dead human body. Most often it is surrounded by the aura of silent respect, but also more than a little horror, as if catching sight of a ghost while singing a hymn in church. Roadkill, on the other hand, usually offers no […]

Plants Warn, Defend, Scream, Remember, and Plan Ahead

        Before social media, Charles Darwin relied on a global network of colleagues who corresponded with him. Before AI, he used photos to study facial expressions around the world. Before Buzzfeed, he created quizzes about what emotion was pictured. Before Fitbit, he walked daily and counted his steps by dragging a flint […]

The Brilliant Dr. William Beaumont: Unethical or Just Aloof?

    Dr. William Beaumont—wealthy, respected, refined—leans over the body of Alexis St. Martin—an illiterate nineteen-year-old French Canadian—and threads a piece of string through an accidental opening. Dangling the thread down into St. Martin’s stomach, Beaumont swishes it about, then, at timed intervals, hoists up the piece of raw or cooked meat tied to the […]