1. Roadside evolution: Traveling to faraway lands to work on a story is one of the great privileges of this gig, but sometimes it’s nice just to head five minutes from your front door and go salamander hunting. That’s what I did for a story about evolution in our own time, which appears in the current issue of Environment Yale.
2. The Lehrer Affair. The best-selling science writer Jonah Lehrer made the sort of news a journalist wants to avoid: a number of passages in his magazine articles and books are closely to identical to stuff he’s written before. Journalist Seth Mnookin invited Jack Shafer (Reuters media critic), Deborah Blum (Pulitzer Prize-winning book author), David Quammen (prominent nature writer), and me to engage in a roundtable discussion of the controversy. Seth posted parts one and two last week, and part three goes up later today.
3. Do I look smart yet? For my latest Discover column, I explored the newest niche in neuro-marketing: brain drinks. You can now buy Gatorade-ish potions full of neurotransmitters, hormones, and other goodies, that are accompanied by vague promises of cognitive enhancement. I guzzled a sampling of smart drinks over a few days and wrote a column about it. Let’s just say, this was not a Hunter S. Thompson experience.
[Photo by me]