Monday, October 20, 2014

All extinction, all the time

Last week's four published articles were all about endangered or threatened species. Obviously that's my main beat, but I usually have at least something else in the mix. Anyway, here are four not-so-positive articles from the pages of Scientific American and TakePart:

A Wild Idea: Save Tasmanian Devils While Controlling Killer Cats

Sage Grouse and Oil Drilling Can Co-Exist, Says New Report

Watch Out, Kangaroos: Poisonous Cane Toads Are Evolving Into Even Deadlier Invaders

China Is Pushing the Rare Pig-Nosed Turtle to Extinction

What you don't see from this list, of course, is all of the other stuff that I'm working on. I have quite a few articles about technology, history, science and philanthropy working their way through the system. Look for them soon -- along with more extinction-related news.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Elephants, Otters and IT Professionals

This week's article list is a tiny bit shorter than usual. I'm working on several huge features that will appear over the coming months, which leaves less time for news articles. That said, I'm pretty proud of the work that appeared this past week.

First up, two new "Extinction Countdown" articles for Scientific American:

Elephants are Worth 76 Times More Alive Than Dead

Poison Dart Frog Threatened by Toxic Gold Mines

Next, my latest poaching and wildlife articles for TakePart:

Trading Indonesia’s Debt for Sumatran Tigers, Rhinos, and Orangutans

Cat Poop, Seaweed, and Snails Prove a Deadly Combination for Sea Otters

And finally, a career-oriented blog post for IEEE's The Institute:

IT Professionals: Five Key Tips to Stay Relevant in Today’s Market 

More next Monday!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Bad news on top of bad

Man, I write about some depressing stuff. I usually try to balance that with some positive topics as well, but this week's published articles were pretty much all bleak. Oh, sure, there's progress in each story, but collectively they sure add up to one big bummer.

Here are the links -- from Scientific American and TakePart -- to help you start your week off with a dark tone:

Deforestation Threatens Newly Identified Bird in Brazil

Sloth Bears Confirmed Extinct in Bangladesh

Two for One: Saving Sage Grouse Also Helps Protect Mule Deer

Australia’s Sea Cows Struggle to Survive Poachers

Don't worry -- I have a bunch of uplifting articles in the works as well. Those should start to appear this week. Follow me on Twitter for links as they happen!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Squirrel Week and a whole lot more

All work and no play would make John a very dull boy indeed if all of this work wasn't so much fun and it didn't produce so many interesting, important stories.

I gotta tell you, I did not expect to see so many of my articles appear this week. Yes, I wrote a lot during this past week, but four articles on this list were actually written the prior week. Meanwhile, one of them was published a couple of weeks ago but my editor didn't tell me. Ah, the writer is always the last to know.

Anyway, here are this week's publications, starting with my two "Extinction Countdown" articles for Scientific American, where it unintentionally ended up being Squirrel Week:

This Massive Squirrel Has Been Saved from Extinction

Mysterious Flying Squirrel Could Get Endangered Species Protection

Next up, four new articles from TakePart, where I continue to write about wildlife, animals and poaching:

Take a Good Look at This Rare Malayan Tiger—It May Be One of Your Last

Zambia’s Lion King Is Dead

FBI Classifies Animal Abuse as a ‘Crime Against Society’

What's Not Trying to Kill California Sea Otters?

Switching topics completely, here's a new feature and a cool blog for IEEE's The Institute:

Landing a Job in Big Data

The Tricorder Might Soon Become a Reality

And finally, check out my latest weird history and explainer articles for Mother Nature Network:

Meet the man who invented the emoticon ... in 1879

Take warning when the sky is red in the morning

This coming week shall be busy, busy, busy. I'm starting two new features for print magazines (the issues won't appear for months) as well as continuing along in similar veins to the articles above. Sure, some of it's going to be dark and depressing -- I don't shy away from that -- but none of it will be dull.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Rarest of the Rare

This week's four publications all covered endangered species. Three of the articles examined species that are just about as rare as they get.

First up, my two Extinction Countdown articles for Scientific American:

This Rare White Possum Could Soon Be a Ghostly Memory

Chinese Sturgeon Give Up, Stop Breeding in Polluted Yangtze River

And next, two articles for TakePart:

Should the U.S. Force These Rare Wolves Into Captivity?

Watch These Shark Finners Get Hunted Down

Beyond that, I've been working on quite a few fronts. This coming week I'll have more articles for those two publishers, and some of the stuff I have queued up for others might start to make its way into the world. I'm also researching and writing several articles that will see print in October and beyond. After six weeks off to move across the country, it feels good to be back!

Don't miss new articles as they appear -- follow me on Twitter for new headlines all week long.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Getting back into the swing of things

If you think it's hard going back to work the first day after a two-week vacation, imagine what it's like getting back after six weeks on the road. I hit the keyboard last Monday after moving across the country and the words didn't exactly flow for the first 24 hours. But I pushed on and things have really started flowing now. I wrote four articles last week and set the stage to work on a whole lot more this coming week. Heck, my editors were so happy to have me back that they inundated me with new assignments. Ah, it's good to be wanted.

Anyway, here are last week's four headlines, one for Scientific American and three for TakePart:

In Limbo Since 1991, the Oregon Spotted Frog Finally Gets Protected Status

Cruel Practices on Spanish Rabbit Fur Farms Caught on Tape

When Doves Die: Poachers Kill 209 Birds in Hunting Spree

How to Keep Endangered Sea Turtles Off the Dinner Menu

Oh, and beyond all of that, you can see me (in the background) in one of the photos in this Newsweek article about an event at the Society of Environmental Journalists conference.

Lots more coming in the days and weeks ahead. Look for links on Twitter as they go live!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Back behind the keyboard!

Hello from Portland! It's been a crazy, amazing five weeks since I last posted to this blog. The tale of our journey across the country from Maine to Oregon will have to wait for another day. It was definitely an adventure.

For now, though, let's catch you up. Although I did almost no writing over the past month, several of my articles did make their way to publication. I'll start the list with my latest "Extinction Countdown" articles for Scientific American, including an out-of-character post to mark its tenth anniversary:

10 Years of Extinction Countdown: A Lot of Good in the Face of Mass Losses

Vaquita Porpoise about to Go Extinct, Only 97 Remain

100 Years Ago Today (a brief post about the centennial of the extinction of the passenger pigeon)

Next up, my latest weird history article for Mother Nature Network:

What was Battle of the Frogs?

Changing topics completely, here's my latest careers-oriented article for Today's Engineer:

Why Copyright Still Matters to Today's Tech Pros

And finally, here's a new article for IEEE's The Institute:

Worldwide Celebrations to Mark IEEE Day

I think that's everything I had in the pipeline. But there will be lots more coming soon. I'm back behind the keyboard and I have plenty of stories to tell. Stay tuned for more links next Monday!