Monday, November 18, 2013

How Frustration Led to Last Week's Most Popular Story

Writing about endangered species for a living almost guarantees that I remain in a state of constant frustration. This week that frustration gave birth to one of my most popular articles in recent months. It wasn't the fact that the western black rhino had gone extinct that caused that frustration or my reaction. The western black rhino went extinct years ago but most people in the media -- and the world in general -- didn't seem to notice until this past month. This has led to some truly awful reporting from too many news sites that should have known better. I decided to set the record straight with one of this week's Extinction Countdown articles for Scientific American:

How the Western Black Rhino Went Extinct

That article got tens of thousands of readers, more than I ever expected. Hopefully it will continue to dispel some of the misinformation that has been spread about this extinction.

In other news, here are this week's other two Extinction Countdown articles. The first is feature-length, while the second is a weekend quickie:

Jamaican Iguana Conservation Program Marks 20 Years of Success, Faces Worries about Next 20 Years

Sunday Species Snapshot: Jackass Penguin

This week also saw publication of my latest feature for Today's Engineer. I think this is a particularly important piece and I enjoyed working on it:

Federally Funded Research: The Key to Unexpected (and Valuable) Discoveries

Finally, here are two new articles for Mother Nature Network:

Global warming isn't on 'hiatus'

Scientists invent not 1, not 2, but 3 new 'invisibility cloaks' [This was my favorite headline of the week]

What will this coming week bring? Hopefully it won't involve too much frustration, but we'll see. If it does, maybe I'll turn that into something useful like I did this past week.  Wish me luck!

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