Monday, January 28, 2013

Young innovators, rare birds & lucky chimpanzees

People often ask me, why do I like working as a freelance writer? Last week provides a pretty good answer. I got to write about endangered species, environmental issues, animal rights, and people doing amazing things. As a freelance writer I get to both embrace my passions and go with the flow, telling a variety of stories that come my way that might not otherwise be told. I can't think of a better way to make a living.

This past week produced a bounty of new stories by me -- several of which have been in the works for a while now, while others were inspired by this week's news and events. I'll start the list, as I usually do, with my two Extinction Countdown articles for Scientific American:

Critically Endangered Mexican Gray Wolf Released into Arizona Wild

Almost Extinct Brazilian Bird Observed in Nest for the First Time [Video]

In addition to my own articles, O'Reilly Media (the folks behind all of those technology textbooks and conferences) did a nice write-up about my Extinction Countdown work.

Next up, three stories about young innovators. Mother Nature Network just launched a new feature called "The Leader Board," about young people making their mark on the world. Many of the young leaders to be profiled here will be eco-oriented, but this first batch are all about technology and medicine:

Are these 3 students computing's next big thing?

Pancreatic caner's foe: Teen Andraka

How D'Aloisio is revolutionizing mobile news

And finally this week, a bounty of timely news items for Mother Nature Network, including two articles about chimpanzees:

Portland radon levels reveal potential health risks

Animal sanctuary to be built in memory of Sandy Hook shooting victim

CareerBuilder: No chimpanzee commercials during this year's Super Bowl

Use of chimpanzees in medical research would be restricted under proposed federal rules

Stephen Hawking to receive a voice upgrade, thanks to Intel

Scientists discover DNA with a quadruple helix in cancer cells

As if all of that weren't enough, I'm working on several features that will appear in February, March, April and probably beyond. It's a writer's life and I love it!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Rare plants, clean air and Greek gold

This week's articles were all environmental, all the time. I usually have a few tech pieces in the mix -- and I did work on several this past week that won't see print for a while yet -- but all of this week's published articles covered eco-flavored topics. Three covered endangered species, two covered pollution, several were climate-related (I'm starting to overlap here), and only two could be said to be good news. Oh well.

Without further ado, let's start with this week's Extinction Countdown articles for Scientific American:

Amazing Hawaiian Plant Loved by Tourists but Endangered by Climate Change

Rare Japanese Rabbit Leaves Endangered Species List

And now, a whole bunch of articles for Mother Nature Network:

Climate change will increase wind and waves in Australia

Airpocalypse: Beijing faces life-threatening air pollution levels

Ken Salazar to step down as Secretary of the Interior

Greek gold mine could bring economic boom or environmental destruction

San Diego Zoo and Audubon Nature Institute team up to breed endangered species

84% of fish contaminated by mercury, study finds

I have something like ten articles awaiting publication at various magazines. I don't think any of them will hit this week -- or maybe not for several weeks to come -- but you can always follow me on Twitter for links and other updates.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Helpful drones, killer whales and engineering careers

Well the new year is off to the races, with nine new articles published last week and several more turned in. But 2012 isn't done with us yet: Scientific American has included two of my articles in its new eBook, A Look Back: The Best of 2012. You can read all about it here or buy it here.

Sticking with SciAm, here are this week's two new Extinction Countdown articles:

Critically Endangered Parakeet Population Grows on Predator-Free Island Reserve

Crowd-Funded Drones Could Help Protect Kenyan Rhinos

Next up, a whole bunch of articles for Mother Nature Network:

Herbicide could make deadly bacteria more dangerous, says new study

Python Challenge: Hunters descend on Florida Everglades to catch giant invasive snakes

Orcas free after being trapped in ice in Quebec [I actually had to write this twice after the whales escaped moments after my first version went online.]

PETA investigation uncovers abuse at North Carolina bear attraction

Self-charging battery named one of 2012's top innovations

Sea levels could rise more than 3 feet by 2100, according to new study

And finally, here's my latest engineering careers article for IEEE-USA's Today's Engineer:

Career Focus: Semiconductors

There's lots more on the way. Follow me on Twitter for the latest headlines.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Vomiting robots, giant pandas and dead manatees

Hey folks, it's time for me to list my very first articles of 2013.

And yes, I actually typed 2013 correctly, instead of typing 2012 and immediately going back and correcting it, so as far as I'm concerned the new year is off to a good start.

Anyway, it was a short week, with just three work days and five new articles. One of those was my regular Extinction Countdown post for Scientific American, while the others were all for Mother Nature Network:

Fewer Manatee Deaths in 2012, but Threats Remain

Larry the vomiting robot helps researchers study norovirus

Should China be reintroducing more giant pandas back into the wild?

Giant panda blood holds potential as power antibiotic, researchers say

Rebecca Tarbotton, young conservationist, dies in swimming accident

We're back to a five-day week this week, so there will be two Extinction Countdown articles, a bevvy for MNN (some of which are part of a new feature that premiers this month), my latest engineer careers articles, and a few other pieces here and there. Make sure to follow me on Twitter for links as they go live!