Monday, April 29, 2013

A week of pain and good writing

I'm going to go right out and say it: ouch.

I had big writing plans for last week, but I smashed up my left hand while trying to fix something I should have asked my landlord to do. Silly me. As a result of that error in judgement, I could barely touch the keyboard all week. The pain has mostly faded now, for which I'm grateful, but I'm going to be feeling this for weeks, especially on my left pointer finger, which is sure to lose the nail in the next few days. I wonder what it's going to feel like to type without a nail? I'm sure it won't be too pleasant.

Anyway, I had several articles well underway before this happened, and pecked my way through a couple of others, but this ended up being a fare less productive week than usual. Still, the articles that I did publish were excellent and did really well with readers. And on the bright side, I'm feeling like I almost had something approaching a week off, so I'm fully energized on this Monday morning.

Well, enough about my poor hand. On to the articles! Most were for my Extinction Countdown blog over at Scientific American:

When Did the Barbary Lion Really Go Extinct? [I worked on this one off and on for more than six months. I think it's one of my best articles of the year so far.]

Hunter Allowed to Import Rhino Trophy into U.S. for First Time in 33 Years [This generated a lot of discussion around the web. It was also reprinted by the Huffington Post, where it got a lot of comments.]

Satellite Reveals Possible Habitats for Rare Apes in China and Vietnam

Slaughtered Rhinos, Vanishing Cheetahs, the Lonely Dodo and Other Links from the Brink

My only other article this week was for Mother Nature Network, where I've been covering this particular story for more than two years. I'm glad to have been able to write about this last chapter in the saga of the Toomer's Corner trees:

Poisoned Toomer's Corner oaks cut down after final celebration

That's it for this week. Follow me on Twitter for links to this week's articles as they go live -- there's sure to be more of them than there were this week -- unless I do something stupid again, of course...

Monday, April 22, 2013

Insert hilarious yet meaningful headline here

Happy Earth Day! Today's articles have nothing to do with Earth Day -- although most of them are environmentally themed -- but what the heck, it's my favorite holiday so indulge me.

Anyway, here are this past week's articles for Scientific American and Mother Nature Network. They're all good articles, but you know what I'm really proud about? The headlines. I really came up with some good ones this week. Check 'em out below and see if you agree -- and then read the articles, too. You'll like 'em.

Chlamydia Is Killing Koalas—Will Genetics Find a Cure?

Pygmy Elephants, Asiatic Lions and Other Links from the Brink

Nanosponges could one day suck toxins right out of your veins

Giant, slimy, hungry African land snails are invading Florida

Idiots with spray paint and cameras force closure at Joshua Tree park

InsideClimate News wins Pulitzer Prize for oil spill reporting

75% of U.K. kids worried about climate change

I have some pretty amazing articles coming up this week, including one I've been working on for more than six months. Make sure to follow me on the Tweeter for links as they happen.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Diversity, new species & endangered cats

Another week, another nine new articles published, some of which have been in the works for months.

I'll start with this week's Extinction Countdown articles for Scientific American, which all garnered above-average readership:

The 6 Most Endangered Feline Species

Beautiful Striped Bat Identified as Entirely New Genus

Starving Orangutans, Dead Bats and Other Links from the Brink

Next up, my latest careers article for Today's Engineer. I interviewed some really great, enormously inspiring people for this piece. Endangered species may be my passion, but I really love working on these technology careers articles:

The Importance of STEM Diversity

And here are a whole bunch of thought-provoking new articles for Mother Nature Network:

Voice-over artist continues quest to regain his lost voice [This is a sequel to a very popular article I wrote in 2011.]

New tree-living porcupine species discovered

Another advantage of greener neighborhoods: Less crime

New laws would punish those who shoot undercover video of livestock abuse

Impact of Keystone XL pipeline examined in new e-book

That's it for this time around. Come on back next Monday for another link list, or follow me on Twitter for the links as they happen.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Bill McKibben, rare gibbons, entrepreneurship and a lot more

"You'll be back? You who? Back from where?"
The writing life is often full of unusual coincidences. For example, this week I was writing an article about robocalls when my phone rang. It was a robocall. A friend of mine took this as proof that Skynet has finally gone online. Me, I'm just glad that didn't happen when I was writing about poachers!

Anyway, here are this week's article links, barring any other unusual coincidences or circumstances.

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

Poachers Have Killed 62 Percent of Forest Elephants in the Past Decade  [This was also reprinted by Business Insider]

Who Will Save the Last Hoolock Gibbons?

Ethiopian Lions, Sumatran Rhinos & Other Links from the Brink

Next, my latest business feature for IEEE's The Institute:

Legal Experts Offer Strategies for Entrepreneurs

Bill McKibben = Energizer bunny.
I wrote a whole bunch of articles for Mother Nature Network this week, but I'll start the list with this profile that took several weeks to pull together:

Bill McKibben: The Energizer Bunny of the climate fight

And now all of the rest, covering a cool mix of technology, science, achievements and weirdness:

Cow power: Fair Oaks Farms uses manure to fuel its dairy trucks

The new cold war: Russia is stockpiling snow for the 2014 Winter Olympics

Toxic smell in New Orleans may have refinery to blame 

Conspiracy theories bring out the tinfoil hat brigade.
Poll: 37% of Americans believe that global warming is a hoax

Robocalls be gone: FTC contest takes aim at annoying (and often illegal) phone calls

Fabled 'Gate to Hell' unearthed by archaeologists in Turkey

Teen with Down syndrome scales Mount Everest

That's it for now. This coming week should bring my latest technology careers article for Today's Engineer, as well as a ton of other fun stuff. Stay tuned for the latest!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Feral cats, awful allergies and local economies

Last week was slightly less productive than usual, as a weird little stomach bug took me down for most of Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Luckily for both me and my readers I had been writing like a storm before that, so I had a bunch of articles already lined up for publication.

We'll start the link list, as I usually do, with my Extinction Countdown articles for Scientific American:

3,000 Feral Cats Killed to Protect Rare Australian Bilbies

'Extinct' Indian Gecko Rediscovered After 135 Years

Links from the Brink (this week's edition included news about manatees, rhinos, turtles and all kinds of other cool creatures, including the slender loris whose photo accompanies this blog post)

Next up, my latest feature for Mother Nature Network:

'Local Dollars, Local Sense' author preached sustainability before it was cool

And now, a bunch more news items for MNN:

Pollen counts -- and allergies -- expected to double by 2040 (this was also reprinted by the Huffington Post)

Bill Gates wants your help to design the condom of the future

From fat to fuel: Genetically modified bacteria could convert waste into energy

Science Olympiad: Where the smart kids strut their stuff 

This coming week should bring more like that stuff, and maybe some of the articles I have pending publication in a few other magazines. Follow me on Twitter for the latest links as they happen. (Just don't get too close, I'd hate to give you that stomach bug!)