Monday, May 27, 2013

Amphibians in crisis, a gene that itches, and a whole lot more

If it's Monday it must be time for a look back at my articles from the previous week -- even if it's Memorial Day. What can I say, freelancers don't always get to take holidays off.

I'll start this week's list with my Extinction Countdown articles for Scientific American, where amphibians found themselves on the bad side of the news:

Frog-Killing Chytrid Fungus Hits Rarely Seen, Wormlike Amphibians

Amphibians in U.S. Declining at “Alarming and Rapid Rate” (this was also reprinted at Salon)

A Monkey with Human Eyes and Other Links from the Brink

Next up, a big batch of articles for Mother Nature Network, including some pretty cool science:

Why we itch: Blame a gene called Nppb

Student filmmakers produce powerful documentary about sea turtle conservation

Fire ants inspire ideas for life-saving search-and-rescue robots

Mystery cause of Irish potato famine finally solved

Oman invests in solar energy -- to extract oil

Outside of the published articles I have also been deep, deep, deep into my next articles for Conservation magazine, Today's Engineer and The Institute, as well as several more articles for SciAm and MNN, plus a big batch of ten articles for another client and a two corporate newsletter gigs. PLUS, this week I got a call out of the blue that ended up being my first magazine cover assignment. So there's that.

Yeah -- busy, busy, busy!

Anyway, even if this is a four-day week, there will still be plenty of new articles. Follow me on Twitter for the latest links as they happen. And I'll see you here next week!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Bad genes, red tides, ocean science and comics

Hey, this is my 250th post at the John Platt Article Library! That's a lot of weeks posting article links and archival pieces. And guess what -- I'm not stopping any time soon!

This week's first article links come your way from the pages of Scientific American, where my Extinction Countdown series appears three times a week:

Desperately Seeking Cichlid: Fish Species Down to Last 3 Males, No Known Females

What Do Tigers and Kiwi Have in Common? The Answer Lies in Their Genes

Deadly Snakes, Ugly Critters, Leonardo DiCaprio and Other Links from the Brink

Next up is something different, three articles for the Transect newsletter published by Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences. These cover glowing red tides, a unique cross-continent education program, and an expedition deep, deep, deep below the Atlantic Ocean -- while Hurricane Sandy pounded the coast a few hundred miles away! You can download the PDF here.

And finally, here are four new articles for Mother Nature Network:

Bill Gates 2.0: From Microsoft founder to disease eradicator

'Crazy ants' invade southeastern U.S.

Sequester forces cuts in volcano monitoring

Monsanto wins Supreme Court case on GMO soybean seeds

In addition to this week's articles, I made a rare public appearance at the Maine Comic Arts Festival in Portland, where I was selling my handmade comics and original art. What a great time! It was nice to hear so many people laughing at my work. I spend so much time writing about dark and depressing subjects, it's nice to get back to the humorous side of things once in a while!

Well, that's it for this week. I have a lot more in process and pending publication. Stay tuned for the latest updates!

Monday, May 13, 2013

How to be a consultant and ten more new articles

If it's Monday, it must be time for another list of links to my articles from the previous week. And what a bunch of articles they were!

I'm going to break tradition and start this week's list with my latest careers articles, the first of which comes your way from The Institute. This contains some great advice for anyone running their own business or consultation practice:

Building a Better Consulting Practice

Next up, another career-oriented piece, this time from Today's Engineer:

What Makes a Good STEM Mentor?

Now we get to my usual Extinction Countdown articles for Scientific American:

How Poachers Stole 10 Percent of an Entire Tortoise Species…and What Happened Next

The 5 Most Endangered Canine Species

Massacred Elephants, Found Frogs and Other Links from the Brink

And finally, here are several articles for Mother Nature Network:

Oil and fracking booms creating housing busts

Solar industry is evolving — and experiencing growing pains

Al Gore reportedly now worth more than $200 million, called 'Romney-Rich' by Bloomberg

Fracking is draining water resources, especially in the West

Launch of the Nautilus: New magazine aims to be 'a New Yorker version of Scientific American'

Man survived being swallowed by a hippo

More to come!

Monday, May 6, 2013

An extinct cat and other happy news stories

This week I had the sad task of writing yet another obituary for an extinct species, in this case the Formosan clouded leopard of Taiwan. A friend of mine recently asked me, "how can you write about this stuff every day? Isn't it depressing?" Sure it is. But I'm a journalist. I don't shy away from the painful stories, or the ones that need to be told. If I give up, the bullies win. That, I think, is why most reporters get into the business: to make a difference.

Anyway, here are this week's links, starting with my Extinction Countdown articles for Scientific American:

After 13-Year Quest, Clouded Leopards Confirmed Extinct in Taiwan

Just 35 Devils Hole Pupfish Remain—Does Extinction Loom?

Hammerhead Sharks, Houston Toads, Heavy Metal and Other Links from the Brink

And here are several more eco-flavored articles for Mother Nature Network:

Raptors vs. landfills: Methane burners kill many birds of prey

Protestors dislike Mark Zuckerberg's support of Keystone XL pipeline

Shhh... Is the best way to fight climate change to stop talking about it?

Huntsville, Ala., is the worst city in America for tornado damage

Hurricane Sandy caused 11 billion gallons of sewage overflows

This coming week should bring many more just like last week's, plus a few rather positive and inspiring engineering-related articles. Come back here next Monday for all of the links or follow me on Twitter for the links as they go live.