Monday, November 25, 2013

Deformed frogs, Asian unicorns and a sex-changing snail

What a great week. I signed the contract for a huge new freelance assignment, moved forward on several others, and wrote some pretty darned good articles. Let's go to the links.

Most of last week's publications appeared in Scientific American, where they hit on three fronts. First there was my usual three Extinction Countdown articles, which covered a wide range of endangered species:

Conservation's Holy Grail: "Asian Unicorn" Sighted in Vietnam

The Incredible Mr./Mrs. Limpet: The Endangered, Sex-Changing Sea Snail

Sunday Species Snapshot: Rothschild’s Giraffe

Then there was my latest article for the print magazine, which is a consolidation of two of my previous Extinction Countdown pieces:

An Endangered Species Act Success: California’s Santa Cruz Cypress

Finally, here's my first non-Extinction article for the SciAm website, a story I am glad that I had the opportunity to cover:

The Good and Bad News about Frog Abnormalities

This week's two other publications came from Mother Nature Network:

New York named America's most walkable city

Puerto Rico's famous bioluminescent lagoon stops glowing

Beyond that published work I have a ton on my plate, including several more articles for SciAm and MNN as well as my usual monthly feature for Today's Engineer and a new piece for Lion magazine. I also just signed the contract for what could be my biggest magazine assignment to date, but I probably won't be able to talk about that publicly for several months yet.

I don't know how many articles will appear online this week, what with the Thanksgiving holiday and all, but you can follow me on Twitter for links as they happen.

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!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Rare Cats, Melting Starfish and a Man with Wings

Well, this past week didn't see all that many new publications, but that's only because I have so many in the pipeline. I have more articles in process or pending publication than I can count, so expect a lot more soon.

Meanwhile, here are this week's articles, starting with one article and one shorter post for "Extinction Countdown" over at Scientific American:

Beautiful but Rarely Seen Cat Species Photographed in Borneo

Sunday Species Snapshot: Sociable Lapwing

And here are three short pieces for Mother Nature Network:

Mysterious wasting syndrome is turning West Coast starfish into goo

Bill Gates: Prioritizing worldwide Internet access over human health is 'a joke'

Jetman ascendant: How Yves Rossy learned to fly with four jet engines strapped to his back

This coming week should be a big one. Follow me on Twitter for headlines as they happen and come back here next Monday for another list of links.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Post-Halloween Article Goodies

We don't get many (okay, any) trick-or-treaters in my rural neck of the Maine woods, which may explain my productivity: too much sugar from 50%-off post-Halloween candy.

Anyway, I published a metric tonne of articles last week, so here are the links before I go try to burn off a few thousand calories. We'll start with this week's Extinction Countdown articles for Scientific American:

Halloween Scares: A Graveyard for Extinct Species

How Much Did the U.S. Spend on the Endangered Species Act in 2012?

Sunday Species Snapshot: White-Cheeked Gibbon

Next up, several news items for Mother Nature Network:

Hunting group auctioning off the right to kill an endangered black rhino

Olympic oops: Russia's games aren't as 'zero-waste' as promised

United Nations takes aim at asteroids

New system could predict how climate change will affect future fishing conditions

And finally this time around, the new annual report from Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences contains 10 articles by me, all about their latest research. This was in the works for a long time and finally came out last week. Cool stuff.

Okay, that's it for now. Follow me on Twitter for the latest article links as they go live!