Monday, March 31, 2014

Stunning snails and kangaroo flatulence

I write about the weirdest and most awesome stuff. There's never a dull day when you're a freelance journalist!

Let's start this week's link list with my "Extinction Countdown" articles for Scientific American, the first of which went viral and got 30 or 40 times my regular number of readers:

Microjewels: Stunningly Beautiful Snails Going Extinct As Soon As They Are Discovered

$10-Million Action Plan Aims to Save World’s Most Endangered Gorilla

Next up, my latest piece for TakePart:

Killer Zoo Strikes Again: Weeks After Killing a Giraffe, Copenhagen Zoo Euthanizes Four Healthy Lions

And finally, a whole bunch of news items for Mother Nature Network, including more than one weird science story:

Why kangaroos emit less methane when they ... um ... you know, pass gas

Report finds unbelievable waste in 9 major fisheries

What can we learn from the giant volcano under Yellowstone National Park?

This giant, prehistoric shrimp had bizarre feeding filters built into its face

That's it for this week. I wonder what weird wonders shall cross my keyboard in the week to come?

Monday, March 24, 2014

Kangaroos that live in trees and other cool things

This week's articles include news about one of my favorite species (the kakapo), a look at a little-known species of kangaroo that lives in trees, great philanthropy from a Buffett, and a cool citizen science project.

We'll start with this week's Extinction Countdown articles for Scientific American:

Kakapo Baby Boom in New Zealand: First New Chicks in 3 Years [Video]

Poisoning Dingoes Has Domino Effect on Australia’s Biodiversity

Sunday Species Snapshot: Goodfellow’s Tree-Kangaroo

Next up, my latest for TakePart:

$23 Million for Rhinos: Howard Buffett’s Mega Gift to Help Stop Poaching

And finally, a news article for Mother Nature Network:

How much radiation from Fukushima will hit the West Coast?

I have several more articles pending publication this week, and lots more to write, so make sure to follow me on Twitter for the latest links as they happen (or come back here next Monday for the usual weekly list).

Monday, March 17, 2014

Missing species, biometrics and robot fish

A few years ago I heard what I thought was a great piece of advice: Don't cross things off your to-do list. Instead, highlight them. A list full of crossed-off items feels angry and messy. A list of highlighted lines, on the other hand, glows with the satisfying feeling of a job well done.

I did a lot of work this week. And it feels good.

And so, here are this week's article links. I'll start with three Extinction Countdown articles for Scientific American:

Roosevelt’s Barking Deer, Unseen for 85 Years, Photographed in Vietnam

Tea and Consequences: Unsustainable Cultivation Puts Honeybush Tea at Risk

Sunday Species Snapshot: Panamanian Golden Frog

This week also brought my latest technology careers article for Today's Engineer...

Career Focus: Biometrics

...and my second article for TakePart:

What's Worse Than Shooting Fish in a Barrel? Hunting Lions the Same Way

To round things off, here are a few newsy items for Mother Nature Network:

Soft robotic fish makes a big splash

Why can't we find Malaysia Airlines Flight 370?

I have a few articles already pending for this week, and lots more to write on my to-do list. I look forward to pulling out the yellow highlighter as they make their way toward publication.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Otters, Exotics and the Need for Speed

The past three months have been busy, busy, busy. After working my tail off from December through February, I decided to slow down a bit last week and took a couple of hours off each day. It felt great -- and more importantly, it gave me the opportunity to refocus on some amazing opportunities that lie ahead.

But I still managed to write several articles last week, including this one for Scientific American:

25 Years after Exxon Valdez Spill, Sea Otters Recovered in Alaska’s Prince William Sound

This week also saw the publication of my first article for TakePart, where I'll be contributing weekly articles about wildlife and other environmental issues:

A Guy and His Pet Tiger Walked Into a Bar—Find Out What Happened Next

I also wrote a few of my usual news items for Mother Nature Network (this was a particularly fun batch):

WildLeaks: The neighborhood watch of the animal world seeks prying eyes

Sick of winter? Use this site to find the cities with the most pleasant days per year

Speed-reading apps: A time-saving solution for the modern world?

It's back to full-speed-ahead this week, and there's already lots on my plate. As usual, I'll post the headlines on Twitter as they happen, and you can get the full list here next Monday.

Have a great week!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Lemur Week and the letter Q

I always like it when unintentional themes appear in my articles, even when they collectively represent bad news. Today's article lists represents what became Lemur Week, with two articles touching upon lemur conservation. The other articles -- for Scientific American and Mother Nature Network -- also touch upon climate change, deforestation, the letter Q and other happy subjects.

Crisis in Madagascar: 90 Percent of Lemur Species Are Threatened with Extinction

Endangered Falcon Lives Fast, Dies Young in Response to Habitat Loss

Conservation community mourns Alison Jolly, famed lemur researcher

The Quelccaya Ice Cap is melting and global warming is to blame

Quagga mussels invade Utah's Lake Powell reservoir

That's it for this time around. I have sooooo many other articles pending publication in the coming weeks and months. Make sure to follow me on Twitter for the latest links as they happen!