Selected Works

VICE

See all my VICE articles here.

The Radical Plan to Save the Planet by Working Less

The degrowth movement wants to intentionally shrink the economy to address climate change, and create lives with less stuff, less work, and better well-being. But is it a utopian fantasy?

The Anatomy of Empathy

Joel Salinas can literally feel his patients' pain. But as scientists are learning, there's more to empathy than just mirroring someone else.

The Many Obsession That Can Haunt a Person with OCD

An intimate look at seven lesser-known types of OCD that are darker, harder to talk about, and can remain undiagnosed for years.

Inside The Fragmented Minds of People With Dissociative Identity Disorder

The condition was formerly known as “multiple personality disorder,” and the medical field is still in disagreement on whether it is real. But does ‘real’ matter when a diagnosis can help?

The Dark Truths Behind Our Obsession With Self-Care

What this growing trend reveals about the flaws in mental healthcare.

LSD Changes Something About The Way You Perceive Time

We measure time in set amounts— seconds, minutes, and hours. But the way time feels is more slippery. 

Meditation Is a Powerful Mental Tool—and For Some People It Goes Terribly Wrong

"I just felt shattered. I had a job, a wife, and two beautiful children, and yet I felt that I would never experience joy again.”

What It Might Mean If You Get Deja Vu A Lot

That weird feeling can be traced to certain parts of the brain.

This Woman Is Exploring Deep Caves to Find Ancient Antibiotic Resistance

"Hazel’s like the Lara Croft of microbiology.”

Mosaic

My grandparents survived the Cultural Revolution: have I inherited their trauma?

A look into my mother and grandparents' past, and the limits of inheritance. 

Meet the dogs with OCD

Could understanding canine compulsions help find new treatments for people with obsessive–compulsive disorders too?

Sick building syndrome: is it the buildings or the people who need treatment?

In Finland, people whose sickness is linked to certain buildings fear being labelled as mentally ill, while scientists search for evidence that their condition is ‘real’.

Undark

Science and Chinese somatization 

Psychologists have long theorized that Chinese people experience their emotions more physically than other cultures. What does that say about me?

The Kenyon Review

Crystalline

My mother, my father, the history of x-ray crystallography, and the wonder / fear of growing up with science.

 

On writing science

Should fiction tools be used in science writing?

STAT

What radiation-resistant space fungus can do for drug discovery

These fungi have grown in two of the most extreme conditions known to man: outer space and the Chernobyl Atomic Energy Station.

 

Genetic fossil-hunters dig through HIV's long history for clues to new treatments

A flying lemur, a 60-million-year-old viral fossil, and the field of paleovirology. 

A lesson on life's end

How one college class is asking pre-med students to confront the realities of death and dying.

 

The Washington Post

The mysterious syndrome impairing astronaut's sight

They go to space with perfect vision and come back with a loss of acuity.

 

Bacteria get dangerously weird in space

Microbes are full of surprises in zero gravity– and space is a terrible place for surprises.

 

The world is closer than ever to eradicating guinea worm

Jimmy Carter wished for the human disease to be wiped out before he died. But to end the infections in people, health officials must end it in dogs, too. 

 

Scientists probe "purple blob" mystery on Pacific seafloor

"I have no idea what that is."

 

Mysterious 1934 death of Belgium's King Albert I may be solved thanks to some bloody leaves

Now researchers at the University of Leuven in Belgium say they have found DNA evidence to provide some closure to this 82-year-old cold case.

 

The very personal mission of the founder of the first diving club for African Americans

“What you’re doing is, you’re recovering history,” says Albert Jose “Doc” Jones.

High in their treetop nests, this biologist discovered the truth about eagles

Craig Koppie has studied the birds for decades and is still amazed at their gentleness.

 

The Atlantic

Building an impossible clock

The 18th-century horologist John Harrison claimed that he could make the world's most accurate pendulum clock, but his methods were scorned for hundreds of years—until someone proved him right.

 

BKLYNR

Let's have a reunion

Seven decades after graduation, a Crown Heights native seeks to reunite his elementary school class.

Harper's Magazine

Overhead Comportment

Bleakness Stakes

Gothamist

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