My eyes are glazing over. It’s been less than 10 minutes since I slinked into the last row of chairs inside this makeshift outdoor auditorium, where a young woman with a tightly-bound ponytail and a sharp German accent is motoring through a series of PowerPoint slides. Holomorphic modular forms. A partition of a positive integer n. Ramanujan congruences. I always had a knack for math, but my AP algebra training isn’t helping much as I attempt to understand how one indecipherable equation can explain other indecipherable equations that somehow illustrate a point about that first equation and how if you then account for the eigenvalue that’ll bring us all back to Weak Maass Form and did she just invent all of these symbols to fuck with everyone?
What goes on inside the brain of a psychopath? One new study, the latest in a line of controversial recent research tackling that question, offers yet another clue about how the grey matter of individuals diagnosed with psychopathy — a complex personality disorder often characterized by impulsive behavior, lack of remorse, and antisocial tendencies — might be “hardwired” differently than those who don’t fit the profile.
I wrote this a few months ago…but you can read it today if you haven’t already!
A mere decade from now, humankind will be an interplanetary species. At least according to the founders of Mars One, a Dutch non-profit aiming to send four people to the red planet in 2023 — and leave them there. The goal? For those intrepid settlers to develop an autonomous, self-sustaining society.
This week, investigators behind the largest clinical trial on ketamine yet — an evaluation of 72 patients out of Baylor College of Medicine and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine — announced the impressive results of their new study at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association.
Open call to journalists across the land! Prevention.com is looking for creative, surprising, informative, provocative feature pitches that would (most likely) run as online exclusives.
Here’s the scoop: We’re keen to hear any ideas you’ve got for pieces that’ll engage and excite our audience. These can be intensive investigative features, first-person essays that’ll resonate with readers, deep dives into research, controversies, cultural phenomena, lifestyles, or even highly creative, visual explorations of a timely topic (infographs etc). You get the idea.
Send fleshed-out pitches to Katie.Drummond@Rodale.com…and tell your talented friends to do the same. Thanks!
Belatedly sharing this piece I did for the January, 2013 issue of Popular Science. This couple built, then lived in, a 574-cubic-foot wagon…for an entire summer. Oh, and a cat’s involved too. The planning and construction of this innovative little abode is fascinating. Check out the story to learn more about whittled-down living.
Sitting down sucks. Omega-3s are awesome. Organic foods…the jury’s sorta out. Of all the health news from 2012, a select few studies, recommendations, and controversies reigned supreme. I’m running down the most important stories of the year over at Prevention.com. Slideshows are hard, this news is important, go read it.
As of Monday, Nov. 12th, I’ll be the news editor at Prevention.
We’ve got plans to take over the world, so tell your wife/partner/sister/momma/yoga teacher/daughter/sommelier to check it out.
And if you have an eye on writing or a story idea you’d like to see published, I’m at email@example.com. Just don’t pitch anything about pigeon hunting. They already did that.
I’ve got a piece in Global Post on the Pentagon’s green-energy push. Already, military-backed efforts have made remarkable strides (and ones that might soon trickle into the civilian and commercial realms). Not that it’s a walk in the park or anything, as Sharon Burke, one of the military’s key green energy leaders, tells me:
"Sometimes people [at the Pentagon] seem to have these magical inboxes that seal themselves up," Burke says. "But we’re keeping at it, staying persistent, and we’re keeping this conversation on the table."
Nothing says “interesting story” like an eyebrow love affair.
Thanks to whoever left that remarkable comment on my story at Forbes, about a new transient electronics program (funded, in part, by DARPA) that’s developing devices capable of doing a given job — say, spying on foes or helping heal a wound — before disappearing into thin air.
The third (and final!) story in my three-part series at The Fix, which looked at addiction and substance abuse among military personnel and veterans.
Part III zeroes in on treatment efforts and progress, or (more often) the lack thereof. Serendipitously, it also ran the same day as an IOM report describing military substance abuse as “a public health crisis” and deriding the military’s outmoded, inconsistent treatment programs.
Check out the story here, and read The Fix if you don’t already. It really is a terrific publication, and it was an honor to do this reporting for them.
This week at Prevention, I’m filling you in on two major new studies.
The first (and listen up, women): Scientists reporting in the British Medical Journal are suggesting that women with hereditary risk factors for breast cancer are at an even higher risk of developing the disease if they undergo radiative diagnostic interventions earlier in life (ie: mammograms).
The second: A meta-analysis, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, offers some promising results on the impact of acupuncture for patients suffering from chronic pain.
Late to the game of promoting my own writing — blame my dad for getting married in a remote mountain region without WiFi — but check out my cover story at The Daily on the Army-funded project that’s investigating an anti-suicide nasal spray. You may have read about it elsewhere, but people in-the-know read my exclusive at The Daily first.
The Army has just handed a $3 million grant to researchers at the University of Indiana’s School of Medicine for the creation of an anti-suicide nasal spray. The project, to be led by Dr. Michael Kubek, an associate professor of neurobiology, is arguably one of the more unusual military efforts to thwart a record number of suicides among active-duty personnel and veterans.
Now the military’s getting in on the action, with newly-announced plans for a DOD-wide web database that’ll keep tabs on human-subject research. Which, of course, means that monkey-brain-mediated robots will not be included. Shame.
In her three years as a Lance Corporal in the U.S. Marines, Nicole McCoy was raped twice and sexually assaulted two additional times.
Now 22, McCoy has become an advocate for revamped military policies were sex crimes are concerned. In a petition at Change.Org, she’s asking Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to create a national database of enlisted sex offenders. Which…somehow…despite 20,000 sexual crimes committed in the military last year alone…doesn’t exist yet.
Of course, the issue of veteran’s unemployment is much more complicated than dapper attire and HR reps. And there are some fantastic organizations (IAVA and VOWS, as I noted in the piece, chief among them) trying to improve job fairs and their subsequent outcomes for veterans.
This week at Danger Room, I learned a lot about GPS — and what the Pentagon’s planning to do to back up the navigational systems that have become vital to myriad military operations. Hint: DARPA is involved.
Then I changed course. And wrote a story describing how spinal fluid might one day power neurally-mediated prosthetics. Say what?! Say “brain juice.”
So we’d like to make at least one more magazine together. Not an issue of GOOD—something different. We’re calling it Tomorrow. It’s going to be about what’s next, what’s on the cusp. We want to get out of our comfort zone and push others to do the same. We want to meet and introduce you to great people. We’ll have more details soon, so check back here later this week.
Very psyched to be starting a new gig at Forbes this week. I’ll be writing about a bunch of stuff, from the national defense beat to the health and science beats and maybe the competitive stair climbing beat (which I own). The odd listicle might sneak in there too.
You can read it, bookmark it, and, if you must, post rude comments on it, right here.
Note that you can still do all those things over at Danger Room and The Daily, and on my freelance stuff. I’m just adding a fourth gig to my repertoire, because I have workaholic tendencies and expensive taste in wine.
The Danger Heat is on….and Monday ain’t even over yet. First, did you read my story about how Special Ops is looking into new weapons that could do all kinds of dastardly damage? Like paralyze people? Or, with the flick of a switch, kill them?
Then did you see Spencer Ackerman’s post about life on a stealth sub? Apparently less claustrophobic than I’d suspected.
Finally, the moment we’ve been waiting for…Boeing’s massive spy machine has taken a first test-flight. Eventually, the thing is expected to soar 65,000 feet above ground, for four days at a time.