Some of us are born in orbit. Imaginary Papers, from ASU’s Center for Science and the Imagination. August 1st, 2018. On Franny Choi’s poem “Turing Test,” artificial intelligence, emotion, and creativity.

There are wonderful holes in my brain. Imaginary Papers, from ASU’s Center for Science and the Imagination. March 13, 2018. Exploring mad cow disease through science and poetry. Featuring “The Mad Cow Talks Back,” by Jo Shapcott.

Because the wolves are shotImaginary Papers, from ASU’s Center for Science and the Imagination. February 26, 2018. What do you really know about coyotes? The science behind Karen Leona Anderson’s poem, “Coyote.”

Building a More Diverse Forest. Connecticut Woodlands Magazine. Winter 2016, 80(4), 18-21.

National Public Radio Publications:

Dining Like Darwin: When Scientists Swallow Their Subjects. The Salt. August 12, 2015. Some scientists carry on the tradition of eating the animals or plants they study: leeches, tadpoles, 30,000-year-old bison. Darwin did it first, but why do it at all? Call it all-consuming curiosity.

Not Everybody Likes KissingShots. August 12, 2015. A passionate kiss may make you swoon, but many cultures don’t do it, anthropologists say. And some cultures find such lip locks downright disgusting.

Protein Goes Green: Can Algae Become The Next Soy? The Salt. August 11, 2015. Some companies think microalgae could be the alternative protein of the future, but can it top plant proteins?

A Self-Taught Artist Paints The Rain Forest By MemoryGoats and Soda. August 05, 2015. He’d never drawn before. Then he was asked to depict the Colombian rain forest he knew so well. Naturalists cherish the ink-and-watercolor works of Abel Rodriguez. And so do art lovers.

Rivers Run Through This Exhibit Of Colombian ArtGoats and Soda. August 02, 2015. With burbling videos and cascades of linen and plastic that seem to pour from the ceiling, Waterweavers shows how rivers, fibers and recycled bottles are all part of the culture of the country.

Scientists Urge Ban On Salamander Imports To U.S. To Keep Fungus At BayThe Two-Way. July 30, 2015 The chytrid fungus has wiped out populations of amphibians around the world. A type of the fungus infects only salamanders, and researchers have identified vulnerable areas in North America.

For Kids With Tourette’s, At-Home Training Could Help. Shots. July 22, 2015 Psychologists are working on an online training program that draws on principles of in-person behavioral therapy to help patients with Tourette syndrome manage their tics.

How Air Pollution May Have Caused Catastrophic Flooding In ChinaGoats and Soda. July 16, 2015. Scientists believe soot that hangs over the mountains of Sichuan Basin — a byproduct of factories and cars — brought about the floods that devastated the region in 2013.

Would Banning Headers In Soccer Solve The Concussion Problem? Shots. July 14, 2015. Most concussions in youth soccer happen during heading the ball. But it isn’t the ball’s fault, researchers say. Rather, it’s player collisions. Avoiding aggressive play would help reduce injuries.

This Must Be A First: Alpacas Blessed In Nation’s CapitalGoats and Soda. July 08, 2015. Peru brought its tradition of praying for alpacas to the U.S. And there’s good reason to wish the animals well. Their fiber — softer and warmer than wool — provides a livelihood for many Peruvians.

When The Fish You Eat Have Eaten Something ToxicShots. July 03, 2015. Toxins produced by algae that live in warm ocean waters can pass up the fish food chain. The toxins can sicken humans who eat large fish. A Florida study finds cases are underreported.

How Salt + Car Battery = Clean WaterGoats and Soda. July 02, 2015. A clever device uses technology developed by the military to make chlorine quickly and cheaply. The goal is to give schools and hospitals around the world an easy way to purify water.

Why You Should Thank A Caterpillar For Your Mustard And WasabiThe Salt. June 29, 2015. Eons ago, cabbage butterfly larvae and the plants they eat began an evolutionary arms race. The result: “mustard oil bombs” that give the plants, and condiments we make from them, distinctive flavors.

Save Wildlife, Save Yourself? Goats and Soda. June 26, 2015. Protecting the environment may reduce many diseases, such as Lyme and West Nile, a study finds. The tantalizing idea suggests that conservation and human health may be more connected than we thought.

Genetically Modified Salmon: Coming To A River Near You? The Salt, June 24, 2015. Scientists are trying to predict what might happen if genetically modified salmon escaped growth facilities. It’s a scenario often raised by critics who don’t want the FDA to approve sale of the fish.

Are You Flossing Or Just Lying About Flossing? The Dentist Knows. Shots, June 24, 2015. A survey says one-quarter of adults lie to their dentist about flossing. That number seemed low to us. So we called up some periodontists. And they laughed.

Hunting Ways To Keep Synthetic Estrogens Out Of Rivers And SeasShots, June 19, 2015. Hormones from medical treatments wind up in wastewater, and that can be a problem. Some scientists think a version of a household chemical, hydrogen peroxide, could be part of the solution.

Worried You Have An STD? This App Helps You Quietly Find OutShots, June 19, 2015. Planned Parenthood has an app that offers discreet help for Californians seeking to get tested for chlamydia or gonorrhea.


I irregularly blog about the science behind classic and contemporary poetry at I Spell it Nature. My most recent post examined September’s Harvest moon/supermoon/lunar eclipse in light of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “The Harvest Moon.”