The Great Bioterror Threat Is Modern Society
E. coli that tested positive for NMD-1 growing in a petri dish. The sample came from a 67-year-old man in India. Nathan Reading via Flickr After the attacks of September 11, 2001, and the subsequent anthrax mailings, the United States government started taking the possibility of biological terrorism very seriously. It spent billions of dollars […]
Did Cars Save Our Cities From Horses?
Debating a modern parable about waste and technology.
The Secret Life of Everything: Where Your Stuff Comes From
At this stage of the early 21st century, when transparency has evolved from buzzword to business principle, when it’s possible to track anything just about anywhere, you might think it would be a simple matter to choose some everyday product—a cup of coffee, say, or a pen—and trace the paths taken by its parts and […]
An Eel Swims in the Bronx
George Jackman scales the Bronx River’s 182nd Street dam while working with the eel ladder (at top-right).John Waldman In the annals of natural history, there is perhaps no fish so singularly unusual, even mysterious, as Anguilla, the eels. Unlike every other migratory fish on Earth, they spawn in the open ocean and mature inland, in […]
A Weather Man Who Reaches for Months, Not Days
If you want to know the weather tomorrow, meteorologists can tell you. If you’d like to know what it’ll be like in 50 years, climatologists can tell you that reasonably accurately, too. But if you want to know the weather six months from now? That’s a far trickier matter. Between the reliability of short-term and […]
Organized Chaos Makes the Beauty of a Butterfly
Take a look at a butterfly’s wing, and you can learn a lesson about life. Not that it’s beautiful, or fragile, or too easily appreciated only when it’s fading—though all that is true, and evident in a wing.Look very close, at the edge of a pattern, where one color turns to another. The demarcation isn’t […]