The Loom

Archives for October, 2007

Fall Foliage–The Backstory

For those who may have come to the Loom after seeing me talking about autumn leaves on ABC News this evening, you can learn more about the science in these posts (plus this article I wrote for the New York Times). Scientists continue to investigate why leaves change colors–check out this new post yesterday from…

Autumn Leaves Make the Evening News

A quick note: I just found out I’ll be on the ABC evening news tonight, about 5 minutes before the end of the show, talking about the mystery and glory of autumn leaves. I’ll post a link when I find it. Update: Voila.

I’m sometimes asked who my favorite science writers are. I don’t like science writers per se; I like science writing, or rather some science writing–the passages and chapters and books that remind me just how good science writing can get, just how high above the wasteland of hackery, dishonest simplification, and cliches it can rise.…

It’s Come To This?

Matthew Chapman, writer and producer, writes an op-ed calling for presidential candidates to have a debate on scientific issues. It’s an entirely reasonable piece, but if you stop to think about it, its publication raises two disturbing questions– 1. Why should anyone have to plead for science to be a topic of discussion among presidential…

It appears that I didn’t receive a single new science tattoo this week! Could it really be that on the entire planet, there are only 81 people passionate enough about their science to go under the needle? If so, thanks to everyone for a fascinating experiment. If not…keep them coming.

Ugh. Several days, pretty much day and night, going over the copy-edited Microcosm manuscript with a green pencil. I haven’t had any time to write any original blog posts–or even reply to most of my email. But I can at least point you to three articles of mine that went online while I was buried…

At least for me, getting to see the cover of a new book for the first time is a great morale boost. The designer usually finishes it up right around the time when I’m starting to wonder if the book will ever become real. Recently I got the new cover of Microcosm: E. coli and…

Tomorrow: Talking To Craig Venter

Thanks for all the questions for my talk with Craig Venter for bloggingheads.tv. I didn’t end up reading questions verbatim a la Emily Litella (“a Mr. Richard Feder from Fort Lee New Jersey asks…”) But the questions definitely shaped the conversation. Some readers have been asking when our talk will be posted. Answer: Saturday morning.…

Science Tattoo Friday: Contains Carbon

"I am a biochemist, studying to be a molecular biologist, and the tattoo I am sending is the entry for carbon on the periodic table of elements. Since all living things on this planet at least are carbon based, from a chemical standpoint, it doesn’t get much more basic than carbon. Hence the tattoo." –Erin…

Rupert Murdoch, Tear Down This Wall!

[Update 10/18 8:30 am: Honestly, when I wrote this post last night, I could only access the first couple paragraphs of the op-ed in question. But now the link takes you to the full text. Could it be that my cries were heard?? Doubt it, but open access is always nice.] In today’s Wall Street…