recent work

Some major stories I've written recently include:


"Monster or Machine: A Profile of the Coronavirus at 6 Months," June 2, 2020 (NYT)

"Looking for Life on a Flat Earth," May 30, 2018 (

And I wrote this essay, "The Secret Life of Time," for The New Yorker, about Augustine, William James, and what I think about at 4:27 a.m. And another, for Nautilus, about how time is contagious.

I've also written about:

Space, including ​​the discovery of the nearest-known exoplanet, just 4.3 light-years from our own (and whether we'll ever get there); celebrating the summer solstice throughout the universe, and the discovery, maybe, of Planet Nine, an ice giant out beyond Neptune. 

Bugs, like the dung beetles that navigate by the  light of the Milky Way; a moth called Trump; an elegy for the world's oldest spider, and an elegy for Barbara York Main, the amazing Australian scientist who studied the world's oldest spider (and many spiders beyond).

Soccer, notably the mystery of Sunderland F.C., which once excelled at being the worst team in the Premier League season after season; the World Cup for forgotten nations; a brief history of cheating in the other World Cup, and the momentary tragedy of Manuel Neuer.


And so much more, including the usefulness of a March for Science, what trap-cams reveal about what animals do when humans aren't looking, the entirely reasonable fear of pole-vaulting that every world-class pole-vaulter feels, and why we are all scutoids.

Oh, and here's a chat I had with Pluto-killer Mike Brown about Planet Nine: