We the Puppeteers

by Quinn O'Neill An alarm clock radio wakes me up each morning. For a while, it was set to a radio station that featured mostly pop music and mindless celebrity gossip, mainly because of its clear reception. It also frequently played an advertisement for an insurance company serving military members who have “honorably served” and…

Bound for the Future

by Quinn O'Neill A warm wind blew over the African grassland and stirred the leaves of empty trees. A long time ago, the faint sounds of a nearby tourist lodge were carried on the breeze and the trees cradled sleeping baboons. These baboons were special. Studied by neurobiologist Robert Sapolsky in the 80s, they would…

Bringing Sexy Back

by Quinn O'Neill One of my windows overlooks a large grassy field that's shared among residents of my building. On sunny days, it's often strewn with young bikini-clad women, irradiating their flesh in order to achieve a darker complexion. Some people surely would appreciate the view; but being of the wrong sexual persuasion, having studied…

Trees please, with fruit

by Quinn O'Neill Seattle residents have a brilliant plan in the works. They're building America's largest “food forest”. It's going to be a 7-acre plot with hundreds of edible plants, including walnut and chestnut trees; blueberry and raspberry bushes; fruit trees, including apple and pear trees; pineapple, yuzu citrus, guava, and persimmons; honeyberries and lingonberries;…

On Being Busy

by Quinn O'Neill I’ve been busy lately, much busier than I’d like to be. A natural night owl, I’ve been forcing myself out of bed before the sun comes up and relying on caffeine to achieve normal levels of functioning. There’s seldom more than a cup of coffee standing between me and an embarrassing display…

In search of health food

by Quinn O'Neill I’m getting fed up with all the potentially disease-causing crap in my food. Every day there are new reports in the media linking various food additives, components, and contaminants to diseases. The list is of suspects is long: acrylamide, arsenic, aspartame, bisphenol A, carrageenan, pesticides, artifical dyes, and high-fructose corn syrup, just…

A response to Jerry Coyne

by Quinn O'Neill Last Monday I posted a piece that compared two approaches to protecting the science curriculum from corruption by creationists. The first entailed promoting debate, providing facts and arguments, and appealing to reason, and the second, ridiculing and mocking religious people's beliefs in face-to-face interaction. For many moral people, the less hurtful choice…

Is Real Science for Men?

by Quinn O'Neill Science kits made by the Australian company WILD! Science have been causing a bit of a stir in the blogosphere lately. The kits, marketed for boys or for girls, come in blue or pink packaging and differ in their content. The boys’ kits include names like “Hyperlauncher”, “Joke Soap”, “Weird Slime Lab”,…