Author Archives: luluadmin
Why Fish Don’t Exist
My forthcoming book that tells the wild tale of a scientist from the 19th century and examines how to go on when everything seems lost. Forthcoming from Simon & Schuster.
Available for preorder HERE.
The Problem with the Solution
A story about a magical-seeming town in Belgium called Geel where people have been caring for strangers with mental illness for over 700 years. It is also a story about mental illness in my own family.
50 Other Things That Ladies Love
In honor of LL Cool J’s 50th birthday, a list of 50 other things that Ladies Love.
Published in The New Yorker
A tale of writing an obituary of a suicide.
Published in VQR.
Me and Jane
A tale of two horseshoe crabs.
Published in Catapult.
Bigfoot on the Beach
A piece of flash fiction about what happens when Bigfoot leaves the forest for the beach.
Published in Electric Literature
An audio essay about my dog Charlie. And Coyotes.
Nihilistic Valentine’s Day Cards.
Love is dead. But cards are real. Please enjoy a six-pack of free, printable, nihilistic Valentine’s Day cards, here.
In 2010 I rode my bike across the country with my friend Soo. I was interviewed for a program called “The Reason” about what song got stuck in my head on my journey.
Radiolab did a whole episode about what happens after we die. 11 meditations on deaths of all sorts—death of a person, a planet, a particle. I called up geologist Jan Zalasiewicz for a lightning-fast little chat about what will remain after the death of… human civilization.
The Universe is Out to Get YOU! (and Wile E. Coyote)
A silly little segment in a show examining fate and fortune that dares to ask, “why is the roadrunner cartoon so good?” Producer Pat Walters and I check in with cartoon historian Mike Barrier who points out that the coyote’s incessant failure may actually be a beacon of hope in a Nietzchean void.
Back in the 70s, Barb Smuts was a field researcher working with Jane Goodall in Tanzania. Barb was charged with the task of observing a group of chimps in the wild, following them, noting their behaviors, but always keeping her distance. But when one of the chimps starts picking on her, she finds it hard to abide by the rules of scientific objectivity.
Parasites: are they evil or are they awesome?
In Radiolab’s hour on Parasites, science writer Carl Zimmer plays defense lawyer to nature’s cheats while hosts Jad and Robert argue in defense of the victims.
Tour of Chimeras
For the intro to Radiolab’s show on genetic engineering (“So-Called Life,” we titled it), I wander around the American Museum of Natural History and ask kids really hard-hitting questions about why it’s so joyful to think about a horse with wings.
Simon and Sarita
A story of love and faceblindness.
Runner-up in The Missouri Review’s 2011 Audio Competition.
How to Become Batman
A story about a man who is blind who can ride a bike using echolocation–clicking like a bat. But it is really a story about how your expectations may be affecting the people around you.
The Bus Stop
A nursing home in Germany has come up with a stunningly simple solution to the problem of Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients getting disoriented and wandering away.
Let’s get mathy. When we show up into the world are we pre-wired with an understanding of numbers? Research shows that we are (within 24 hours babies can identify changes in quantity), but they are not the same kinds of numbers that we think of today.
Limits of the Body
If you could shut down that little voice in your head that tells you you’re tired, how far could you go? What, if any, are the limits to the human body?
A Man’s Life for a Bird
This is a story about birds. But it’s really a story about moral balance. How far should we go to protect a species? Is one species worth more than another? I journey to the forests of northern Michigan to untangle the story of an endangered little yellow bird called the Kirtland’s warbler.
There is a condition, a nightmarish condition, in which songs get stuck in your head, and play over and over again in loud, fully-realized, renditions. Research suggests that people who suffer from this are in a very real way experiencing music.
Search for Delicious
Here are some pieces I did for Sam Dingman’s low-fi good-times pirate-radio podcast, The Road 2 Shambala.
Something happened to my dog Charlie. I won’t tell you what here, but it’s troubled me for nearly a decade. So I wrote this audio essay about it.
There’s a feeling you get when you encounter a swarm. It’s a thrill, with a dash of fear and a sprinkle of awe. Entomologist Jeffrey Lockwood calls this feeling “The Joyful Terror of Oneness” and he tells us the story of The Rocky Mountain Locust…
When Duct-tape Solves the Ethereal Sadness
A short conversation I had with Jad and Robert on Radiolab about why certain stories give me all the hope in the world.
There’s iPods in dem Apple Trees!
Vermont’s got a tourism problem. It’s got the least number of twenty-somethings of any state in the country. And though they do get a spike of snowboarders and skiers in the winter, fall’s a particularly hard time of year. So Commissioner of Tourism, Bruce Hyde, came up with an idea that he hopes will lure young people up to that autumnal Vermont air.
A short tribute to ultra-cyclist Jure Robic.