What can we learn from Michael Keck’s brain?
My most recent work for Discovery includes a piece on what we can learn from the brain of former footballer Michael Keck, why Zika is likely to hit the US before a vaccine, and what the expansion of ticks means for Lyme disease. I also wrote about the benefits of naming a superbug after a Star Wars movie, and how exercise can keep the brain nimble.
I interviewed former U.S. goalie Briana Scurry about a head injury that ended her career on the playing field. She underwent pioneering surgery and is now an advocate for concussion awareness. Here’s the full story from the current issue of Minnesota Monthly.
I visited a convent in rural Minnesota to find out Who Becomes a Nun in 2015? The answer surprised me. Read the full story at Pacific Standard.
(courtesy Handmaids of the Heart of Jesus)
I’ve been writing stories of the usual eclectic variety for Discovery: I learned some new things about spring allergies and climbing Mt. Everest. You can read all of my Discovery stories, including this one about what happens when runners believe they’re taking EPO, here.
Photo: Angela Jimenez for The New York Times
I interviewed a mail carrier on a five-below-zero day this winter; my fingers got so cold I couldn’t read all of my notes! (Did you know the U.S. Post Office gives mail carriers rubber thumbs to prevent frostbite?) Here’s the section on Minneapolis, written by editors in Chicago:
Peter Tabor, a mail carrier in Minneapolis who has been on the job for 28 years, set out on his route as usual on Wednesday in a not-so-usual minus 5 degrees. Wearing a down coat is impossible, he said, because his mail bag slides off his shoulder. One hand must remain bare to deliver the mail, so he keeps a chemical hand warmer in his pocket and switches hands periodically.
“I’m ambidextrous,” he said.
Read the full story here.
Photo: Matt Hintsa
On the last leg of a recent trip that required a red-eye flight from San Francisco to Minneapolis—then a four-hour drive to the northern woods near Bemidji, Minnesota—I caught my breath as I rounded a curve and spotted lights blinking on a runway: Could I have avoided the bleary-eyed, caffeine-addled drive by flying straight to the base camp for my next adventure?
As it turns out, yes. I could have spent an extra afternoon with my Bay Area friends, slept in a bed, and touched down at Bemidji Regional Airport at just about the same time I rolled past in my car.
Find the full story here.