Knotty Thrills

•July 15, 2014 • Leave a Comment

The problem of how to tie a knot out of a fluid had eluded scientists for a century and a half. Then, using a 3D printer, bubble mist, and a scaled-down version of a laser light show, three physicists from the University of Chicago did it. And the results are mesmerizing.

This is my first online video for NOVA!

Audio only:

Photos of a short life comfort only some grieving parents

•June 9, 2014 • Leave a Comment

The death of a child is a profound loss, and how parents grieve is often deeply personal. So personal that what comforts one parent may disturb the other. My story aired on NPR’s Weekend All Things Considered yesterday evening.

The heart of a man

•May 19, 2014 • Leave a Comment

On last week’s “Patient Files” on WHYY — a series on illness, healing, and coping — I produced a story about sudden death at every turn. Meet Michael Downing, a writer with an inherited medical condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or HCM.

How tiny animals find a date

•April 29, 2014 • Leave a Comment

The way we talk about finding a romantic partner is biased. Take “love is in the air” or “love at first sight.” These idioms assume that feelings must be transmitted through air, and are cemented using visual cues. Even the expression “falling in love” assumes gravity! But it turns out that love isn’t just restricted to our physical reality.

This story comes from the audio series Small Matters, and it aired on Here & Now and Living on Earth.

Searching for chemistry between the stars

•April 2, 2014 • Leave a Comment

It’s said that what makes jazz are the notes you don’t play. Turns out that something similar can be said about outer space…because it’s the stuff we can’t see that’s helped make our universe.

This story comes from the audio series Small Matters, and it aired on Living on Earth.

Thunder in the valley

•March 13, 2014 • 1 Comment

On a summer day in the early 1980s, Cathy Wilson heard an eerie noise coming from her backyard. It sounded, impossibly, like thunder. Fellow residents of Moodus, Connecticut reported the same thing: a series of cracks and roars coming from the Earth.

It turns out that Moodus residents have been hearing these sorts of sounds for hundreds of years. And I decided to go there to investigate — just what are these strange noises?

This story appeared on Stylus, an experimental documentary series about sound, music, and listening, presented by WBUR.

At 102, reflections on race and the end of life

•February 12, 2014 • 1 Comment

Today is Rosa Finnegan’s birthday. She’s turning 102 — she was born in 1912, the year the Titanic sunk. “Sometimes I feel as though time has gone by so fast,” she says.

This afternoon, on NPR’s All Things Considered, Rosa reflected on a powerful encounter that she had a few months ago in her nursing home. She says that even after more than a century, there are still important things that she’s learning about herself.

Rosa’s story was reported and produced by me and Caitrin Lynch, with support from the Olin College Faculty Summer Research Fund.

 
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