Science & Technology

RECENT REVIEWS

A Spoonful of Soil

A Spoonful of Soil

ONE BRIGHT MORNING last July, on a small farm not far from the celebrated coast of Downeast Maine, I was bent over a whiny, whirring cement mixer the size of a small bear. The farmer, Amanda, instruct...

Reaching In

Reaching In

MY TRAVELS with Lynne Sharon Schwartz began with her 2009 memoir Not Now, Voyager. Against her backdrop of exotic destinations, I enjoyed sharing concerns about an inability to cope with mundane chall...

The Age of Melting Glaciers

The Age of Melting Glaciers

  “BIG HISTORY” has become fashionable in recent years, what with all the talk about climate change and the Anthropocene and the like. Its rising currency can also be seen as an effort to fix a ...

Online and Offline in Cuba

Online and Offline in Cuba

“CUBA has two kinds of people,” writes Emily Parker. “There are the independent bloggers and other liberated individuals, who glide confidently through the streets, willing to tell pretty much a...

Oh What Voices

Oh What Voices

FOR A DECADE NOW, Emily Parker has been following China’s wangmin — the Chinese translation of “netizens,” short for internet citizens — and how they have been utilizing email, blogging plat...

Like It or Not, They Too Are Fellow Netizens

Like It or Not, They Too Are Fellow Netizens

EMILY PARKER introduces readers to an intriguing gallery of social media activists in China, Cuba, and Russia, three authoritarian countries marked by their passage through decades of uncompromising s...

A Repository of Ideas

A Repository of Ideas

LOOK FIRST UPON this, a printed image of the Lasius niger, or Black Garden Ant, which adorns a page of the Robert Hooke’s world-changing Micrographia; or some physiological Descriptions of Minute Bo...

It Takes an Ecovillage

It Takes an Ecovillage

THE CLIMATE IS CHANGING, and we are not. Or, at least, we are not adapting at a rate commensurate with our ecological reality. It seems we all know this, either because our Facebook news feeds incessa...

Empathy, Examined

Empathy, Examined

BACK IN 2006, my mother didn’t want to leave Florida or the home she’d shared with my father. But a chronic form of leukemia, so indolent her local oncologist reassured her, Don’t worry, you’l...

Urban Water and the Era of the No-Longer Possible

Urban Water and the Era of the No-Longer Possible

THERE ARE TWO currents flowing through the contemporary political imagination that limit us. The first is the notion of sustainability, which teaches us that what we have had in the past and what we m...

Scraping off the Whitewash

Scraping off the Whitewash

IF IT HAD not been for Adolf Hitler, I would not exist — and nor would countless other people scattered around the globe. Although my personal story is unique, it also typifies the extraordinary enc...

“The Problem with Perfection”

“The Problem with Perfection”

ABOUT THREE WEEKS before you die, your circulatory system will stop sending blood all the way out to the tips of your fingers and toes and concentrate on your internal organs, as it does in the cold. ...

Perfectly Natural: Science and Sustainability

Perfectly Natural: Science and Sustainability

UNLESS YOU ATTEND a lot of yoga classes or are a Buddhist monk, you probably don’t pay much attention to your breath. We breathe close to 20,000 times per day; if you thought about all the air going...

Global Warming and Other Hyperobjects

Global Warming and Other Hyperobjects

YOU KNOW THE SCENARIO. It begins with someone asserting that global warming really exists. “Oh, yeah?” asks his skeptical friend. “Show me this thing called global warming; where is it exactly?...