Mental Floss

The Annotated Pig

I wrote a spread for Mental Floss on parts of pigs that you can now, or will soon be able to, install in your body for medical purposes.  Examples: fetal pig stem-cells, potentially injectable into one’s brain to fight the effects of Parkinson’s; transgenic pig skin, to treat burn victims; human sperm, produced in bulk by modified pig testes.

I don’t have an electronic copy of this graphic, but when I have one, I’ll post it here.

Atlantic Monthly

Riders on the Storm

The Atlantic, October 2007

Most of the hurricanes that strike the United States are born off the coast of West Africa, and nursed on tropical waters. As air warmed over the Atlantic surges up to meet the cool atmosphere, its heat turns into kinetic energy, creating a violent twist of wind and rain. The bigger the temperature difference between the hot sea and the cold upper air, the more furious the storm can grow.

Climate scientists, aided by ever-more-powerful computer models, are investigating whether it’s possible to choke these storms slowly, during their long drift west. They want to attack big hurricanes from above or below, sapping the storms’ strength by either heating up their chilly tops or chilling their hot underbellies. According to some models, well-timed interventions could diminish a hurricane by 40 percent—enough to turn a possible Category 5 storm into a mere Category 2 or 3, which would break windows and wreck trailer parks but leave most buildings intact.