David Foster Wallace: Peeking into the mind of a genius…

Photo credit: Gary Hannabarger / Corbis  Just finished reading Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself, a book-length conversation between David Foster Wallace and David Lipsky, a journalist  who profiled Wallace for Rolling Stone during his Infinite Jest tour back in 1996. Wallace committed suicide in 2008, at the age of 46. The transcript of … Continue reading David Foster Wallace: Peeking into the mind of a genius…

25 Years Later: You are still here, “on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam”

Phil Plait (one of my favorite science bloggers) pointed out that yesterday marked the 25th Anniversary of this famous photograph. It’s a picture of Earth, taken by the Voyager 1 Spacecraft, from more than six billion kilometers away. It is the image that inspired this bit of brilliance from Carl Sagan: From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not … Continue reading 25 Years Later: You are still here, “on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam”

A look at the autobiography of America’s first female doctor, on the anniversary of her receiving an M.D.

One hundred sixty six years ago today (how’s that for obscure!), Elizabeth Blackwell graduated from Geneva Medical College in western New York, becoming America’s first female M.D. In honor of this anniversary, I’ve been skimming her autobiography, Pioneering Work in Opening the Medical Profession to Women, in which she very candidly discusses  her motivations for pursuing a career in medicine, … Continue reading A look at the autobiography of America’s first female doctor, on the anniversary of her receiving an M.D.

The totally fascinating history of antibiotics in three (or four) books…

So, antibiotics managed to make the front page of the New York Times last week, even amid the world’s manifold horrors. Here’s why: we have, for quite a while now, been running out of these wonder drugs. We used to be able to kill most anything with them — from pneumonia and urinary tract infections to staph infections … Continue reading The totally fascinating history of antibiotics in three (or four) books…