Death in Jersey—The State Against Modern Medicine

12.7.2008 | Jonathan Leaf | NP, Science | 7 Comments
If an emergency physician encountered a patient in cardiac arrest, he’d “shock” him and bring him back to life. Presented with the same situation, the state would have a meeting. Then, when the body began to smell, they would have another meeting. Finally, they would dump the body. It was the nature of the state to be bureaucratic. There was nothing more to it than that.

Only If You Eat Food

03.16.2006 | David L. Steinhardt | Food, National Affairs, Science | 2 Comments

Farmers have, since time immemorial, bred the local corn with other strains, while also cross-breeding these crops with bacteria, viruses, fungi, and the occasional jellyfish or horse, in search of grains that can infect others, grow under toenails, cause intense pain or run the steeplechase.

Ali's Nose

01.21.2006 | Hannah Meyers | Interviews & First Person, Science | 13 Comments

If she only had a sense of smell, Alison Bernstein has told friends, she would be perfect. But as it is, she wanders the world cut off from the sensations and signals that guide those around her. She can’t identify her boyfriend by the smell left on his shirts. When she passes the Nuts4Nuts vendor, and friends exclaim over the delightful aroma, she can only nod and smile.

The Animator

04.8.2005 | Hannah Meyers | Science | 2 Comments

"As a first-year you take the exact same courses as med students… I got to saw a guy’s head open to take out the brain. The only difference was while med students were taking clinical stuff we were taking watercolor, Photoshop, carbon dusting...”

"Suave Molecules of Mocha" -- Coffee, Chemistry, and Civilization

03.7.2005 | Hannah Meyers | Food, Science | 27 Comments
Caffeine is a member of the same family as strychnine and emetine, the deadly agent in hemlock. Legend has it that Voltaire drank 50 cups a day, and when his doctor warned him that coffee was considered a slow poison, he replied: "I think it must be so, for I have been drinking it for 65 years and I am not dead yet!" Bet Socrates would have preferred a cappuccino, eh?

The Body Genius

02.23.2005 | Hannah Meyers | Science | 3 Comments
My brain could no longer tell my legs what to do, nor could my legs fill my brain in on what was going on down there.

Sex (in a Tree) in the City

02.14.2005 | Hannah Meyers | Science, Urban Affairs | 8 Comments
As much as any high school couple, Gotham's pigeons expose their exploits to all who share their metropolis. On subway platforms, parks and crowded midtown streets you can find hot packages of pigeon strutting, showing their stuff, and getting — yup — some tail.

Dr. Dichter -- With a Cigarette I Am Not Alone

09.5.2004 | Trad Anon | Cultural Affairs, Partisan Reader, Science | 5 Comments
A not too modest glamor girl revealed to us some of her "smoking secrets": "I think it looks so much better to smoke with a holder. Don't you think I'm somewhat of a Latin type? I always have holders that are long and dark. I think a long holder is like a big hat: it's alluring and 'don't dare come close' at the same time."