Why you never see a flock of hummingbirds and five other things I learned about teeny hummers from Noah Strycker’s “The Thing With Feathers”

According to Strycker, whose entertaining new book I reviewed recently for ScienceNews, hummingbirds generally lead solitary lives and are “stubbornly unsociable.” And they sure don’t go in for any mushy mute-swan mating-for-life hooey. They dispense with copulation in a jiffy and then females and males occupy separate territories thereafter. Now that you think about it, […]

Bedeviled by unhealthy habits? “Disease Proof” offers a practicum to prevent chronic disease.

After sweating a monsoon in a cycling class at the gym I was wondering why the instructor looked so familiar when I suddenly realized that she was indeed an old friend named Stacey Colino, whom I hadn’t seen since journalism school. While we were catching up, she mentioned that she recently co-authored a book with David […]

‘Darwin’s Beard’ and Other Notable Plant Names

Folks have a penchant for bestowing colorful names on the plants around them. Sometimes these monikers travel with people and are applied to similar but distinct species in other parts of the world. This, of course, is the kind of confusion Linnaeus and his taxonomist cohorts try to avoid, but employing the vernacular can be […]

“The history of global health is littered with grand plans that never panned out.”

— #HillaryClinton, speaking last year about which grand plan: A) #PEPFAR Blueprint: Creating an AIDS-Free Generation. B) #Obamacare. C) WHO’s “Final Push Strategy to Eliminate #Leprosy as Public Health Problem” in 2003 D) WHO’s 1991 resolution to eliminate leprosy by 2000. E) The Anti-Leprosy Campaign of 1925 (renamed the Leonard Wood Memorial Fund in 1931). […]