Essays

  • All

I Wish I Hadn’t Donated My Eggs

A few years ago, when I was broke and faced with a big hospital bill, I got $8,000 for donating my eggs. If I’d known then what I know now, I wouldn’t have done it. It was our first-ever couple’s getaway. Albert and I were set up in an all-white seaside hotel room in the … Continue reading “I Wish I Hadn’t Donated My Eggs”

Articles

A CLEAR-EYED TAKE ON RUNNING WHILE STONED

I Tried to Become a Cana-Athlete Runner. Here’s What Happened to My Runner’s High. BY KATIE O’REILLY PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY CHERYL SELIGMAN “One thing I love about the weed community is that we already know how to inhale and exhale,” my personal trainer for-a-day tells me. “So you already got one form of breathing down—now let me … Continue reading “A CLEAR-EYED TAKE ON RUNNING WHILE STONED”

A FUTURE SO BRIGHT

Meet the prize-winning young people working toward a greener, better tomorrow Young adult author T. A. Barron is known for protagonists who slay dragons and unearth fantastical cities. Yet Barron is equally dedicated to championing real life’s inspiring young people. In 2001, he founded the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes to celebrate North America’s … Continue reading “A FUTURE SO BRIGHT”

BACK TO THE LAND

Appalachia is tackling economic woes and boosting its food security with fresh, homegrown produce. It’s no secret that times are tough in coal country. Poverty has long plagued the coalfields of West Virginia, Virginia, and Eastern Kentucky, where for decades the coal barons took home the spoils while the miners took home black lung disease. … Continue reading “BACK TO THE LAND”

HARVESTING THE SKY

A California distiller is turning San Francisco’s fog into sustainable vodka, It might seem like the stuff of science fiction, but in some of the world’s driest corners, engineers have found a way to get water to people by wringing it out of the air. How? By capturing fog. A collection of water droplets suspended … Continue reading “HARVESTING THE SKY”

Book Reviews

Ladies Who Jam

“JAZZ HAS THE POWER to make men forget their differences and come together.” These are the words with which Quincy Jones inaugurated the first UNESCO International Jazz Day exactly five years ago. Broadcasting on April 30 from Havana, Cuba, this year’s headliners include Herbie Hancock, Chucho Valdés, Carl Allen, Marc Antoine, Till Brönner, Antonio Hart, … Continue reading “Ladies Who Jam”

Pause the Alarm

AS AN EDUCATED, long-partnered 32-year-old, I’m often asked about my childbearing plans. Childbearing? I’m an overworked millennial inundated with statistics about the rising costs of daycare, as well as anecdotal evidence of sleepless nights and the relentless expense of diapers. I’m already tired and broke, with plenty of personal and professional goals keeping me busy. … Continue reading “Pause the Alarm”

On “The Art of Waiting”: An Interview with Belle Boggs

One in eight couples has trouble conceiving — as do cicadas, gorillas, and other members of the animal kingdom. A complicated and often ambiguous condition, infertility arises from a number of factors, affects both sexes in equal measure, and, despite how common it is, historically tends to result in shame, silence, and/or social isolation. For … Continue reading “On “The Art of Waiting”: An Interview with Belle Boggs”

On “I’m Supposed to Protect You from All This”: An Interview with Nadja Spiegelman

“Pure memories are like dinosaur bones … discrete fragments from which we compose the image of the dinosaur,” writes debut memoirist Nadja Spiegelman in I’m Supposed to Protect You from All This (Riverhead, August 2016). “They are only flashes: the examining room table in the nurse’s office, the soft hand against the forehead. But memories … Continue reading “On “I’m Supposed to Protect You from All This”: An Interview with Nadja Spiegelman”

Public Appearances

MaCaulay Honors College

In March 2016, I was invited to MaCaulay Honors College in New York City to speak to Dr. Elizabeth Reis’s bioethics class about the long-term implications of assisted reproduction. Here’s me heading into the class discussion.

Select Print Publications

Nature’s Noise Complaint

Nearly two-thirds of protected U.S. lands are polluted by noisy humans Noise pollution is typically considered an urban problem. However, new research shows that the invisible threat found in the din of human activity (also known as anthropogenic sound) is increasingly taking its toll on the natural world. A first-of-its-kind study, released last Thursday from … Continue reading “Nature’s Noise Complaint”

The Morals of Corporate Social Responsibiity

Consumers don’t blindly buy into companies’ sustainability marketing language When you think of corporate social responsibility, what springs to mind? LEED-certified facilities producing sustainable goods with minimal waste? Clean and safe factories filled with happy, well-paid workers? Company e-newsletters detailing the minutiae of gold-star-caliber supply chains? Firms cutting big scholarship checks and hosting 5K runs … Continue reading “The Morals of Corporate Social Responsibiity”

Appetite for Climate Action

Natural-food brands band together to reduce emissions PHOTO BY ASISEEIT/ISTOCK The caricatured health nut, guilelessly spouting the virtues of spirulina and chia and the horrors of consuming chemicals, is no longer on the fringe. Case in point? The natural-products industry is expected to generate as much as $250 billion in annual sales by 2019—up from $153 billion … Continue reading “Appetite for Climate Action”

Under the Radar Wild Places To Add To Your Bucket List

Local treasures recommended by Sierra Club members and Outings leaders PHOTO BY ASUROBSON/ISTOCK   There are the Yellowstones and Yosemites and Grand Canyons of the world—justly famous, but also often infamously crowded. Then there are those special spots where the views may be just as special, but the trails far less trodden. Such overlooked places can … Continue reading “Under the Radar Wild Places To Add To Your Bucket List”