Tate Williams

Science & Environment

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My Bloody Valentine

To mark the day, a love story between a geometric shape and the organ we know as the heart, spanning centuries and traversing medieval battlefield, cathedral, gambling hall and bedroom. Author Iain Gately details the long and meandering path the [...]

February 14, 2012 Blog, Science & Environment, Writing
My cat Knives, whom I love unconditionally

Mind-controlling cat parasites

Theories that a cat parasite can alter the minds of humans — triggering sexual desire, testosterone levels, recklessness, suicidal urges, and now even schizophrenia — are gaining momentum. A fascinating Atlantic profile of the Czech scientist leading the theories about Toxoplasma documents [...]

February 11, 2012 Science & Environment, Writing
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Under the ice, the unknown

Russian scientists pierced a 2.2-mile-thick shell of ice that protected an inky, alien lake untouched for millions of years this week, and briefly, the world seemed deeper, older, and more mysterious that it did the week before. Cloudy, unconfirmed reports [...]

February 10, 2012 Science & Environment, Writing
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Human brain develops slowly, sets us apart from chimps

A major question of human evolution is, given that we are 98.8% genetically the same as a chimpanzee, and that we diverged as a species in a relatively short period of time, how is that you and I are able [...]

February 4, 2012 Science & Environment, Writing
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Penguin Stew

Turn-of-the-century Antarctic explorers had a cute, disgusting secret for fending off scurvy in a wasteland lacking fruits and vegetables. They ate wild, vitamin C-rich penguins. They ate penguin steak, they ate penguin stew, they ate penguin eggs, they fed them [...]

February 3, 2012 Blog, Science & Environment, Writing
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You’re wrong about your favorite team

Sports fans may owe the referees of the world an apology. In fact, a lot of us may owe a lot of people apologies. A recent study suggests that the outrage behind a “bad call,” and the all-too-common dead certainty [...]

February 3, 2012 Science & Environment, Writing
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Paying for it

Originally posted on mrchair March 17, 2011. Within minutes of the email and website announcement of the NYT paywall details, Twitter was all aflutter. Cory Doctorow made his rote attack against all things not free and open to the public. His basic argument [...]

November 2, 2011 Arts & Culture, Blog, Science & Environment, Writing
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Spilled ink over Borders bankruptcy

Originally posted on mrchair 2/17/2011. The coincidence is not lost on me that the week I purchased a Kindle is the week Borders Books & Music — the big box version of a bookstore that I grew up on — filed [...]

November 2, 2011 Arts & Culture, Blog, Science & Environment, Writing
It’s major surgery

It’s major surgery

Originally published in The Arizona Daily Star, 2000. Tate Williams An average patient for one Northwest Side hospital has gastrointestinal discomfort, needs immediate surgery, has a preference for standing upright and weighs upwards of 1,100 pounds. Aside from the obvious, what sets [...]

October 31, 2011 Portfolio, Science & Environment, Writing
Cryonics firm disputes missing Ted Williams DNA

Cryonics firm disputes missing Ted Williams DNA

Originally published in the East Valley Tribune 2003. Baseball legend Ted Williams’ DNA is not missing from a Scottsdale cryonics company, and any damage to his body would be the result of regular procedures related to freezing a corpse for preservation, the [...]

October 30, 2011 Portfolio, Science & Environment, Writing