Why Groundhog Day Now Elevates Science Over Superstition

For a UCLA Biologist, Celebrating the Lowly Marmot Could Shed Light on Global Warming

I am a scientist who loves Groundhog Day, that least scientific of holidays. Every February, as Punxsutawney Phil shakes the dust off his coat, emerges from his burrow, glances at his shadow (or not) and allegedly prognosticates winter’s end, I gather a group of professors, graduate students, and other assorted science geeks at my UCLA lab to nibble, drink, schmooze, and revel in ground-hoggery in all its magnificent splendor.

I study the behavior, ecology, and evolution of groundhogs and the 14 other species of marmots—large, charismatic ground squirrels that …

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When I Say “Dallas” … You Think “Cowboys!”

How Football Helped the “City of Hate” Recover From JFK's Assassination

Watching my Dallas Cowboys fall to the Green Bay Packers last Sunday on the last play of the game in an instant classic of an NFC Divisional Playoff, I couldn’t …

How ‘Close’ Is Your ‘Proximity’?

From The New Yorker to BuzzFeed, the Irksome Phrase Still Thrives After 150 Years of Redundancy

The warning echoes beneath the girdered ceiling of Boston’s South Station, and in the cramped bustle of New York’s Penn Station, on a TSA loop of repeating announcements: “Keep personal …

Approaching 80, I Learned to Speak Millennial-ese

In Downtown L.A., I’ve Built a New Life at a Ripe Old Age

Ready for anything at the age of 78, I sold my home on the edge of Ventura County and moved into a downtown Los Angeles high-rise full of millennials and …

The Dome Is Where the Heart Is

A Hallmark of Middle Eastern Architecture Helps Muslims Orient Themselves Toward Mecca, and One Another

The green dome of the Omar ibn Al-Khattab mosque in Los Angeles interrupts the low skyline with a quiet gravitas. The mosque has been here since 1982, next door to …

Why BMX Bike Riding Is a Matter of Life and Death

What My Trick Bike Taught Me About Friendship, Risk, and Shock Trauma

Rather than spending time in the sunshine on my last day of exams, I found myself strapped onto a gurney, an accidental passenger in an ambulance speeding down the wrong …