Most folks fill their New Year’s resolution lists with items of the lose five pounds/eat more broccoli variety.  We writer-types go for more outlandish or just plain incomprehensible stuff.  Take my list, for example.  Throughout the year, whenever I see a curious headline or bizarre blurb, I tear it out or send myself an email as a reminder for a future post.  As the months chug along, some of these gems get stuck on my dust-bunnied desk or lost in a badly labeled cyber-file.  This year, however, I’m determined to start off right.  By publicly listing the following, I invite my blog buddies to noodge me on my sluggard status if I haven’t gotten around to pontificating on them in due time.

So, in no particular order, some of the headlines that caught my roving eye in 2015:


The Economist, “Evil Orbs, Pollution in the Great Lakes”, on microbeads, PS, the U.S. Congress passed a bipartisan bill banning these so we’re getting somewhere!


Wall St. Journal, “Social Bias Creeps Into New Web Technology” by Elizabeth Dwoskin (can’t find on WSJ site but other outlets covered this study, too.)


New York Times, ” ‘Smart Objects’, Dumb Risks” by Zeynep Tufekci (“We’re building the Internet of Things on a very shaky foundation”)


The New Yorker, “The Doomsday Invention: Will artificial intelligence bring us utopia or destruction?” by Raffi Khatchadourian (Worth it just for the Nick Bostrom video embedded in the story!)


In These Times, “It’s Not Easy Being a Green Chemist”  (I’ll say!) by Valerie Brown.


Popular Science, “Get Dirty, Stay Healthy”coverline for print story actually titled “Bugged”(by Rinku Patel).  Either way, good read.


The Atlantic, “If You’re Not Paranoid, You’re Crazy: Life in the surveillance society” by Walter Kirn.  Enough said.


Yes!, “The Antidepressant, Anti-Anxiety Backyard Garden” by Daphne Miller–been there, grown that but happy to read some science about it.


And last, but not at all least:

Acres USA, “Beavers Aid in Nitrogen Removal”.  I wish I could find a link to this little piece but it doesn’t show up on their website.  Guess you’ll just have to trust me when I assure you that it says researchers in Rhode Island came out with a study highlighting the above-cited conclusion.  Makes sense to me, though.  Rodents can pretty much figure out anything.



PS, happy happy 2016 to all!

Copyright 2016, Lori Fontanes