The universal constant

I finally finished reading Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. I also finished putting together the audio for a Bone Lab episode featuring our interview with a bioarchaeologist. Together, these things are giving me a less despairing lens with which to view this strange and tragic era. And can't we all use a little less despair right now. Last … Continue reading The universal constant

Grieving for the lost child

Anyone who follows me on social media will know that I love Ask Polly, the advice column written by Heather Havrilesky for NY Mag and previously for the Awl. I was struck today by her latest response, in which she basically tells the letter writer that she needs to acknowledge that her childhood was shitty … Continue reading Grieving for the lost child

Between Riverside and Crazy: a world-class performance at ACT SF

I don't often feel compelled to write about the plays I see (yes, I've become one of them bougie cultured folk in my old age), but holy smokes, that was amazing and hilarious and unexpected. Between Riverside and Crazy tells the story of a wounded former NYPD cop, Walter Washington, fighting to keep his rent … Continue reading Between Riverside and Crazy: a world-class performance at ACT SF

How to build empathy: musings about police training and medicine

Last month, a youngish man of Asian descent got onto Muni (the SF train system) a few stops after me. He had shoulder-length hair, square thick-rimmed glasses, and wore a bright red suit. I guessed from his trendy attire that he was an art student and went back to my podcast without giving it further thought. I … Continue reading How to build empathy: musings about police training and medicine

The Improbable American Dream: Independence Day reflections

"You were born with [an American passport]," my cousin said over WeChat yesterday, "So you will never understand those who desire it so much." I will point out that my cousin was born in Australia and now lives in Makati, the wealthy district in Manila, with two live-in maids. His father, my uncle, is a tenured professor … Continue reading The Improbable American Dream: Independence Day reflections