I wrote a blog post for Scientific American’s Observations blog about a video that shows how scientific inventions over the past two millennia led to the population explosion we have today. On a digital map of the world, the video adds a yellow dot every time another million people are added to the Earth. The dots are slow to appear for most of the video’s running time, even with the help of inventions that spread civilizations across the globe–like the magnetic compass and nitrogen-based fertilizer. Occasionally they disappear–several are snuffed out in Europe during the Black Death. But after the industrial revolution, the dots pop and sparkle like the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. Check out the post and watch the video here.
While reporting about the east Bronx for my Craft II class at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, I stumbled across the Facebook group for the East Bronx History Forum. The club advertised an upcoming lecture and slideshow about Freedomland U.S.A–the massive, now-demolished theme park in the Bronx once called the “Disneyland of the East.” Having written a bit about long-gone entertainment districts, I just couldn’t resist! After listening to the fascinating, entertaining talk, I recorded audio clips of some of the attendees’ memories of their favorite attractions (The Great Chicago Fire was a big hit). My class assignment became my first feature story for Atlas Obscura. Check it out here!