Monday, May 31, 2010


Emily Schaller

Emily Schaller (Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Ph.D. Planetary Science: Caltech, 2008) is in love with Titan Meteorology, Surfaces of Kuiper Belt Objects, and Figure Skating. [Source of image: Discover Magazine]

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Rebecca Skloot

Rebecca Skloot is a science writer whose work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine and Discover. She specializes in narrative science writing and has explored a wide range of topics, including goldfish surgery, tissue ownership rights, and the perils of packs of wild dogs in Manhattan. She is also a contributing editor at Popular Science magazine. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, instantly became a New York Times best-seller. Visit her website.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Daniela Schiller

"Daniela Schiller served in the Israeli army, but it was not until she went parachuting during college that she truly understood the power of fear. Now she is building on that epiphany as a postdoc at New York University, studying memory and fear."

She plays drums in a rock band called The Amygdaloids.

For more info, see the Discover Magazine article. Photo by Ethan Hill.

Saturday, November 07, 2009


Valerie Casey

Valerie Casey works with start-ups, governments, and companies all over the world on challenges ranging from creating new products and services, to transforming organizational processes and behaviors. Fast Company writes, "Valerie Casey is rallying the creative community to her version of a Kyoto treaty for designers -- and her peers are signing on in droves." She is listed as one of Time magazine's Heroes of the Environment. (The image of Valerie Casey is by the amazing BRIAN SMALE. Please visit his site now.)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Beth Shapiro

We can’t bring the dodo bird back, says Beth Shapiro (with the head of the most complete specimen, below), but we can learn from their remains. Beth Shapiro is an evolutionary biologist. She focuses on tracing the population history of recently extinct (e.g., mammoth, dodo) or threatened species (e.g., bison, polar bears). She is a MacArthur Genius.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Elif Erdine Baskin

Elif Erdine Baskin is an architect and researcher. She loves mathematics and art, and she received her Master of Architecture and Urbanism degree from the Architectural Association Design Research Lab (AADRL) in 2006. She received her Bachelor of Architecture degree from Istanbul Technical University in 2003, graduating as the top 3rd of her class.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Marissa Ann Mayer

Marissa Ann Mayer is the Vice President of Search Product and User Experience at the search engine company Google. Vogue magazine calls her "the 34-year-old megamillionaire, Oscar de la Renta–obsessed, computer-programming Google executive who lives in a penthouse atop the Four Seasons, San Francisco." She received her B.S. in Symbolic systems, graduating with honors, and M.S. in Computer Science from Stanford University.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Zadi Diaz

Zadi Diaz is a new media producer and co-founder of Smashface Productions, a production company focused on developing original programming for the web, bridging new and traditional media, and building and cultivating online communitAdd Imageies.

She is currently the co-creator and host of EPIC FU, a popular Streamy and Webby award-winning web series about internet culture, as well as co-founder of Pixelodeon, an annual screening festival recognizing innovation in global online video.

Though filming, writing, and directing are Zadi’s main focus, she also speaks on panels and teaches people around the world about social movement media and media literacy.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Mary Roach

Mary Roach is an American science writer. She has published three books: Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers (2003), Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife (2005) and Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex (2008). She began her writing career at the San Francisco Zoological Society, producing press releases on such topics as elephant wart surgery. (Source: Wikipedia)

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, M.D. (July 8, 1926 – August 24, 2004) was a Swiss-born psychiatrist and the author of the groundbreaking book On Death and Dying. She is a 2007 inductee into the National Women's Hall of Fame. She was the recipient of twenty honorary degrees and by July 1982 had taught, in her estimation, 125,000 students in death and dying courses.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Debbie Berebichez

After obtaining the Doctorate Degree, Dr. Debbie Berebichez pursued two postdoctoral fellowships in applied mathematics and physics and conducted further research at Columbia University's Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics department as well as at New York University's Courant Institute for Mathematical Sciences. She is a talented linguist, who speaks five languages. She currently works on Wall St. as a risk analyst and continues to develop video, articles and public communications

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Martin Gardner

Martin Gardner is one of my greatest heroes. He is a popular American mathematics and science writer specializing in recreational mathematics. His mind roams far and wide. Learn more about him here, here, and here.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Laura Jane

Laura Jane is interested in "creativity, consciousness, memetics, mythology, religion, and human potential for the cosmically inclined."

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Julia Mullikin

"As a visual artist, I am interested in technology as a medium for storytelling." Her website is:

Monday, November 10, 2008


Jane F. Kotapish

Jane F. Kotapish, a native of Virginia, studied at the College of William and Mary and at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. She is a modern dancer and freelance writer based in Brooklyn. Salvage is her first novel. "I have always watched myself watching myself. And so I know that what I am doing is flirting with the possibility of going mad…. And I see that what I am doing is sad and pathetic and symptomatic of a pathological loneliness. And I also see that I am fine. I am as close to happy as I have ever been." A review of her book is here.

Friday, October 03, 2008


Gina Trapani

Gina Trapani is a tech writer and web developer based in San Diego, California by way of Brooklyn, New York. The lead editor of, a daily weblog on software and personal productivity, Gina has authored two books based on the web site: Lifehacker: 88 Tech Tricks to Turbocharge Your Day (Wiley, December 2006) and the second edition, Upgrade Your Life: The Lifehacker Guide to Working Smarter, Faster, Better (March 2008).


Friday, September 12, 2008


Olivia Judson

Olivia Judson is an evolutionary biologist at Imperial College London. She graduated from Stanford University, and received a doctorate from Oxford. She wrote the popular book, Dr Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation. Learn more about her here.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Maggie Turnbull

Margaret Turnbull is an amazing astronomer who received her PhD in Astronomy from the University of Arizona in 2004. According to the Wikipedia: "Turnbull is an authority on 'Habstars,' solar twins and planetary habitability. In 2002, Turnbull developed the HabCat along with Jill Tarter, a catalog of potentially habitable solar systems. The following year Turnbull went on to further identify 30 particularly suitable stars from the 5,000 in the HabCat list that are within 100 light years of Earth. In 2006, Turnbull drew up two shortlists of just five stars each. The first will form the basis of SETI radio searches with the Allen Telescope Array (Beta Canum Venaticorum, HD 10307, HD 211415, 18 Scorpii, and 51 Pegasi). The second are her top candidates for the Terrestrial Planet Finder (Epsilon Indi, Epsilon Eridani, 40 Eridani, Alpha Centauri B, and Tau Ceti). In 2007, Turnbull was recently named a 'Genius' by CNN for her work cataloging stars most likely to develop planets that could support life and intelligent civilizations.The asteroid 7863 Turnbull was named in her honor." (Source: Wikipedia)

Monday, July 14, 2008


Melissa Lafsky

"Melissa Lafsky is the deputy web editor at Discover magazine. She was previously the editor of the New York Times's Freakonomics blog, and is a former associate editor of HuffPo's Eat The Press. Lafsky was a practicing attorney at a firm in New York before founding the blog, which became internationally known for its relentless skewering of the corporate world. She currently writes for magazines and newspapers, blogs on all things science and otherwise, and is working on a book." More info here.

Monday, June 16, 2008


Diablo Cody

Genius stripper-turned-blogger-turned-screenwriter. Memoirist. Oscar winner for screenplay. Best-selling author.

Friday, May 16, 2008


Matthieu Ricard

What is happiness, and how can we all get some? Buddhist monk, photographer and author Matthieu Ricard says: We can train our minds in habits of happiness. See the TED video.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Nina Hachigian

Nina Hachigian is a Senior Vice President and Director for California at American Progress. Based in Los Angeles, she is the co-author of The Next American Century: How the U.S. Can Thrive as Other Powers Rise. Earlier, Hachigian was a Senior Political Scientist at RAND Corporation and, for four years, the director of the RAND Center for Asia Pacific Policy. Watch the video.

Friday, March 07, 2008


A. M. Homes

A. M. Homes is an American fiction writer known for her controversial and strange stories and books. "A Real Doll," A. M. Homes's short story about a boy who dates, seduces, and eventually rapes his sister's Barbie doll, is one of the most twisted, disturbing pieces of fiction I've ever read—and also one of the best. It's shocking, funny, strange, challenging, and indescribably real.

Click here for Interview. Click here for Homes's home page.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


Audre Vysniauskas

After obtaining her degree in Electrical Engineering and spending 15 years working with factory automation and information systems, in 2001 Audre Vysniauskas made a major career change and, signing herself just audre, became a professional illustrator. At about the same time Audre became a vociferous advocate of the use of computers in creating art. She remains extremely active in the digital arts community, having contributed to various digital imaging conferences, conventions, magazines and ventures aimed at helping artists and entrepreneurs.

See Audre's work here.

Sunday, January 06, 2008


Sasha Cagen

Sasha Cagen was born in Rhode Island and graduated from Barnard College. She is an author and entrepreneur who builds communities around passions and new ideas. Sasha’s second book is To-Do List: From Buying Milk to Finding a Soul Mate, What Our Lists Reveal About Us (Simon & Schuster, 2007), a collection of 100 real, handwritten lists and the stories behind them.

Sunday, December 09, 2007


Shannon Moffett

Shannon Moffett graduated from NYU with a B.A. She is currently a medical student at Stanford University School of Medicine, where she’s received two Stanford Arts and Humanities Medical Scholars grants.

Learn how the Shannon experiences in a lab, a lecture hall, and a slaughterhouse led to "The Three-Pound Enigma".

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Shelley Batts

Shelley Batts is a Neuroscience PhD candidate at the University of Michigan. She studies hair cell regeneration in the cochlea, and is just embarking on that quixotic quest called 'thesis.' She lies awake at night pondering how science intersects with politics, culture, policy, money, medicine, and religion in an attempt to be more than just a niche scientist sitting in the oh-so-lovely ivory tower. She writes: "Follow me and my parrot on the quest to get funded, get a PhD, and stay sane." Her blog is Retrospectacle. She also has a Wikipedia entry.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Karen Abbott

Sixteen years of Catholic school gave Karen Abbott an encyclopedic memory (thanks to daily oral catechism quizzes) and an interest in all things Magdalene. She wrote "Sin in the Second City."

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Tara C. Smith

Tara C. Smith is an American assistant professor of epidemiology in the College of Public Health at the University of Iowa, deputy director of the University of Iowa Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases, founder of Iowa Citizens for Science, and posts regularly to her science blog, "Aetiology."

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Jenna Glatzer

Jenna is the author of several books, including a few cool books for writers, Celine Dion's authorized biography, a couple of children's picture books, and adult nonfiction books on topics ranging from fertility to bullying. She is often a secret ghostwriter. She also write for many magazines and is a contributing editor at Writer's Digest.

Saturday, July 07, 2007



Akiane is an internationally recognized 12-year-old prodigy, considered the only known child binary genius, in both realist painting and poetry. Selected as 1 of 20 most accomplished visual artists in the world by Tribute Entertainment (London) and ABI (United States).

Thursday, June 07, 2007


Rudy Rucker

Rudolf von Bitter Rucker (born March 22, 1946 in Louisville, Kentucky) is an American computer scientist and science fiction author, and is one of the founders of the cyberpunk literary movement. The author of both fiction and non-fiction, he is best known for the novels in the Ware Tetralogy, the first two of which (Software and Wetware) both won Philip K. Dick Awards. Rucker often uses his novels to explore scientific or mathematical ideas. His recent non-fiction book is "The Lifebox, the Seashell, and the Soul." (Source: wikipedia.)

Saturday, May 12, 2007


Daniel Pinchbeck

Daniel Pinchbeck, (b. June 15, 1966) is a writer and advocate of psychedelic drug use and experience. Wikipedia says: "He is the author of Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism. In Breaking Open the Head, Pinchbeck explored shamanism via ceremonies with tribal groups such as the Bwiti of Gabon and the Secoya in the Ecuadorean Amazon. He also participated in the Burning Man festival in Nevada, and looked at use of psychedelic substances in a desacralized modern context. Through his direct experiences and research, and influenced heavily by the work of anthroposophist Rudolf Steiner, he became convinced that the shamanic and mystical view of reality had validity, and that the modern world had forfeited an understanding of intuitive and supersensible aspects of being in its pursuit of rational materialism." His recent book is titled "2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl." Hot Link: Breaking Open the Head

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Danielle Trussoni

Danielle Anne Trusson graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison summa cum laude with a BA in History and English (1996) and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she received a MFA in Fiction Writing (2002). Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Telegraph Magazine, The New York Times Book Review and Tin House, among other publications. Now she spends her time in the US and Bulgaria. Her most famous book is "Falling Through the Earth."

Learn more about her work here, here, and here.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Tish Cohen

Rex Pickett reviewed Tish's latest book: "Jack Madigan is the 36-year-old son of an Ozzy Osborne-like rocker who died a surreal death onstage involving a recalcitrant reptile. Jack has awakened from the rubble of a life on the road in a shambling mess of a four-storey Boston town house, bequeathed to him by his father ... with an acute, and apparently incurable, case of agoraphobia. But the money is running out, and the town house has grown decrepit from neglect.... Tish Cohen has written an original portrait of a pathetic man that is at times sardonically comic and humanly poignant. ... Cohen's Jack Madigan is a three-dimensional, albeit anomalous, lost soul of our modern, twisted, fractured society."

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Jennifer Ouellette

Jennifer Ouellette is a former English major turned science writer, through serendipitous accident. She has written extensively for the science trade press, and, increasingly, for the general public in such venues as Discover, New Scientist, and Salon. She's covered the acoustics of Mayan pyramids and NYC subways, the physics of foam, optics and art, and the precarious pitfalls of pseudoscience, among other colorful topics.
She is the author of: Black Bodies and Quantum Cats: Tales from the Annals of Physics (2006) and The Physics of the Buffyverse (2007).Interests: Writing, reading, jujitsu, funky museums, biking, movies and DVDs, cooking, travel, crossword puzzles, Jackie Chan movies, theater, my iPod, John Donne's poetry, gothic horror, Edward Gorey, Emily the Strange, tarot cards, history, mythology, fairy tales, science, NUMBERS, HOUSE, FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST, all things BUFFY, and THE X-FILES. Her hot blog is here.

Sunday, January 14, 2007


Ranya Idliby

Ranya Idliby grew up with a foot in the East Dubai and a foot in the West Mclean, Virginia. She feels that she is living proof that, though East is East and West is West, the twain shall and must meet. Her maiden name, Tabari, derives its roots from Tiberias, a Palestinian town by the Sea of Galilee. At Georgetown University, where she was introduced, to the art of pulling all-nighters, NoDoz, Bazooka gum, and dorm keg parties, she graduated from the School of Foreign Service. She then continued her post-graduate degree at the London School of Economics. Read about her book, The Faith Club, here and here.

Friday, December 08, 2006


Clio Cresswell

Author of "Mathematics and Sex," Dr. Cresswell spent part of her childhood on a Greek island, and was then schooled in the south of France where she was studying Visual Art. At eighteen she simultaneously discovered the joys of Australia and mathematics. Clio studied mathematics at The University of New South Wales and following a stint as an actuary, returned to university to win the University Medal and complete a PhD. More info here.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Jennifer Ouellette

Jennifer Ouellette is a former English major turned science writer. She has written extensively for the science trade press, and in Discover magazine and Salon. She's covered the acoustics of Mayan pyramids and NYC subways, the physics of foam, optics and art, and the precarious pitfalls of pseudoscience, among other colorful topics. She is author of two books for the general public: Black Bodies and Quantum Cats: Tales from the Annals of Physics (published in January 2006) and the forthcoming The Physics of the Buffyverse (January 2007), both through Penguin.

Her excellent science blog is Cocktail Party Physics.

Friday, October 13, 2006


Christa Sommerer

Christa Sommerer is an internationally renowned media artist working in the field of interactive computer art. She is Associate Professor at the IAMAS Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences in Gifu, Japan. In 2002 she completed her Ph.D. degree. Sommerer originally studied botany at the University of Vienna and modern sculpture and art education at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna (masters degree). She applies scientific principles such as artificial life, complexity and generative systems to innovative interface designs. Look at some of her wild interactive artwork here and here.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


Nell Freudenberger

Harvard-educated Nell Freudenberger is a New Yorker who has taught English in Bangkok and New Delhi. Among her many works, she is the author of The Dissident, in which a Chinese painter is the guest of a dysfunctional family in Beverly Hills.

Nell's favorite piece of cockroach literature is a William Gass story called "Order of Insects." The narrator is a housewife whose fear of water bugs — Periplaneta orientalis — turns into a fascination with their construction; "I...observed the movement of the jaws, the stalks of the antennae, the skull-shaped skull, the lines banding the abdomen, and found an intensity in the posture of the shell, even when tipped, like that in the gaze of Gauguin's natives' eyes. The dark plates glisten. They are wonderfully shaped; even the buttons of the compound eyes show a geometrical precision which prevents my earlier horror. It isn't possible to feel disgust toward such an order. Nevertheless, I reminded myself, a roach...and you a woman."

Monday, August 21, 2006


Danica McKellar

As a child, actress Danica McKellar played Winnie on the TV show The Wonder Years. Later, she made many appearances on The West Wing. But she's also a mathematician who recently proved her own theorem. She graduated summa cum laude from UCLA with a degree in mathematics. Here is her hot math paper.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Paul Laffoley

By Paul Laffoley's account, he spoke his first word ("Constantinople") at the age of six months, and then lapsed into 4 years of silence, having been diagnosed with slight Autism. In 1964, Laffoley began work (and lived) in an eighteen-by-thirty foot utility room, where he has produced much of his art. During a CAT scan of his head in 1992, a piece of metal 3/8 of an inch long was discovered in the occipital lobe of his brain, near the pineal gland.

He has produced an estimated 800 of his immensely detailed canvases. At any given time there are dozens of these works already fully-articulated in his mind, waiting to be painted. Paul currently lives in Boston and is still producing his amazing transdisciplinary art.

Friday, June 16, 2006


Maria Manakova

Maria Manakova (b. 1974) is a phenomenal hyper-genius and Grandmaster of chess, born in Serbia. She is the only woman chess grandmaster ever to pose completely nude for a men's magazine! In a recent interview she spoke frankly about sex and chess. Another article appears in the Times (UK). A secret photo of her can be found here, at the Russian Blitz tournament.

Saturday, May 27, 2006


Katrina Firlik

Katrina Firlik is a brain surgeon. She says: "People think of neurosurgery as something highly intellectual. They use phrases like 'it doesn't take a brain surgeon.' Of course, you have to be smart and make quick decisions, but, in part, a neurosurgeon is a kind of mechanic. We cut heads open, we use drills..... The pattern of blood vessels at the base of the brain is so weird, it's like a stange creature." Her latest book is: Another Day in the Frontal Lobe A Brain Surgeon Exposes Life on the Inside. She also draws weird things.

Saturday, May 06, 2006


Marta Gonzalez

Physicist Marta Gonzalez studies the physics of friendship. By comparing people to mobile particles randomly bouncing off one another, she develops models for social networks. One of her papers is "Model of mobile agents for sexual interactions networks." You can learn more about Marta here. Click here for a secret photo of Marta.

Sunday, April 16, 2006


Claire Berlinski

Claire Berlinski received her doctorate in International Relations from Balliol College at Oxford University. She has since lived and worked in Britain, Thailand, Laos, France, and Turkey as a journalist, academic, consultant and freelance writer. Her latest book Menace in Europe explores the mystery and ekpyrotic future of this surreal yet important continent. We’ve often thought of Europe as the charming continent of windmills and gondolas. But lately, Europe has become the continent of endless strikes and demonstrations, bombings, radical Islamic cells in every city, and murders for speaking frankly about Islamic immigration. This isn’t the Europe we thought we knew. What’s going on over there? (A secret photo of Dr. Berlinski can be found here.)

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