Hypothetically speaking…sort of.

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Photo by Flavius Les on Unsplash

Sometimes, choosing who you’re going to have sex with can be tricky. But at least today, in 2021, we’re pretty much limited to having sex with other people — other Homo sapiens.

Today I was talking — over Zoom — to my high school biology students about evolution and our early human ancestors. Teaching remotely can be pretty dry, so I’m always looking for ways to engage them.

After we watched a youtube video about how many humans today, especially those of European and Asian descent have Neanderthal DNA, one student piped up and told me that…


Even the toughest helmet can’t protect you from everything.

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Photo by Caroline Hernandez on Unsplash

If cities are made of blocks, suburbs are made of loops. The house I live in with my husband and our kids is at the end of a cul-de-sac that connects to a half-mile loop of pavement. In the decade we’ve lived here, we’ve covered the loop thousands of times.

At first, it was just with our dog for daily walks. Then our daughter was born we graduated to a stroller and then a red Radio Flyer wagon. …


This Is Us

Social distance means we can no longer create shared memories by smelling the world — and each other

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Photo: WIN-Initiative/Neleman/Getty Images

What’s the worst smell you can think of? Skunk? Brussels sprouts? Sour milk?

For me, it was a mixture of Coca-Cola, coffee, Gatorade, and rotting bones. The smell was so pungent it clung to my hair and clothes for hours after the air had cleared. I was a student teacher in a regional high school in Vermont, and I had asked my students to do an experiment on bone density. They each chose a liquid to soak a chicken bone in for a week.

I knew the acidic liquids would leach the calcium out of the bones and make them…


A celebration of the little girls who shook up hundreds of years of card game history.

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Photo by Rachel Coyne on Unsplash

When my daughter went to summer camp for the first time, an older kid taught her how to tie her shoes. The next week she learned to whistle. Over her first summer, she also learned how to change into her bathing suit in a port-a-potty, and how to eat a peanut butter sandwich at the beach without getting a mouthful of sand.

As a teacher, I am used to a world of order and structure, so to me, summer camp seems like a madhouse free-for-all. The teenagers are in charge, and the whole scene is powered by sunscreen and popsicles…


Go ahead — squeeze it. I have extras.

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Photo by FreeModels Agency on Unsplash

I keep a heart on my desk in a clear plastic bag. It’s reddish-purple with yellow pockets of fat at the edges. It’s a little bigger than half a sandwich, but it weighs a lot more. A lot of people say they think it’s gross, but then they pick it up and marvel at it anyway. I ordered it from a science supply company that also sells turkey testicles and preserved pigeons. It cost three dollars and fifty-five cents, which is a pretty good deal for a no-fail conversation starter.

I’ve had…


How to really make someone happy.

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Photo by Austin Schmid on Unsplash

Is there anything sadder than the Valentine’s Day Trifecta (VDT): Bad red wine, wilted roses, and cheap chocolate? Oh wait, there is. It’s when the VDT is accompanied by a stuffed animal, especially if the animal is holding any kind of red velvet heart.

I work at a high school, so I see lots of first-attempts at romantic Valentine's Day gestures and they always make me feel sad. Last year, one teenage boyfriend bought his girlfriend of nine days one of those giant teddy bears at the grocery store next to our school. The…


It’s not that you don’t know how, it’s just that you might have forgotten.

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Photo by Andre Ouellet on Unsplash

Last week I got myself into a parking lot pickle. I drove down one of the rows and when I got to the end, it was blocked off by a long row of traffic cones. When I looked in my rear-view window to turn around, I saw that line of cars had followed me, so I was blocked in.

I considered my options: turn on a podcast and wait for the cars behind me to move or get out and move the cones myself so I…


Forget about Facebook friends. You need a friend like Ardi.

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Photo by Clarisse Meyer on Unsplash

Do you ever sometimes feel like you’re nothing more than a collection of numbers? How would you describe your life if you couldn’t use any numbers to do it?

I got an email yesterday pitching a $75 Bluetooth water bottle that calculates the mass of the water inside and syncs with an app so you can figure out whether or not you’re thirsty and tell you when to take a drink.

It seemed far-fetched, but really it’s not far off from all the other pieces of personal data we track…


I’m bad at pool, but I’m good at listening.

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Photo by Clayton Ewerton on Unsplash

When I was in college, I used to take the train to visit my boyfriend in Hoboken, New Jersey. He’d pick me up in his rusted white Toyota Tercel and we’d listen to Wynton Marsalis CDs while he drove me to his two-bedroom apartment that smelled like bleach and weed.

The bleach and the weed both belonged to my boyfriend’s roommate Rick. Rick looked like a model in a J.Crew catalog. He showered multiple times a day and was always working to correct the gelled spikes in his hair. He was nice to my boyfriend, but they weren’t friends.

When…


Finding the line between making and breaking.

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Photo by Xavier Mouton Photographie on Unsplash

The first time I nearly killed my son, we both cried, but only one of us went to the hospital. It was just a few months ago when the pandemic had fallen to an end-of-summer lull and he was getting ready to go back to preschool.

We hopped on our bikes for one last loop around the neighborhood, just to try to stretch the day out a little bit longer. He was still three and was riding a bike I had picked up for free on the side of the road. …

Emily Kingsley

Big fan of good books, funny looking animals, and great stories. Always ready for the next big thing.

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