Making “untradition” the tradition of Christmas

Turkey or ham for dinner in the USA. Pinekjøtt or lutefisk in Norway. Gathering of families usually at the home of the grandmother and grandfather. Yes, we are stuck on tradition, truly stuck if you look forward to eating fruitcake or maybe lutefisk each year for Christmas. I remember a few traditions about Christmases growing…

The seven-year scientific manuscript

by Janice Nigro My colleagues and I just submitted a scientific paper we have been working on for seven years. Seven years. It’s hard for me to admit that. Maybe I shouldn’t admit it. A lot can happen in seven years. Babies have been born, and people spread around the western world like they were…

Macrophotography: Up close and personal with the coral reef

My fingers are still tingling. I stretch and bend them several times making sure they aren’t stuck permanently in a clutching position around my underwater housing. Endorphins are coursing through my body. “Mind-blowing,” I am thinking surfacing from my dive in Anemone Fields in the Alor Archipelago, Indonesia. For some of my dive buddies? Yawn.…

I never bought an underwater rig I didn’t like

by Janice Nigro There I was again. In the store. Less than three weeks before a dive trip. Considering the options. “I just want to see what it looks like,” I said. That was the end. The guy behind the counter knew he had me. “Yeah, here you can hold the housing and see how…

Taking French lessons in Indonesia

by Janice Nigro I took a last-minute trip to an island in Indonesia I had never been to in September. I don’t know how a person can do that, but I did. Cheaper fares if you fly through Hong Kong when it’s typhoon season, helped maybe. I even bought a new underwater camera rig before…

Coloring outside the lines in science writing

by Janice Nigro A great irony in science is how generic we scientists often write about it. We use clichéd lines. “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to show X…” Or “However, X still remains unknown.” Or my favorite, “Such and such cancer is the most aggressive tumor type in…