Essays

Baseball truth: You build it, they'll leave
Published on Feb 5th, 2004
0 comments On the same day the Florida Marlins paraded through Miami to celebrate their second World Series championship in six years, politicians from Miami-Dade County swallowed the young baseball team's...
Ungodly politics: Dean bends to pressure
Published on Jan 29th, 2004
0 comments The other day, I was reading an interview with Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean in Newsweek when I had to stop and check that it was indeed Newsweek and not, say, Christianity Today. Yes...
Republican pork: GOP funds bushmen and blueberries
Published on Jan 22nd, 2004
0 comments The huge omnibus spending bill that's passed the House and will be voted on in the Senate when it reconvenes in Washington is loaded with special gifts. Known in Washington as "earmarks," and known...
Drugs of choice: Science tackles smoking addiction
Published on Jan 15th, 2004
0 comments Faster than an injection, more reinforcing than crack cocaine: Smoking a cigarette speeds nicotine to the brain faster than any other delivery method, giving smokers precise control over their exact...
Black holes: Illusion of health melts
Published on Jan 8th, 2004
0 comments Lying on my right side on the examining table, I gaze at the monitor next to me. As the technician guides a palm-sized plastic probe over my breast, the ultrasound records an image of the tissue...
Better living through... Christmas feast full of chemicals
Published on Dec 18th, 2003
0 comments When you get down to the stuffing this Christmas, think on, there's more to that bread sauce and sausage meat mix than meets the eye. Researchers in Germany have discovered that bread crusts are a...
No apology: Japan deserved Enola Gay's visit
Published on Dec 11th, 2003
0 comments There's a museum in Tokyo dedicated to Japan's ample history of warfare. But if you visit the plainly named Military Museum, you'll find no reference to the grotesque medical experiments the Japanese...
The watchers: They won't hear of prof's politics
Published on Dec 4th, 2003
0 comments I was happy to learn the other day that a conservative student group at the University of Texas had published a "professor watch list" of instructors who "push an ideological viewpoint on their...
In the genes: Women hard-wired to shop
Published on Nov 27th, 2003
0 comments Christmas is no longer a time of peace and goodwill to all men. It can be the season of stress, consumerism, and overloading the credit card. Everyone knows that women cope with it better than men....
My son: Adopting an orphan demands care
Published on Nov 20th, 2003
0 comments "Your son needs a therapist," I told my husband when we returned home from the doctor. "That's what she said, he needs a therapist?" "A behavioral therapist." We were not that surprised. Just last...
Cover-up: Muslim women don veils
Published on Nov 13th, 2003
0 comments BEIRUT– I remember a time not so long ago when wearing a veil was seen as unacceptable-­ at least in certain social circles. Educated women, it was thought, did not wear veils. Only five years...
Talking men: Don't marry a Silent Type
Published on Nov 6th, 2003
0 comments This is not a Hurricane Isabel story, although it starts like one. Two days after the hurricane, my entire county was still without electricity except for one small area, an intersection near the...
Taking his medicine: Rush needs more than treatment
Published on Oct 23rd, 2003
0 comments Because he's a man with firm and simple opinions about almost everything, America's most successful radio personality told his listeners years ago what society should do about unfortunate people like...
Short people: Let them opt to be taller
Published on Oct 16th, 2003
0 comments This past July, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that human growth hormone may now be prescribed to boost the height of short, but otherwise normal, children. Specifically, pediatric...
Loathsome: Bush-haters' vitriol runs big risks
Published on Oct 9th, 2003
0 comments In the acidly witty 1999 movie The Election, a mild-mannered high school civics teacher becomes consumed with his hatred of an obnoxiously perfectionist, overachieving student– to such an...
Holler news: Isabel kisses Hungrytown
Published on Oct 2nd, 2003
0 comments Thursday, September 18, 2003 awoke gray and sullen. The news had been full of it, weather channels tracking pictures of a pleasant whirlpool of white clouds swirling over warm Atlantic waters for...
Isabel's big brother: Metro honchos overstep boundaries
Published on Sep 25th, 2003
0 comments At 11am on Thursday, Hurricane Isabel was still two hours from making landfall near Ocracoke Island, at the southern tip of North Carolina's Outer Banks. Yet at that moment, Washington, D.C.'s Metro...
Edward Teller: My brush with greatness
Published on Sep 18th, 2003
0 comments While the entertainment world reels from the loss of Warren Zevon, Johnny Cash, and John Ritter, the world stage will long remember the controversial cold warrior bomb-builder Edward Teller, whose...
Two years later: Close call sparked 'reframing'
Published on Sep 11th, 2003
0 comments For most people, September 11 has come and gone, but the anniversary will always be important to me because I was a block away when the first building fell. The people I have met who were at the...
Mitch was right: Why ex-cons deserve the vote
Published on Sep 4th, 2003
0 comments In January, 2001, Delegate Mitchell Van Yahres announced that he was sponsoring a bill to amend Virginia's Constitution to allow non-violent felons to regain the right to vote. Currently, ex-felons...
Must they? Madison Avenue knows no bounds
Published on Aug 28th, 2003
0 comments How did certain topics go from utterly unmentionable to uttered incessantly? Impotence, constipation, poorly endowed men, and comfortable tampons are not only out of the closet, they're agitating for...
My crime: 'You fit the description'
Published on Aug 21st, 2003
0 comments When the police van pulled up alongside me and the two officers jumped out, I moved to step aside, curious who/what they were looking for. I didn't have to wait long. They were looking for me. It was...
Terror futures: Why Pentagon betting is good
Published on Aug 14th, 2003
0 comments "Appalling," " repugnant," and "incredibly stupid" were a few of the choice words used by two U.S. senators, Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Ron Wyden (D-WA) over a Pentagon proposal to create a futures...
So Long, Hookville: Breaking loose from the velvet rut
Published on Aug 7th, 2003
0 comments I like to claim that I was blackmailed into coming to Charlottesville. The real story, of course, is that when it came time to make that pesky decision about college, my...
I-64: Ode to a Highway
Published on Aug 7th, 2003
0 comments Tell me the greatest danger facing travelers along Virginia's stretch of Interstate 64, that venerable highway stretching from the Atlantic Ocean all the way to St. Louis....
Must be seen: Viewers are mad about makeovers
Published on Jul 31st, 2003
0 comments Donna's adult daughters loved their 47-year-old mom, but they were embarrassed to be seen with her. She dressed in what she called "vintage Marshall's" and they called just plain tacky: a Halloween...
Treason's poison: Coulter spews pure nastiness
Published on Jul 24th, 2003
0 comments Ann Coulter's popularity on the right is a phenomenon that has baffled me for a long time. As someone who shares many political views identified as conservative, I have always cringed in...
Profit-sharing: Alaska showing Iraq the way?
Published on Jul 17th, 2003
0 comments Where are we? The second or third plan for rebuilding Iraq? Remember Jay Garner? Need I say more? Of course, it's not like Democrats have much of a plan for Iraq. Even as the pre-war arguments for...
Shopping bags: We are what we schlep
Published on Jul 10th, 2003
0 comments We urban warrior women, celebrated for our composure, guard a dirty little secret: We pack for the end of the world every single day. We can take it with us. Our men and our chiropractors don't...
Northern neck: Gay marriage boosted... by Canada
Published on Jul 3rd, 2003
0 comments One of the most exciting and pivotal events to happen in years to the gay rights movement in the United States just occurred– in another country entirely. Canada, soon expected to legalize same...