In days gone by, newspapers stored yellowing clips and photographs in room called morgues. In some of these rooms, between towering file cabinets there might even be a desk with a librarian waiting for journalists to come in with research requests. Such morgues and those who curated them have been relegated to the dustbin of history. As an unrepentant romantic, I tip my hat to those people and those long-lost rooms and ways of life that have been replaced by the cold, hard truth of technological superiority. Welcome to my personal, electronic morgue, which includes links to some of the journalism that I’m most proud of.
Thanks for reading, Stuart.
Fast Company “The Future of Work” Blog:
In the never-ending effort to motivate employees, companies are taking cues from video games–adding scoring, virtual badges, and other game-like elements to everyday work processes to make jobs more fun.
Some proponents insist that one day every job will somehow be gamified, while detractors fear it’s just another management fad or worse, a sinister new form of corporate control.
To weed through some of the hype, here are four pros and cons to gamifying the enterprise.
Andreessen Horowitz (A16Z) Blog:
Body Electric: Implanted Machines Are Coming
The pace of electronics miniaturization has been relentless. Today’s palm-sized smartphones outrun the fastest supercomputers of only a couple decades ago. Low-powered computers equipped with an array of finely tuned sensors are already being incorporated into real-world objects that can communicate autonomously, creating an “Internet of Things” that promises to bring revolutionary opportunities—and challenges—for every aspect of society and industry. The next phase of miniaturization could be even more transformational; embedding computational technology directly onto and into our bodies.
UIC Alumni Magazine
Life Changer PDF: The University of Illinois Hospital’s highly acclaimed Bariatric Surgery Program offers its patients the benefits of minimally invasive robotic surgery and the opportunity to reshape their lives (Summer 2012). website version
Future World PDF: A scene in Star Wars. Life-like avatars. Cave Automatic Virtual Environment. They all germinated in UIC’s Electronic Visualization Lab. A place where the clock is always 15 years fast (Winter 2011). website version
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
I was on staff at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists from 2008 to 2010, where I edited stories by professional writers, academics and policy wonks on nuclear energy and energy policy. The Bulletin is a 66-year-old science and policy journal that “informs the public about threats to the survival and development of humanity from nuclear weapons, climate change, and emerging technologies in the life sciences.” Although most of my work was editing longer features for the more academic journal and the website, I also did some Q&A-style interviews with leading policy makers and industry types. Here’s one example from 2010 with Michael Polsky, founder and head of Chicago-based Invenergy, one of the largest wind power companies (which also has ample gas-powered power plants and solar as well).
Business Week & BW Chicago
BW Chicago defunct city-focused edition of BusinessWeek that only survived for eight issues)
Chad Mirkin: Thinking Big, October 2008: The head of Northwestern University’s International Institute of Nanotechnology, Chad A. Mirkin is a giant in the realm of the very, very small. This was part of a larger special report titled “Voices of Innovation.” I believe this appeared only online (they ran it months after I filed). [PDF to come]
Biotech Isn’t in the DNA and sidebars, “A Better Gambit for Illinois: Bio-Crops” and “How States Stack Up.” Feature article that appeared in BW Chicago on the city’s failure to make itself into a biotech hub. What I found so interesting working on this story, was that although Chicago has so much going for it, it hasn’t been able to leverage its talents and advantages in this area. In fact, it’s actively lost people, companies and momentum over the years and is only now beginning to get all its ducks in a row. But most of the important figures in the industry (and in the investment community) are unaware of Chicago, or write it off. Regardless, the local business people here are working hard to change that. I wish them good luck.
Could That Flu Bug be a Bioweapon. Short profile of bioethics legal scholar and pulp mystery writer Lori Andrews.
The Hot Action in Financial Tech. Chicago has made the transition to 21st century financial powerhouse and startups in the area of “fintech” are launching here to take advantage of the mammoth importance of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the Board of Trade and the dizzying array of derivatives, futures and other financial instruments that the world’s markets depend on.
Nanotech Stars of Northwestern. A profile of three Northwestern nanotech researchers and the university’s importance in this growing (and tiny) field.
A global lifestyle magazine from the publishers of Wallpaper
Road Wage: Story about trucking school in Springfield, Illinois and the economic reasons why in the rural midwest trucking is one of the most lucrative jobs available.
Chicago weekly lifestyle magazine, owned by the Chicago Tribune.
Nothing But Net: 171 Great Chicago Websites: Cover story for February, 2008 issue, write ups on 171 Chicago websites. Also two sidebars; one on four “geeks” in politics, food, design, and music who revealed their favorite-area websites, and the other on the best wifi cafes in the city and suburbs.
The Hacktivist. Profile of Jeremy Hammond, radical political activist and computer hacker who is serving time for breaking into a conservative website and downloading credit card information on its members.
2013 UPDATE: Hammond was re-arrested in a federal sting. He was sentenced in 2013 to 10 years in federal prison.
Future Shocked: Profile of Dan Dinello, author of Technophobia).
Phone Home: Case Study of Firefly, cellphone handset maker for 8- to 12-year olds.
Expert Panel: Profile of four Chicago comic book artists.
No introduction necessary, founded in 1992/1993 iconic tech publication based in SF.
Wired 14.03: Easy as Pie. Short profile of Alex Seropian, creator of Halo and avid (and obsessive) cook.
Wired 12.08: Singapore Wants You!. The future-friendly city-state has an offer bioscientists can’t refuse: unrestricted research, top-notch equipment, and limitless funds. (Just leave your chewing gum at home.).
*Upon publication I was interviewed on PRI’s The World. Click here for audio.
Wired 11.04: Cat on the Cutting Edge: Pet medicine is a booming business. It’s also a proving ground for science that could save your life.
Older Wired articles (infographics, shorter pieces) here.
Trail-blazing DIY/maker magazine for the crafty/designer set. Sadly the pub was discontinued in 2011 by Meredith Corp., which had bought out founders Shoshana Berger and Grace Hawthorne in 2009.
The Dealer. The story of Stuart Grannen, owner of Chicago-based Architectural Artifacts who’s sober but still addicted to finding cast-away and ignored ornamentation, building fixtures, old furniture and assorted curios.
Crain’s Chicago Business
Chicago’s weekly business newspaper. I wrote mostly business features in the newspaper’s weekly “Focus” section.
Focus: Transportation. Bunching and waiting. Article on the phenomenon of bus bunching (when multiple buses run one after the other in a row) and a Q&A with a retired Chicago Transportation Authority bus driver.
Focus: Body Biz. Do you have hefty offspring? Read this.
Focus: Private Companies. Still Working on the Railroad.
Focus: Dicey Situations. When Alcohol Calls; Once bitten, twice shy (pdf, 244k).
Focus: Agenda for Chicago. Transportation/Rail. At the center of it all: Create.
Focus: Non-Profits. Companies leave, donations fall.
Focus: Government. Want city work? Red tape awaits.
Focus: Bankruptcy. Last guy you want to see. Profile of the Ira Bodenstein, US Bankruptcy Trustee.
Focus: Technology. Wi-Fi for the masses?
Focus: Business Mistakes. A mess of their own. One of my favorites, story of a business mistake by Aftermath, a company that specializes in cleaning up grisly murder scenes, suicides, unattended deaths.
Focus: Commercial Real Estate. Empty Spaces Abound.
Focus: Technology. Calling for backup: Firms move to protect tech.
Focus: Chicago’s Top 30 Media Elite Chicago Media Elite Round Up: Five short bios on local media personalities.
Older Crain’s pieces here.