This past week, the first TV show that I helped produce aired on Al Jazeera America and Al Jazeera English. It was an episode of “Fault Lines” titled “The Death of Aging.” and it explores technology billionaires’ funneling millions of dollars toward several efforts at reversing aging and increasing human longevity.
It was an amazingly fun project to work on, especially thanks to the production team of Sweta Vohra, Josh Rushing, and Joel Van Haren. I was lucky enough to get a co-production credit and was able to help on a number of fronts, from researching, reporting, setting up shoots, holding light reflectors, writing interview questions, scripting, and perhaps most importantly, hounding J. Craig Venter’s wife (who is also his publicist) until she agreed to let us go behind the scenes of his new venture Human Longevity, Inc.
In late-2010, I knew nothing about archaeology. After three-plus years as a senior editor at Archaeology, I consider myself knowledgeable on at least one arcane subject: the peopling of the Americas.
I just finished a large project that I spent a lot of the last year reporting for Archaeology. It included meeting a lot of great characters, as well as a trip to the Paleoamerican Odyssey conference in Santa Fe, NM, last October. It was an occasionally testy meeting with prominent archaeologists whose theories had been summarily dismissed for decades by their peers finally having their day in the sun.
I would have never guessed it, but I find this topic really exciting.
When my old friend Steve, who is now the editor in chief of Atlanta Magazine got in touch last summer with the idea of writing about sea turtles on the Georgia coast, I jumped at the chance to revisit some places that I haven’t been since I was a kid, like Jekyll and St. Simon’s Islands.
Probably the coolest part of reporting this story was getting to go on to a Georgia barrier island that very few people get to go to. Ossabaw Island is essentially a barely inhabited sanctuary maintained by the state. Mark Dodd of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources was nice enough to drive me around the island until we got to see one of the feral pigs that have overrun Ossabaw since the Spanish brought them in the 1500s.
So, my dad and I now have a joint web venture. It’s not going to be the next Gawker or ScienceBlogs or anything, but it’s surprisingly of-the-moment, especially for peanut butter fiends. We just launched a blog dedicated to food safety. It’s called Food Safety Policy. (Sexy, right? My dad’s a former academic, so go easy.)
Anyway, we’re combining my ability to post things to a weblog with his ability to know what he’s talking about–as long as it’s about food safety–to bring news and analysis on our increasingly worrisome food supply. (Pet food, spinach, jalapenoes, oh my!)