Author Archive | Julia Calderone

hookworm in intestine

Parasitic Worms Wiggle into Modern Medicine

In 2006, a man named Jasper Lawrence travelled to Africa to infect himself with hookworm by walking barefoot in a steaming mound of human excrement. He and other proponents of so-called helminthic therapy say that industrialized societies have become too clean, and in the process of sterilizing our homes and bodies, we’ve eradicated an essential piece of…

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Is ‘oil pulling’ the new mouthwash?

When I wake up in the morning, I stumble into my kitchen, plunge a spoon into a jar of solidified coconut oil and scoop it into my mouth. I soften the oil with my tongue and swish it around, pushing and pulling it between my teeth for exactly 20 minutes. After I spit the oil…

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Photo by Julia Calderone

Thirsty Creatures

“Don’t you dare lick that seal!” screamed a bikini-clad young woman flicking the salty waves with her toes. As I glanced across the Santa Cruz Dog Beach toward the base of a succulent-covered cliff, a brown mutt the size of a footstool was fondling a lifeless pinniped half buried in the sand. It was one…

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Courtesy of Adam Kleifield

Plenty of Pheromones in the Sea

As we sat in my car outside a silent movie theater in Los Angeles, my friend anxiously opened a plastic bag containing a white T-shirt she’d slept in for the past three nights. “Does it smell like me?” she asked nervously, gesturing the open end toward my face. I stuck my nose into the bag and inhaled….

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Photo © Lisa Kimberly

Sleeping With My Data

For the past few months, my iPhone has been tracking my movements while I sleep. This isn’t because I’ve fallen victim to a National Security Agency sting (at least as far as I know). I have programmed my phone to keep close tabs on me – on purpose. Of the many “a-ha!” moments I had in college,…

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