Author Archive | Sascha Zubryd

Baby Dozer

Finally, a puppy

For this entire school year, I’ve been trying to find a story into which I could sneak some mention of my puppy. Every single time we got a project, I though, “Is this it? Is this finally THE ONE?” No. And no. And no again. Until one fine day at the end of April, we…

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Mike Portrait015

How to Shoot Someone

Holding a camera gives you a lot of power over your subject. When you’re shooting someone’s portrait, you can make him or her look great if you know what you’re doing, or awful if you don’t. Or, really, really hideous if you know what you’re doing and are a jerk. I have always used a…

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Open Your Heart (and your ribcage)

Someone I love is scheduled for triple bypass open heart surgery tomorrow. “Bypass surgery.” It’s one of those phrases I’ve heard a million times, never truly knowing what it meant. They’re not going to build a freeway interchange inside his chest. At least not literally. Heart valves are a little like metering lights at a…

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What Makes a Good Profile

I wrote my first profile as an undergraduate, of an eminent economics professor at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. I thought it was pretty good. It even earned an honorable mention in a school-wide writing competition. Then a real profile of the same person was published in Forbes, and I said to myself: “Wow….

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My boyfriend always tells me video games are good for his mental health. I guess now I have to take him seriously. On November 23, The New York Times Science Times  ran an article about research on the therapeutic benefits of virtual interaction. The central idea: “scientists have established a principle that is fundamental to…

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Scientific American is all about the intersection of magic tricks and neuroscience this month. I’m sure some of you may know about it already, but I thinks it’s too interesting to not post about. I found it on Twitter (thank you, @sciam_live): SciAm video “Neuroscience Meets Magic” I think it’s more than worth the 11…

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Scientist Are Like Vampires

Interviewing scientists in academia presents unique challenges. A lot of the researchers I have interviewed so far have been friendly, funny, and happy to answer questions. I get great quotes from our conversations. Sometimes I send quotes and explanatory paragraphs back to researchers to make sure they are factually accurate. Some of the researchers take…

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Science smells like wet dog

Doggies and rodents and bears, oh my! They all have to dry off somehow. So they shake. I know this from personal and very drippy experience (not with bears). As Andrew Dickerson and fellow video authors put it in their abstract, animals: …rapidly oscillate their bodies to shed water droplets, nature’s analogy to the spin…

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What is the point of this post?

I found another writing trick this week. This one helps me make sure my story flows in a logical order, and that it addresses all the important points. Editing our own work is hard. We all gloss over sentences when we already know what we meant them to say. We know how we got from…

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A Good Editor Saves The Day

I’m an intern this quarter at the Stanford School of Medicine Office of Communication & Public Affairs. Long name, great people. Especially my editor. I was having the darnedest time with the paragraph order in a news releases. No matter how I tried to structure things, I would lose the poor reader within the first…

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