The hardest story I’ve ever written. When an artist of optimism is cruelly taken away, what remains of her message? A profile of the artist Susan O’Malley, from the January 2016 issue of San Francisco magazine.
On the afternoon of February 25, 2015, artist and curator Susan O’Malley was at home in Berkeley, taking care of business. She posted a note on Facebook asking if anyone could help her transport a piece of artwork down to San Jose, where she was curating a show at the Museum of Quilts and Textiles; several people cheerfully responded. She exchanged emails with her editor about the final page layouts for her first book, Advice from My 80-Year-Old Self, which will be published by Chronicle Books this month. In the next room, her husband, Tim Caro-Bruce, a computer programmer, was working from home.
Read more here.
I was pretty excited to appear in the December 8th episode of 99% Invisible, a tiny radio show about design with the great Roman Mars. Listen here!
The eradication would begin on Floreana Island in October. If all went well, the rodents would be dead by Thanksgiving, the feral cats, by Easter.
Read more about Karl Campbell, the animal removal specialist working on the front lines of extinction, here.
Would you read the Everyone Poops of death? A new essay I wrote for Ozy, on how we might normalize conversations about death from the beginning.
I wrote this essay on what it’s like to be Chinese in America’s Chinese city, for San Francisco magazine’s April issue (hint: there’s no one answer.)
Martin Yan can break down a chicken in 18 seconds. I cannot. Still he let me hang out with him for the March issue of Sunset.
I write about Gertrude Ederle’s coach and mentor, Charlotte “Eppie” Epstein, for The Who, the What, and the When: 65 Artists Illustrate the Secret Sidekicks of History, new from Chronicle Books — it’s the rad follow-up to the bestselling The Where, the Why, and the How, a great project by the supremely talented design team of Jenny Volvovski, Julia Rothman, and Matt Lamothe.
From the May 2014 “Symmetry” issue of Nautilus
James Doty is not a subject under study at the altruism research center that he founded at Stanford in 2008, but he could be. In 2000, after building a fortune as a neurosurgeon and biotech entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, he lost it all in the dotcom crash: $75 million gone in six weeks. Goodbye villa in Tuscany, private island in New Zealand, penthouse in San Francisco. His final asset was stock in a medical-device company he’d once run called Accuray. But it was stock he’d committed to a trust that would benefit the universities he’d attended and programs for AIDS, family, and global health. Doty was $3 million in the hole. Everyone told him to keep the stock for himself. He gave it away — all $30 million of it. “Giving it away has had to be the most personally fulfilling experience I’ve had in my life,” Doty, 58, said on a recent sunny afternoon at Stanford. In 2007, Accuray went public at a valuation of $1.3 billion. That generated hundreds of millions for Doty’s donees and zero for him. “I have no regrets,” he said.
Read more here.
From the April 25, 2014 issue of Newsweek
Lift, squeeze, sniff. It’s a ritual millions of us perform every day in the produce aisle of the grocery store, rejecting the blemished and irregular in search of an ideal seldom found on any farm.
Forty percent of all food is never eaten, and this rejection of “ugly food” — the misshapen or imperfect produce that gets thrown out before it ever hits the supermarket display — is a major contributor to food waste.
Read more here.
Bonnie Tsui is featured in Ian Cheney’s new documentary, The Search For General Tso, premiering at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival.