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The Sun Magazine

The Sun Interview

Before We Leap

Carolyn Raffensperger On The Revolutionary Idea Of Putting Safety First

The precautionary principle is a simple yet revolutionary idea that turns our culture’s practice of science on its head. It says that, when you have scientific uncertainty and the likelihood of harm, you take preventive or precautionary action. On the most basic level, there’s nothing more to it.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Some Shelter

The atomic bomb would fall and we would duck and cover and it would be ok. There wasn’t a child in the room who didn’t know this was a baldfaced lie, the height of adult mendacity — as the older boys said, “Bullshit.”

Ancient History

I stayed in bed, letting the news sink in. My father, whom I both loved and hated: gone. His death was a blessing. It was. I stared out the window at the gray Vermont sky. The house was quiet with the presence of death.

Distant Signals

Dad always gave elaborate instructions on how to use things. Most of Dad’s instructions were negative, as though the right way to do things would occur to one eventually if all the ways to do it wrong could be enumerated and cautioned against.


Mr. Jordan’s Arrival

Seth was talking about baseball, and we were looking forward to our little game, when we heard Ted bark: two sharp, eager barks coming from the woods. As we got closer, we heard what sounded like a whimper. And then a voice, a command. Seth looked up at me — who was out there in the woods?

baby blood

Silas started the way all babies do: a divided cell, a spot of blood. Then, after all the work, the perils of miscarriage, the sickness and swelling, he was born too early, and I found that my precious boy had a bad heart. He needed blood and money and about a million years of good luck.

Readers Write


A large, shiny safety pin; a fallout shelter; an old beekeeper’s shack

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸


An epoch will come when people disclaim kinship with us as we disclaim kinship with the monkeys.

Khalil Gibran

More Quotations ▸
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