Who I Am, and What I Do
At various times in my career, I've been a newspaper crime reporter, a magazine editor, a freelance writer for publications ranging from GQ and the Los Angeles Times Magazine to Mother Jones, a nonfiction author for HarperCollins, and a web content creator and blogger for brand-name media sites such as the Discovery Channel, National Geographic and the AARP. 
But that list of credentials doesn't quite convey the essence of what I've done and what I know how to do. I'm a meticulous reporter, one who amasses and analyzes every bit of background I can find on a subject, and who prepares extensively for interviews to come up with incisive questions. I gather details, but I focus upon where they fit into the big picture, and look for the context that makes some facts significant. When I sit down to write, I enjoy the challenge of taking a complicated situation or a seemingly contradictory set of facts, and making sense of it all in a way that a reader easily can understand.
I've applied that approach to numerous subjects. As a long-form journalist for magazines, I delved into the disappearance of Chicago heiress Helen Brach, explored the strange, paranoid world of countersurveillance experts, and wrangled a rare interview with the late Dwayne Andreas, the secretive billionaire grain-merchant who was a confidant of dictators and Presidents. In recent years, my interests have gravitated toward science, the environment, and technological advances, and how these these all create nascent social and economic trends. As a frequent writer for Urban Land magazine, I've gradually developed an expertise in writing about innovation in the built environment of cities.
I'm a native of McKeesport, Pa., which I should mention is not where artist Andy Warhol grew up, even though he sometimes liked to tell people that as a joke. (It is, however, the hometown of infamous diamond thief Jack Roland "Murph the Surf" Murphy.) I earned a bachelors degree in journalism from Penn State University, and worked as a newspaper reporter in Pittsburgh and southern California, and as staff writer at Baltimore magazine. I also was a contributing editor at Regardie's, the Washington business and politicial magazine, and for several years wrote the "Is This a Good Idea" blog for the Science Channel's website. With Martin J. Smith, I co-wrote two books, POPLORICA and OOPS, about the origin of modern cultural trends. (Both have been reissued in Kindle editions).
I've won a number of awards for my work, including second place in the "Best Writing" category from the California Newspaper Publishers Association, a silver medal in the "Writer of the Year" category from the City and Regional Magazines Association, and first prize in profile writing from the Western Journalism Association for a story I wrote about then-teenage YouTube sensation  Rebecca "Friday" Black.
I currently live and work in the Washington, DC area. When I'm not writing, I'm a martial arts enthusiast who earned a black sash in kung fu in 2013, a runner, classic movie and detective novel buff, and a fan of Vietnamese cuisine and obscure indie rock bands, and enjoy snapping odd images with my smart phone camera.
Me and my folks
High school basketball. I wasn't very good, but I rocked those Adidas Pro Models. 
Me in my hipster ponytail phase,with my co-author and old friend Martin J. Smith