A Selection of Articles Old And New

A Conversation with Whales

The New York Times


An argument for studying the secret language of dolphins and whales.

The End of Shark Attacks?

Men's Journal


Two Belgian firemen invent an electromagnetic force field that keeps  sharks at bay in Grand Bahamas.

Chasing Waves South of Tokyo

The New York Times


Gamboling along a thimble-size Japanese island in search of rogue waves.

This is What Happens To Your Heart When You Dive



The weird science behind the mammalian dive reflex.

The Freedivers Who Swim with Whales



A group of renegade freedivers research cetacean communication face-to-face with sperm whales.

Your Body’s Amazing Reaction to Water



A short history of The Master Switch and the human body’s connection to water.

Open Your Mouth and You're Dead

Outside Magazine


From the frontlines of the Freediving World Championships in Greece—where, if you can withstand your lungs collapsing to the size of oranges, you might come away with a medal.

The Shark Whisperer

Men's Journal


With a few off-the-shelf satellite transmitters and empty Altoids boxes, a small crew of DIY marine researchers on Reunion Island are creating the first-ever realtime shark tracking system.

No Grid In Sight

Dwell Magazine


The Colorado Plateau is a land of stunning contradictions: thousand-foot rock monoliths jut like raised fists from flat riverbeds, traffic-light-green foliage glows on stoplight-red soil. And then there's the architecture.

Surfing In Greece?

The New York Times


Ambling down unmarked dirt roads, getting wrong directions from locals and paddling boards out to distant points on the search for waves among the ancient ruins of Greece.

Mark Renneker: The Wave Hunter

The San Francisco Chronicle Mag


A paddle out with San Francisco's legendary big wave surfer, Mark

Renneker, as he searches for the ultimate ride three miles out in the

open ocean of the Golden Gate.


Electric Car? You have one

MarketPlace (National Public Radio)


A century ago, electric cars outnumbered gas cars on the road. But then cheaper gas cars made them obsolete. So, where's the clean,

green, electric driving machine? You're sitting in it.


To Russia With Love

The Bold Italic


A (drunken) exploration into San Francisco's creepiest and coolest erstwhile restaurant.




The Art of Urban Exploration

The San Francisco Chronicle Mag


Sleepless nights with a clandestine clan of adventurers who risk broken arms and jail time to climb around mine shafts, nuclear missile silos, and abandoned sugar refineries.

The Tedious Life of a T.A. Serf



My first-ever published article. “Rule No. 1: Don’t screw the students,” he said, sitting back down from shutting the door. . .

Tasty Freeze

Outside Magazine


Norway is home to some big, beautiful waves, but there's a catch: They're above the Arctic Circle. A 30-day expedition along surfing's coolest (and coldest) frontier.

On Missed Connections



What makes a missed connection so rich, transcendent, and mysterious has nothing to do with who the person is and everything to do with who the person could be. . . Waxing philosophical on the virtues of never meeting people.

A Quarterly to Tweak All Senses

The New York Times


James Franco had come to a tiny 400-square-foot storefront in the Mission district to commemorate the passing of a friend. But this was no funeral.

Soy: Too Much of a Good Thing?

The San Francisco Chronicle Mag


It lurks in your cupboards, your cereal, bread, pasta and chips. It's in your refrigerator, in your cheese, condiments, yogurt, sausages, ice cream. But is it safe?

Alaska: (Architectural) Frontier

Dwell Magazine


Laid out in a 270-degree panorama in front of Valerie Phelps is the frosty expanse of Cook Inlet, cascading rocky mountains, and a white sun as big as a dinner plate. It’s 10:30 at night.

What's So Funny About Peace, Love and Esperanto?

The San Francisco Chronicle Mag


A century ago, the idea that everyone in the world could speak the common lingua franca of Esperanto almost seemed possible. Some still hold on to that hope.


101 Product Design

Dwell Magazine


We’re surrounded by legions of products, most of them unremittingly lousy. What separates the good from the bad from the ugly? Take out your well-designed pencils for Product Design 101.

Surf's Up Locally, Just Right...

The New York Times


Even hard-core surfers often malign Ocean Beach — a notoriously deadly, dirty and foggy six-mile stretch of shoreline. So much for doom and gloom at the ASP Surfing Championships.

Let your dog smell like spring

MarketPlace (National Public Radio)


A radio story about the new (and disgusting!) trend of dog perfumes.

Macro Sea's David Belt

Outside Magazine


New York City's David Belt turns what he calls “junk spaces”—abandoned big-box stores, run-down urban lots—into inspired community rec centers and art projects.

Lotus Position in BackPacke...

The New York Times


Amar Puri snorted and sneezed as the morning mist hovered just above the lead-gray surface of Phewa Lake, reflecting the Himalayas. “And now, I am ready for yoga.” Downdogging through the new yoga destination of Pokhara, Nepal.

Going Underground

The San Francisco Chronicle Mag


A multimedia view of urban explorers produced for San Francisco Chronicle. (Note: the slideshow is towards to the bottom of the page.)

Space-Age Architect Eugene Tsui: “Modernmalism's” Worst Enemy

The San Francisco Chronicle Mag


San Francisco architect Eugene Tsui's has a gaudy, confusing, slightly

creepy — and very, very fun — vision of future home design.

Halving it All

Dwell Magazine


Seattle's Central District is a sleepy neighborhood where couches slouch on empty porches and house colors range in shades of purple and black. It's here that David and Jodi Sarti's bright-red house sticks out like a sore thumb.

On the Biodiesel Bandwagon

The San Francisco Chronicle Mag


Can the Bay Area's 3 million gallons of used vegetable oil rid us of our petroleum problem? Riding with a band of biodiesel enthusiast as they plunder waste bins of back alleys and convert old diesel cars to run on used vegetable oil.

Dante Bini: The Architect of “Now”

The San Francisco Chronicle Mag


Though Dante Bini has lived on and off in the United States for more than 25 years, his thick Italian accent still curls words like smoke, each sentence drifting in unexpected directions toward the next. A profile of a design vision and his plans for a brave new world.

Greased Lightning

Dwell Magazine


Thirty years from now, there will be no more oil. But that’s, like, 30 years from now, and by then we’ll all
be driving hydrogen cars, teleporting to space hotels, and eating blue foods while wearing white unitards, right? More virtues of running your car on used vegetable oil.

You've Seen 80 Plays...

The New York Times


Dominic D’Andrea plans to create community, celebrate diversity, and reflect the needs and values of the local environment. And he plans to do it all in under 60 seconds. A curtain-raiser on the One Minute Play Festival.

Interior Design Collection

Interior Magazine Design


A collection of profiles, articles, and design-based ruminations for Interior Design Magazine, 2005-2010.

The High Life

Dwell Magazine


Tired of being terrestrially housebound? We check out four homes go out on a limb and find their place in the trees.

©2017 James Nestor