Patrick J. Kiger

Blogger for the National Geographic Channel. I have written over the years for numerous print publications, ranging from GQ and Mother Jones to the Los Angeles Times Magazine, and for a variety of news websites. I also am the co-author with Martin J. Smith of "Poplorica: A Popular History of the Fads, Mavericks, Inventions, and Lore that Shaped Modern America," and "Oops: 20 Life Lessons from the Fiascoes That Shaped America," both published by Harper Collins. I have appeared as a guest on numerous radio and TV programs, including NPR's "Talk of the Nation" and Fox News Weekend. In my spare time, I'm a student of kung fu (brown sash level) and a movie and pop music buff. You can read more of my work at www.patrickjkiger.com

A catastrophic, prolonged failure of the electrical grid—the sort of event whose effects are  depicted in National Geographic Channel’s upcoming American Blackout, which premieres Sunday—may seem like just apocalyptic science fiction to some viewers.  Unfortunately, though, the possibility of such a breakdown is all too real.  (See related interactive: “Survive the Blackout.”) Government and utility…

Of all the potential mishaps that can cause a nuclear plant shutdown, from an earthquake to operator error, the one that you might least expect is a swarm of jellyfish gumming up the works. (See related quiz: “What Do You Know About Nuclear Power?“) But apparently, that’s exactly what happened in Oskarshamn, Sweden, on Sunday,…

Birds face numerous human-made perils on their survival, ranging from collisions with structures and poisoning by pesticides to attacks by pet felines who are allowed to roam outdoors, despite pleas by conservationists to keep them inside.  And they’re further imperiled by loss of habitat areas crucial for breeding and wintering, due to encroachment by human…

A newly published study by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service researchers says that wind energy facilities have killed at least 85 golden and bald eagles between 1997 and 2012—and that eagle fatalities possibly may be much higher. The study also indicates that eagle deaths have increased dramatically in recent years as the nation has turned…