The Harvard Crimson

A selection of articles written over the span of three years as a staff writer for the The Harvard Crimson.

Notes from the Equator

 ANNELI L. TOSTAR

ANNELI L. TOSTAR

We awoke to a thundering rain on the tin roof, accompanied by a chorus of livestock outside—the best alarm clock there ever was. Situated on the western edge of the Amazonian rainforest in Northern Ecuador, we were staying with a host family in an indigenous Kichwa community on the banks of the Arajuno River. Interspersed with the smell of saturated greenery and burning plastic, we witnessed a life that seemed a ghost of our own.

African Americans May Sleep Less, Study Finds

A recent Harvard School of Public Health study suggests that African Americans are more likely to experience “short” sleep—defined as fewer than seven hours per night—than white Americans.

Such findings could be dismissed as being attributed to socioeconomic disparities, but this survey, published last week in the American Journal of Epidemiology, compared African Americans and white Americans from the same work forces. The researchers surveyed more than 135,000 participants, and after adjusting for factors including age, demographic factors, and lifestyle habits, such as smoking, looked at the percent of people who had on average fewer than seven hours of sleep. 

Harvard Homeless Weather Sandy

 ANNELI L. TOSTAR

ANNELI L. TOSTAR

Merlin waited out the wind and rains of Hurricane Sandy in an alleyway in Harvard Square, hunkering with other homeless people in an attempt to stay dry.

“There was no one out. No places were open, so there was no access to food,” he said. “Those two days were rough.... Some people had stocked up on food, but the worst part was not having any blankets to stay warm.”

Left Alone, Forests Can Bounce Back

 ANNELI L. TOSTAR

ANNELI L. TOSTAR

Nature seems able to take care of itself without our help, according to the results of a 20-year study at the Harvard Forest.

The research, soon to be published in the journal “Ecology,” outlines how forests bounce back after sustaining severe damage, independent of human assistance. The scientists studied ecological growth in a two-acre plot where they had pulled down trees to simulate the effect of a major hurricane on a forest in order to see how forests recuperate after natural disasters.

Students Share Stories of Experience as Undocumented Immigrants

With signs that read “Nosotros Somos Iguales” and “Keep Families Together” as a backdrop, students gathered on the steps of Memorial Church Saturday evening to speak out about comprehensive immigration reform.

Entitled “Out of the Shadows,” the speak-out was organized by the student advocacy group Harvard College Act on a Dream. According to the group, there are roughly 40 undocumented students at the College, with nine potential incoming freshmen who are also undocumented.