A finished book is always the product of many people — and on pub day, I’d like to thank three people in particular.

Michael Malice


It’s hard to find a word or role that encompasses everything Michael Malice did for this book: editing each line (on a short timeline); contributing his considerable knowledge of alga; teaching me how to write. I would have been grateful for his help as a craftsman; I got a consigliere.

Look for Malice’s forthcoming unauthorized autobiograpy of Kim Jong Il. If his touching feature in Reason magazine is any indication, Malice will use the mesmerizing and absurd propaganda surrounding the life of North Korea’s “Dear Leader” to explore the tragedy that is the Hermit Kingdom.

Zoe Piel

painless parker

The most valuable advice is often the advice we don’t want to hear—and by that measure, my research assistant, Zoe Piel, was invaluable. She was relentlessly skeptical, and in addition to her exceptional work, I’m grateful that she frequently disagreed with me.

In addition to working on a masters in science education, Zoe is an accomplished artist and graphic designer (see here). She is the author and illustrator of a web comic called The Adventures of Painless Parker: The *Almost* True Story of America’s Most Eccentric Dentist, which is about to be released in print. Think Tin Tin meets Steampunk (good for kids too).

Maggie Durant

I owe a huge debt to my sister, Maggie Durant, for her tireless and selfless work on the New York City Barefoot Run and countless other projects, which allowed me to focus on writing. Couldn’t have done it without her.

There are a gazillion more people, many of whom I thank in the Acknowledgements.

To everyone, thank you!


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