Karen Freeman is a freelance journalist and educator who teaches journalism in Eastern Europe. She was an editor and occasional writer at The New York Times on the National, Technology, Science and Business desks before joining its Editorial Department, which she left in 2007 to move to Ireland. Before working at The Times, she was associate professor of journalism at Penn State, and before that she was a science editor at The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Freeman has a master's degree in neural science from Washington University Medical School and was a Knight International Journalism fellow in Moldova in 2006.
A knock on the front door at 10 p.m. was startling. “There was no one there, but a dead rat had been left on my doorstep, and a gentleman in a yellow Hummer drove off at high speed, shouting curses at me.”
In 1784, a shipwrecked Japanese sailor in the Pacific carved the tale of his disaster into slivers of wood and sealed them into a glass bottle that he cast into the waves. In 1935, the bottle bobbed up near his home village in Japan, and the message was found.