Mary Ann Badavi
Mary Ann is a UX designer, content expert and noodle lover based in Washington D.C.




I love to write, but sadly don’t have as much time to do it now as a full-time designer. This page serves as an archive of my old work (and as an aspirational home for future work!).


Published Work


No, The Fault in Our Stars Is Not Young-Adult Fiction’s Savior

In fact, the idea that the genre needs a savior is silly—and, some writers argue, sexist. (June 2014)


The Super Bowl Myth

Human trafficking isn’t just a problem the night of the Super Bowl, it’s a problem 365 days a year—and towns and cities across the entire country require long-term solutions to respond to this crime. (February 2016)


How the CDC is Hacking Ebola

"Disease detectives" identify the source of an outbreak and stem its spread, but can they work quickly enough? (August 2014)


Making a Movement Viral

Meet the woman behind Beyonce’s unapologetic feminism. (August 2014)



Personal Work

I have seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail at least sixty times.

I first watched it in 2001, when I was nine years old. In hindsight, I don’t think nine was an appropriate age to be watching British sketch comedy for the first time, but my parents laughed in the face of MPAA ratings and anyway, I’d begged to see it almost as hard as I’d begged to get the fourth Harry Potter book the day it came out.

  • Reflux (Creative nonfiction, March 2012)

It first happened in a hotel room in Niagara Falls. I was thirteen years old and at the stage in life when a veritable natural wonder of the world seemed like nothing much. Earlier that day, on one of those ridiculous boat rides that take you straight into the falls and also your impending death, I had stared up into the heart of the thing. I let the devastating magnitude of the beast overwhelm my senses – the crashing of water on rock filling my ears, the angry spray of mist pelting my skin, the scent and strange feeling of freshwater spattering all around me. I observed all of these things, I recognized that they existed, and I immediately turned my attention to a cute boy on the other side of the boat.


Completely focused on the stone, Ferdinand sits up. He considers the stone lying in the palm of his hand.

To anyone else, this is a meaningless rock. It looks like any other one might find on the quiet paths of Châteauneuf-de-Galaure. But to Ferdinand Cheval, it means everything.

Ferdinand holds the stone between two fingers and brings it up to his eye.

It means the beginning of a man’s life work.


Scene opens to a black screen and the sounds of an audience buzzing excitedly and instruments being set up. The scene suddenly explodes into light as someone turns on a spotlight, revealing a stage that has been assembled for a band to perform.

1. Someone clenching a guitar
2. A pair of legs behind a microphone stand
3. Someone switching on a guitar amp
4. Someone putting on a leather jacket
5. The two hi-hats of a drum set coming together
6. Someone’s mouth next to a microphone

Welcome to the Casbah, ladies and gentlemen. We are The Beatles.