Bram’s Buddy

Inspired by a recent weekend in Dublin, I’m digging deeper into the story of Bram Stoker. Get ready for vampires! Epic battles between good and evil! And copious amounts of garlic! Whoops, wrong book. Today, he’s renowned around the world as the author of the novel that spawned a thousand teenybopper vampire romances, but in Read More

5 Times Love Conquered All

However, by “love,” I mean practical jokes and boredom. And by “all,” I mean unpronounceable surnames and social awkwardness. You know, insurmountable obstacles. Regardless of your relationships status, take comfort in knowing that at least you (hopefully) haven’t had to beg a governor to release your significant other or had to scrounge up a date Read More

Lost and Found

My terrible sense of direction reared its ugly head, and I got horribly lost. It’s hard to put into words how awful this makes me feel. It isn’t really that I’m afraid I’ll never find my way (although I suppose that’s a tiny, irrational part), but the sense of helplessness and frustration it evokes. I Read More

The Great Discoverer

Roundworms. Dinosaurs. Giant Sloths. No, these creatures are not residents of Old MacDonald’s farm or entries in J. K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Rather, they represent the tip of the iceberg of Dr. Joseph Leidy’s wide-ranging scientific discoveries. No matter how impressive your resume, you’ve got nothing on this 19th-century Renaissance Read More

Banning Fun: New Year’s Eve, 1913

In the waning weeks of 1913, Carter Harrison IV, mayor of a city renowned for its vices, was determined to stamp all the merriment out of Chicago’s New Year’s celebrations: Late-night drinking and tango dancing and hat tickling, oh my! I hadn’t heard of a hat tickler, but since it’s forbidden, I’ve never wanted an Read More

A Brooklyn Christmas Carol

As any child knows, stealing—especially if a creepy elf is watching from a shelf—usually lands you on the naughty list. However, in the case of poverty-stricken mother Anna Lobell, Santa Claus might want to check his list twice. Two women were arraigned. . . in Brooklyn yesterday, both charged with shoplifting. One of them was Read More

18th-Century Public Service Announcement

On December 31, 1790, Captain Clement Lemon signed an unusual agreement with Boston merchant Thomas Ramsden. As a condition of captaining the Mary Ann on an upcoming voyage, the Revolutionary War veteran and—I like to believe—ancestor of the illustrious Liz Lemon promised: Be it Known; I Clement Lemon do hereby Agree to, and with, Thomas Read More

Revenge of the Turkey

As a staple of the holiday feast, Thanksgiving can be tough on turkeys (vegetarians, too—but that’s another story). However, if any are reading, take heart: History shows that once in a while, turkeys come out on top—and not just the top rack of the oven. Does a turkey gobbler possess the same remarkable mental faculties Read More

Behind Enemy Lines

No matter how Andrew Valentine Farley and his three companions maneuver their boat, they’re fighting the tide, and the Confederates are gaining on them. When they initially spotted the other boat on their way back to the U.S.S. Ottawa, they assumed it was a fellow Union boat, coming from Jacksonville, just north on the St. Read More

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