The Twin with the Nine Toes: Part One

Upon seeing the front page of the Day Book on the morning of February 23, 1914, Chicago readers could have been forgiven for rubbing their eyes and wondering if they were still dreaming. They weren’t the only ones who might have reached for a cup of coffee to jolt themselves awake. A real-life Comedy of Read More

A Guide to Healthy Eating

If your holiday festivities were anything like mine, they were filled with delicious meals and celebratory drinks, quickly followed by a painfully tight belt buckle and a fervent promise to eat better next year. But before we resolve in 2019 to say goodbye to snacks, sweets and other indulgences, the early 20th century press has Read More

Dear Santa

The holiday season is upon us—and has been upon us since before you unwrapped your first piece of Halloween candy—which means that Santa Claus and kids all over the world are making their lists and checking them twice. The children of yesteryear were no less excited about Santa’s arrival than their modern-day counterparts, although their Read More

Insults from Ipswich

These days, everyone from presidents and celebrities to CEOs and your cousin’s girlfriend’s ex-best friend can—and often do—trade barbs over social media in full view of their fans and detractors. However, my newly discovered favorite gossip rag shows that publicly airing grievances, dirty laundry and other entertaining unpleasantness isn’t a 21st century fad but rather Read More

Missing Person’s Report

More than a hundred years ago, a young woman disappeared under mysterious circumstances. However, the police can’t help solve this cold case. If you’re an historian who sits in front of your television night after night watching reruns of “Law & Order: SVU,” dust off your archival gloves and put on your “Rocky” soundtrack because Read More

‘Til Death Do Us Part

Much has been written about the divorce rate in the Western world, and psychologists and nosy relatives alike have spent many hours pondering its causes. Although science tells us criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling are the most reliable harbingers of a relationship’s end, not all doomed marriages die of natural causes. In fact, if the Read More

Five Tips for Getting Your Fan Letter to the Top of the Pile

Fan mail has been around as long as the postal system itself, and as celebrities of any era could tell you, admirers aren’t shy about making their opinions known. Thanks to developments in technology and communication, it’s easier than ever to reach out to those in the public eye. But given the volume of fan Read More

A History of Manspreading

Odds are, those of you who frequently ride public transportation have at some point been the perpetrator or victim of manspreading. The practice of taking up more than one seat by sitting with your legs wide apart has been the subject of fierce public debate, spurring poster campaigns in New York City and Seattle and Read More

Blabbing with a Buccaneer: Part Two

Ahoy, mateys! Welcome to the second and final chapter of my imagined interview with an unsung pirate of the Caribbean, Laurens Cornelis Boudewijn de Graaf. If you’re just coming onboard, be sure to catch up on Part One. Welcome back, Captain de Graaf. You were just telling us what self-aggrandizing feat you performed after tracking Read More

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