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

Blabbing with a Buccaneer: Part One

Like many women—and men, too—on occasion, I’ve fallen prey to the charms of an archetypical “bad boy.” What can I say? A few tattoos, a motorcycle and a hint of an attitude problem make for an inexplicably attractive combination. Swashbuckling pirates might just be the original bad boys: They seek out adventure and danger, they Read More

A Cinderella Story

No, not that Cinderella story. If you’re here for an insightful analysis of the teen flick starring Hilary Duff and Chad Michael Murray, you’re most welcome, but you’re likely to be disappointed. However, if you can forgive the lack of teen angst, read on. Today’s fairy tale comes to us from a 1911 newspaper blurb. Read More

How to Pull Off the Greatest Practical Joke Ever in Four Easy Steps

Step 1: Infiltrate the West Virginia State Poultry Association’s chicken show. For the uninitiated, this is a big deal. The annual exhibit brings together “the best of the blue blooded aristocracy of the barnyard” and awards prizes “worth shipping stock a considerable distance to compete for.” With a sales pitch like that, I’m crushed I Read More

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