The world of law enforcement lost a pioneer last week with the death of Gerald Shur. As a young prosecutor targeting what one member described as “a certain Italian-American subculture,” he realized his informants would be more likely to testify on Monday morning if they weren’t afraid of winding up dead on Monday afternoon. Shur’s… Read More

The More Things Changeth . . . Living as we doth in this age of Technologie, ’tis easy to believest that many Things we take for granted are new. 1,000 years ago, there was naught Internet. No reality Television. (“Tiger King” meant somethinge quyte different.) And a “Hybrid” was a Cart powered by an Ox… Read More

  What Are the Odds? Coronavirus has upended nearly every aspect of American life, including of course sports. First was the chaos of interrupting leagues mid-season with no idea when, or if, they would ever return. Next was the oddity of playing games in arenas filled with cardboard cutouts of fans and their dogs. Now… Read More

In 2004, Stephanie Meyer sparked a bona fide cultural phenomenon with her debut novel, Twilight, recounting the romance between 17-year-old schoolgirl Bella Swan and 109-year-old “vegetarian” vampire Edward Cullen. (He only drinks animal blood, not human.) The story spawned four books, five movies (because you’ve gotta double up that final book to sell more tickets… Read More

Looking For a Lake House? A century ago, New York’s richest families didn’t summer in the Hamptons. (Yes, this is a story about people who use “summer” as a verb, with a straight face.) Back then, clans like the Rockefellers, Morgans, and Huntingtons headed upstate to the “Great Camps” of the Adirondacks, a constellation of… Read More

One of the delights of living in America is the variety of local delicacies that different places champion as their own. Maine’s lobster rolls serve up a briny mouthful of golden summer tucked into a lightly-toasted bun. Wisconsin is home to amazing cheeses: milk’s bid for immortality. Nashville’s hot chicken dresses up ordinary poultry in… Read More

Forty years ago this weekend, Orion Pictures released a comedy producers pitched as “Animal House on a golf course.” The movie featured a scrappy bunch of misfit locals battling a group of rich snobs played by ad-libbing comedy legends. And while reviews were underwhelming, it went on to gross $40 million and claim a place… Read More

Colleges looking to compete for students have added new fields like cybersecurity, political campaign management, and even beer fermentation. (That last one seems a bit indulgent, given how many college students pursue rigorous self-study programs in malt beverages with no promise of academic credit at all.) Perhaps it shouldn’t surprise you, then, that a Japanese… Read More

This week’s story takes us to Verkhoyansk, a frozen flyspeck of a town with 1,300 shivering souls deep inside Siberia, six miles from the Arctic Circle. The local delicacy is a version of a Russian favorite called pelmeni: minced reindeer fat rolled in a thin dough, seasoned with horseradish and deep-fried on a stick. (Editor’s… Read More

Taxcutoseum! On June 27, 1997, an unknown British author rolled out her first novel, which she wrote in longhand because she couldn’t afford a typewriter. The book was a success beyond imagining: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone stormed the world and made author J.K. Rowling richer than the Queen. (Seriously, you can look it… Read More