When I started this website in 2002, its intent was to showcase my clips for editors who might hire me. Pitch a story, include a URL, score the gig. And it often worked. Later I added a minimalist blog to keep the site fresh, and then — because I was still hard-coding everything up to that point — in 2008 I switched over to WordPress for technological ease. If I’m a blogger today, it’s by accident.
With my career in a new phase and the links to many of my old articles regularly extinguishing, I realize it’s no longer terribly important to keep lists of everything I’ve ever written. So if you would like to read some of my nonfiction, here’s the best stuff that’s still available.
Anthropology, Archaeology, History
Eight Million Sots in the Naked City. Reason, November 2007.
How Prohibition was imposed on, and rejected by, New York. An essay-length book review of Dry Manhattan: Prohibition in New York City, The Diary of a Rum-Runner, and Smugglers of Spirits.
A Gladiators’ Graveyard. Dig, October 2008.
Many of the gladiators buried in a Turkish cemetery died from wounds received in the arena.
Tempest in a Coffeepot: Starbucks Invades the World. Reason, January 2003.
If the widespread consumption of coffee, which has been around for 600 years, hasn’t led to global cultural homogenization, then how could Starbucks do so? An essay on cultural appropriation and evolution.
Books, Food, Life
Five Novels of the 1960s & 70s. Black Gate #13, Spring 2009.
Review of the Philip K. Dick collection. Reprinted here on the site.
Rolling in Clover. Hartford Courant, 5 June 2009.
Tired of having to fertilize your lawn all summer long? Clover is a natural nitrogen fixer.
Variations on a Roll. Hartford Courant, 9 August 2007.
Hot versus cold lobster rolls. With recipes!
Lost or Abandoned
For Sale: Stamford Island Offers Off-Shore Retreat. Stamford Advocate, 8 October 2010.
Urban legends surround Vincent Island and its deserted ruins.
Pleasure Beach Blues. Connecticut Magazine, August 2010.
For 15 summers, Bridgeport has abandoned a 60-acre barrier beach along Long Island Sound.
The First Free State Project. Reason, December 2004.
The brief, tumultuous history of the American state of Franklin.
Bubble Curtains: Can They Dampen Sound Waves? National Geographic News, 7 Feb 2012.
The development of air-bubble curtains may protect sea animals by attenuating the sound waves created by oil exploration and extraction.
How Green Are Forest-Based Carbon Offsets? FoxNews.com, 29 January 2009.
Are carbon offsets involving tree planting and other forestation projects just a big scam?
Can Meteorites Make People Sick? FoxNews.com, 19 September 2007.
Despite reports of illness, there’s no evidence space rocks can sicken you.