Author Archives: rkcunningham

Born on January 14, 1963, in Atlanta, Steven Soderbergh found filmmaking in his teens. His Hollywood apprenticeship included work as a cue card holder and a director of concert films. In 1986, his film Sex, Lies, and Videotape helped launch the surge … Continue reading

During the holiday break, we received the sad news that bluegrass pioneer Curly Seckler had passed away at the age of 98. “The greatest tenor singer of all time,” said Marty Stuart, and indeed Seckler’s vocal and mandolin work with the … Continue reading

“There’s a reason that this genre film never worked. It must be ethnic to the core—you must smell the spaghetti. That’s what brought the magic to the novel—it was written by an Italian.” With those words former studio head Robert … Continue reading

I am fortunately immune to nostalgia about past celebrations of the yule, with one exception: the Christmas tree. Not a tree in the abstract, but the Christmas tree I grew up with, a monstrosity of fakery laden with all the menace American manufacturing could … Continue reading

A vestigial organ of our personal identities, the middle initial causes particular problems in publishing. Every author must ask: do I use it? Or do I go casual, i.e., publish a book under the name I call myself in every other facet … Continue reading

It came from the future: Tevatron. The villain in the new Michael Bay feature? Actually, the world’s largest particle accelerator once it opened in 1983. But to get there, the giant underground atom racer/smasher needed a town to get out of … Continue reading

One hundred-and-one years ago, Francis Albert Sinatra entered the world in Hoboken, New Jersey. He proceeded to live one of the more completely lived lives this side of Casanova. Though foiled by television, Sinatra otherwise thrived across mass media, earning love … Continue reading

Today is the 100th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion, one of the worst maritime disasters in Canadian history. Two thousand people died and 9,000 were hurt when the SS Mont-Blanc, full of a cargo of explosives, collided with the SS Imo, a Norwegian … Continue reading

Flammulina velutipes (Curtis) Singer Edible, but tough. Despite appearances, the commercially produced “enoki” mushroom found in many grocery stores is a cultivated form of this mushroom. One of the best-known and most-produced mushrooms in the world, Flammulina velutipes has a … Continue reading

Back before the Internet or Oprah, people relied on comic books and pulp magazines for self-improvement. Charles Atlas challenged generations of boys and girls to get buff and deal with that bully who kicked sand in his/her face. Ads in … Continue reading