Author Archives: rkcunningham

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

Question: Is it possible to be taken seriously as a scholarly writer if you use exclamation points? Less snooty than the semicolon, less trendy than the hashmark, the exclamation point labors in the disreputable quarters of the written word: romance … Continue reading

September 22 is an auspicious date in Illinois history. As this post recounts, boxing history took place on the date. Willie Nelson took time out from his 1985 to team with John Mellencamp and Neil Young on the first Farm Aid … Continue reading

Whatever industry group planted National Chocolate Day on October 28 did a great job. There’s no better positioning than a few days before Halloween, a holiday dedicated to candy of all kinds—but one where, let’s be honest, chocolate bars are … Continue reading