Chris Bram is the author of the novel Gods and Monsters.
Gore Vidal was famous for his hates: academia, presidents, whole portions of the American public and, most notably, Truman Capote. Yet he could be incredibly generous to other writer friends. He wrote beautiful, appreciative essays about Tennessee Williams and Dawn Powell.
He was a man of many facets and endless contradictions.
Yesterday we posted about Seth Collins' last wish for his family to make a difference in the life of a waiter or waitress by leaving a $500 tip — an act of kindness that his family has thus far carried out, and documented, three times.
When it comes to generous tips, our readers have been on both the giving and receiving end.
The NCAA said today that it has appointed former Sen. George Mitchell as an Athletics Integrity Monitor of Penn State. His job will be to make sure the university is complying with the sanctions put in place after the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.
Mitchell has been appointed for a five-year term that begins immediately.
The Federal Trade Commission is proposing some tougher rules to control the privacy of children online. According to The Washington Post, the proposed rules would make it more difficult for advertisers and social networks to collect information from children.
India's electric system is under constant stress and blackouts are common. Elliot Hannon was on the streets of New Delhi when power went out Tuesday, but he didn't realize there was an outage until later.
Credit Bikas Das / AP
During the blackout on Tuesday, an Indian barber cut hair by candlelight in his shop in Kolkata.
Credit Prakash Singh / AFP/Getty Images
The traffic in New Delhi's Connaught Place was even worse than usual after the power went out Tuesday. But most Indians viewed the blackout as just one more inconvenience rather than a major crisis.
U.S. Olympic boxing team captain Jamel Herring lost his light welterweight bout yesterday, but it's not the first setback he's faced — and he says he won't let his team lose its momentum in the London Olympics because of his defeat.
American swimmer Nathan Adrian's name hasn't been on everyone's mind, the way that Michael Phelps' or Ryan Lochte's has. But he did something that even Lochte couldn't do this week: beat Yannick Agnel in a head-to-head race.
Adrian's time of 47.52 seconds in the men's 100-meter freestyle gave him his first individual gold medal, as he also beat James Magnussen of Australia, who came in second, and Brent Hayden of Canada.
In the summer of 1970, a train carrying Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead, The Band, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Buddy Guy and Janis Joplin rolled from Toronto to Calgary, stopping for scheduled concerts along the way.
Billed as the Canadian Woodstock, The Festival Express was a musician's dream and a promoter's nightmare. The train was loaded with musical instruments, food, liquor -- and a film crew.
Erin Morgenstern is the author of The Night Circus.
There are still days when rain flooding the gutters conjures a picture in my mind of a paper boat being chased by a little boy in a yellow raincoat. The boy's name is Georgie and he is about to meet a rather gruesome fate, smiling up at him from a storm drain.
Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 11:32 am
Here's a sport you won't be seeing in London this year: Competitive eating. But if you're curious enough — and you can stomach it — you're likely to find an eating contest at your local fair or festival this summer.
Now eating contests are nothing new — they've been around since at least the 13th century, when a servant supposedly beat the Norse god Loki by eating his plate. But they've only become popular in the U.S. in the last hundred years or so.
Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 3:14 pm
With his 2009 The Interrogative Mood: A Novel?, Padgett Powell produced one of the most readable literary oddities of the past decade. In that book, a narrator — perhaps the author himself — fired off questions (and only questions) that come to read less like a novel than a personality test gone haywire: "Should a tree be pruned? Are you perplexed by what to do with underwear whose elastic is spent but which is otherwise in good shape? Do you dance?" And so on, for more than 150 pages.