Laughing at History

Yesterday the website The Mary Sue published a post of mine, a short, lighthearted little thing about the malady known as green sickness. After it was published, I committed the cardinal internet sin of reading the comments. Normally I don’t do that, but The Mary Sue’s readers are savvy and smart, and I was curiousContinue reading “Laughing at History”

Great Globs of Glowing Urine

Many fields define themselves by specialties. Doctors are not just doctors—they are podiatrists or pediatricians or surgeons. Restaurant workers are baristas or pastry chefs or sommeliers. Writers are novelists or poets or “content providers.” So it is for academics, as well. When I’m wearing that hat, I define myself as an early modernist. But evenContinue reading “Great Globs of Glowing Urine”

Feeling crabby

Happy birth-month to me! My birthday was last week, and, as per usual, I was out of sorts. I’ve never really enjoyed my birthday, to be honest. It’s not that I mind getting older. Heck, I have Gratiano’s line from The Merchant of Venice–“with mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come”–etched onto a mirror inContinue reading “Feeling crabby”

What Would Newton Do? Rep. Paul Broun’s Scientific Asynchrony

The other day my 10-year-old daughter came home incensed: a friend had told her of a congressman’s assertion that evolution and the Big Bang Theory were lies sent by Satan to deceive Americans.  She and her friend were spittin’ mad and spent their lunch hour talking about his stupidity (yeah, my daughter has some coolContinue reading “What Would Newton Do? Rep. Paul Broun’s Scientific Asynchrony”

For Valentine’s Day: The 17th-Century Method for Knowing When Your Heart is Broken

I’ve been happily married for almost 18 years, but my kids listen to enough Taylor Swift (Lord help me) for me to know what a broken heart means in 21st-century America:  It means “breaking down and coming undone,” feeling that “I’m only me when I’m with you” (don’t get me started on how messed upContinue reading “For Valentine’s Day: The 17th-Century Method for Knowing When Your Heart is Broken”

Vile-Hearted Renaissance Peckerhead of the Month–October

Happy Hallowe’en!  During this time of unwitting mimicry of ancient ceremony and conjuration of forgotten powers, it seems only appropriate to venture into the world of Renaissance magic for this month’s “Peckie” (short for “Peckerhead,” of course). *** Adopting an alias.  Speaking with angels.  Wife-swapping.  If October’s “Renaissance Peckerhead of the Month” nominee Edward KelleyContinue reading “Vile-Hearted Renaissance Peckerhead of the Month–October”