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Bookslut A bi-weekly column from a very promiscuous reader.
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To Be a Ghost Life in the shadows can be challenging, but not all ghostwriters struggle for credit.

Questionable Tastes Journeys through the world of food and drink.
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V is for Vexing It seems obvious now that rare, elegant viognier would never be the next chardonnay. But at its best, it can be a breathtaking, deeply intellectual experience.

Pertinent & Impertinent The big ideas on the small, the not-so-small, and the everyday.
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Coming True He wrote fairytales and believed in innocence, but Hans Christian Andersen was no fantasist. He knew that the search for truth was long, winding, and often, all-consuming.

Visual Studies Dispatches from exhibitions around the world.
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Burn the Paintings Is iconoclasm anything more than the senseless destruction of art?

Idle Chatter Field notes on arts, culture, and everything else from our critic-at-large.
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Cooling Off At the National Portrait Gallery, exploring the birth, burden, and death of American cool.

Consumer Confidence Notes on what we buy, why we buy it, and how companies get us to keep buying more.
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Out of Focus Kodak changed the way we see, share, and remember the world. Then the world itself changed.

The Look Of Things Notes on Design.
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Fashion-Forward Does fashion belong in the museum? As the consummate expression of postmodern art, it does.

Life Science Investigations into the intersection of science and humanity.
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Take Two Hookworms and Call Me in the Morning We spent decades trying to eradicate hookworm. Whoops?

The Walking Tour A guide of unconventional places and ideas.
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Take a Walk How to overcome the argument that walking is too slow.

Noncanonical Notes from a barbarian at the gates of culture. All columns >

Trunk Show Interest in Weinergate isn't prurient — or new. The struggle between reason and passion has captivated us for centuries.

Used Books Revisiting older books in light of new events.
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That's Rich The wealthy always have the terrible among their ranks. At least Diana Mitford was frank about her terribleness.

Pop Studies Commentary on the worlds of entertainment, style, and media.
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Forgetting Jimmy Darmody Spoiler alert: another TV drama, another beloved character dead. But are their deaths a punishment, or what we the viewers wanted all along?
By Paula Marantz Cohen

The Naturalist Communications with the living world.
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Sunday in the Park with Georgia National parks get all the glory, but the state parks present a much more complex identity. And they need help.

Tony's Secret Cabinet Stories from the institutions that preserve and interpret our history and culture.
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The Man Who Would Bed King? James Buchanan was the only bachelor president, William Rufus King the only single vice president. Were they Victorian chums or something more?

Keeping Score Notes on music from around the world and throughout history.
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Labor of Love This year, classical music fans celebrate the centennial of Benjamin Britten. But they shouldn't forget his lifelong collaborator and lover, Peter Pears. 

On Shopping To praise shopping is to breach the last taboo of academic culture. All columns >

Counter Argument The department store makeover really is transformative: You leave feeling a whole lot uglier and poorer.

Foodstuffs Notes and commentary from the table.
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No Picnic China, lobster, buillion... Victorian picnics could be stuffy, laborious affairs. And then came the sandwich.
By Meg Favreau

Cause & Effect Aristotle says every human action is due to one of seven causes. I now have seven legitimate excuses for my behavior.
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Toked Affection Aristotle said appetite is the cause of all actions that appear pleasant, but also a source of moral badness. Which explains my mixed results with pot.

Emily's World In which our heroine writes a column.
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Embellished In which our heroine learns the art of scrapbooking. Sort of.

Second Acts Dispatches from a woman of a certain age.
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A Case of Shingles Life as a homeowner is a standoff between you and your roof. Who goes first?

Ask a Poet Everything you wanted to know about life, poets, and the poet's life.
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The End I should be excited for the next chapter of my life, but I'm scared.

The Sporting Life On the wide world of sports.
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The Indomitable Lions In 1990, in one of the World Cup's best underdog stories, Cameroon became the first African nation to advance to the quarterfinals. But their legacy, and history, is much more complicated than that.
By Matt Blitz

Lost & Found Peeking into the cracks and crevices of culture.
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Sound Envisioned Maryanne Amacher's compositions of sound were purposefully ephemeral, revealing the thin line between artist and audience.

My Writers Workshop Looking back on the dalliances of my MFA program.
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Stolen Away In which I discover the art of having no boundaries.

Object Looking at a single obscure object from museums around the world.
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Space Junk On Earth, underwear is easy to overlook. But in space, as I discovered at the Chemical Heritage Foundation, high-science undergarments are an absolute necessity.