In honor of Opening Day on Sunday, the second of two pieces today on the history of the game.
From my extensive research, I've learned that baseball is a sport people watch sometimes. I could blame my lack of appreciation for America's greatest sport on many factors—my father being Australian, and therefore interested only in cricket; the fact that when I played softball in school I always ended up in right field; the fact that my entire heart belongs to Patrick Chan—but I've decided instead to scapegoat the names, specifically their terrible decline in quality in recent years.
Having already fallen in love with the names [...]
Sarah Marshall and Amelia Laing are reading their way through biographies of all the presidents, in order. This time up, it's John Adams and the books discussed are David McCullough's John Adams and John Ferling's John Adams: A Life.
Sarah Marshall: In the first installment of this series, Amelia and I talked about George Washington, and we both came to the conclusion that, despite the insights a biographer can afford us, it's still hard to see him as a man rather than a symbol. No matter how many self-questioning diary entries we read, we can't quite forget the image of the giant in buff and blue. Not so, [...]
Part of a series about youth.
1. Urine has been used as an acne cure and everyday cleanser since at least the 17th century. The Encyclopedia of Folk Medicine reports that "rubbing [a] baby's face with a recently wet nappy was practiced in the Highlands of Scotland to prevent the child developing acne later and give it a good complexion." And in an article on natural remedies used by Kansan pioneers, Amy Lathrop quotes a seventy-year-old woman who claimed: "None of the girls in the family ever had acne. All retained fine skins until their deaths—complexions outstanding for their beauty and smoothness. My mother had the rosy skin of [...]
Much like the philosopher’s stone or the Holy Grail, the perfect hangover cure has been the subject of endless inquiries by some of history’s greatest minds, and has proved just as elusive. Those who do possess it are often fictional or demigods, or both: who can forget the mystery drink concocted by P.G. Wodehouse’s inimitable Jeeves on his first day reporting to work for Bertie (this was itself a variation on the oft-touted prairie oyster)? Kingsley Amis made a long study of hangovers and their cures, much of which can be found in Everyday Drinking: The Distilled Kingsley Amis, and in which he notes that [...]
29. Misty Malarky Ying Yang, a Siamese cat belonging to the President’s daughter (Carter)
28. Washington Post, Yellow-Headed Mexican parrot (McKinley)
27. Maude, pig (Teddy Roosevelt)
26. Old Whitey, a horse the President had used during wartime and from whose tail White House visitors would pull hairs to keep as souvenirs (Zachary Taylor)
25. Old Whiskers, an ill-tempered goat who once escaped the White House lawn and had to be chased down Pennsylvania Avenue (Harrison)
24. Sweet Lips, Scentwell, Drunkard, Taster, Tipsy, Tipler, Lady Rover, Searcher, Mopsey, Captain, Vulcan, and Cloe, hounds (Washington)