Letters to Juliet: A Project of Love for the Lovelorn

One of my favorite things that has been going around the internet for some time is the EMO person who posted, “What if he’s your Romeo, but you’re not his Juliet?” The lightning-fast response was, “That means you’re his Rosaline and you survive the friggin’ play.” Despite the reality of what happens to the “star…

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Vestal Virgins Ain’t Got No Weaves: Ancient Hairstyles Re-Created for the First Time

If you’ve ever crooned along to Procol Harem’s “Whiter Shade of Pale,” you might remember the line about the “sixteen vestal virgins.” Probably, you happily sang along without a clue as to what “vestal” really means.  In ancient Rome, “vestals” were priestesses of the goddess Vesta, who was the goddess of the hearth. Her priestesses…

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Stuff that Keeps Smart People Awake at Night

I don’t know about you, but when I go to bed at night, my brain goes into Super Worry Overdrive. I worry about my bills, my kids, my  first drafts (like Anne Lamott, I am afraid someone will find my unedited work and will assume I have committed suicide when I realized my talent was gone).…

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Scientists Determine Publication Date of “The Iliad”

Homer’s ‘Iliad’ codex from approximately the late 5th-early 6th century A.D. Image: Public Domain Evolutionary theorist Mark Pagel (University of Reading) and his colleagues, geneticist Eric Altschuler (Univ. of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey) and linguist Andreea Calude (also of Reading as well as  the Sante Fe Institute in New Mexico) have dated  one of literature’s most…

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Nothing good gets away: Advice from John Steinbeck on Love

John Steinbeck adored his two sons, Thom, the eldest, and John (better known by his nickname, “Catbird”).  After a tumultuous divorce with his second wife, Gwyn, the mother of the boys, and a long and usually loving marriage but also difficult relationship with his first wife, Carol, Steinbeck had found true love with his third…

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