• The Bookstore Strikes Back
    A feel good story about how a new local bookstore was created after the big box book stores left Nashville.

    Imagine a group of highly paid consultants crowded into the offices of my publisher, HarperCollins. Their job is to figure out how to get a picture of a literary novelist (me, say) on the front page of The Times. “She could kill someone,” one consultant suggests. The other consultants shake their heads. “It would have to be someone very famous,” another says. “Could she hijack a busload of schoolchildren, or maybe restructure the New York public-school system?” They sigh. It would not be enough. They run down a list of crimes, stunts, and heroically good deeds, but none of them are A-1 material. I can promise you this: kept in that room for all eternity, they would never land on the idea that opening a 2,500-square-foot bookstore in Nashville would do the trick.

  • Lottery Winner Jack Whittaker’s Losing Ticket
    How a 55-year-old winner of a $315 million Powerball lottery actually made out worse after winning than if he hadn’t won at all.
  • A Million First Dates
    A look at online dating, but this time from a fresh (at least to me) perspective – how online dating is affecting divorce & commitment (not from a cheating POV)

    In the past, Jacob had always been the kind of guy who didn’t break up well. His relationships tended to drag on. His desire to be with someone, to not have to go looking again, had always trumped whatever doubts he’d had about the person he was with. But something was different this time. “I feel like I underwent a fairly radical change thanks to online dating,” Jacob says. “I went from being someone who thought of finding someone as this monumental challenge, to being much more relaxed and confident about it. Rachel was young and beautiful, and I’d found her after signing up on a couple dating sites and dating just a few people.” Having met Rachel so easily online, he felt confident that, if he became single again, he could always meet someone else.

  • A Pickpocket’s Tale
    The story of someone else named Apollo, this Apollo’s a magician whose claim to fame is pickpocketing. But it’s not as simple as theft, he’s dabbing in psychology and being called upon by the government for research purposes.

    When Robbins hits his stride, it starts to seem as if the only possible explanation is an ability to start and stop time. At the Rio, a man’s cell phone disappeared from his jacket and was replaced by a piece of fried chicken; the cigarettes from a pack in one man’s breast pocket materialized loose in the side pocket of another; a woman’s engagement ring vanished and reappeared attached to a key ring in her husband’s pants; a man’s driver’s license disappeared from his wallet and turned up inside a sealed bag of M&M’s in his wife’s purse.

  • John McAfee’s Last Stand
    John McAfee has been weird for awhile, but he has been even more weird the last little while since he has been accused of murder. Here’s a look at his recent exploits.