Articles - A Newspaper, Magazine, and Online Sampler
"The World's Most Mysterious Book" (The Wall Street Journal, December 10, 2016) [subscription required]
The cryptographers who broke the ciphers used by the Germans and the Japanese during World War II were defeated by the Voynich Manuscript.
"The Slippery Slope to Extinction" (The Wall Street Journal, March 21, 2015) [subscription required]
Forty-thousand years ago, dogs proved themselves to be man’s best friend—and possibly the Neanderthals' enemy.
"Marco Polo's Visit to Alaska" (The Wall Street Journal, November 28, 2014) [subscription required]
Was he guided around the Bering Strait by a grizzled Syrian sea dog?
"Catholic Confession's Steep Price" (The Boston Globe, February 16, 2014)
Former seminarian John Cornwell traces how a sacrament went astray—and how it could be revived.
"When Paradise was on the Map" (The Boston Globe, January 12, 2014)
The curious history of how cartographers located Eden—and hell.
"A 100 MPG Car? It's Already Possible" (The Boston Globe, December 8, 2013)
An interview with Jason Fagone, the author of Ingenious: A True Story of Invention, Automotive Daring, and the Race to Revive America.
"King David, 'Vile Human Being'" (The Boston Globe, November 17, 2013)
An interview with Joel S. Baden, the author of The Historical David: The Real Life of an Invented Hero.
"Soaring Ambitions" (The American Scholar, Fall 2013)
A review of Falling Upwards, by Richard Holmes.
"The History of the Vitruvian Man" (The Huffington Post, February 16, 2012)
A brief slideshow focusing on the precedents for Leonardo's iconic image.
"The Other Vitruvian Man" (Smithsonian Magazine, February 2012)
Did Leonardo have help when he drew his famous image of a man in a circle and a square?
"Leonardo da Vinci: The Genius of Everything (Except Deadlines)" (London Times, Saturday Review, October 29, 2011)
Essay on Leonardo in Milan, in anticipation of the opening of a Da Vinci exhibit at the National Gallery, in London.
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“How America Got Its Name” (Boston Globe, July 4, 2010)
Essay on Matthias Ringmann, the obscure scholar who coined the name America