The Mackinac Island Stone Skipping Competition

Ever tried to skip a flat stone across a body of water? Happy with a few skips? Elated at five or more? To be the best stone skipper in the world, you need 89 skips to beat current Guinness World Record holder Kurt “Mountain Man” Steiner (88 skips).

Published: May 24, 2017
Length: 11 minutes (2,759 words)

The Secret Lives of Stories: Rewriting Our Personal Narratives

On storytelling, and the questions it answers in our own lives:

“Around the time our daughter turned four, she started making what seemed like odd requests. ‘Tell me about the sad parts of your life,’ she would say at the dinner table. Or, ‘Tell me about the scary parts of your life.’”

This phase went on for a while. I played along, telling her about my appendectomy in Africa, the time I almost fell off a cliff, the time I got a fishhook through my finger. We talked about deaths in the family, and she would sit with her eyes wide, not saying a word, listening as if her life depended on it.”

Source: Poets & Writers
Published: Dec 22, 2012
Length: 11 minutes (2,788 words)

The Fall of the Creative Class

Is “the Creative Class” saving our cities, or is it the other way around?

“For a vari­ety of not-very-well-thought-out rea­sons, this brought us to Madi­son, Wis­con­sin. It wasn’t too far from our fam­i­lies. It had a stel­lar rep­u­ta­tion. And for the Mid­west, it pos­sessed what might pass for cachet. It was lib­eral and open minded. It was a col­lege town. It had cof­fee shops and bike shops. Besides, it had been deemed a ‘Cre­ative Class’ strong­hold by Richard Florida, the prophet of pros­per­ous cool. We had no way of know­ing how wrong he was about Madison…and about everything.”

Published: Jun 15, 2012
Length: 18 minutes (4,722 words)