Joined: Nov 21, 2012
A.J. Jacobs is an author, journalist, lecturer and human guinea pig. He has written four New York Times bestsellers that combine memoir, science, humor and a dash of self-help. Among his books are The Know-It-All, The Year of Living Biblically, and Thanks a Thousand, in which he travels the globe to thank everyone who had even the slightest role in making his morning cup of coffee. He is a contributor to NPR, The New York Times, and Esquire, among others. He has given several TED talks, including ones about living biblically, creating a one-world family, and living healthily that have amassed over 10 million views. He was the answer to 1-Down in the March 8, 2014 New York Times crossword puzzle.
Online dating and swiping on Tinder have nothing on romance in the past, which was often humiliating, dangerous, and exhausting.
In Victorian England, romance was a literal puzzle. Here are three ways that 19th-century singles pitched woo.
How did Americans make money during the Great Depression? Some sold apples on street corners and others became migrant farmers. But about 2 million Americans tried to strike it rich another way: By doing puzzles.
It wasn’t always the most wonderful time of the year. In centuries past, Christmas was often violent, scary, and disgusting. So for all those Grinches who are skeptical of today’s Yuletide customs, be thankful you weren’t alive centuries ago.
Physical education in centuries past was sadistic, sexist, and just plain bizarre. Be grateful you never had to experience these P.E. nightmares.
Today's amusement parks have long lines, loud rides, and obnoxious patrons—but amusement parks of yore were far worse. They were bloody, sexist, racist, and basically a hellish mess.
Yes, beach trips today mean sand everywhere. But beachgoers in the past had to endure much worse than just sand.
A.J. Jacobs shows that although privacy may be endangered in the digital age, we’re still better off than many of our ancestors. In the past, everyone was all up in your business.
For one thing, a trip to the polls used to involve a lot more booze.
Yours doesn't even come close.
Modern detention is nothing compared to kneeling on peas.