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.
6 Ways the Past Stank—Literally
10 of the Greatest Puzzles in History
Edgar Allan Poe's Cipher Challenge
"Technology has made my life an open book."
"My in-laws are making the entire family go on a cruise. Can I beg off?"
7 Ways Dating in the Past Was Terrible
Online dating and swiping on Tinder have nothing on romance in the past, which was often humiliating, dangerous, and exhausting.
3 Types of Victorian Era Love Puzzles (Plus 3 Puzzles to Solve Yourself)
In Victorian England, romance was a literal puzzle. Here are three ways that 19th-century singles pitched woo.
The Great Rebus Craze of 1937 (Plus 4 Rebuses to Solve Yourself)
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.
6 Ways Christmases Past Used to be Terrible
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.
8 Ways Gym Class Used to Be So Much Worse
Physical education in centuries past was sadistic, sexist, and just plain bizarre. Be grateful you never had to experience these P.E. nightmares.
4 Ways Amusement Parks of the Past Were Not So Amusing
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.
4 Reasons a Day at the Beach in Times Past Was No Day at the Beach
Yes, beach trips today mean sand everywhere. But beachgoers in the past had to endure much worse than just sand.
8 Historical Things That Prove Privacy Issues Aren't a Modern Problem
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.
Democracy's Dirty History
For one thing, a trip to the polls used to involve a lot more booze.
5 Terrible Types of Bosses From History
Yours doesn't even come close.