Thanks to the efforts of Gerald Leonard Cohen, the world now knows where the word “jazz” came from, why certain types of sausages came to be called “hot dogs” and how New York got the nickname “The Big Apple.”
Call it the Eat, Pray, Love effect for the nature lover. Cheryl Strayed fans are hiking the Pacific Crest Trail after being inspired by Wild. Strayed says she's received more than 1,000 emails from people ready to lace up their hiking boots, but a trail information specialist says he's only seen six women make the full trek.
Poet turned playwright Sarah Ruhl's latest stage production, Dear Elizabeth, is based on the correspondence between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell. She recently spoke to Ruth Graham about her inspiration, and whether other writers' letters could be adapted for the stage as well. (As an aside: you really should read The Clean House if you haven't already.)
Those of you who stopped watching The Simpsons thirteen years ago (and heard that the voice actress who plays Edna Krabappel sadly passed away in October) should know that Ms. Krabappel is now married to Ned Flanders. In a run-down over at Splitsider, Bradford Evans catalogues weird plot developments in the last decade-plus of the series. (h/t Slate)
A publishing flap in three parts, with colons. 1: Publisher's Weekly details unsettling allegations about Night Shade Books -- an unwillingness to answer calls from writers or their agents, stolen digital rights, and missing royalty statements. 2: Night Shade issues an apology. 3: A wronged writer responds.