News: Columnists

Sep. 06, 2014 @ 01:16 AM

Neil Offen: Hair today, maybe gone tomorrow

If you haven’t much else to do and Google “how to grow a beard,” you will almost immediately find links to “3 Ways to Grow a Beard” and “17 Ways to Grow and Keep Facial Hair.” Not to mention “22 Steps to Growing a Beard (with pictures).”


Jul. 05, 2015 @ 02:32 PM

Neil Offen: Auto-correct, a useless know-it-all

Dear Technology Expats, Sorry, make that Experts. ... I have a zone to stick with you. Actually, what I mean is I ve a bone to lick with you. No, pick. Yes, pick. ... It’s about auto-correct, the program that thinks it knows better than I do what I’m trying to wipe. ...  mean write.


Jul. 04, 2015 @ 03:25 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: The American rat race

I lived in Northern Virginia in high school, and the Metro subway system provided a freedom to explore our nation’s capital with friends.


Jun. 28, 2015 @ 03:03 PM

Neil Offen: Flushed with success

I knew I was in trouble the moment I saw how “easy” it was supposed to be to do this. I knew there would be 19 difficult steps as soon as I found out that there were “only 4 simple steps.” I knew there was no way I could do it as soon as I read that “anyone can do it.” Still, I figured I had to try to fix the toilet.


Jun. 27, 2015 @ 03:28 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: Cousins who are friends

I stood on the beach next to my cousin, looking out over the ocean off Nags Head. I wondered if the next shark attack would be out there in the waves. My cousin looked out to the sandbar, saying that he’d like to swim to it. He grew up in Florida, so he has a different view of the ocean.


Jun. 21, 2015 @ 10:35 AM

Neil Offen: Why I’m a candidate — in 2036

You’ve probably been wondering what distinguishes me from the other 56 announced candidates for the presidency.


Jun. 20, 2015 @ 03:32 PM

People's Pharmacy: Drug shortage puts cancer patient in deadly danger

Q. I was on a bladder-cancer treatment program using BCG, a tuberculosis vaccine, to activate my immune system. But the supply of the BCG has dried up, and I had to stop treatment. Now my cancer has advanced, and the doctor is discussing the possible spread of the cancer elsewhere and removal of my bladder. He mentioned another, more expensive medicine, but he said my insurance might not pay for it.


Jun. 20, 2015 @ 02:05 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: Dads out front

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads, especially the dads who let their love of fatherhood show. Let’s start with the NBA finals, when Golden State Warriors player Stephen Curry’s basketball skills got slightly less attention than his cute little daughter Riley. Riley Curry is cute and livened up the usual post-game presser, but what I took from all the clips and photos was a young dad who put his kid first.


Jun. 14, 2015 @ 03:55 PM

Neil Offen: 7 steps to a happy marriage

Recently, my wife and I celebrated a numerically significant wedding anniversary. It was numerically significant because to reach that anniversary number I figured I must have gotten married at the age of seven (My wife points out that she was five.)


Jun. 13, 2015 @ 03:40 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: Let it rain on graduation

It rained at my high school graduation, so we had it in the gym. It rained at my college graduation, so we just got rained on and let our mortarboards wilt before the sun came out again. There’s a message in there somewhere.


Jun. 13, 2015 @ 03:25 PM

People's Pharmacy: Testosterone gel smelled up the house

Q. My husband recently had to switch testosterone gels due to a change in insurance coverage. The new product was a generic testosterone. After he used it just one day, our whole house smelled like floral-scented dryer sheets. It took me a day to figure out that the culprit was the chemical pentadecalactone.


Jun. 07, 2015 @ 03:34 PM

Neil Offen: Making a date with your update

An update is currently available for one of your intricate pieces of technology. This update will enable you to make improvements to usability, security and laundry sorting. Would you like to download it now? Or would you rather be left further behind and continue to be the laughing stock of most middle school kids?


May. 31, 2015 @ 03:08 PM

Neil Offen: No whining about our wine list

Let’s take a look at the wine list, which has hints of papyrus and an ethereal bouquet of late-harvest No. 2 pencil. But first, let us explain our wine philosophy and why one bottle will cost you more than next month’s mortgage.


May. 24, 2015 @ 03:37 PM

Neil Offen: It’s on my schedule (maybe)

This is a cautionary tale. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, particularly if the eggs are digitally dependent and the basket comes with a multi-language instruction manual (also, don’t do it if you have high cholesterol and your cardiologist has told you to cut down on egg baskets, but that’s a cautionary tale only for those who know how to spell angioplasty).


May. 23, 2015 @ 03:50 PM

Blue Greenberg: Hillsborough’s thriving visual art scene

Hillsborough is no longer the sleepy little town in the shadow of Chapel Hill and Durham. It is an art destination with galleries, festivals, gardens, restaurants, a world-class auction house and published authors everywhere.