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. 26, 2015 @ 03:47 PM

Neil Offen: The man behind the words

Neil Offen is the internationally best-selling author of the international bestsellers Gidget Goes Red Chinese, The How to Get Fat Diet and other international bestsellers, as well as the man behind critically acclaimed supermarket shopping lists.

Jul. 25, 2015 @ 03:33 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: New game, new shoes

My 7-year-old son has moved up an age group in his summer basketball league. ... It’s a change from the pee-wee group. The shoes have changed, too. Sitting in the metal bleachers at a game, I looked at the other kids’ feet. Lots of Nikes out there. I looked up the price and chortled.

Jul. 19, 2015 @ 06:53 PM

Neil Offen: A very cold case

The scientific way you measure the age of a refrigerator is by the rings on the zucchini that has been stuck to the bottom of the vegetable bin since zucchinis were first invented and not just called squash anymore. By that measure, my refrigerator was old enough that I figured we had to buy a new one.

Jul. 18, 2015 @ 03:53 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: Time to take a phone break

“We can see your glowing faces.” A Broadway actress tweeted that sentence a few years ago. It means that on stage, the cast can see you looking at your smartphone in the darkened theater. The rest of the audience can see you, too. I’ve seen this multiple times at the Durham Performing Arts Center. It’s rude! Stop it.

Jul. 12, 2015 @ 03:09 PM

Neil Offen: Drive right in — if you can

We have a two-car garage, if only, in fact, we could fit two cars in. But instead of two cars, our garage has become the place where we put stuff we don’t know where to put anywhere else.

Jul. 11, 2015 @ 04:14 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan: Cool tile art in context

Thousands of people walk by the bricks of the American Tobacco Campus, the old factory complex turned symbol of downtown Durham’s revitalization. People work there, play dodgeball there, eat dinner there, are entertained there and sometimes just walk through it from the ballpark parking garage over to the Durham Performing Arts Center.

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.)