Melanie McManus

Melanie has worked as a radio station news reporter, as a press secretary in the Wisconsin State Legislature and as editor of two local publications. Since 1994, she has worked as a freelance writer and editor, specializing in travel and fitness.

She has won numerous awards for her writing, most notably prestigious Lowell Thomas Gold and Grand Awards for her travel journalism. Her first book, "Thousand-Miler" (Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2017), is a memoir about her record-setting thru-hike of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.

RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS


Instead of a mouth, the hell ant had blades and a metal horn to catch its prey. Ouch.

Women have long been instrumental in America's labor rights movement. One early leader was Lucy Parsons, a woman of color who agitated for the eight-hour workday.

While most people think of the Secret Service's only job as protecting the president, its first mission was combating counterfeiting. How does it balance the two?

A segment of young men are separating themselves from society out of frustration with the poor economy and a strong feminist ethos.

An extensive study looks at personal space in 42 countries, and how weather affects preferences.

Although the percentages of vegetarians in America is fairly split between men and women, an overwhelming majority of vegans are females. What's behind this disparity?

One of the most American spots outside of the U.S. is, surprisingly, in Brazil. How did these descendants of the Confederacy end up there?

Few rules on funeral procession are enshrined in law; most are just customs. But that doesn't mean you should break them.

Guess which president liked to skinny dip and which one liked petroleum jelly rubbed all over his head every morning.

How did this teen magazine go from just covering fashion and beauty to getting lauded for its political coverage?

We did not see No. 1 coming.

Ayn Rand's philosophies have drawn a very diverse, even contradictory, group of followers.

Colorblindness affects around 300 million people worldwide. What is it and how can glasses help?

Ketchup is one of the most popular condiments in the U.S. and the world. But as people begin to prefer spicier sauces, what's the future of ketchup?

Despite our best efforts at eradicating them, rats keep outsmarting us. Here's how.

Public broadcasting in the U.S. is divided into NPR for radio and PBS for TV. Both have been on the air for years and remain popular, amid recurring calls for government defunding. Here's why.

Sigmund Freud is considered the father of psychoanalysis, although today many of his theories are viewed unfavorably. Why is his legacy still so important?

Even 1,600 years later, we still reach for the name Attila the Hun when we want an example of vicious (and successful) fighter. But how did his memory live on so long?

There's so much information (and misinformation) out there about dietary supplements, it can be hard to know what to believe. Here are some general guidelines.

Empathy is an important emotion that enables healthy relationships and fosters the development of a safe, secure world. But what happens when someone has too little — or too much?