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


A 4th-century cookbook advised readers how to get rid of the 'goatish smell' from stale bird meat.

Oprah's holiday gift list is 20 this year, and it's as popular as ever. Who doesn't want some $60 slippers or a $50 box of blueberries?

'Tron' was considered ahead of its time when it was released in 1982. And that's partly what comedian Janet Varney loves about it.

Back in the 1980s and '90s, D.A.R.E. was in almost every American school. But the drug prevention program was shown to have little success at keeping kids away from drugs. With the current opioid crisis, D.A.R.E. is poised for a comeback.

Rabid fans may seem crazy, but there can be good reasons why they go all out for their favorite celebrity, sport or TV show.

Why get stuck with a useless jersey when your favorite football star gets traded to another team? A new company lets you switch out shirts as often as you wish.

They're been living in Myanmar (formerly Burma) since the 12th century, yet they've been persecuted by the Buddhist majority for decades. Here's why.

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?