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

Depending on the test and other factors, false positives can be extremely high for certain tests. Why is that, and what can be done about it?

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Dishwashers are not very mechanically complex. We'll show you how they work from the inside out, plus tell you how to get the most out of yours.

By Ed Grabianowski & Melanie Radzicki McManus

Parents in the U.S. are spanking their kids much less often than they did in the past. A study looked at the decline between 1993 and 2017.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

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The story of Paul Bunyan, the giant lumberjack, is one of the most enduring tall tales in North America. Most of us assume that the character is a fictional creation, but was he actually based on a real person?

By Debra Ronca & Melanie Radzicki McManus

The United States spends a huge chunk of its national paycheck on debt obligations. Where is all that money going?

By Dave Roos & Melanie Radzicki McManus

Private browsers and search engines offer much more protection than using a regular browser or search engine, or a browser with privacy mode-enabled. They can shield your sensitive data, ward off third-party ads and trackers, and provide a safer browsing experience.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

You'd think that everyone who works in Hollywood is filthy rich, but many of the best-paying jobs aren't the ones you immediately think about. Here are 10 to watch.

By Dave Roos & Melanie Radzicki McManus

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We all know vinegar is often used in cooking and making salad dressings. But it has a ton of other uses in cleaning, beauty, insect control and more!

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Whether it's finding out the identity of the painter Banksy or wondering who is the real "Girl with a Pearl Earring," there's no shortage of mysteries and intrigue within the world of art.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Cities across the globe are banning or limiting cruise ship traffic, while critics are challenging the resulting loss of revenue. Why do cities want them gone and is there a way to make everyone happy?

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Hydrogen peroxide is most likely in your first-aid kit. But it can be deployed for a whole variety of cleaning, gardening and beauty purposes you may have never ever thought of.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

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Insurance fraud scams -- including staging accidents and creating fake titles for nonexistent cars -- cost Americans tens of billions of dollars a year. And unfortunately, they've become more prevalent. How do savvy insurance agents suss them out?

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Throughout history, charismatic leaders have emerged and changed the world -- for better or for worse.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Pretty much anyone can learn to paint drywall. However, to get the best results, you should follow a specific process -- which includes a certain amount of prep work. What steps should you take before starting your paint job?

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

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

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

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We know that there's a lot of fakery in so-called reality shows. But do you know all the tricks some producers will use to get the results they want?

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Cats don't just lie on your sofa looking sulky. Some have authored scientific papers, discovered continents and entered politics. Read on to see what we mean.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

A friendly gesture in one country might be a highly insulting one in another. Here are 10 rude gestures that you'd better be sure you're using correctly before trying them out.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Did you know no two people see the same rainbow? Or that they contain 1 million colors — not just the handful we learn in school? Find out how to make your own rainbow — or, if you’d rather, how to make one disappear.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

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The newly opened National Museum of African American Music celebrates the legacy and contrubutions of Black musicians in all genres, from hip-hop, rap and soul to jazz, funk, blues and pop.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Mold is a type of fungus, and it's everywhere — indoors, outdoors and even in the air. But is black mold worse than the rest?

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

The tell-all interview between Meghan Markle, Prince Harry and Oprah Winfrey had many people wondering at the differences between the British royal family and "The Firm" — and who's really calling the shots.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

State governments get some of their operating money from the federal government, but much of their funds come from a variety of taxes. And for many states, the largest source of revenue is income tax.

By Caitlin Uttley & Melanie Radzicki McManus

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Do you suspect someone of cheating on their taxes? You can report it to the IRS and perhaps even receive a reward. But just be sure you know what you're talking about – and be prepared to wait.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Sitting on your butt all day can do a number on your health. Calisthenics, which is resistance training using your body weight, is a great way to stay in shape.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus