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

February is a cold time of year, and the snow moon nickname pays homage to that. What are some other names for February's full moon and what do they mean? Plus, when can you see the snow moon?

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

If the costs in your home state are getting you down, it might be time to think about moving. We have a list of the eight cheapest states to live in the U.S.A.

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

Advertisement

Much like a Christmas tree and a jolly Santa Claus, the tradition of hanging up stockings signals that the Christmas season has arrived. So, what's popular to stuff in them?

By Jessica Brown & Melanie Radzicki McManus

In 1926, famed crime novelist Agatha Christie went missing for 11 days under very strange circumstances. Even today, questions linger about why she did it and a recent biography has a new explanation.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

The first tribal national park opened in 2012; the next one is scheduled for 2025 and more Indigenous tribes want to open them. What's behind the growing interest in tribal national parks?

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

The American Halloween is just one of many celebrations around the globe with roots in ceremonies to honor the dead who've returned to visit their loved-ones. Want to join the Hungry Ghosts Festival or snack on a sugar skull?

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Advertisement

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

Brothers Adolph and Rudolph Dassler were building a sneaker empire while the Nazis were rising to power. Rather than fighting the Third Reich, they battled each other and split their company in two.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

While you may never encounter a moose on the road, just how stable would your car be in a sudden swerve emergency?

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Witch hazel is a shrub with an unusual name that's been used for centuries to treat many skin conditions. So, how did it get its name and what can you use it for?

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Advertisement

The surnames popular around the globe reflect everything from one's ancestry to regional colonizers to occupations.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

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

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

It's a strange phrase when you think about it, as people don't normally ride pigs. So where did it come from?

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Paper coffee filters are amazingly versatile and have many creative uses around the home, in the garage and even on camping trips.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Advertisement

Many inventions during the Industrial Revolution caused Europeans and Americans to move from an agricultural economy to an industrial one and changed the world forever. What were the top 10?

By Jonathan Atteberry & Melanie Radzicki McManus

The August 2022 full moon is known as the sturgeon moon and it's extra-special this year as it's also a supermoon.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

These 20 people, including Thomas Edison, Princess Diana and Benjamin Franklin, achieved notable success in life, even after dropping out of school.

By the Editors of Publications International, Ltd. & Melanie Radzicki McManus

Leash your cheetah, buckle your seatbelt and tell Usain Bolt to take a knee. We're about to power through some of the speediest stuff this universe – both in the real world and in fiction – has to offer.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus & Kate Kershner

Advertisement

The U.S. Supreme Court may be the highest court in the land, but the justices that sit on the bench sometimes reverse course. It doesn't happen often, but here are 13 Supreme Court cases in history that have been overturned.

By Ed Grabianowski & Melanie Radzicki McManus

Japan's Emperor Hirohito reigned for more than 60 years, and his tenure included World War II. Although he was never prosecuted for war crimes, many historians say he should have been.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

There are lots of inventive uses for old coffee grounds, including candle-making, bug prevention and de-icing roads.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

For many people, their knowledge of America's National Scenic Trails begins with the Appalachian and ends with the Pacific Crest. But there are nine other fabulous trails that deserve attention, too.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Advertisement

With the increase in "green building," cool roofs are becoming popular. These are roofs that have been built or modified to maintain a lower temperature in bright sun. We'll examine some of the many ways you can cool your roof.

By Beth Brindle & Melanie Radzicki McManus

During the early 1960s, many songs featuring tragic teen deaths, usually in car crashes, became huge hits. What was behind this morbid craze?

By Melanie Radzicki McManus