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.


Rudeness is not just a personal annoyance. It can actually affect health and safety. Why is that? And why do we replay a rude interaction over and over in our heads?

Haute couture, or personalized clothing created by fashion houses, began in the mid-1800s by an Englishman named Charles Frederick Worth.

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

Wayne Williams is serving a life sentence for killing dozens of black kids in Atlanta between 1979 and 1981. But some say he didn't do it and evidence of his innocence was covered up.

If it wasn't for Tesla's cat, we might not have electricity in our homes.

Gender reveal parties are fun, but they may also reinforce stereotypes.

It wasn't quite as loud as you might imagine.

New Zealand's public accident insurance fund has made the country a magnet for extreme sports and adventure seekers.

As Alanis Morissette might have said, we've got one hand in our pocket — and the other is digging into our purse. Why does women's clothing often lack pockets that can hold anything?

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.