Piper Kerman was a 24-year-old Smith College graduate in 1993, when she flew to Belgium with a suitcase of money intended for a West African drug lord.
This misguided adventure started when she began a romantic relationship with a woman who was part of what Kerman describes as a "clique of impossibly stylish and cool lesbians in their mid-30s." That woman was involved in a drug-smuggling ring, and got Kerman involved, too, though Kerman left that life after several months.
If you're like me, you probably feel exhausted just thinking about how much cultural stuff is out there. A friend recently told me he was reading an acclaimed Hungarian novelist whose books I've never opened. "Please tell me he stinks," I begged, "so I don't have to read him."
"Actually, he's great," came the reply, and I groaned. This was something I didn't want to know.
Starter: You know, with all the talk in recent years of "bounty hits" — tackles designed to knock opposing players out of professional football games — among players in the NFL, it may be easy to forget that professional baseball players have a similar system that, in a way, could be even more dangerous: It's called retaliation.
And now we turn to a very different kind of fashion/history story. Last year, clothing and accessories line Paul Frank hosted a powwow and dream catcher party that offended a lot of people, not just Native Americans. Bloggers like Adrienne Keene demanded an apology and the company obliged. But Paul Frank Industries didn't stop there. They decided to team up with native designers to create a line that showcases art from the many Native American cultures.