14 Stories

Biden Has One Adjective for Letter Trump Left Him


(Newser) - The outgoing President Trump did maintain one tradition: He left a letter in the Oval Office for his successor. What it says is unknown, with USA Today reporting a White House rep said only, "It's a letter between 45 and 46." President Biden elaborated slightly Wednesday night...

Thanks, COVID-19: A US Tradition Bites the Dust

It involves 7-Eleven and Slurpees, and it's too bad

(Newser) - The coronavirus pandemic has taken away another summertime tradition in the US: There will be no free Slurpees at 7-Elevens on Saturday— July 11—to hail a date that doubles as an abbreviation of the convenience store chain's name, the AP reports. 7-Eleven has been giving away its slushy...

After 150 Years, Japan Reverts to Old-School Tradition

Surnames will now come before first names, at least in government documents

(Newser) - For about 150 years, the Japanese have been following the first name, then surname method of being referenced when using the Roman alphabet in written materials. On Friday, however, a big change was announced: The country's government is switching the order of the names and reverting to the former...

Hundreds Take Part in 'Horrible' New Year's Day Tradition

Freezing temps didn't stop Coney Island's Polar Plunge from happening

(Newser) - The sky was sunny and the water was freezing at Coney Island, where several hundred people, cheered on by hundreds more, ran into the ocean Monday to mark the start of 2018. While some dressed in dinosaur or penguin outfits, others wore nothing but underwear or bathing suits at the...

10 Wacky, Cool Ways the World Celebrates Christmas

From a straw goat in Sweden to hiding brooms in Norway

(Newser) - Your Christmas may include fruitcake, gifts, and a tree strung with lights, but the holiday season is celebrated a little differently in other parts of the world. In an article picked up from, LiveScience rounds up 10 wacky Christmas traditions you may want to adopt—and some you...

Decline and Fall of the Jewish Deli

No home country and an Americanized palate spell doom for brisket

(Newser) - The Jewish deli is dying, author David Sax tells New America Media , and there’s not much anyone, Jew or gentile, can do about it. In New York, for instance, there are about two dozen kosher and non-kosher establishments today, down from 1,500 in the 1930s. One of the...

NORAD Sets Sights on Santa
 NORAD Sets Sights on Santa  
ho, ho, ho

NORAD Sets Sights on Santa

Bizarre tradition dates back to misprinted Christmas ad in 1955

(Newser) - The North American Aerospace Defense Command is ready for its busiest night of the year, when it puts mundane tasks like looking for wandering Russian bombers or North Korean missiles on the back burner and tracks Santa Claus. As it has every Christmas for more than 50 years, NORAD offers...

Square-Dancing Steps Into Rock, Hip-Hop

 Square-Dancing Steps 
 Into Rock, Hip-Hop 
Do-Si-do to U2?

Square-Dancing Steps Into Rock, Hip-Hop

New music irks veterans, but new blood is crucial

(Newser) - That tattered bastion of Americana, square-dancing, has fallen on hard times, but intrepid youngsters and older dancers eager to court them have turned to non-traditional music and methods to keep the practice alive. In Portland, Ore., a 20-something caller gathers friends in warehouses to do-si-do to punk rock. “It...

Pirates Set Mark With 17th Straight Losing Year

Pittsburgh's futility streak longest in North American sports history

(Newser) - Baseball’s Pittsburgh Pirates set a new North American standard for consecutive losing seasons by a major sports franchise, the Post-Gazette reports, with today’s loss to the Chicago Cubs guaranteeing the team finishes with more losses than wins for the 17th year in a row. The Pirates had shared...

Dow Who? Pamplona's Bulls Still Charging

(Newser) - Thousands of daredevil tourists have descended on Pamplona, Spain, for the annual running of the bulls that began today. Four were injured on the first day, including one American, though nobody was gored. As Time reports, sprinting ahead of six half-ton angry bulls is pretty dangerous, but many injuries result...

Baseball Hasn't Quite Socked Away the Stirrup Look

(Newser) - Stirrups, baseball’s heel- and toe-less signature hosiery, have their pitfalls for one minor leaguer. “They’re uncomfortable,” he says. “They want to fall down. They ride up in back. But it’s the look. You got to have some white showing.” Most major leaguers disagree,...

Sacred History Resonates in Kathmandu
 Sacred History
 Resonates in

Sacred History Resonates in Kathmandu

Traditional building practices coexist with global trade in Nepal's capital

(Newser) - Decades of restoration have kept up the medieval splendor of a region long hidden from the world: Kathmandu Valley. Started by Germany in the 1960s and later spearheaded by a Harvard professor, the repairs have maintained many of the area's stupas and pagodas, Lucinda Lambton writes for Vanity Fair—but...

11 Travel Faux Pas to Avoid
 11 Travel Faux Pas to Avoid 

11 Travel Faux Pas to Avoid

Touching is too intimate in some Asian nations

(Newser) - A great pleasure of this wide world of ours is the multiplicity of cultures and customs. That diversity can also get you into a heap of trouble. So, when traveling, here’s what not to do, and where not to do it, from Travel and Leisure.
  • Touching: Too intimate in

2 Candidates, 2 Americas: Old Values vs. New
2 Candidates, 2 Americas:
Old Values vs. New

2 Candidates, 2 Americas: Old Values vs. New

McCain represents tradition that's changing

(Newser) - It's not just youth vs. age, Peggy Noonan writes of the general election contest that began in earnest this week, it's a battle of the Old America vs. the New America—"between the thing we were, and the thing we have been becoming for 40 years or so."...

14 Stories
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