Mystery as Edgar Allan Poe's famously dedicated fan misses anniversary

It might be time to crowdsource this ritual, lest Poe be toasted nevermore. Every year since 1949, the stranger – known locally as the Poe Toaster – has left three roses and a half-bottle of cognac on Poe’s grave in Baltimore on his birthday. The roses are believed to represent the three bodies buried beneath the monument – Poe, his mother-in-law and his wife Virginia; the significance of the cognac…

Cut This Story!

On the Internet, news articles get to the point. Newspaper writing, by contrast, is encrusted with conventions that don’t add to your understanding of the news. Newspaper writers are not to blame. These conventions are traditional, even mandatory. Take, for example, the lead story in The New York Times on Sunday, November 8, 2009, headlined “Sweeping Health Care Plan Passes House.” There is nothing special about this article. November 8…