Special 2017

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Two players remained at the 2012 World Series of Poker $10,000 Pot Limit Hold’em Championship: Phil Ivey, widely regarded as the best poker player in... Read more
This is the question that has often been asked about me at different parties and social functions across my entire life: “Guess what race she is? I... Read more
My grandfather cracks open his bedroom door and pushes his face carefully into the thin crease between the door and the frame.My mother is in the... Read more
No,” rattled Darth Vader, the word squeezed between two sharp exhales of breath. “I am your father.”The line signaled the climax that The Empire... Read more

Special 2017

One of the interesting things about secrets is that we share them, expecting the people we share them with to not share them further—and then those people do share them further.So the first question...
The act of confession, as a Christian practice, should be guarded as a holy rite. Confession requires trust with secrets that confessing persons often have hidden from people they love. They even...
I study farming and gardening manuals from Renaissance England. These books provide an unusual perspective on the ways that men—often working men—and sometimes women perceived the non-human world....
Baseball coaches communicate with players by using complex series of gestures, touching shoulders, hats, belts, elbows, noses, ears, to signal intention without alerting the opposing team. Duke...
There are no secrets anymore!” I hear that sentiment often as a neuroscientist and data scientist. Entrepreneurs hungrily anticipate that brain-machine interfaces will read thoughts directly from...
As a journalist, I saw secrets as gold, glittering with the allure of a good story. I was always on the lookout for other people’s secrets, ready to ferret them out, wanting to shine a light on what...
The hacking of the 2016 American election. The WannaCry ransomware attack on Britain’s National Health Service. The penetration of 500 million Yahoo accounts. The story of modern secrets is, in part...
Early in my days as a freelance journalist, I was on the lookout for a book subject themed to some sort of big human drama. I found that theme one morning on a path along a rosemary-scented...
There were eleven students in Mr. Drummond’s high-school English class. From my seat at the corner table, I furnished a weak smile. Nobody knew how close my tears were.My insides were being twisted...
Tokyo, JapanAugust 1980I’m sitting in my bedroom staring at the wall. I feel like I’m in one of those fun houses in an amusement park, where everything seemingly familiar has become strange and...
Whenever I tell people that I traveled to Duke Kunshan University to teach a course about Henry David Thoreau and China, I often receive a bemused look and a response that goes something like this...
I kept the secret of my father’s criminal conviction, and later incarceration, for the falsification of patient records and the distribution of controlled substances for five years. I never intended...
Whenever my elementary school class ran laps for PE, to not finish last felt like a victory in itself. Our gym teacher would yell out across the track, urging me to pick up the pace or admonishing...
Each of us on the “Staff Ride” to Vietnam had a job to do. We were studying the Vietnam War, especially the pivotal Tet Offensive (1968), from the perspective of historical actors—both American and...
The nefarious ways of the modern-day supermarket apparently are widely known. The journalist Jack Hitt, writing in The New York Times Sunday Magazine in 1996, detailed numerous tricks grocers use to...
“Secrets Protected, Secrets Exposed: The Balancing Act in Our Democracy” was the theme that drew alumni and others for a Duke Magazine event this past spring in a secrecy-minded place—Washington, D....
I never knew my Uropa (“great-grandpa”), but he has haunted me all my life. My mother tells me I inherited his hands, large and long-fingered. Growing up, I sometimes looked at my hands and thought...
My First Communion took place in May of 1988. We were lined up double-file (boy-girl) outside of All Saints Catholic Church in Dunwoody, Georgia. It was hot and humid in my navy suit and tie, and my...