Author: Erin Danly


Erin Danly is a freelance writer specializing in digital content. Before freelancing full time, she managed a lab in the Psychology Department at Columbia University in New York, which investigated human and nonhuman primate cognition. She grew up in London and now lives in Charleston, SC with her greyhound Romeo.

Serial killers: The forgotten sociopaths

It’s a sad state of affairs when the concept of a serial killer almost seems quaint. Mass shootings in America are becoming increasingly common. Last week, James Holmes was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for a particularly notorious 2012 shooting that took place in an Aurora, Colorado theater, in which 12 people lost their lives and another 70 were injured. And over the weekend, a terrible story about a man who killed eight people in their own home emerged out of Houston, Texas. As the horror of these crimes dominates the headlines, we seem to hear fewer stories of serial killers. But as a recent incident in West Virginia makes clear, they are still out there.

Should pit bulls be illegal?

Many dog owners think of their pets as members of the family, but that’s not how the law sees it. Aggressive dogs may be put down by a court order, and all owners are responsible for dog bites and injuries incurred by their dog. Sometimes, the law goes even further. In many parts of the country, owners of certain breeds considered “vicious”—usually pit bull-type dogs, Rottweilers, Doberman pinschers, and German shepherds—are subject to tighter restrictions due to breed-specific legislation, or BSL, which is also called breed-discriminatory legislation.

Pocket-dialing: A cautionary tale

The butt-dial: one of the more common, and occasionally embarrassing, faux pas of the cell phone age. Accidentally dialing someone is awkward enough, but now, thanks to a ruling by a Cincinnati federal appeals court, it could mean that any conversation you have during an unintentional phone call could be made public.

Top 7 places to get a quickie divorce

In a rush to get divorced? Then don’t file for divorce in Maryland or South Carolina, which both require a year of residency plus a year of separation before you can even start the process. Instead, look for places with short or non-existent residency requirements and waiting periods. Assuming you’re after an uncontested divorce, the process could take just a few short weeks.

Should you be able to smoke in your own home?

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration is planning to give $9,000 to each of four health advocacy groups willing to work with landlords and developers on banning smoking within their buildings. Is this idea a step in the right direction for public health? Or another instance of bureaucrats telling adults what they can and cannot do?

Is it legal to flip off a cop?

The finger. The bird. Flipping someone off. Whatever you call it, it’s a rude gesture meant to express disdain and provoke a reaction. So, if you flip off a cop, can you get arrested? In January 2013, a federal court said no. Hurrah for freedom of expression! But not so fast. Just because you can legally give a police officer the finger doesn’t mean you should.