All posts by Michael

13 Cold and Flu Remedies That Actually Work

Someone once told me that the best way to cure a cold was to slice open an onion before bedtime, and then put one half (open side facing up) on a nightstand. The onion would absorb the nasty viruses in the air, and the patient would be miraculously cured.

I’ve always been curious about these kinds of home remedies for viruses like the common cold. Some folk medicines have some value, after all, even if they get the theory wrong.

So, in a story for Men’s Fitness, I asked two experts: Dr. Pritish Tosh, M.D., an infectious disease specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and Donald Ford, M.D., a family medicine specialist at the Cleveland Clinic. We discussed 13 home remedies for colds that actually work, so our sick readers could get back to bicep curls and back squats in no time.

(Oh, and the onion thing? Total bull. But onions do have some astringent effects, which can help unclog stuffy sinuses.)

Every Exercise From Every “Rocky” Training Montage, Ever

We don’t often do humor writing at Men’s Fitness, if only because we’re usually too busy cranking out service pieces to help guys lose weight and get six-packs.

But when Rocky Balboa returned to the big screen in Thanksgiving 2015—this time as a mentor Men’s Fitness November cover star Michael B. Jordan in Creed—it gave me a chance to take a lighter look at the some of the most beloved gym scenes in cinema: the training montages from the Rocky movies.

From South Philly to Siberia and back, I detailed every montage and every move you need to get jacked like the Italian Stallion himself.

The Kick Felt ‘Round the World: Holm Defeats Rousey in UFC 193

One of my main roles at Men’s Fitness is quickly reporting, writing, and promoting news stories that affect and interest our readership. Granted, not much qualifies as hard news that we’d cover in depth. We’re not a sports brand, and we don’t really touch science or politics. Our cover stars tend to be actors in big-budget films, meaning that we do entertainment stories more often than not. Even the Olympics Games are mostly outside our typical coverage.

But there’s one big exception, and her name is Ronda Rousey. By virtue of her fighting ability, well-earned braggadocio, and media-ready persona, she seems to be a lightning rod for discussion among our audience. Everyone’s got an opinion about Ronda. Especially dudes.

So on the morning of Sunday, November 15, as the East Coast was waking up to the results of her bout against Holly Holm in UFC 193, I was the guy at the computer, reporting and writing, trying to answer a question that Men’s Fitness basically had no choice but to cover:

Ronda lost? What the hell happened?

What happened was the kick felt ’round the world.

Past Papal Visits, as We First Saw Them

When Pope Francis visited Washington, New York, and Philadelphia in September 2015, he became the fourth pope to visit the United States. But his visit was more than a continuation of that papal trend; it also marked a high point of enthusiasm, from both Catholics and non-Catholics, for Francis and his vibrant message of inclusion for a global church.

Together with Daniel Sircar and Jessica Glazer, I researched and wrote a multimedia retrospective of past papal visits to the U.S., which was then published on NBC’s Owned Television Stations sites, which included NBC New York, NBC Washington, and NBC Philadelphia.

Everyman a Hero

Years before Guardians of the Galaxy unexpectedly charmed its way across the silver screen — before the movie made $774 million with a gun-toting raccoon and a talking tree — the galaxy’s unlikeliest heroes first entered the imagination of an editor at Marvel Comics named Bill Rosemann.

In a profile for Notre Dame Magazine, I spoke with Rosemann about the genesis of his comic book career, and discovered how Rosemann’s story arc so closely mirrors — and inspires — the pulp heroes we love.

Read “Everyman a hero” at Notre Dame Magazine

The Secret Sources of College Financial Aid

Paying for a college education can be daunting: A four-year public university can cost $19,000 a year on average, while the priciest private nonprofit schools can cost near $70,000, according to The College Board.

But even if students and their families are disappointed by paltry financial aid packages, there are still numerous sources of financial aid that can help students pay for an education.

In an enterprise story for NBC’s city stations, I spoke to financial aid professionals and dug through reams of data to find some ways for college applicants to make the most of their financial aid applications — and the surprising sources for college cash.

Read 7 Ways to Maximize College Financial Aid at NBC 

A “Super” Battle of the Beers

Craft beers — defined as beers from independently-owned, traditionally styled brewers making less than 6 million barrels a year — are more popular than ever across the U.S. But Super Bowl Sunday has traditionally been home turf for big American brewers like Anheuser-Busch and Miller-Coors, which can compound their worldwide cultural status with titanic advertising budgets.

In my first story for NBC’s national digital enterprise, I talked to craft brewers, big brewers, barmen and boozehounds alike to understand just what exactly people were drinking during Super Bowl.

Craft Brewers Tackle Super Bowl, Beer Industry’s Marquee Event

Invincible No More

Notre Dame Magazine | Winter 2014-2015

His friends knew that, even as a boy, James Perri ’94 was destined to do great things. And he has — largely because of those friends and family and his encounter with his own mortality.

This was the most challenging story I’ve ever attempted, and likewise the most rewarding. It is a story of confronting mortality and raising children, of science and faith, of flesh and not. And it is a story about the power of love.

Click here to read “Invincible No More” at Notre Dame Magazine

A New Generation of Jazz

Since he burst onto the New York City club scene in the early 2000s, singer and pianist Tony DeSare has earned rave reviews as a standard-bearer for a new generation of young jazz musicians.

On the verge of launching a new show at New York’s 54 Below supper club, the new father—and overall second-place winner of the 2013 USA Songwriting Competition—spoke with me for Making Music Magazine about connecting with audiences all over the world, why YouTube is his next frontier, and which of his songs is Sir Paul McCartney’s favorite.

Click here to read “A New Generation of Jazz” at Making Music