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Harry Potter and the Deathly Tax Bill

Harry Potter’s sidekick Ron Weasley has challenged opponents from a mountain troll to the Horcruxes to the Death Eaters. Now the actor who plays him, 27-year-old Rupert Grint, is taking on a foe as powerful as Voldemort himself. Last month, he challenged a squad of dementors taking on the deceptively ordinary appearance of bureaucrats at […]

This Too Shall Pass

Filing your tax return usually isn’t much of a chore. If you’re like most people, you e-file it and call it a day. (Maybe you cross your fingers in hope that teenage Russian hackers don’t steal your identity.) If you’re old-school, you trudge down to the post office to snail mail a paper return. But […]

Take This Tax and Shove It

Country music has a long history of celebrating outlaw behavior, which naturally extends to celebrating “outlaw” performers. Plenty of fans have heard the album Johnny Cash recorded of his first prison concert at California’s San Quentin penitentiary. But Cash’s fellow country icon Merle Haggard, who recently passed away at age 80, was there to hear the […]

Thrilla in Manila Envelopes

Words like “hero” and “icon” get tossed around pretty casually these days. But the world lost a true card-carrying legend with the passing last week of boxer Muhammed Ali after a long and public battle with Parkinson’s disease. Ali first gained fame in the ring, of course, floating like a butterfly and stinging like a […]

Have a Coke and a Tax

When most of us hear the word “tax,” we immediately think “IRS.” It’s natural to associate those three-letter words with each other (even if “IRS” is an acronym and not a word). But our friends at the IRS are hardly the only tax collectors with their hands out for your money. State and local governments […]

Barry Good!

Humorist Dave Barry entertained millions of readers with his nationally syndicated column from 1983 to 2004. Along the way, he earned a Pulitzer Prize for commentary, inspired a television series (Dave’s World), and even, after mocking the cities of Grand Forks, South Dakota and East Grand Forks, Minnesota, earned the honor of having a sewage […]

Mickelson Lands in the Rough

Spring is here, and golfers across the country are busting out their loudest pants to hit the links. Tiger Woods is taking a break from chasing pancake-house waitresses to shank wedges into water hazards. And Phil Mickelson, everyone’s favorite lefty champ, is struggling with a different sort of hazard right now . . . specifically, […]

A Tale of Two CEOs

Every year, business reporters look forward to listing the country’s highest-paid CEOs. Corporate chiefs have always done well for themselves — in 1980, the average S&P 500 head earned 42 times more than the average worker. But lately those compensation numbers have swollen fat enough to boggle Stephen Hawking’s mind — in 2000, the CEO-to-worker […]

The Gambler, The Billionaire, and The Game of Kings

Backgammon is an ancient game of dice, strategy, and skill. The name dates back to the 1600s, but the game itself goes back to the Byzantine Emperor Zeno (AD 476-481). While it’s never been as popular here as poker or chess, it became a huge fad in the 1960s, with Playboy founder Hugh Hefner hosting […]

Sign “O” the Times

The artist forever to be remembered as Prince shocked the world with his unexpected death last month at his Paisley Park compound outside Minneapolis. As is often the case when legendary musicians pass away, his album sales have soared. Fellow artists from Bruce Springsteen to the cast of the Broadway smash Hamilton quickly honored the […]