Who wrote the plays attributed to Shakespeare?

The 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death on April 23rd has brought to the fore once again the question of whether the man identified as the author actually wrote the plays. Over 3,000 people, some of them quite eminent, have signed on to a document titled Declaration of Reasonable Doubt About the Identity of William Shakespeare that examines the case for and against him. Two eminent Shakespearean actors Derek Jacobi and Mark Rylance have added their voices to the list of skeptics.
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The Spelling Bee gets even worse

I simply do not understand the attraction of the Scripps Spelling Bee competition. It now results in young people spending an extraordinary amount of time memorizing the spelling of words so esoteric that one is never likely to use or hear them except in highly technical contexts. In its early years the winning words were blackguard, conflagration, concede, litigation, breach, saxophone, license, and primarily. In recent years they were appoggiatura, Ursprache, serrefine, guerdon, Laodicean, stromuhr, cymotrichous, guetapens, knaidel, stichomythia, and feuilleton. (See here and here for my earlier posts and in particular read the comments to those posts by readers who added interesting information and insights.)
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Phone menus mainly waste your time

My heart sinks when I call a company and get the beginnings of a phone menu that requires a series of voice responses or punching in numbers on the keyboard. The reason is that when I call, it is usually because the problem I have cannot be answered by an automated system and requires a human, so I do whatever it takes to short-circuit the system to get one. There is even a website that tells you how to do it for many companies.
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“No milkshake for you!” What happens at the Bohemian Grove

When people refer to the ‘old boys network’, they usually think of gatherings in boardrooms, country clubs, and the like. But there is a weird variation of it that is less well known and that is the Bohemian Club that takes place for two weeks annually at a place called the Bohemian Grove. A sociological study of the club suggests that at these gatherings very little plotting and scheming takes place. In fact, such things are actively discouraged. What is encouraged is drinking and playfulness bordering on the downright gross and ridiculous. What that does is build social cohesion among the movers and shakers in society, because when men (and it is open only to men) let their hair down and act silly in a group, it apparently creates bonds among them.
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Please help this astronaut return from space

Pretty much everyone has received the offer to take part in what has become known as the ‘Nigerian Prince’ scam, that is also known as the Nigerian 419 scam. This takes the form of a letter asking the recipient to agree to be a partner in getting a huge amount of money out of that country that, for whatever reason, cannot be done any other way. All that you have to do is give them your bank account number and they will wire the money to you, you keep a hefty portion of the money, and send the rest to another account. Of course, all they want is access to your bank account so that they can drain it.
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