Scholars have long pointed to the Dutch run on tulips in the 17th century as a classic example of an economic bubble. But the Dutch had another Cabbage Patch-like craze in those days — they invested heavily in lavish dollhouses. In a column posted on Bloomberg, Michelle Chihara, a UCI doctoral candidate in English literature, compares the Dutch mania for miniatures with the modern housing crash. "In both financial and emotional terms, these grownup toys were the real precursor to our recent obsession with house and home," she writes. The Dutch dollhouse bubble burst with the collapse of the Golden Age. Sound familiar?
Literary journalism professor Miles Corwin's experience as a crime reporter for the Los Angeles Times has provided a rich source of material for his fiction writing. Corwin, who recently published his second crime fiction novel called Midnight Alley, spent 15 months as a reporter shadowing an elite Los Angeles Police Department homicide detective unit. "I really felt I had a great advantage in that I was able to be with the detectives as they were investigating these cases, as they were talking to suspects, killers, the Russian mafia, Ukranian prostitutes," Corwin told The Orange County Register. "… I was able to then use that to make my fiction more realistic, which I thought gave me a real advantage over many crime writers because very few writers have the opportunity to spend time with detectives like I did."