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Chocolate

Food of the Gods
Chocolate originated in the Western Hemisphere and is native to Central and South America. History credits the ancient Olmecs of what is now southern Mexico as the first civilization to harvest the bitter fruit of the cacao tree and figure out how to consume them. Scholars believe that the Olmecs drank the bitter product of dried and roasted cacao beans and/or pods in religious ceremonies. However, the Olmecs left no written records, so knowledge of their use of cocoa is largely hypothetical. Academics agree that the Olmecs passed on that knowledge to the Mayans, who revered it and did leave written records.

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Semper Fi

Highlights from the History of the US Marines
The U.S. Marines Corps are an elite group who defend America on land, at sea, and via the air. Renowned for their fighting spirit, their motto Semper Fidelis (Semper Fi) means “Always Faithful” in Latin.

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Saying Farewell

Funeral Traditions Across Cultures
Some cultures perceive death as a celebration of the life a person once lived, not a somber occasion. Rather than getting decked out in black and donning dark sunglasses, some cultures play more upbeat music and engage in dancing. They embrace the light, leaving the darkness behind.

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War Propaganda by Notable Artists

It takes more than military might, a keen strategy, and an arsenal of weapons to lead a country to victory during wartime. The psyche also plays a vital role in boosting the morale of soldiers and civilians during wartime. 

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Captivating Landscape Design

Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr.
Sprawling green lawns and picturesque gardens offer an ideal respite from the frenetic pace of city life. In the middle of Manhattan, Central Park serves as an oasis, inviting city dwellers and visitors to relax and unwind on the grass or  stroll through the gardens.

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Myth of a Nomad

Romani Nation
Names are as important as the histories embedded within them. They imbue the power of both insidious implication and outright reference, revealing ignorance and tolerance. Incorrectly naming anything or anyone is the first step towards a host of other problems. One such name is “gypsy.”

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White Rose

Hans and Sophie Scholl
White Rose was a underground collective, led by brother and sister Hans and Sophie Scholl who wrote and distributed pamphlets denouncing Nazi Germany and calling for German people to uproot their ignorance and inaction.

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Concrete Poetry

Opening Language Borders
Dylan Thomas said, "Poetry is what in a poem makes you laugh, cry, prickle, be silent, makes your toenails twinkle, makes you want to do this or that or nothing, makes you know that you are alone in the unknown world, that your bliss and suffering is forever shared and forever all your own." Emily Dickinson said, "If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry."

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Filipino Struggle for Independence

José Rizal
Not all revolutions are violent, and not all revolutionaries are led by extremists. On June 19, 1861, one such peaceful Filipino revolutionary was born: José Rizal.

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Tennis

A Royal Score for All
In 2008, during an afternoon marred by rain, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal participated in one of the greatest tennis matches in the history of the sport. For almost five hours the two rivals volleyed and traded leads, keeping their opponents on their toes. Federer, just two points from victory (and a consecutive sixth Wimbledon Championship) had trouble returning Nadal's serves, and Nadal went on the claim the title. 

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Folk Music

Traversing Histories through Sound
Folk music traces cultural shifts and movements, specifically the recreations, laments, and political ideologies of a culture. William John Thoms, a British writer and self-described antiquary, coined the term folklore in 1846. The corresponding music, much like traditional art, literature, and knowledge, was passed on through oral communication and example. Volk, a German expression that predates both the Great War and World War II, means "people as a whole" and provides further insight into the worlds Thoms researched.  Folklore described the customs, superstitions, and traditions of "uncultured classes," searching for a connection between common folk and the societies of which they were a part. 

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Cameras

A Timeless Fascination
From the creation and popularization of the daguerreotype to the newest smartphone technology, cameras have documented virtually every type of relationship in the civilized and natural world. Cameras work as time machines, capturing and preserving the memories we create for ourselves. Whether it is through vernacular photography, which typically involves unknown photographers seeking beauty in the ordinary, domestic lives of folks, or fashion photography, which is purposefully and dutifully stylized to suit the latest cultural trends, cameras are powerful tools that have become permanent fixtures in our efforts to track the progression of people, places, and ideas across the world. 

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Body Beauty

How Body Types Evolved Throughout History
There’s a common phrase that says, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” It means that beauty can’t be judged objectively. What one person believes is beautiful may not appeal to another.

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Public Displays of Affection

Social Affection
Each culture has its own social norms. A behavior or body gesture may be acceptable to one culture, but offensive to another. It’s wise to understand the cultural norms of those you’ll be interacting with in social settings, while conducting business, or when traveling. 

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Serendipity

Fortunate Medical Mishaps
 Nobody wants to make a mistake, especially at work, but some mishaps become advantageous. When we’re sick and require antibiotics, we should be thankful for a lucky discovery made by Scottish bacteriologist Alexander Fleming.

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Henry Ford

Fordlandia
After building the Quadricycle,the first gasoline-powered horseless carriage, American business tycoon and industrialist Henry Ford achieved many more accomplishments. In 1903, he founded the Ford Motor Company. One month later, the first Ford car Model A was assembled at a plant in Detroit.

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Film

Early Accolades
Hollywood has a long, glittering history of lauding its own. From Academy Awards to Oscars to independent films, the industry ensures every actor, director, producer, screenwriter, and other professional involved in the production of silver screen entertainment has a chance to receive recognition and express gratitude for the opportunity to strut their stuff.

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Almost Men

Widows
Historically, women had few legal rights. Cultures the world over considered women merely extensions of the men to whom they were bound and subject to the protection or exploitation of those men without much in the way of legal recourse. In short, women had no separate legal existence from their male guardians whether those guardians be their fathers, husbands, adult brothers, or adult sons. Unless they were widowed.

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Donut Day

Bear Claws, Crullers, and Holes
National Donut Day, established in 1938, occurs the first Friday of June and honors the Salvation Army’s “Doughnut Girls” and the Red Cross’ “Doughnut Dollies” who served donuts to soldiers in the trenches during World Wars I and II, respectively. Although primarily a U.S. holiday, donut shops around the world have been known to hoist a cinnamon roll in celebration.

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Beyond Speech

Talking Animals in Children’s Literature
Anthropomorphism, a fancy term concerning the personification of animals by attributing human characteristics to them, occupies a treasured spot in children’s fiction. The addition of speech to creatures that do not normally engage in conversation such as we humans think of it serves as a mode through which authors teach moral lessons, if only because the animals can talk back. 

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