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Eating on the Go

Street Food
Eating on the run came long before the current American  fascination with mobile catering. For millennia, vendors in densely populated cities hawked their ready-to-eat food and beverages from portable carts and booths temporarily parked in public places—like streets—with easy public access.

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Temples and Tombs

Ancient Egypt and Mesoamerica
With the most stable geometric form being the triangle, it is no surprise that the most impressive structures of the ancients take the form of pyramids. Egypt and Mesoamerica house the most well known of these massive, ancient structures.

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Games of the Gods

The Olympics
The Olympic Games as we know them started in 1896, in Athens. Two hundred eighty (280) athletes from 13 nations competed in a 43 events. Mimicking the ancient Olympic games held in Greece as long ago as the 76 B.C., no women competed. It simply wasn’t permitted. The ancient Olympics also prohibited married women from attending.

The ancient Greeks based the games on warfare. Free men demonstrated the abilities and skills that would serve them well on the battlefield: running, jumping, javelin, fencing, archery, wrestling, boxing, and more. The ancient competition featured chariot races with some famous competitors such as Roman Emperor Nero in 67 A.D., who entered a 4-horse race with 10 horses and didn’t finish. The influence of politics and its attendant corruption declared Nero the winner of that race anyway.

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Leaders of the Pack

Card Games
Since the advent of civilization, humans have devised countless ways to amuse themselves. From telling stories around campfires to organized sports, these diversions from everyday life entertain, confer glory upon the winners, and utilize skill sets that may come in handy in other endeavors.

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A Poet’s Opium Tryst

The Romantic poets Percy Bysshe Shelley and Samuel Taylor Coleridge used it heavily. The poet maudits Charles Baudelaire and Arthur Rimbaud went through bouts with it as well. Victorian poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning said in a 1843 letter to her brother: "I ... long to live by myself for three months in a forest of chestnuts and cedars, in an hourly succession of poetical paragraphs and morphine draughts."

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American Censorship in the World Wars

War Reporting
How much transparency should there be between the frontlines of war and the public that pays the taxes to fund that war?

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The Birth of Edward the Swan-Bear

A. A. Milne
English author Alan Alexander Milne, born January 18, 1882, led a highly productive literary life. He jump started his career with famed British humor rag Punch in 1906, and in the next 20 years produced over 20 works of fiction, poetry, plays, and nonfiction. In the midst of this storm of writing, Milne served in both World Wars.

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Propaganda in Peacetime

The Advertising Campaign to Make Women Smoke
Propaganda used to be special. It used to only exist in wartime for the purposes of boosting morale and contributions to wartime efforts. It used to be sacred.

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Epistolary

The Art of Letter Writing
In the era of quickness and disposability, a personal touch goes a long way. And if you mean to send a personal touch a long distance, what can be more meaningful than a handwritten letter?

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History of Pharmacy

When we’re sick, most of us rely on medicine to heal us; but, before modern medications were available, humanity relied on the power of nature—plants, animals, and other microorganisms to return us to health. Over one-quarter of natural medicines have been discovered in rainforests. 

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History of Nursing

Florence Nightingale
Due to many changes in recent years in health care, nursing, and technology, nursing curriculums have changed.  Although the history of nursing was included in most nursing programs of the past, Daily Nurse cites that there’s little opportunity to include this important topic in today’s studies. Many of today’s programs only provide a brief overview of the history of nursing.

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We Are Family

Global Family Day
January 1 marks New Year’s Day, but it’s also a global day of peace and sharing. Global Family Day is celebrated by sharing food with the needy and enjoying meals with family. On this day, many people make personal pledges of nonviolence and spread messages of peace and sharing.

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Creative Forces

Famous Psychotics/Schizophrenics
When we explore the personalities of prominent artists or authors such as Vincent Van Gogh, Edvard Munch, Virginia Woolf, and Sylvia Plath, we uncover that they have commonalities beyond their immense talents. 

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When the Fat Lady Sings

Opera
Plays and puppet shows existed for centuries before 1598 when Jacopo Peri unleashed Dafne in Florence, Italy. The classical drama of Apollo’s pursuit of the dryad Daphne set to music and song ignited a passion that spread through all Europe, with many countries embossing their own stamps upon the new art form of opera.

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The Intentional Insult

Oscar Wilde is famed for the quip, “A gentleman is one who is never unintentionally rude.” Or something to that effect. The gist of the sentiment is twofold: 1) A gentleman takes care not to give offense, and 2) if a gentleman does give insult, he does so intentionally. The witty description of a gentleman goes hand-in-hand with the best literary insults in which authors and playwrights skewer others with deliberate intent.

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A Garden of Horrors

Plant Pop Culture
Plants are ubiquitous entities: they surround us when we’re outdoors and we bring them indoors as bits of living decor. Except for the usual warnings to avoid the poisonous ones--“leaves of three, let them be”--plants occupy a neutral or even beneficial place in our lexicon.

The great era of exploration combined with the rise of intellectual inquiry from the 16th through 19th centuries brought adventurous Europeans into contact with many strange and unusual plant species in far-away locales. As the literary form of the novel developed, these mysterious plants took hold of human imagination and gave rise to a small, but enduring cadre of horrific plants.
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An Historical Treatment of Leftovers

Pease porridge hot,
Pease porridge cold,
Pease porridge in the pot,
Nine days old.

This nursery rhyme alludes to the fate of food when a meal’s abundance exceeded the capacity of the people it fed. The ubiquitous use of leftover food in everyday cooking and eating didn’t merit a special term. Fragments or remains of the previous night’s supper found their way into the next morning’s breakfast and/or lunch and into soups and stews. 
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Ribbet!

Famous Amphibians
Anthropomorphism runs rampant in literature, from Beatrix Potter’s naughty rabbits and squirrels to the fabulous creatures of Greek mythology. Animals in literature tend toward the magnificent, the monstrous, and the darling. However, the focus on bunnies, foxes, and dragons leaves out a significant order of amphibians: frogs and toads.

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Speechless

Vanishing Languages
Over the years, many languages such as Eyak (Alaska) have disappeared. Many of the world’s native languages are endangered, at risk of falling out of use because they have few surviving speakers. If a language loses all of its native speakers, it becomes extinct

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’Tis the Season

Christmas Carols and the Caroling Tradition
The holidays are a festive time of year—a time for giving, spending time with family and friends, and spreading holiday cheer. It’s also the season for enjoying Christmas music and carols.

In Old Christmas, Washington Irving writes “I do not know a grander effect of music on the moral feelings than to hear the full choir and the pealing organ performing a Christmas anthem in a cathedral.”
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