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History by Design

Here to Stay
Many iconic buildings and monuments, such as the London Eye and the Parthenon in Nashville were originally planned for temporary use, but have endured. These structures still stand years after their planned demolition dates.

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Skin Deep

Male Beauty Ri0tuals
When we think about beauty rituals, primping, and preening, we generally don’t think of men. The last few decades have witnessed a rise in awareness and social acceptance for male grooming and pampering. Many men have routines that include spa visits, waxing, manicures and pedicures, and even male cosmetics.

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Pandemics-Wiping Out Populations Worldwide

With the introduction of vaccines, antibiotics, and public health measures, many diseases have been eradicated. For reasons unknown, others have vanished.

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Billionaires Club

Countless book, movie, and song titles include the word “billionaire,” which ushers in a sense of prestige, power, and glamour. From the literary world, there’s The Billionaire by Maxim Corky and innumerable romance novel titles. In film, there’s Billionaire Ransom and The Billionaire & the Movie Star, and from the music industry, there’s Travie McCoy’s catchy “Billionaire” song.

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Fixing Language

An Early History of Dictionaries
Language evolves. No one disputes that. However, words carry meaning and common understanding requires that meaning be commonly agreed upon.

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Speed and Thunder

Famous Horses
Humankind thrills in speed and loves nothing better than to harness that speed for a brief immersion in adrenaline-pumping excitement characterized by pounding hearts and the rush of wind. Hence we still found ourselves screaming with delight on rollercoasters, cheering for our favorite drivers in motorized races, and gaping in awe when fighter jets whiz overhead at blinding speed.

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Spring Harvest

With winter stores consumed, spring traditionally served as a time of hunger. In pre-industrial societies that didn’t enjoy tropical weather and year-round harvests, spring brought both hope and hardship. People planted and hoped and ate the young, tender meat of newly born livestock until summer’s harvest yielded much-needed vegetables.

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Making the Horrific Palatable

Children Story Classics
Set to  music by Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in 1892, the adaptation of an adaptation of a children’s story written in 1816 by Prussian author Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann has become a perennial Christmastime classic.

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Games Our Parents Played:

An Odyssey of Names
Decades after our births, when we introduce ourselves to strangers or unconsciously doodle nicknames in the margins of notebooks, our names and how we represent them take hold. They can be austere and religious or playful and delicate, but names, and the associations we have with our names, shape our identities.

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Money-Dancing and Broom-Jumping

It’s a Wedding!
Eternal bliss and merriment, sanctity and partnership, familial and personal love: they’re all represented when newlyweds speak their vows. Brides wear beautiful gowns, rings are exchanged, and a kiss seals forever the bond between husband and wife.

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The Blues

From Margins to Stardom
While the United States of America is relatively new nation (there are hundreds of societies that have enjoyed artistic, linguistic, and musical accomplishment centuries before America was established), the proliferation of American music across the globe is clear in the style, attitude, and culture seen and heard in international news, radio, and television.

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Scouting Across the Pond

Girl scouts and Boyscouts
American politicians, international dignitaries, celebrities, artists, and world-renowned athletes share a common distinction: they acknowledge that their successes are in part due to the transformative youth groups of which they were once, and always, members. More than tying knots, pitching tents, selling cookies, and rowing kayaks, The Boy Scouts of America and The Girl Scouts of the United States provide millions of children with the necessary tools and practicality to become world leaders.

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Basketball

From Passing the Time to an International Pastime
The season of March Madness is starting in the U.S.. One can already hear the drumming of leather against wooden floors, the squeaking of sneakers stopping on a dime, the heartbreaking rattle of missed shots as the clock winds down. Brackets are filled and refilled, buzzers sound, and millions of students, fans, and general spectators watch and cheer college and university teams.

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A Quick Fix

Vintage Cocktails
When ordering a cocktail, the bartender may ask you to “pick your poison.” Ironically, the origins of many alcoholic beverages are rooted in medicine rather than toxic substances.

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Animal Magnetism

Pets in the Arts and Sciences
People have enjoyed the companionship of animals since ancient times. In the earliest days, humans kept animals strictly for utility. The word “pet” was first used in 1508 to describe an animal kept for pleasure. Linguistics experts believe that it emerged from the word “petty” (small).

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Coming of Age

Cultural Traditions
Many cultures around the globe have coming-of-age ceremonies, which mark a person’s transition from childhood to adulthood. The ages, rituals, and ceremonies vary from culture to culture.  

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Democratic Design

In recent years, architects, fashion designers, interior designers, and retailers have used the term “democratic design” to define quality designs that are affordable and accessible to mainstream consumers. 

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Tea Time

Having a cup of tea is a daily ritual for many people around the world. This soothing beverage can be enjoyed solo or shared with friends over conversation. Setting aside some leisure time for tea can be like going into an adult “time out.” Relaxation reigns—even if it’s only for fifteen minutes.

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A Modern Look at Primitive Art

"The dust of bones, primitive weapons, coal, and buried wood—the old human as well as solar energy—come down to us tangled like roots in the fermentation of the dampness under the earth." So begins Elie Faure's epic five-part translation of the History of Art from ancient times to the early 20th century.

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Three Important War Correspondents

Natural diamonds are formed under high pressure and temperature. In the same regard, great expression and acts of human courage and talent often emerge from desperate, high pressure situations. A look back at some of the first female war correspondents shows they formed their own diamond-like sheen under some of the roughest pressures.

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