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In the Buff

On Nudity
The subject of nudity is mentioned in the Gutenberg Bible (1462 historic edition), which is the first major book printed using mass-produced movable metal type in Europe. In the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve are unashamed of their naked bodies until they eat the forbidden fruit and are expelled from paradise.

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Human Trafficking

Human trafficking has been an ongoing atrocity, which occurs in destinations around the globe. Its victims, which include women, children, and men, are subject to a variety of forms of trafficking. These include sex trafficking, forced labor, and domestic servitude. Restore NYC—a nationally recognized leader in identifying and helping trafficked women, estimates that 18,000 foreign nationals are trafficked into the U.S. each year.

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Tune Out & Tune In

With growing efforts and awareness of the peril of our oceans and land, more people are making strides to conserve. Eco-conscious people worldwide are pitching in to save the planet. Efforts encompass recycling to conserving water and energy to reducing carbon footprints, and choosing reusable cloth totes over plastic bags. Many are eager to do their fair share.

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History of Perfume

We’ve all been captivated by the alluring scents of fresh flowers, baking bread, or brewing coffee. Since scent is routed through the olfactory bulb, which is connected to regions of the brain that relate to memory and emotion, it has the capability of triggering emotion.

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Animal Magnetism

Within recent years, pets have managed to climb the ranks to secure coveted spots atop family pedestals. These domestic companions—from the familiar dogs and cats to more exotic parrots, sugar gliders, and iguanas—have captured their owners’ hearts and nudged them to open up their wallets.
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Staying Power

New Lexicography
Every year, lexicographers must decide which popular words and phrases will be added to dictionaries. Tuned into books, politics, business, technology, the arts, and media, these word masters observe which words and phrases are used most frequently, exactly how they’re used, and what they mean.

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Tattoo You

Once considered rebellious and were associated with sailors, criminals, and thugs, over the years tattoos have become mainstream in countries around the globe.

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Agriculture Then and Now

Science records the development of agriculture back more than 10,000 years with Neolithic evidence of crops of wheat, barley, peas, lentils, chick peas, flax, and rice. Following the sowing and harvesting of grains and legumes, early Old World farmers domesticated pigs, then sheep, and then cattle. New World farmers focused on sorghum and potatoes, followed by coca, llamas, alpacas, and guinea pigs. Maize and cotton were latecomers to the agricultural repertoire.

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Paul Bunyan

Hero of the North Woods
Few folk tales from ages past endure in today’s children’s literature. Paul Bunyan is no exception. The folk hero was portrayed as a giant of a man at seven feet tall, renowned for his great strength, powerful voice, massive pipe, and memorable sidekicks, not the least of which was Babe, the blue ox. Tales of his illiteracy recount entertaining errors when ordering supplies.

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Heroic Myth to Little Green Men

Tales of Outer Space
Ancient astronomers discerned patterns of stars, constellations anchored by particularly bright points of light, and named them. The Western world knows these constellations mainly by their Greek names and through Greek myth: Cassiopeia, Orion, Pegasus, etc. Other cultures grouped constellations differently and assigned them different names in accordance to their mythologies and heroic traditions. From Lucian’s second century True History to 10th century Japan’s The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter to the Middle East’s medieval One Thousand and One Arabian Nights and throughout the millennia to the modern age, mankind’s fascination with the “Great Beyond” never ceases.

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Child Labor

A Brief History
Only in the latter half of the 20th century did the concept of a carefree childhood emerge as a right of all children rather than just the privileged few. Until then, parents and businesses viewed children as an abundant, renewable source of cheap labor. Low income and rural families especially relied upon the labor of children to contribute to put food on the table.

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Operation Overlord

World War II Snapshot
On June 6th, 1944, Operation Overlord commenced. It was the D-day to eclipse all other D-days, the World War II operation on a strategically unnamed day that marked the largest seaborne invasion in history. 

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Gay Pride Month

LGBTQ Writers of Immanence
June was designated as Gay Pride Month to commemorate the Stonewall Riots of June 28, 1969, a series of days that marked the breaking point of tensions between the LGBTQ communities and the New York City Police Department. It was the first major protest for LGBTQ rights in history.

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Poète Maudit

The Seer and the Forest Fire
“La race toujours maudite par les puissants de la terre.” Or, “The race that will always be cursed by the powerful ones of the earth,” wrote author Alfred De Vigny in his novel Stello. Poet Paul Verlaine put it to wider use in his own work to describe both writers and artists who were against or otherwise working outside mainstream society. 

And the “race” was called the poète maudit, cursed poet.

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World Refugee Day

The UN Convention
While a concerted effort at refugee relief is a relatively new enterprise, refugees are as old as war. In 1951, only six years after the end of World War II, the United Nations began to address the issue of refugees. The multilateral treaty known as the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees has been ratified a handful of times since and sets the terms for what is and is not a refugee.

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Brief History of American Comics

American comics have spent quite a lot of time in the pupal stage, though not without undergoing many changes and birthing many different styles throughout. 

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Practicing Mindfulness

In today’s fast-paced digital era, many people yearn for some leisure time. When they finally have some highly coveted down time, rather than indulging in the moment—a silent stroll through the park attuned to the beauty and serenity that abounds—they spend their time talking on their phones, browsing Facebook, and keeping their minds super busy.

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Up In Smoke

Observed on May 31st, World No Tobacco Day is held annually in destinations around the world. It encourages a 24-hour period of abstinence from all forms of tobacco. The day also generates awareness of the negative health effects associated with tobacco such as lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, and more.

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World Turtle Day

Making Slow Strides
Celebrate World Turtle Day on May 23rd. The American Tortoise Rescue, a nonprofit organization founded to protect turtles and tortoises, and their vanishing habitats, established this commemorative holiday in 2000 to encourage people to boost their knowledge of both creatures. 

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Transportation, Fairy Tale Style

Written in a pre-industrial age, transportation in fairy tales typically finds itself restricted to walking on one’s own two feet, riding on horseback or in a carriage pulled by horses, or sailing on a ship. Modern writers, particularly those who write within the genre of historical fiction or pre-industrial, or steampunk fantasy, also rely on those standard forms of transportation, although they often get it wrong.

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