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Paul Celan

Between Two Tongues
Language is a human act, and poetry proves this. There are few more difficult and equally rewarding poets than Paul Celan. Celan's dense and rhythmic poetry requires multiple readings from multiple angles—the more readers knows about his life, the more access they'll have to what the poem speaks to.

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Philosophies of the Urban Foot

Psychogeography
In his influential 1953 essay "Formulaire pour un Urbanisme Noveau" ("Formulary for a New Urbanism"), Ivan Chtchegov wrote, "We are bored in the city, there is no longer any Temple of the Sun ... We are bored in the city, we really have to strain to still discover mysteries on the sidewalk billboards..."

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A More Real Realism

Stream of Consciousness
At the turn of the 20th century, nearly all forms of expression opened their borders to experimentation. Literature was no exception. Most novels written prior represented human thought and interaction as straightforward, back-and-forth dialogue mixed with flat descriptions of place and people. This was reality on paper.

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Shaping History

The Evolution of Women’s Hairstyles
There have been many memorable hairstyles throughout history from Cleopatra’s Egyptian-style bob to Queen Elizabeth I’s curled up-do to Marie Antoinette’s voluminous beehive.
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The Day After

Hangover Cures
There are countless reasons to celebrate: birthdays, weddings, retirement, holidays, or other milestone occasions. In many cultures, music sets the scene and revelers often celebrate by enjoying a meal with some champagne, wine, cocktails, or other alcoholic beverages. 

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Where Is Everyone?

Smallest Populations Worldwide
Many conversations and news headlines worldwide highlight the destinations on the planet with the highest populations. China and India continually top the list with approximately 1.42 billion people living in China and 1.35 billion in India. 

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The Tooth Fairy

Legends and Plays
Many children around the world are well acquainted with the Tooth Fairy—a fantasy figure in Western and Western-influenced cultures. According to folklore, when children lose baby teeth, they tuck them underneath their pillows at bedtime. During the night, the Tooth Fairy flutters in and replaces the tooth with a small amount of money or a token gift.

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Milton Bradley

The Inventor of Smart Fun
Games and recreations did not idle the mind of Milton Bradley. His board games challenged players' cunning, comprehension, and strategy. One hundred fifty-eight years after the launch of the eponymous Milton Bradley Company, children and adults alike seek his inventions, and the inventions he inspired, as a way to connect with friends and family in an intellectual, stimulating manner.

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Association Football

The People’s Game
The world's most beloved, practiced, and watched sport, association football, is the common denominator for almost every class, culture, and ethnicity of people. FIFA's World Cup, an international tournament held every four years, brings fans, players, and nations together in record numbers. This year, 32 teams compete in Russia for the coveted Jules Rimet trophy, and billions across the globe cheer for their favorite teams.

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Country Music

Individualism Set to Music
Country music plucks the heartstrings of millions of fans across the globe. Its sentimental lyrics, deliberative,romantic, or both, have resonated with people since the early 1920s. In the past few decades, artists like The Dixie Chicks, Taylor Swift, and Garth Brooks, have propelled the early American musical genre into an international phenomenon, but even these superstars are in tune with the traditions and sounds that comprise country music.

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Healing the Itch

Natural Remedies
In many parts of the world, summer means outdoor activities and biting insects. Thirsty little bloodsuckers include mosquitoes, ticks, biting flies, lice, bedbugs, and fleas. Mosquitoes belong to the Culicidae family and are found on every continent except Antarctica. Black flies, horse flies, and deer flies range from five millimeters in length to 25 millimeters. They deliver painful bites. Body lice, head lice, and crab lice latch on for a lifetime, dining on their host’s blood. Of lice varieties, only the body louse transmits disease. Bedbugs lurk in mattress seams, electrical outlets, cracks in flooring, shoes, upholstered furniture, carpets and can survive for months without feeding. When they do find a host, they gorge themselves. Fleas move from animals to humans with equal enthusiasm and carry disease, most notably bubonic plague. Chiggers, deer and dog ticks, mange mites, and other biting bugs burrow under the skin to suck their hosts’ blood. Ticks transmit Lyme disease and Rock Mountain spotted fever.

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Social Seduction

Ballroom Dancing
In centuries past, the delicate act of social introduction for the upper echelons of society occurred in the ballroom. Closely chaperoned, eligible bachelors and unmarried ladies became acquainted, conversed, and developed relationships all with a trifold purpose of exercise, social networking, and finding a spouse in these civilized settings. In glittering ballrooms and dressed in their finest clothes, Europe’s gentry and North America’s moneyed class hunted for wealth and status.

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Prince (Not So) Charming

Merriam-Webster defines Prince Charming as the wonderful man who fulfills the dreams of his beloved. By any standard, every fairytale hero deserves the appellation. The ultimate goal of fairytale heroines, of course, is marriage, preferably to a wealthy (if not aristocratic) gentleman. Before one begins to fume at this traditional pigeonholing of feminine ambition, one must remember from whence these ancient tales arose.

Prince Charming as a standard character appears in our favorite fairy tales: Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Rapunzel. The earliest acknowledged use of the appellation “Prince Charming” (or “King Charming”) appears in The Blue Fairy Book (1889) by Andrew Lang, in which the hero’s name is “Charming.” In The Green Fairy Book (1906), Lang calls the hero “King Charming.” The trope continues in The Red Fairy Book by Lang.
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The Celebrity Chefs of Yesteryear

The airwaves abound with cooking shows, some featuring the cuisine of famous chefs and others contests judged by famous chefs. Cable TV even has an entire network devoted to food and its preparation. However, if asked to name the top chefs in the world, most people might automatically include Julia Child, whose culinary expertise first aired on television in 1963 with The French Chef. Child remains a recognized name after her death in 2004; however, other chefs gained relative fame and relative fortune long before mass media took the world by storm.

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Poetry and Truth

The Slant
According to Wallace Stevens, poetry is truth. He wrote, “For a poem to be true, it must come from an ever.” But what might “ever” be? That constant, the eternal, what is simultaneously everything and nothing … there are words we toss around for it, but the “ever” is inherently indescribable. Such it is for truth, which is perhaps why poetry is best suited as its companion. 

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Revisionist History and the Lives of Quotes

Henry David Thoreau
The 21st century birthed a handful of revisionist and reconstructionist history. The likes of Malcolm Gladwell to Howard Zinn have worked towards reinterpreting orthodox views in light of new or previously overlooked evidence. American literary and independence hero Henry David Thoreau, born July 12, 1817, is one such re-examined person.

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Korean War

Peace Tension
Like almost every geopolitical change in the modern world, the split of North and South Korea and the subsequent the Korean War, resulted from the Cold War and World War II.

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Manga Origins

From Humble Scrolls to World Domination
Japanese comics called "manga" has birthed countless anime shows and movies (which have become a media giant in their own right), cosplay fests around the world, and is now a pivotal part of Japanese cultural identity. Manga is absolutely contemporary, but its roots reach far back into Japanese art history.

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Cowboys

The World's Most Elegant Workmen
Film, music, and literature depict ruddy-faced men effortless herding and tending livestock on the open plains in cowboy lore, a sentimentalization of ranch workers and their prospective duties. At times those men are heroes defending the ideals of the cowboy: hardworking, honest, fearless. In other instances, they are anti-heroes: gunslingers and stagecoach robbers whose lives brewed a reckless lawlessness (both revered and feared) associated with a brand of self-defined freedom. Names like Billy the Kid, Frederick "Buffalo Bill" Cody, Nat Love (a former slave who found work as a cowboy following the American Civil War), and Annie Oakley (a teenaged sharpshooter who toured with Buffalo Bill) are among the most lauded cowboys and cowgirls. But they originated from a different faction of cowboys.

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Reggae

A Music for All Spirits
The stereotypes concerning the culture of reggae have become synonymous with the music itself. The genre culturally reappropriates and stylizes natty dreadlocks, counterrevolution, and cannabis consumption as facets of the Jamaican-borne music. The history of reggae music, however, includes more comprehensive interpretations.  It offers more than Bob Marley swinging his hair and smoking marijuana joints.

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