Christmas in Japan

Tokyo Christmas Illuminations, Mikimoto Jumbo Christmas Tree By Muza-chan / 12.19.2011 Muza-chan’s Gate to Japan Since the number of Christians in Japan is relatively low (under 1%), the Christmas day is not a national holiday and the Christmas in Japan is mainly a commercial event. However, there are several typical Christmas customs and traditions taking[…]

The Influence of Victorian Christmas Practices on Today’s Traditions

Judith Flanders describes how many of our own Christmas traditions – from trees and crackers to cards and carols – have their origins in 19th-century industrial and commercial interests. By Judith Flanders / 02.19.2014 Around the Christmas Tree Quadrille This cover illustration from the quadrille Around the Christmas Tree (estimated 1876) shows what a Christmas[…]

A Short History of Three Very Famous Christmas Carols

Carolling wasn’t just for Christmas back in the day. Easter, New Year, and even political events such as battles were occasions for carol singing. 1000 Words/www.shutterstock.com By Dr. Peter Roennfeldt / 12.18.2016 Professor of Music Griffith University Singing and Christmas seem to go naturally together, like plum pudding and custard. Even those who would not[…]

Freedom from Ourselves

By Christopher Renzo / 11.11.2011 Life Coach We all want to know how to be the best version of ourselves.  We want the world outside of us, the world that “happens to us” to be nothing but wonderful.  We all want to be loved.  We all want to be appreciated.  We all want to be[…]

Ideas Concerning Death in Medieval Culture and Society

The Three Living and the Three Dead and Decorated Text Page from Crohin-LaFontaine Hours By Dan Giglio / 10.14.2016 Winchester University History Students’ Blog The various rituals, practices, observances and perceptions of death in the Middle Ages are well worth discussion and debate. Death is and has been a present and fascinating concern for every[…]

Putin: Nobody Believed Trump Would Win ‘Except Us’

Journalists listen to Russian President Vladimir Putin during his annual end-of-year news conference in Moscow, Russia, Dec. 23, 2016. / Photo by Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters By Agence France-Presse / 12.23.2016 Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday appeared to cozy up to US President-elect Donald Trump while asserting his authority as the key powerbroker in Syria. At[…]

Captain Nathan Hale: A Tory’s Account of the Arrest and Execution of the First American Spy

An idealized bronze statue honors the heroism of Yale College graduate Nathan Hale (1755-1776; B.A. 1773, M.A. 1776), a young schoolteacher captured and executed by the British during the American Revolution. Hale’s youth and defiant last words, inscribed on the statue’s base, made him a national hero, and his legend remained powerful over a century[…]

Intelligence on the Wing: The Genius of Birds

By Ben Marks / 12.22.2016 The Genius of Birds / Jennifer Ackerman On Tuesday November 8, 2016, tens of millions of Americans enthusiastically cast their presidential ballots for a tax-cheating, racist demagogue who literally said anything to get the votes of common working stiffs, even though it should have been abundantly obvious to them that[…]

‘Glue’ that Makes Plant Cell Walls Strong Could Hold the Key to Wooden Skyscrapers

Molecules 10,000 times narrower than the width of a human hair could hold the key to making possible wooden skyscrapers and more energy-efficient paper production, according to research published today in the journal Nature Communications. The study, led by a father and son team at the Universities of Warwick and Cambridge, solves a long-standing mystery[…]

How Science Helps Us Find the Good

Looking back at 10 years of writing about the science of human goodness, Jeremy Adam Smith discovers that the bad and good—and the inner and outer—go hand in hand. By Jeremy Adam Smith / 12.23.2016 I’ve been covering the science of human goodness, off and on, for almost 10 years. In that time, I’ve seen[…]

‘Let It Be an Arms Race’: Trump Clarifies Tweet on Expanding Nuclear Stockpile

“The potential consequences of changing U.S. nuclear weapons policy so drastically are simply unimaginable.” (Screenshot) President-elect’s explanation seems to call even more explicitly for nuclear war games By Nadia Prupis / 12.23.2016 “Let it be an arms race.” That’s how President-elect Donald Trump clarified a tweet he sent Thursday which said the U.S. must “strengthen[…]