Category: Life

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La Calavera Catrina: Mexico’s Lady of the Dead

Often referred to as the Grande Dame of Death, La Calavera Catrina (the “elegant skull”)—or, simply, La Catrina—is frequently seen throughout the streets of Mexico during the Day of the Dead, or Día de Muertos, celebrations. You’ve likely seen the face before: an eerie meld of macabre and charm; fear and poise. But from where did this deathly figure emerge? What does she stand for? And why has she become such a ubiquitous part of Mexican culture?

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Tips for Visitors To U.S. National and State Parks During COVID-19

As we adapt to a new normal to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, outdoor enthusiasts are finding ways to get back outside safely. Being outside isn’t just good for your physical health, it can help combat feelings of anxiety, stress, and worry brought on by the uncertainty of the global pandemic. As long as we’re following guidelines set out by local governments and keeping the wellbeing of ourselves and our neighbors in mind, it’s possible to get your much-needed fix of mountain air.

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Alice Liddell: The Little Girl Who Helped Launch a Literary Icon

When searching the centuries for suitable examples, Alice Liddell is perhaps not the most likely of literary muses. Few children are. But it was her natural charm and, most significantly, her wondrous sense of curiosity that endeared her to Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known by his pen name, Lewis Carroll. In fact, little Alice proved to be such an inspiration to the budding English writer and mathematician, that had the two not been introduced during the mid-1800s, the world of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” might never have come to be.

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Creating Look-Alike Companions for Children With Physical Differences

Amy Jandrisevits makes dolls. And not just any dolls—handmade craftworks that are exact look-alikes for children who are physically different. Like other innovators before her, she came up with the idea for her unique side business after noticing a lack of diversity among similar products on the market—stuffed figurines with vacant, lifeless plastic eyes peering out from toy store shelves. She took it upon herself to change all that.

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wine windows

Raise a Glass (Finally): The Allure of Tuscany’s Wine Windows

As the rest of the world continues to power through the COVID-19 pandemic, a delightful and intoxicating respite has returned to Italy — one of the planet’s most ravaged and earliest hit countries — in the form of tiny windows scattered throughout the luscious Tuscany region. The surprise awaiting imbibers on the other end of the opening is vino, pure and simple. A staple beverage that is ubiquitous to Italy; presented, with discreet charm, in a historic display that seems to indicate that things, finally, might just be returning to normal.

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Bruce Campbell's Boeing 727-200 home in the woods

Bruce Campbell: The Man Who Lives in an Airplane in the Woods

There are unique living spaces, and then there’s Bruce Campbell’s humble abode. Nestled deep within the expansive forests of Hillsboro, Oregon, resting atop the nettled-strewn ground, sits a massive airliner. No, it’s not just the hollowed-out hull of some twisted fuselage from a bygone crash landing. This airplane is supposed to be there. Well, maybe not supposed to be there, but its presence in the woods is definitely by design.

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the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee

The Lorraine Motel Five Decades After MLK’s Assassination

The National Civil Rights Museum is an intricate complex of historic buildings in Memphis, Tennessee. At the heart of this structure, located at 450 Mulberry Street, is the Lorraine Motel, a site which, despite its unassuming name, has become the unintentional epicenter of one of the most important moments in American history. The significance of this humble-looking motor lodge is immense.