The History of Zoos

Today, the zoo is on the list of inevitable field trips and vacation destinations. There is no title, bloodline, or income bracket required for admission into any public zoo, whether the  Philadelphia Zoo or the London Zoo. It was not always this way: the first animal collections were symbols of prestige for kings and emperors, and later assembled for scientific study. The Period of Kings and Emperors With the advent… Read More »

May is Now Bike Month in Memphis

On my commute into work today, I noticed a rather large influx in bicyclists–I mean, a lot more! There were enough cyclists on the road that–in my natural curiosity–I got online to see if I could ascertain as to what the hubbub was all about. It turns out that today is National Bike to Work Day. In the last few years Memphis, Tennessee, has become a much friendlier city to bike riders. In fact, as of today, a… Read More »

Labor Exploitations and the Creation of Protections

The Industrial Revolution in the United States started in earnest after the Embargo of 1807 (on British and French products) and the War of 1812, when American manufacturers began developing their own products. The revolution lasted 50 years (1820-1870). In that span of time, inventions such as Elias Howe’s sewing machine and Samuel Morse’s telegraph were developed. River and road transportation made traveling easier while steam and electricity sped up… Read More »

Epic Poems: The Earliest Written Works In Western Literature

Many scholars argue that the earliest written works in Western Literature were fundamentally written to be spoken orally. From the Homeric Epics to the oldest piece of epic western literature: The Epic of Gilgamesh (written c.2150-1400 BC). Virtually all Classical Western epics are presented in this poetic form; everything from Dante’s Divine Comedy to John Milton’s Paradise Lost. So why were the earliest written works in Western Literature all epic… Read More »

New York’s Stonewall Riots: Catalyst for Change

The 1960s was the era of social movements. The African American Civil Rights movement was in full swing, as were the anti-Vietnam war demonstrations. However, the LGBTQ community still remained largely underground, since the legal system was anti-gay and society remained blind to the cause. The turning of the tide was in 1969, as the Stonewall Riots took the nation by storm. As the first establishment where gay men could openly dance with… Read More »

Nazis in the Headlines: Oskar Groening, Uncovered Treasure, and Russell Brand

I’ve seen the word “Nazi” a lot in the headlines over the last few days. Obviously the main story is about Auschwitz Nazi officer Oskar Groening. However, just yesterday, news broke around the world about a man unearthing a Nazi-era treasure last October. And further down the headlines, at the bottom of the barrel (in entertainment news), Russell Brand called a Jewish man a “young Nazi” during one of his performances.… Read More »