Category Archives: Odds & Ends

For Afghanistan, Charity And Positive Change Still Begin At Home

The old saying, “Charity begins at home”, takes on a whole new meaning when the context is Afghanistan. Afghanistan is one of the nations that has seen continuous socio-political upheaval. The country has enjoyed existence as a nation-state since the uniting of the Pashtun tribes by Ahmad Shah Durrani in 1747. However, it is no secret that the civil wars after the Soviet Union intervention in 1979, and the divisions… 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 »

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 »

Unification of America During the 1950s and 60s

During the 1950s and 60s, America became a more unified nation. This is not to say that all aspects of American culture and class were equal; however, the nation, as a whole, was making excellent strides to becoming “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” The unification of the American people and the slowdown in discrimination of class status was not an overnight miracle fix; it… Read More »

The Irony of the Freedom Train and the Loss of American Rights

With the start of the Cold War, an ironic twist of fate occurred in regards to America’s freedoms. The United States, having just fought a world war in the name of democracy, was now going to impede upon the rights of its own citizens in the fight against communism. On September 17, 1947, the American government allowed the Freedom Train to pull away onto the American railway. This train, painted… Read More »

Project A119: America Tried to Blow Up the Moon

Ever hear about the time that America tried to blow up the Moon with a nuclear bomb? Okay, they didn’t really try to blow it up, but they did want to detonate a nuclear bomb on the Moon’s surface–you know, for science… Project A119 was the official name of the United States Air Force’s top-secret plan. It was also known as “A Study of Lunar Research Flight.” It was 1958,… Read More »