Ziryab is known as the slave who changed the world. His real name was Abul al-Hasan. He was born in Persia in 789 AD. He was nicknamed Ziryab which means Blackbird because of his dark complexion and the sweetness of his voice.
‘A rose by any other name would smell as sweet’ is a common Shakespeare reference from Romeo and Juliet. In the play, Juliet tells Romeo that his family name is not important. Their love is what matters. To many soon-to-be mothers and fathers, names do matter. Young parents spend countless hours trying to find the perfect name for their baby.
Twelve-year-old Georgi had been sleeping for nearly a year. He had lost consciousness shortly after his family found out they would be kicked out of Sweden. Georgi and his family are refugees. Seven years before, they escaped religious persecution in their home country. They had made a new home in Sweden. Although Sweden is one of Europe’s most welcoming countries for refugees, it has become stricter.
As his ship passed by a lonely island, Odysseus heard beautiful voices singing a haunting melody. It was a melody that could lure even the most seasoned sailors to wreck their ships on the rocky shores, trapping them forever. Odysseus was warned about the dangers of the beautiful part-bird part-human Sirens and their magical song, but he was curious. Not wanting to be tempted away from his ship, he ordered his men to plug their ears with wax and tie him to the ship. The song pulled at Odysseus’s heartstrings, and he fought to free himself. He begged his men to untie him, but they stayed true to their word and kept him from losing himself to the Siren’s song.
Suffering from pain or inflammation? If you lived in the late 18th century, you might have found relief with Perkins Tractors. They were sold as medical devices made from special materials, but were actually just two simple metal rods made from steel and brass. Dr. Elisha Perkins , the inventor of Perkins Tractors, said that the rods healed people by removing unhealthy electromagnetic fluids.
DNR stands for Do Not Resuscitate. It is a legal order for doctors to withhold treatment in the case of heart or breathing failure. In the US, 80% of people say that when facing a terminal illness, they would prefer to avoid aggressive life-saving treatment. This number increases to nearly 90% among doctors. This may be because doctors are more knowledgeable about the suffering and reduced quality of life after treatments such as CPR and electric shock.
When dying people look back on their lives, there are some common things they wish they had done differently. Not having followed one’s dreams is one common regret. Not having spent enough time with friends and family is another. But one thing people seldom regret on their deathbed is not having worked enough or not having made enough money.
Christopher Columbus was a hero to some and a villain to others. He was a brave explorer, but he also enslaved, murdered and stole from native people across the Americas. He first met the Arawak natives in the Bahamas in 1492. They generously traded everything they owned. Columbus saw this as a weakness. He wrote in his journal, “They brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things. They do not bear arms, and do not know them. They would make fine servants.”
How important is your name? For a lot of people, our names are part of our identity. It’s one of the first things we learn as a child. We receive it from our parents and we give it to our children. For some people, our name defines us, but not for a man with a last name you probably have never heard before.
Burn it or bury it. In most places around the world, that’s what we do with our garbage. Pretty grim choices. Burning garbage releases dangerous gasses and dust, which contribute to pollution of the air, land, and water, not to mention global warming. While burying it leads to more pollution of the ground and water. And to make matters worse, tons of garbage – most of it plastic – ends up in the ocean.
Youhei was a poor farmer. One day he found a wounded bird at his door. Youhei brought the bird inside and cared for her until she was strong enough to fly away. The next day a mysterious woman showed up at Youhei’s house. They fell in love and eventually married. Times were tough for Youhei and his wife, but she got a loom and wove…
Did you know there are real life superheroes in the world? Or at least, people who can perform superhuman acts of strength and bravery? You may have heard some of these amazing stories in the news. Stories about ordinary people suddenly performing extraordinary acts.
Every time Kayla Montgomery crosses the finish line, she collapses into her coach’s arms. Her legs are completely numb, so much so, that she pleads with her team to “find” her legs as they place ice packs on her to cool her down. At 18, Kayla is one of the top distance runners in the U.S, but she also suffers from a debilitating disease called “MS” or Multiple Sclerosis.
The average person lies twice in the first ten minutes of meeting someone new, and up to 50 percent of the time when speaking to their mother. A study showed that 99 percent of people lie, and even the few who claimed not to, probably also are lying.
Gary Davis was a man with a crazy vision of a world without nations. Albert Einstein was a believer in Gary Davis, and once said Gary was a man devoted to the survival of humanity on earth. As a young man, Davis was an actor on Broadway. He was a rising star until his acting career was interrupted by World War II.
There’s an amazing diversity of greeting customs around the world. In Tibet sticking out your tongue can be a way of welcoming people. In New Zealand, Maori greet each other by touching noses. Ethiopian men touch shoulders, and in the Democratic Republic of Congo, male friends touch foreheads. In many Asian countries, people bow to each other when meeting. And in some European countries, as well as Arab countries, hugs or kisses on the cheek are more the norm.
Adapted from image by: Donkey Hotey (CC BY 2.0)
We’ve all seen movies and TV shows where the characters have traveled through time, or used a time machine. These are usually science fiction movies, but some scientists say time travel is possible in theory. There are also some people who claim to have actually done it. Image by Hartwig HKD License: (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Invisible rays are all around us, and most of us never even notice. In today’s technology-saturated world, it’s hard to imagine living life without …
Have you ever felt a connection with others while singing, dancing, or listening to music together? Psychologist Robin Dunbar says moving in sync can create strong bonds between people. He believes it helped early humans make larger groups and better communities. Dunbar thinks humans found a way to get in tune with many people at […]