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Martin Luther King Jr.

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Martin Luther King Jr. was a social activist and Baptist minister who played a key role in the American civil rights movement from the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968. King sought equality and human rights for African Americans, the economically disadvantaged and all victims of injustice through peaceful protest. He was the driving force behind watershed events such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the 1963 March on Washington, which helped bring about such landmark legislation as the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 and is remembered each year on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a U.S. federal holiday since 1986. At the time, however, that was not the case. In 1963, most Americans disapproved of the event, many congressmen saw it as potentially seditious, and law enforcement from local police to the FBI monitored it intensively (under code name Operation Steep Hill). Indeed, it was after King’s speech at the March on Wa…

One Hell of a Year: 2017 nightmare

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2017 was a year that felt like a century thank from the brat 45 to Mother Nature. Here is some of the highlights of the year.
Fight for the Freedom of Press Reports released this week from Reporters Without Borders, also known as Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF), and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), reveal an overall decline in the killings of journalists worldwide in 2017 compared with previous years. But both organizations warn that some of the reasons for this downward trend are not cause for celebration. RSF counted 50 professional reporters killed in the line of duty ― its lowest tally in 14 years ― in addition to the deaths of 15 citizen journalists and media workers. CPJ recorded 42 intentional slayings of journalists, the lowest such number since 2008. Both RSF and CPJ, which conduct their research independently, had listed Syria and Mexico among the deadliest countries when their reports were published on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively. Both CPJ and RSF found t…

Dear Santa

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Happy Birthday to the Sun Gods

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Ra is a former pharaoh of the Egyptian gods and the most powerful god in existence. He has four aspects: Khepri as the morning god, Ra as the day god, Khnum as the evening god, and Atum as the afternoon god. To the ancient Egyptians, he represented light, warmth, and growth making him an important god and ruling over all the other gods, humans, etc. The myths of Ra represent the sunrise as the rebirth of the sun by the sky goddess Nut, thus attributing the concept of rebirth and renewal to Ra and strengthening his role as a creator god. Ra is a Protogenos (god that emerged directly from chaos). Shamash (Sumerian Utu) is the Mesopotamian God of the Sun and Justice. He brings light and warmth to the land, allowing plants and crops to grow. At sunrise Shamash was known to emerge from his underground sleeping chamber and take a daily path across the skies. As the sun fills the entire sky with light, Shamash oversaw everything that occurred during the daytime. He thus became the god of trut…

HIstory of the Christmas Tree

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Long before the advent of Christianity, plants and trees that remained green all year had a special meaning for people in the winter. Just as people today decorate their homes during the festive season with pine, spruce, and fir trees, ancient peoples hung evergreen boughs over their doors and windows. In many countries it was believed that evergreens would keep away witches, ghosts, evil spirits, and illness. In the Northern hemisphere, the shortest day and longest night of the year falls on December 21 or December 22 and is called the winter solstice. Many ancient people believed that the sun was a god and that winter came every year because the sun god had become sick and weak. They celebrated the solstice because it meant that at last the sun god would begin to get well. Evergreen boughs reminded them of all the green plants that would grow again when the sun god was strong and summer would return. During the Roman festival of Saturnalia, celebrants often decorated their homes wi…

The Colors of Christmas

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There are several colors which are traditionally associated with Christmas. The most common colors people uses are Red, Green and Gold. But why do we have them and what do the colors represent? Most the colors and their meanings come from the western/northern European traditions and customs, when Christmas is in the middle of winter and it's dark and cold.

Green is the symbol for nature, youth and the hope of eternal life. It is for this reason that Christmas is a feast of hope, with a newborn child as its central symbol. People observed that long after other plants have died during the winter, fir trees and holly bushes have remained evergreen. So they thought that something magical must be making these trees and bushes survive the harshest of winters. These plants were thus worshipped and feared at the same time. From then on, they have come to be associated with the mystery of life and green became the color of life. Evergreen plants, like Holly, Ivy and Mistletoe have been use…

Mistletoe: Death of the Divine

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Frigga, Queen of Asgard, the Aesir &wife of Odin, loved all her children; but most of all she loved her son Baldur the Beautiful, God of Vegetation and the Sun. So great was her love for him that she went through the whole world and made every thing promise that it would never harm Baldur. She exacted the promise from stones and wind, from plants and animals, from fire and water, and all promised faithfully never to harm Baldur the Beautiful. But when Frigga came to the little mistletoe, she saw that it was small and weak and did not make it promise. Then the queen of the gods returned to Asgard to share her news with the Aesir. When the gods heard this, they created a new game. Baldur would stand in front of them and they would hurl spears and stones, axes and all manner of weapons at him. But because of their promise, all the weapons bounced back or turned aside. Now when Loki the trickster, heard of this, he was angry & jealous and sought some way to undo the magic Frigga …