Sakura If one should ask you concerning the spirit of a true Japanese, point to the wild cherry blossom shining in the morning sun. –Motoori Norinaga, Shikishima no Uta  Since at least the 8th century, people in Japan have practiced hanami, which translates literally to “flower viewing.” The flower in question is the sakura, also known as …

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This entry is part 9 of 10 in the series New Mexico

Trinity Batter my heart, three-person’d God  — John Donne, Holy Sonnet XIV Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds. — Vishnu, Bhagavad Gita In 1938, German chemists Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassman discovered the possibility of nuclear fission. Physicists Lise Meitner and Otto Frisch realized the breakdown of radioactive elements could produce a weapon of planetary proportions. …

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An Ancient Walk to Rewrite History

This entry is part 8 of 10 in the series New Mexico

An Ancient Walk to Rewrite History Since the 1970s, the predominant theory on the habitation of North America hinges on a land bridge from Asia. Approximately 13,000-16,000 years ago, near the end of the last Ice Age, climatic conditions precipitated a strip of land between Siberia and Alaska, called the Beringia land bridge. This theory …

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E.T. and the Kid

This entry is part 4 of 10 in the series New Mexico

E.T. and the Kid Today, I have a challenge for you. Despite its relatively young age, the United States is a nation full of pop-culture character sensations. Some real – Elvis, Calamity Jane, Johnny Appleseed – some fictitious – Paul Bunyan, John Henry, Bigfoot. On a county-by-county basis, it’s hard to beat the folklore pedigree …

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The Bootheel and Other Salients

This entry is part 2 of 10 in the series New Mexico

The Bootheel and Other Salients Humans love the notion of organization. We’ve taken a globe and sliced it into a grid; then we filled that grid with nations, states, counties, and cities. Viewing the planet from space, our longitudinal and border lines are invisible. Some of the lines between entities make sense, while others are …

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Cíbola and Yootó Hahoodzo

This entry is part 1 of 10 in the series New Mexico

Cíbola and Yootó Hahoodzo Though the name “Mexico” now emblazons the 10th-most-populated nation on the planet, it originally referred to a specific location. In Nahuatl, Mēxihco was the name for the Valley of Mexico, a region that surrounded the mega-city of Teotihuacan. Those who lived there – the Mexica – oversaw the Aztec Empire. When the Spanish conquered …

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Geomythology and the Fimbulwinter

Geomythology and the Fimbulwinter Then snow will drift from all directions.There will then be great frosts and keen winds.The sun will do no good.There will be three of these winters togetherand no summer in between. — Snorri Sturluson, Poetic Edda The notion of a myth contains denotative undertones of untruth. Often, supernatural entities or events mold …

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Code Girls

Code Girls   written by Alan R. In the years leading up to and during World War II, increasing usage of radio and telegraphic transmissions to send secret communications necessitated the need for ciphers to disseminate sensitive information, such as military planning and operations. As the ability of one force to crack the enemy’s codes …

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