Birth of a Workforce: The Blacksmiths Rise in Sub-Saharan Africa
The “Ritual Staff with Seated Nommo” made by the Dogon people from modern Mali available at the University of Missouri Museum of Art and Archeology represents the rise in specialized occupations in early Africa and demonstrates the complex techniques of…
Oy Vey! The Jewish Golem and The X-Files
Golems are everywhere. In modern popular culture, the Jewish Golem — sorry, Gollum from “The Lord of the Rings” books and movies isn’t a golem— has appeared in many TV shows, films and books. Most recently, stone golems called “Watchers” help Noah’s family build their life vessel in this year’s film Noah. 2013 saw Sam and Dean Winchester battle a golem in an episode of Supernatural; a golem protected a child in an episode of the new show Sleepy Hollow. Go back a few years to 2006, and you’ll find Bart Simpson taking advantage of two golems — a male and a female — in a “Treehouse of Horror” episode of The Simpsons.
Polytheism in Early Africa
Much of the subject matter regarding religion in early Africa seems alien to someone living in the modern Western world. Everything has its own explanation and cause in nature. We still fear things like the flu, earthquakes, or illnesses, but we know now that they have natural rather than supernatural causes. People acting strangely are the result of malicious spirits, our ancestors live somewhere beyond our own shores and the gods must frequently be placated to keep them happy. It was a fundamentally different worldview than what the West believes today.
The Cropsey Maniac
The story of the Cropsey Maniac exemplifies a legend used at summer camp to reinforce what is expected of the group. The Cropsey legend is local to New York, and often New York City children are sent to camp during the summer as a way to experience nature away from modern city life. In a strange environment with new peers and unusual authority figures, campers may feel insecure at first.
A Journey to Other Worlds
The astral body appears in many different cultures throughout time and throughout the world. In Egypt, the “KA was not the soul of man . . . but its vehicle” (Muldoon & Carrington, 2011, p. xxii). In the Qur’an, Muhammad’s astral body travels in the Isra and Mi’raj story. And, among other sacred and secular texts, the astral body appears in Hindu scripture, Taoist practice, and even Christianity. In his article regarding the afterlife, Woolger (2014) notes that “in such journeys in the world religions and innumerable tribal practices” scholars have “described a common pattern of ‘ascent’, which is to say an ecstatic, mystical or out-of body experience, wherein the spiritual traveler leaves the physical body and travels in his/her subtle body into ‘higher’ realms” (para. 4).
The Concept of Death in Early African Societies
All cultures of the world find explanations for death and the afterlife. In the Christian faith, when believers of Jesus Christ and his Holy Father perish, they will have everlasting life in Heaven. In the Hindu faith, it is believed that when one dies, he or she will resurrect into a new form.
Leather Yoghurt: Suspicion of Exotic Food and the Chinese Government’s Crisis of Faith
Yoghurt is a popular exotic food in China, especially among young Chinese girls who want to lose weight because they think yoghurt is healthy and contains relatively low calories.
Parental Divorce and Student Academic Achievement
In America, there is a traditionalist view on marriage where men and women are expected to marry. Marriage is viewed as a life-long contract that is not easily broken. When the contract is broken, the resulting divorce has an effect on the entire family.
Wrap It or Pack It
Sex is everywhere. In today’s society it seems like everyone is having sex, and is having it often. Whether it is homosexual, heterosexual, or asexual, it is truly the normative behavior.
She sat there, on her balcony, taking long smooth pulls of her blueberry cigarillo, letting the smoke rest in her mouth, savoring the sweetness before letting flow gently from her lips.