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Muslims can pray anywhere in the world using the prayer carpet. AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

What are Muslim prayer rugs?

Trump recently tweeted about prayer rugs being left along the border. Many may not know the role and history of Muslim prayer rugs and why they are not likely to be left behind.
A student speaks with Holocaust survivor William Morgan using an interactive virtual conversation exhibit at the the Holocaust Museum Houston in January 2019. David J. Phillip/AP

Digital technology offers new ways to teach lessons from the Holocaust

In anticipation of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a scholar explains how digital technologies can help close knowledge gaps about the catastrophe that claimed the lives of 6 million Jews.
A self-portrait of George Platt Lynes from 1952. Gelatin silver print, 7-5/8 × 9 in. From the Collections of the Kinsey Institute, Indiana University. © Estate of George Platt Lynes.

The forgotten legacy of gay photographer George Platt Lynes

Lynes was a highly sought-after commercial and fashion photographer in the 1930s and 1940s. But he had to keep his most important body of work hidden away.
There seems be an attractive quality to things that are ostensibly unhealthy or dangerous. Alisusha/Shutterstock.com

What’s behind our appetite for self-destruction?

Edgar Allen Poe, Sigmund Freud and cognitive scientists have all wrestled with the human tendency to behave in ways that are irrational and self-defeating.
Imagine this with a sound track – sunset near Turtle Rock, Joshua Tree National Park. NPS / Hannah Schwalbe

Listening to nature: How sound can help us understand environmental change

From bird songs to wind patterns, sound is a key but often underappreciated element of natural places. Learning how to listen to nature can alert us to changes in the environment before we see them.
This undated score, written by Joseph Mohr and titled ‘Weynachts Lied’ (‘Christmas Carol’), is the earliest known surviving copy of ‘Silent Night.’ Salzburg Museum

The humble origins of ‘Silent Night’

Two hundred years ago, an Austrian priest teamed up with a schoolteacher to perform the first rendition of 'Silent Night.' Little did they know that it would one day be sung in over 300 languages.
In the United States, Hanukkah has gained much significance. Tercer Ojo Photography/Shutterstock.com

How Hanukkah came to America

Hanukkah is ranked one of Judaism's minor festivals. It's popularity in the US has a lot to do with the country's history.
For centuries, Pulter’s manuscript lay untouched at the University of Leeds’ Brotherton Library. University of Leeds Library, Brotherton Collection, MS Lt q 32

In the 1600s Hester Pulter wondered, ‘Why must I forever be confined?’ – now her poems are online for all to see

In a time when women were expected to be silent, no topic was off limits for Pulter, who penned verses about politics, science and loss. Her manuscript was just published in a free digital archive.
‘It’s really difficult to live as a rock musician in Bangladesh,“ says Samir Hafiz, a guitarist in the heavy metal band Warfaze. Facebook

Rock ‘n’ roll is dying in Bangladesh

For decades, Bangladesh had a very vibrant – and highly political – rock scene. But the genre is struggling to survive the country's crackdown on dissent and increasing Islamic conservatism.
‘Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor’ by William Halsall (1882). Pilgrim Hall Museum

Why the Pilgrims were actually able to survive

The Pilgrims repeatedly thanked God for their good fortune. But without two earlier developments, the entire undertaking at New Plymouth would have likely failed.
In the 1960s, the Temple established nine residential care facilities for the elderly and six homes for foster children in the Redwood Valley. Peoples Temple / Jonestown Gallery/flickr

Before the tragedy at Jonestown, the people of Peoples Temple had a dream

Throughout the movement's history, African Americans and whites lived, worked and protested side-by-side. It was one of the few long-term experiments in American interracial communalism.

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