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People who teach, fascinate, and inspire.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Happy Birthday, Dr. King!

We are celebrating birthdays this week. On Sunday, we celebrated the 126th birthday of The National Geographic Society. On this day in 1929, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in Atlanta (the federal holiday always falls on the 3rd Monday of January – this year, January 21st.) We all know King as the king of nonviolent activism during the American civil […]

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Brilliant Self Marketing: Houdini

Harry Houdini – Marketing Magician Extraordinaire

Harry Houdini — magician extraordinaire, a master of self-promotion, the world’s first celebrity. Houdini ignited the nation with death-defying performances by enlisting promotional help from radio broadcasts, public platforms, and one of his favorite tools: the police. In 1898, he set the stage (and arranged a subsequent arrest by the Chicago Police) atop a building […]

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Explorer Vasco da Gama – “The Admiral of the Indian Seas”

Before jet planes, great adventure and exploration was a long and daring endeavor. It’s hard to believe now that there was a time when traveling round trip from Lisbon to Calcutta could take two years. That’s exactly how long it took the great Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama, to sail a maiden voyage from his native […]

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“Faerie’s Aire and Death Waltz (from ‘A Tribute to Zdenko G. Fibich’)

“Faerie’s Aire and Death Waltz (from ‘A Tribute to Zdenko G. Fibich’)

The most complicated piece of unplayable music ever composed… Is actually impossible to play. Or is it? Read more about the origins of this piece by John Arthur Stump in a thoughtful post written by his nephew.

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Dr. Lee Berger with hominid fossils

A Scholar, the Wiseman, and a Hominid Named “Lucy”

It wasn’t until my visit to the Olduvai Gorge in the Great Rift Valley in Tanzania that I fully understood where humans really came from and began to contemplate the two remaining questions in the famous three-part phrase: “Who are we? Where did we come from? And where are we going?” We are ‘the wise […]

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Epicurus & the Epicureans?

Epicurus & the Epicureans?

The modern use of the word ‘epicure’ describes a person who is knowledgeable in the art of sensory pleasure – most notably relating to food and wine. But the real Epicureans, however, believed that all life is suffering, and so the purpose of this life is to experience pleasure.  The “vertebrae” (so to speak) of […]

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Early Marketing: Nicolaas Witsen, The First Wholesaler of Coffee

Early Marketing: Nicolaas Witsen, The First Wholesaler of Coffee

In the late 15th century in Amsterdam, an already very busy and notoriously savvy businessman was seeking a new venture.  This man was not new to a busy schedule – he had been the mayor of Amsterdam 13 times.  His name was Nicolaas Witsen.  There were many professions guiding Witsen’s brave and innovative spirit.  When not performing […]

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Filmmakers Zvone Seruga and Neja Garvas in West Papua

Journey Into Wild West Papua with Filmmakers Zvone Seruga and Neja Garvas

Every day of most of our lives is largely consumed by progress, technology, the constant drive for success. But somewhere—in a rugged place nestled within our “small world”—is tribal living at its most primitive. Few people have the guts, the means, or even a reason to seek this wonderful place—one of the most wild places […]

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UROS Floating Islands, Lake Titicaca, Peru

I was preparing to choose a day trip with my guide in the Lake Titicaca region of Peru. There were five options placed before me, and one specifically looked fascinating … it also happened to be the trip that the guide urged me to take.  At the end of a day visiting a community living on […]

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