Book Spotlight: The Art of ManlinessThe Art of Manliness

For thousands of years, the skills and knowledge of the art of manliness were passed down from father to son, and from man to man. Each succeeding generation was prepared to take its place in the long and storied history of manhood. But for the past few decades, the chain of manliness has been broken. Many men today have grown up without a father or a positive male role model to mentor them on their road to manhood. The skills that every man should possess have ceased to be passed down and carried forward. At the same time, society has stopped celebrating manliness and has stripped it of its positive qualities, leaving only a shell of negative stereotypes.

But men around the world are tired of this unfortunate status quo. They’re hungry to learn how to man up; they want to reconnect the chain of manliness by becoming a strong link themselves. But where to begin? What things does a man need to know to better himself and journey from boy to man? The Art of Manliness book has the answers and can be your starting point as you travel down the path to true manliness.

While we couldn’t put everything a man needs to know in a book, The Art of Manliness is an excellent introduction to essential man knowledge and the basics of honorable manhood. Read more

Saying “Merry Christmas,” not “Happy Holidays”

“I am troubled by the sentiment that the phrase “Merry Christmas” is not appropriate and concerned by the ­limits placed on the expression of the traditions and symbols associated with this national holiday. For me, Christmas is one of our most important holidays, not only because of Christianity’s influence on our nation’s founding but also because of the Christmas message of “peace on Earth, goodwill to men.” To downplay this holiday can only be construed as an attempt to minimize its origin. While the commercialization of the Christmas season floods our cities with beautiful light displays and decorations of Santa and his reindeer, we must not forget that the true meaning and significance of Christmas is the birth of Christ.” Read more

One Huge, Stinky Flowered_rafflesia

More bizarre than beautiful, the Rafflesia flower I had journeyed halfway around the world to see blazed before me. Its five brilliant red petal-like lobes formed a circle a meter in diameter. In place of the tissue-thin petals of a rose were thick, fragile flaps rather like the flesh of a mushroom in texture. The flower’s opening was bordered by a thin-walled diaphragm, which was probably concentrating the odor of rotting flesh that had attracted a buzz of filth flies. Despite the smell, I counted myself lucky. Botanists from around the world make special pilgrimages to the rain forests of southeastern Asia hoping to see these extraordinary blossoms. But, more often than not, their quest fails. The plants are scattered and hard to reach, and their blooming periods are short and unpredictable. Read more

The World Famous Lipizzaner Stallions

The horse of royalty, the world famous Lipizzaner Stallions have been delighting audiences around the world for decades. Read more

Book Spotlight: The Fablehaven Series

fablehaven series

The Fablehaven books are so entertaining that I read the first three in a single sitting. They kept me turning the pages until 4:40 in the morning. Each book was better than the last! Brandon Mull is a talented new fantasy writer, and I can’t wait to read more from him. The world he has created is deep, intriguing, magical, and full of surprising discoveries and unexpected dangers. I especially liked his two main characters, Kendra and Seth. They both act like real people, and unlike many fictional siblings, they help and support each other when they’re in trouble. The Fablehaven series is one of the most enjoyable fantasies I’ve read in the past few years. I only wish I could have read it when I was ten or twelve. —Christopher Paolini, author of Eragon

The series is generating buzz as a contender in the fantasy-adventure genre to replace the Harry Potter franchise. —The Hollywood Reporter

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Everyday Mysteries:

Is it possible to fry an egg on the sidewalk?

This question comes from the saying “It’s so hot you could fry an egg on the sidewalk!” How many kids, hearing it, actually try? Most likely they end up with a mess resembling scrambled eggs more than one sunny-side up. So what’s the problem? An egg needs a temperature of 158°F to become firm. In order to cook, proteins in the egg must denature (modify), then coagulate, and that won’t happen until the temperature rises enough to start and maintain the process. Read more

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