Archive for November, 2008

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Saint Nicholas and the Origin of Santa Claus

How did the kindly Christian saint, good Bishop Nicholas, become a roly-poly red-suited American symbol for merry holiday festivity and commercial activity? History tells the tale.The first Europeans to arrive in the New World brought St. Nicholas. Vikings dedicated their cathedral to him in Greenland. On his first voyage, Columbus named a Haitian port for St. Nicholas on December 6, 1492. Read more

The Snowflake Man

From the earliest memories of our childhood, many of us can remember hearing the phrase “no two snowflakes are alike”. This discovery was made in the small rural town of Jericho, Vermont by Wilson A. Bentley (1865-1931). A self educated farmer, Bentley attracted world attention with his pioneering work in the area of photomicrography, most notably his extensive work with snow crystals (commonly known as snowflakes). By adapting a microscope to a bellows camera, and years of trial and error, he became the first person to photograph a single snow crystal in 1885. Read more

Book Review: Christmas Jars

Likely to become a seasonal classic, Wright’s story does what good Christmas stories do. It pulls at the heartstrings, taut from the grind of the world, and warms the bones with promises of hope and brotherly love. The main character of the story is a young woman, purposefully named Hope. Read more

Make A Flake

A very fun online snowflake-maker! Design your own snowflake with virtual paper and scissors. Read more

The History of Jeans

At first, jean cloth was made from a mixture of things.  However, in the 18th century as trade, slave labor, and cotton plantations increased, jean cloth was made completely from cotton.  Workers wore it because the material was very strong and it did not wear out easily.  It was usually dyed with indigo, a dye taken from plants in the Americas and India, which made jean cloth a dark blue color. Read more

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