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Key West, located in the Florida Keys, is the southernmost city of the continental United States and only 94 miles from Cuba (read more)

Featured Article: Samovar

Silver Samovar
A samovar (Russian: самовар, Russian pronunciation: [səmɐˈvar]) is a heated metal container traditionally used to boil water in Russia. In its traditional form, a central tube runs up the middle of the container and is filled with burning charcoal, heating the surrounding water. Since the heated water is usually used for making tea, many samovars have an attachment on the tops of their lids to hold and heat a teapot filled with tea concentrate. Though traditionally heated with coal or charcoal, many newer samovars use electricity and heat water in a manner similar to an electric water boiler.

Samovars are also found in other countries, particularly Iran, but they are considered icons of Russian tea culture. Providing sufficient water to serve tea to a family or larger gathering of friends, samovars became an essential part of Russian life both in the home as well as in establishments serving tea. They also became a traditional fixture in Russian trains that traveled long distances, such as the Trans-Siberian Railway. Today, samovars are found in museums and antique shops, popular among those interested in Russian culture.

Popular Article: Ecology

The Earth seen from Apollo 17
Ecology or ecological science, is the scientific study of the distribution and abundance of living organisms and how these properties are affected by interactions between the organisms and their environment. The environment of an organism includes both the physical properties, which can be described as the sum of local abiotic factors like climate and geology, as well as the other organisms that share its habitat.

Ecology may be more simply defined as the relationship between living organisms and their abiotic and biotic environment or as "the study of the structure and function of nature" (Odum 1971). In this later case, structure includes the distribution patterns and abundance of organisms, and function includes the interactions of populations, including competition, predation, symbiosis, and nutrient and energy cycles.

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