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Kibbutz members took pleasure in bringing the land back to life by planting trees, draining swamps, and countless other activities to make the land more fertile. (read more)

Featured Article: Mate (beverage)

Typical style of serving Mate in a Calabash gourd with a bombilla (metal straw)
Mate is a tea-like infusion, containing stimulants including caffeine, prepared by steeping dried leaves of yerba mate (Spanish) / erva-mate (Portuguese) (Ilex paraguariensis) in hot water. It is the national drink in Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay, and drinking it is a common social practice in parts of Brazil, Chile, eastern Bolivia, Lebanon, and Syria.

Mate is an example of the use of plants to produce a delicious and unique beverage. The traditions of how to prepare and serve this drink reveal ingenuity in making use of other naturally available items, such as gourds for vessels. The drinking of mate has social significance, engendering feelings of harmony, unity, and a sense of close friendship that goes far beyond simple physical enjoyment of the drink.

Popular Article: Manifest Destiny

This painting (circa 1872) by John Gast called American Progress is an allegorical representation of Manifest Destiny
Manifest Destiny is a nineteenth-century belief that the United States had a mission to expand westward across the North American continent, spreading its form of democracy, freedom, and culture. The expansion was deemed to be not only good, but also obvious ("manifest") and certain ("destiny"). Many believed the mission to be divinely inspired while others felt it more as an altruistic right to expand the territory of liberty. Originally a political catch phrase of the nineteenth century, Manifest Destiny eventually became a standard historical term, often used as a synonym for the territorial expansion of the United States across North America.

Manifest Destiny was both an explanation or justification for the territorial expansion of the United States and the westward migration of settlers to the American frontier, and an ideology or doctrine that helped promote the process. A general notion rather than a specific policy, Manifest Destiny comprised not only a mandate for territorial expansionism, but also notions of individualism, idealism, American Exceptionalism, Romantic nationalism, White supremacism, and a belief in the inherent greatness of what was then called the "Anglo-Saxon race." Although the phrase defies precise definition, the components all tend to share the mindset that presumed the indigenous peoples to be primitive "others" whose lifestyle and thinking required that they be socialized, segregated, or, if necessary, destroyed, while the Anglo-Saxons occupied the land and harnessed it to useful purposes such as agriculture.