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Although Albert Bierstadt's paintings were not fully recognized in his lifetime, he is now regarded as one of the greatest landscape artists in history. (read more)

Featured Article: Midden

Kitchen midden at Elizabeth Island, Strait of Magellan
A midden, also known as a kitchen midden or a shell heap, are terms used by archaeologists for a dump for domestic waste. One of the universal signs of human settlements, middens vary from convenient, single-use pits created by nomadic groups or, as in more modern times, long-term, designated dumps used by sedentary communities that accumulate over several generations.

Middens have been discovered dating back to prehistoric times in locations all around the world. Their contents include food remains, tools, and pottery, all of which provide valuable, sometimes the only, information available regarding past human societies. The study of middens thus greatly enriches our understanding of humankind in history, and also raise awareness of how contemporary societies may be viewed in the future when the landfills of today remain as part of our legacy.

Popular Article: Love

The Kiss by Francesco Hayez, 1859
Popularly, Love is any of a number of emotions and experiences related to a sense of strong affection or profound oneness. Depending on context, love can have a wide variety of intended meanings, including sexual attraction. Psychologists and religious teachings, however, define love more precisely, as living for the sake of another, motivated by heart-felt feelings of caring, affection, and responsibility for the other's well-being.

The ancient Greeks described love with a number of different words: Eros was impassioned, romantic attraction; philia was friendship; xenia was kindness to the guest or stranger. Agape love, which the Greeks defined as unconditional giving, became the keystone of Christianity, where it is exemplified in Christ's sacrificial love on the cross. Some notion of transcendental love is a salient feature of all the world's faiths. "Compassion" (karuna) in Buddhism is similar to agape love; it is represented by the bodhisattva, who vows not to enter Nirvana until he has saved all beings. Yet love encompasses all these dimensions, eros as well as agape.

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