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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: Amoeba

Amoeba is a genus of protozoa that moves by means of temporary projections called pseudopods (false feet), and is well-known as a representative unicellular organism. Protozoa are single-celled eukaryotes, which demonstrate mobility and heterotrophy like animals, but are grouped in the kingdom Protista. The amoeba is one of nature's simplest organisms; yet, it shares many common features with nature's most advanced being, Homo sapiens, such as DNA, cellular structure, and the phagocytosis activity of the white blood cells, whereby they engulf and destroy pathogens.

Because of their simplistic nature, amoebas are often referenced in discussions of evolution, as those advocating design question how organisms as simple as amoebas can evolve by accident or chance to yield the great complexity seen in life today. While amoebas commonly are presented as reproducing asexually, some researchers have argued that analysis of the evidence of sexual reproduction in several amoeboid lineages leads to the conclusion that amoeboid lineages are anciently sexual and asexual groups are a more recent development.

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