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Before the invention of the metronome, words were the only way to describe the tempo of a musical composition (read more)

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Featured Article: Trickster

The trickster figure Reynard the Fox as depicted in an 1869 children's book by Michel Rodange
Found in the mythology, folklore, and religion of virtually all world cultures, a trickster is a figure who plays tricks or otherwise disobeys normal rules of behavior. The trickster breaks the rules of the gods or nature, sometimes maliciously, for example the Norse Loki, but usually the trickster's impact is unintentional, resulting in positive effects. Often, the rule-breaking takes the form of practical jokes or thievery. Tricksters can be cunning or foolish or both; they are often funny even when performing sacred tasks. The Native American Lakota sacred Heyoka (clown) is an example. His role is to play tricks and games and so doing, raises awareness and acts as an equalizer.

Some classical examples of Tricksters in various mythologies are Mercurius in Roman mythology, Hermes in Greek mythology, Eshu in Yoruba mythology, Loki in Norse mythology, and Wakdjunga in Winnebago mythology. Today the trickster survives as a character archetype, although not necessarily a supernatural or divine figure. He or she is usually depicted as a clever, mischievous person or creature, who tries to survive the dangers and challenges of the world using trickery and deceit as a defense. Many children's fairy tales continue to use Tricksters to juxtapose perceived incongruities in the world. Some modern examples of the Trickster are the cartoon character Bugs Bunny and Charlie Chaplin's Tramp.

Popular Article: Philippines

Flag of the Philippines
The Philippines, officially the Republic of the Philippines (Republika ng Pilipinas), is an island nation located in the Malay Archipelago in Southeast Asia. The country was named "Las Islas Filipinas" (The Philippine Islands) by Ruy López de Villalobos after King Philip II of Spain. Philippine culture has many affinities with the West, it is one of only two Roman Catholic countries in Asia, the other being East Timor, and English is one of the official languages.

An estimated one million Filipinos were killed fighting the Japanese during the Second World War. Successive administrations since the overthrow of dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1986 are challenged with creating policies that would lift the masses from poverty. These administrations have faced allegations of corruption and election-rigging.

The Filipino people have a strong belief in, and practice of, both religion and family. The bonds of the extended family and respect for elders has provided a stability that has allowed the nation to grow and prosper in spite of the hardships it has encountered.

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