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Frances Hodgson Burnett, author of children's stories such as 'The Secret Garden' in which the characters suffer hardships before finding happiness, herself suffered great hardship and loss in her own life leading her to a spiritual quest for healing (read more)

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Featured Article: Johannes Vermeer

Girl with a Pearl Earring, known as the "Mona Lisa of the North"
Johannes Vermeer or Jan Vermeer (baptized October 31, 1632, died December 15, 1675) was a Dutch painter who specialized in scenes of ordinary people going about their everyday life. Using minute details he conveys subtle symbolic and allegoric themes that draw the viewer into the same state of deep contemplation that the figure(s) in his paintings convey. He was also a master at depicting the way light illuminates objects.

Virtually forgotten for nearly two hundred years, the art critic W. Thore-Burger resurrected interest in Vermeer in 1866 when he published an essay attributing 66 pictures to him (only 35 paintings are definitively attributed to him today). Even in his lifetime he was relatively unknown outside of his hometown of Delft where all of his works were painted. Now he has become one of the most admired artists of the Golden Age of Dutch Art.

In recent years a resurgence of appreciation for Vermeer's work can be seen in popular culture. His painting Girl With a Pearl Earring along with others, have given rise to a series of fictionalized novels. A New Yorker critic said of the renewed interest in his paintings, "I think that Vermeer's ideal was a classless, timeless truth that is returning to the fore in contemporary culture: the essential role that aesthetic pleasure must play in any seriously lived life."

Popular Article: Sun Myung Moon

Reverend Sun Myung Moon
Sun Myung Moon (문선명, 文鮮明), (February 25, 1920 (lunar: January 6, 1920) – September 3, 2012), was born in North Pyeongan Province, which is now part of North Korea. He founded the Unification Church (known formally as The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity, founded May 1, 1954, Seoul, Korea; with missions and centers in 185 countries) in 1954, the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, August 1, 1996, and the Universal Peace Federation in 2005, in New York City. He is also well-known for holding, since 1960, Blessing Ceremonies, which are often called "mass weddings," and for founding The Washington Times newspaper in 1982.

Reverend Moon was a prolific speaker, his writings filling over 400 volumes, and his original religious teachings are published as the Exposition of the Divine Principle (1996).

More than just a religious leader, Moon founded and supported dozens of organizations to advance international understanding and build lasting peace in the world. A long-time opponent of totalitarian communism, Moon developed a systematic ideological critique and counterproposal to communism, which he propagated through the world in the 1970s and 1980s and which strengthened the resolve of anti-communist elements in numerous front-line states. Since the demise of the Soviet Union, he was an ardent supporter of reconstruction in post-communist societies and invested heavily in the development of North Korea. Other examples of his diverse humanitarian efforts include founding The Little Angels children's dance troupe as Korean cultural ambassadors, developing fish-based protein supplement to fight hunger and malnutrition, organizing numerous interfaith conferences to foster cooperation among religions, proposing the establishment an inter-religious council at the United Nations, and advocating a tunnel across the Bering Strait to unite the world's nations by an international highway.

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