April 24 is Armenian Genocide Recognition Day

(Note: Pictured above are my Armenian-American friends, Artur Mazmandyan and Kristina Grigoryan, and their two daughters, Nelly and Siranush. Today they will honor the memory of their Armenian countrymen who died over one hundred years ago during the Armenian genocide. The family lives in Denver.) Over the weekend, I went to see The Promise, a compelling film dramatizing the Armenian genocide. The feature film’s release was timed specifically to coincide

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“Have You Got Soul?”: Love, Music, and Clashing Egos in Roddy Doyle’s The Commitments

Here’s a thought: If Alan Parker hadn’t directed his 1991 film version of The Commitments, chances are good I would never have read Roddy Doyle’s 1987 novel of the same name. That would have been a shame. When I started the book, though, I knew I was going to have a slight problem. The film version of The Commitments is not only a fine movie, it’s also one of my favorites.

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Patience is a Virtue…But is it a Priority?

“Patience is a virtue” doesn’t mean what it used to. Technology pervades our lives so much that patience is virtually obsolete. When I was a kid, I watched The Jetsons thinking that future technology would save us so much time that we’d finish our work quickly, then be pampered by robots the rest of the day. Yet instead of freeing us from labor so we can play more, technology seems

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Frozen Hope: The Svalbard Global Seed Vault

“These are seed varieties that survived … It’s a library of life.” – Cary Fowler Nestled 400 feet into the side of a mountain in Spitsbergen, Norway, over 800 miles north of the Arctic Circle, rests the largest international agricultural collaboration in the world: the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. Nationally owned seed banks exist in almost every country, staffed by scientists who study and preserve local agriculture, including endangered and

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A Baby’s Welcome in Finland

The Finnish maternity package ‘äitiysavustus’ is a tradition that welcomes new children to the world with a gift of life-enhancing baby supplies. Finland is a socially progressive country, and the government started supplying this box to new mothers in the 1930s to combat high infant mortality rates. The box has been a welcome tradition and a successful public health program ever since. The government combated the infant mortality crisis with

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