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Eupraxsophy

Secular humanist, freethinker, progressive, and bibliophile. I enjoy love, knowledge, and life itself.

Global Attitudes Towards America and China

Global Public Opinion Of America And China — A Comparison

Edit: I apologize in advance for the disjointed nature of this post. It was originally supposed to be about the U.S., but during my research I found interesting material on China as well, which I felt made sense to include given that country’s rise. I figure the data and infographics would be worth sharing anyway.

World powers tend to be polarizing among the global community, and the United…

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How The Ancient Egyptians Spoke

If you have ever wondered how the Ancient Egyptian language sounded, listen to the liturgical hymns of the Coptic Church, the only place it is still widely spoken.

First recorded in 3400 BCE, Egyptian is the earliest known language in history, rivaled only by Sumerian. Like all languages, it evolved over its long lifespan, becoming Demotic by 600 BCE and Copticby 200 CE. It began to decline…

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A Sobering Centennial

On this day 100 years ago, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia one month after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, thus triggering the First World War, one of history’s deadliest conflicts.

The war lasted a little over four years and lead to the deaths of 16 million people (nearly half civilians), the wounding of 20 million more, and the end of four empires…

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Haiti’s Underrated But Out-Sized Influence

It is a shame that so few of us know how unique and influential Haiti’s role in history has been. After gaining independence in 1804 – following a decade-long war against one of the most powerful empires in the world – Haiti became the first and only nation in history to be established as a result of a successful slave revolt; many of its first political leaders were former slaves.

Haiti became…

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The Joys — and Benefits — of Houseplants

The Joys — and Benefits — of Houseplants

To those who don’t know, I love plants. In fact, I sometimes wonder why I didn’t (or don’t still) become a botanist. Whether it is reading up on them, admiring them on walks, or tending to them in my garden, I love immersing myself in plants. I just can’t make enough space in my home, bedroom, or office for plants of all shapes, colors, and sizes; no visit to a store with a garden section is…

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The Most Important Lesson From 83,000 Brain Scans

Daniel Amen is an American psychiatrist and brain disorder specialist who is a strong advocate of utilizing single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) as a diagnostictool for better identifying and treating mental illnesses. In the following TED Talk, he discusses his research involving the use of SPECT (including several touching success stories resulting from its application) and…

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The world’s tallest slum—a “pirate utopia”—is being cleared by the Venezuelan government

It is fascinating to see people come together autonomously to create an impromptu, self-sustaining, and stable community.

The world’s tallest slum—a “pirate utopia”—is being cleared by the Venezuelan government

It is fascinating to see people come together autonomously to create an impromptu, self-sustaining, and stable community.

Chart: A ranking of European countries by how much couples argue over household chores

Interesting research. I wonder what, if anything, does this say about sociocultural attitudes towards gender roles, relationships, romantic expectations, or other factors that may contribute to conflict between partners.

Chart: A ranking of European countries by how much couples argue over household chores

Interesting research. I wonder what, if anything, does this say about sociocultural attitudes towards gender roles, relationships, romantic expectations, or other factors that may contribute to conflict between partners.

Gym workouts and sunbathing do more for your brain than crosswords and Mozart

This could certainly explain why my mind feels sharper on days or weeks when I workout more regularly.

Gym workouts and sunbathing do more for your brain than crosswords and Mozart

This could certainly explain why my mind feels sharper on days or weeks when I workout more regularly.

Eighty-Five People Have More Wealth Than Half The World

It is undeniable that wealth and income inequality is growing in the U.S. and across the world. But scale and extent of it is far more than previously imagined. Although about six months by the time of this post, the report by  Oxfam International – titled “Working for the Few” — is no less stark and relevant in its identification of a “growing tide of inequality” (to use the report’s own…

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Prisoners and the Art of Winemaking

There are many things wrong with the U.S. justice system, but perhaps the chiefest problem is high recidivism: as of 2011 (the most recent reliable data I could find) an average of 43.3 percent of prisoners fall back into crime. Clearly, the rehabilitation system isn’t living up to its name.

One of the key causes of this is the lack of skills and opportunities among the largely poor and…

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Hats From Around The World

Since I am busy and not in the mood to write, today’s post will be light but fun — here are eighty hats from around the world courtesy of DesignTaxi.com, which in turn pulled them from travel website Venere.

In addition to the iconic hats we all know and love — the French beret, Mexican sombrero, and so on – there are some pretty interesting and little-known varieties (especially from Africa and…

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My little Pacman frog’s habitat is coming along nicely. Only natural soil, moss, and tropical plants for both aesthetics and self-sustaining humidity. I cannot wait to upgrade him to a bigger size.

My little Pacman frog’s habitat is coming along nicely. Only natural soil, moss, and tropical plants for both aesthetics and self-sustaining humidity. I cannot wait to upgrade him to a bigger size.

Members of the Nihang, a military order in the Sikh religion also known as the Akali (The Eternal) and the Akal Sena (The Army of the Eternal). Renowned for their strict discipline, courage, and martial skill, the Nihang are named after a Persian mythical sea creature to which their fighting prowess was compared (historians of the Mughal Empire likened their ferocity to that of crocodiles).

The Nihang are accorded considerable respect and affection among Sikhs worldwide, for although their role is primarily ceremonial, they are bound to defend their community in times of war. During the festival of Hola Mohalla (which usually occurs in March), thousands of Nihang gather at Anandpur, a holy city of the Sikhs, where they display their famous martial skills (known collectively as gatka).

As you may have noticed, the Nihang are best recognized by their large and often elaborate turbans. They are often reinforced with steel and fitted with various weapons, including a trident (for stabbing in close-quarters), bagh naka (claw-like weapons) and one or more chakram (steel throwing weapons).

I love the character, color, and personality in these photos (the first of which was taken by Mark Hartman but the others whose . Many thanks to my friend and colleague Richard for first sharing the first photo with me, and thus piquing my interest to learn more about this fascinating group and faith.

Global Spotlight: The Nihang Sikhs Members of the Nihang, a military order in the Sikh religion also known as the Akali (The Eternal) and the Akal Sena (The Army of the Eternal).

A Persian Gulf Nation On Mars

A Persian Gulf Nation On Mars

If the United Arab Emirates has its way, it may very well beat its better-known contenders (such as the U.S., Russia, and China) in landing on Mars, which has increasingly become the accepted next step in human space exploration.

UAE Flags

Will this be the first flag planted on the moon?

Now I know what many of you are thinking: does the UAE even have a space program, much less the infrastructural and…

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