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Historical novels, memoirs, books about pirates.

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Science and Knowledge

In the early 1800s Americans supported not only their revolution, but its ideological underpinnings. They esteemed science and knowledge of mathematics as objects of learning and loved asking questions about the natural world and the universe.

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Holidays and History

Historians of the eighteenth century and earlier served the people who paid and employed them.  They arranged the facts to project the elite’s agenda. What they said is not always correct or honest.

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Masks and Feelings

While the surgical masks hide the nose and mouth, they don’t hide the eyes.  People recognize each other mainly by looking at eyes.

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Puns and Putdowns in Comedy History

Visual comedy, because it lacked language, couldn’t be personally nasty or insulting.  Astonishing and surprising stunts simply made people laugh.  As a result, when stunts and rough-house weren’t funny, nobody felt insulted. The use of language brought puns and put-downs.

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Comedians of the Past

The comedians of the past began their careers before live audiences. Many were versatile and often could sing and dance as well as tell jokes and stories. Sometime they played musical instruments. They connected to people: their personal characters were on display and didn’t change.  Audiences felt they knew these people, as if they were neighbors or relatives.

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Technology Changes How We Live

Who needs fancy pens when nobody writes letters?  The old companies- Parker, Waterman, Cross- don’t exist any longer. Their brand names now belong to foreign firms that manufacture mostly in China. We communicate through smart phones and the internet.

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Communication and Dictatorship

The old dictatorships could manipulate radio, movie and print communication.  If they didn’t like a newspaper, they sent thugs to destroy the printing presses.  They could forcibly take over radio stations and stop the showing of movies they didn’t like. When everyone is a communicator, the dictator has a harder time monopolizing thought and communication.

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