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      Today in context, September 25, 2020

      Back in Style?

      Given the fickleness of clothing trends, many fashions have long faded into obscurity. Here are some that we think deserve another chance.
      The complete package
      The codpiece—a pouch for hiding the male genitalia—is both fun and functional. It can be highly padded and decorated, and you can even store small items—like money—in it.
      Sweatpants too constricting?
      Try a loincloth! One of the first forms of clothing, it’s super simple: just wrap a cloth around your hips, and you’re good to go.
      Not enough “junk in your trunk”?
      Here’s your answer: the bustle! This posterior padding can be made in a variety of ways: some are shaped metal or mesh, while others are just padded fabric.
      Tired of people invading your personal space?
      Then you might want to wear a crinoline, which is a light metal frame worn under a skirt. The width of the hoop is up to you.
      Commode and cockade
      Read about these and more in our list of fashions that deserve a comeback.

      A Building Becomes a Ruin

      When we think of the Parthenon, we often picture an ancient, crumbling Greek temple, cocooned in a maze of scaffolding. But the building wasn’t always so frail. In fact, the careful placement of precisely cut masonry by mid-5th-century-BCE builders ensured that the Parthenon remained essentially intact for over two millennia—even when it was converted into a Byzantine church, a Roman Catholic cathedral, and later a mosque. Only in 1687, when Venetians fighting the Turks bombarded the Acropolis on September 26 and destroyed the center of the building, did the Parthenon become the ruin we often think of today.
      The Most Famous Greek Temple
      article / Philosophy & Religion
      ? Ron Gatepain
      The Controversy Behind the Elgin Marbles
      article / Visual Arts
      ? Mark R. Higgins/Shutterstock.com
      For the Worship of Athena
      article / Philosophy & Religion
      ? Harrieta171 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

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      Pioneers on the Bench

      Sandra Day O'Connor being sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice by Chief Justice Warren Burger as her husband, John O'Connor, looks on, September 25, 1981.
      Sandra Day O’Connor

      In 1981 she became the first woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. She exhibited a moderate conservative judicial philosophy, and was often seen as a “swing vote” on controversial issues.

      President William J. Clinton attending the swearing-in of Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg as Associate Supreme Court Justice, August 10, 1993, Washington, D.C.
      Ruth Bader Ginsburg

      When Ginsburg was confirmed in 1993, she became the second woman to serve on the court. She was noted for her pragmatic liberal interpretation of the law, but her stinging dissents earned her the nickname “The Notorious RBG.”

      Truth In Context

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      Entertainment & Pop Culture Entertainment & Pop Culture
      Entertainment and leisure activities have been a part of all cultures in one form or another since the ancient times, whether the activity in question involved participating in a dance performance, attending a Broadway show, going to a music festival, or watching a movie.
      Featured
      Geography & Travel Geography & Travel
      Planet Earth contains some extraordinarily diverse environments, some of which are easily habitable and some not so much. In different areas of Earth, one might find sweltering deserts, dense tropical rainforests, or bone-chilling tundras. Each biome and habitat comes with its own selection of flora and fauna, and it may include physical features such as canyons, volcanoes, rivers, or caves. Human beings have built homes in many different environments, settling the area and organizing it into units such as cities, states, regions, and countries, each with its own points of interest. Shifting trends in human migration have resulted in a human geography that is profoundly different from that of centuries ago.
      Featured
      Health & Medicine Health & Medicine
      The study of the human mind and body, how these function, and how they interact—not only with each other but also with their environment—has been of utmost importance in ensuring human well-being. Research on potential treatments and preventive medicine has expanded greatly with the development of modern medicine, and a network of disciplines, including such fields as genetics, psychology, and nutrition, aims to facilitate the betterment of our health.
      Featured
      Lifestyles & Social Issues Lifestyles & Social Issues
      It's easy enough to agree that human beings all around the world have certain basic requirements that must be fulfilled in order to ensure their individual and collective well-being. History has shown us, however, that it's not so easy to form societies or communities that fulfill these requirements for all members. The fight over human and civil rights has persisted for hundreds of years and remains alive today, both within the borders of nations and on an international scale. It has led to large-scale social movements and reforms concerning issues such as suffrage, slavery, women's rights, racial discrimination, environmentalism, gay rights, and more.
      Featured
      Literature Literature
      With the development of language, the human imagination has found a way to create and communicate through the written word. A literary work can transport us into a fictional, fantastic new world, describe a fleeting feeling, or simply give us a picture of the past through novels, poems, tragedies, epic works, and other genres. Through literature, communication becomes an art, and it can bridge and bond people and cultures of different languages and backgrounds.
      Featured
      Philosophy & Religion Philosophy & Religion
      Humans have long pondered not only how we came to be but also why we came to be. The earliest Greek philosophers focused their attention upon the origin and nature of the physical world; later philosophers have theorized about the nature of knowledge, truth, good and evil, love, friendship, and much more. Thus, philosophy involves a methodical assessment of any and all aspects of human existence and experience. The realms of philosophy and religion have sometimes intersected in conducting inquiries such as these. As with philosophy, the study of religion underscores how humankind has long speculated about its origins. The possibility of a higher being (or beings) to which livings things owe their existence has long captived human thought. Many religions also offer their own views on the nature of good and evil, and they may prescribe guidelines and judgment on different kinds of human behavior.
      Featured
      Politics, Law & Government Politics, Law & Government
      The world today is divided territorially into more than 190 countries, each of which possesses a national government that claims to exercise sovereignty and seeks to compel obedience to its will by its citizens. Governments can be classified in any number of ways. For example, they might be classified by the number of rulers, thus distinguishing government by one (as in a monarchy or a tyranny) from government by the few (in an aristocracy or oligarchy) and from government by the many (as in a democracy). Governments can also be classified by mode of succession; for example, ascension to governmental leadership may follow the rules of hereditary succession, or it may be determined through elections or by force. Governments also vary in terms of the laws and rules of conduct that each political entity follows.
      Featured
      Science Science
      How can the sky be blue one day and stormy the next? Why do heavy objects tend to fall downwards when dropped? How are birds able to fly (and why can’t I do the same?)? Human beings have long been curious about the world in which we live, striving to identify connections among the phenomenons we witness and to understand how it all works. The field of science has developed over many centuries as a way of studying and understanding the world, beginning with the primitive stage of simply noting important regularities in nature and continuing through the rise of modern science. The modern-day sciences cover a vast range of fields, including biology, chemistry, meteorology, astronomy, physics, and much more.
      Featured
      Sports & Recreation Sports & Recreation
      Physical contests and recreational games have long played a part in human society. In both team and solo sports, the human body has been pushed to its limits in the name of improving athletic performance and to break record upon record. The ancient Olympic Games are an early example of the contests in which humans have engaged to showcase physical prowess. In modern times, sports and games have evolved into a lucrative and competitive industry, while other leisure activities, such as card and video games, can be competitive or can just be a way to unwind or socialize.
      Featured
      Technology Technology
      Humankind has long striven to improve its living conditions through the development of tools, instruments, and transportation and communications systems, all with the goal of making our lives easier, more productive and—why not—more fun, too! Thanks to human curiosity and technological research, many significant inventions have been made throughout history that in turn made a difference in our daily lives.
      Featured
      Visual Arts Visual Arts
      These are the arts that meet the eye and evoke an emotion through an expression of skill and imagination. They include the most ancient forms, such as painting and drawing, and the arts that were born thanks to the development of technology, like sculpture, printmaking, photography, and installation art, the latter a combination of multiple creative expressions. Though beauty is in the eye of the beholder, different eras in art history have had their own principles to define beauty, from the richly ornamented taste of the Baroque to the simple, utilitarian style of the Prairie School.
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      World History World History
      Does history really repeat itself, or can we learn from the mistakes of those who came before us? History provides a chronological, statistical, and cultural record of the events, people, and movements that have made an impact on humankind and the world at large throughout the ages. Investigating the causes and results of past events is critically important in gaining a full understanding and perspective of present-day issues.
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