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A Haflinger mare and foal

The Haflinger is a horse breed developed in Austria and northern Italy during the late 19th century. Relatively small and chestnut in color, they were developed for use in mountainous terrain and are known for their hardiness. The breed traces its ancestry to the Middle Ages, and their current conformation and appearance come from infusions of bloodlines from Arabian and various European breeds into the original native Tyrolean ponies. All Haflingers can trace their lineage to a foundation sire born in 1874. The two World Wars and the Great Depression had a detrimental effect on the breed. In the postwar era the Haflinger was indiscriminately crossed with other breeds, but from 1946 breeders focused on producing purebred Haflingers. Interest in the breed increased in other countries, and numbers grew. In 2003 a Haflinger became the first horse to be cloned, resulting in a filly named Prometea. Haflingers have many uses, including light draft, harness work, and various under-saddle disciplines. They are also used by the Austrian and German armies in rough terrain. The World Haflinger Federation, a confederation of 22 national registries, controls breed standards. (Full article...)

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A color photograph of a man with a full, white beard and white hair sitting at a table with his elbows on the table and his hands clasped against his forehead

There are eighteen official symbols of the U.S. state of Minnesota, as designated by the Minnesota Legislature. The state's motto and seal were both appointed in 1861. Minnesota did not designate another official symbol until 1945, when "Hail! Minnesota", then the official song of the University of Minnesota, was designated as state song. Minnesota schoolchildren have been the force behind the successful promotion of four official symbols: the blueberry muffin, the monarch butterfly, the Honeycrisp apple, and ice hockey. The 1918 black-and-white photograph Grace, taken by Eric Enstrom in Bovey and later reproduced as a color painting (pictured) by his daughter, was named state photograph in 2002. Through the years, the state legislature has also voted on unsuccessful bills to designate the Tilt-A-Whirl as official amusement ride, the works Little House on the Prairie and On the Banks of Plum Creek as state book, and "Minnesota Blue" as official poem. (Full list...)

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Arundhati Roy

Arundhati Roy (b. 1961) is an Indian author and political activist who won the 1997 Man Booker Prize with her debut novel The God of Small Things. Born in Shillong, Meghalaya, Roy wrote several screenplays in the late 1980s after meeting (and later marrying) director Pradip Krishen. She wrote The God of Small Things over a four-year period ending in 1996; it was published the following year and received positive international reviews, although in India the work was controversial. She has continued to write essays and articles, but has yet to publish another novel.

Photograph: Augustus Binu

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