Portal:Society/Featured article

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Featured articles list[edit]

Portal:Society/Featured article/1

Liberty Bell

The Liberty Bell is an iconic symbol of American independence. It was commissioned from the London firm of Lester and Pack (today the Whitechapel Bell Foundry) in 1752, and was inscribed with part of a verse from the Book of Leviticus: "Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof." It originally cracked when first rung after arrival in Philadelphia, and was twice recast by local workmen. The bell hung for years in the steeple of the Pennsylvania State House (today known as Independence Hall), and was used to summon lawmakers to legislative sessions and to alert citizens to public meetings and proclamations. Bells were rung to mark the reading of the American Declaration of Independence on July 8, 1776, and while there is no contemporary account of the Liberty Bell ringing, most historians believe it was one of the bells rung. It acquired its distinctive large crack sometime in the early 19th century—a widespread story claims it cracked while ringing after the death of Chief Justice John Marshall in 1835. The bell was moved from its longstanding home in Independence Hall to a nearby glass pavilion on Independence Mall in 1976, and then to the larger Liberty Bell Center adjacent to the pavilion in 2003.

...Archive/Nominations

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Azerbaijani people

The Azerbaijani people are an ethnic group mainly found in northwestern Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijanis, commonly referred to as Azeris, live in a wider area from the Caucasus to the Iranian plateau. The Azeris are typically at least nominally Muslim and have a mixed cultural heritage of Turkic, Iranian, and Caucasian elements. Despite living on both sides of an international border, the Azeris form a single group. However, northerners and southerners differ due to nearly two centuries of separate social evolution in Russian/Soviet-influenced Azerbaijan and Iranian Azarbaijan. The Azerbaijani language unifies Azeris and is mutually intelligible with Turkmen and Turkish. As a result of this separate existence, the Azeris are mainly secularists in Azerbaijan and religious Muslims in Iranian Azarbaijan. Since Azerbaijan's independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, there has been renewed interest in religion and cross-border ethnic ties.

...Archive/Nominations

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A 2007 concert in Minsk hosted by the BRSM

The Belarusian Republican Youth Union is an organized youth group in the Eastern European country of Belarus. The goals of the BRSM are to promote patriotism and to instill individual moral values into the youth of Belarus, using activities such as camping, sporting events and visiting memorials. The organization, which was created by a merger of other youth groups in 2002, is the successor of the Leninist Communist Youth League of the Belorussian SSR. While it is only one of a few youth groups inside Belarus, it is the largest and receives much backing from the Belarusian government. The BRSM has been accused of using methods of coercion and empty promises to recruit members and of being used as a propaganda tool by the Lukashenko Government.

...Archive/Nominations

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A double decker Kowloon Motor Bus from Route 68X

"The Bus Uncle" is a Cantonese video clip of an argument between two men aboard a bus in Hong Kong on April 27, 2006. While the older man, nicknamed the Bus Uncle, scolded the person behind him, a nearby passenger used his camera phone to record the entire incident to provide evidence for the police in the event of a fight. However, the resulting six-minute video was uploaded to the HK Golden Forum, YouTube, and Google Video. The clip became YouTube's most viewed video in May 2006, attracting viewers with its rhetorical outbursts and copious use of profanity by the older man, receiving 1.7 million hits in the first 3 weeks of that month. The video became a cultural sensation in Hong Kong, inspiring vigorous debate and discussion on lifestyle, etiquette, civic awareness and media ethics within the city, eventually attracting the attention of the media around the world.

...Archive/Nominations

Portal:Society/Featured article/5

The Chaser pantomime horse stunt performed on 5 September 2007

The Chaser APEC pranks constituted a series of comic stunts that targeted the 2007 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Summit, which occurred from 2–9 September, in Sydney, Australia. They were coordinated and performed by the Australian satire group The Chaser for the television series The Chaser's War on Everything. The most prominent prank was the breach of an APEC restricted zone in the heart of Sydney's CBD on 6 September. Julian Morrow directed a fake Canadian motorcade, which was allowed through the restricted zone by police and not detected until Chas Licciardello alighted, dressed as Osama bin Laden. Although pranks that involved public locations, figures, and organisations were always a feature of the series, the APEC pranks yielded unprecedented local and international publicity, both positive and negative. Some team members faced charges for breaching the APEC zone, but these were dropped because police had allowed their entry in the restricted zone. Other less controversial and less publicised stunts were also shown on The Chaser's War on Everything, with ratings peaking at almost three million Australian viewers for the APEC wrap-up episode.

...Archive/Nominations

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Wehrmacht soldiers destroying Polish government insignia

Polish culture during World War II was suppressed by the occupying powers of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, both of whom were hostile to Poland's people and culture. Policies aimed at cultural genocide resulted in the deaths of thousands of scholars and artists, and the theft or destruction of innumerable cultural artifacts. British historian Niall Ferguson writes that "the maltreatment of the Poles was one of many ways in which the Nazi and Soviet regimes had grown to resemble one another". The occupiers looted or destroyed much of Poland's cultural heritage, while persecuting and killing members of the Polish cultural elite. Most Polish schools were closed, and those that remained open saw their curricula altered significantly. Nevertheless, underground organizations and individuals—in particular the Polish Underground State—saved much of Poland's most valuable cultural heritage, and worked to salvage as many cultural institutions and artifacts as possible. The Catholic Church and wealthy individuals contributed to the survival of some artists and their works. Despite severe retribution by the Nazis and Soviets, Polish underground cultural activities, including publications, concerts, live theater, education, and academic research, continued throughout the war.

...Archive/Nominations

Portal:Society/Featured article/7

Map showing different regions that can be referred to as Macedonia

The definition of Macedonia is a major source of confusion due to the overlapping use of the term to describe geographical, political and historical areas, languages and peoples. Ethnic groups inhabiting the area use different terminology for the same entity, or the same terminology for different entities. Geographically, no single definition of its borders or the names of its subdivisions is accepted by all scholars and ethnic groups. Demographically, it is mainly inhabited by four ethnic groups, three of which self-identify as Macedonians: One Slavic group does so at a national level, while another, Bulgarians, as well as a Greek one do so at a regional level. Linguistically, the names and origins of the languages and dialects spoken in the region are a source of controversy. Politically, the use of the name Macedonia has led to a diplomatic dispute between Greece and the Republic of Macedonia. Despite intervention from the United Nations, the dispute is still pending full resolution.

...Archive/Nominations

Portal:Society/Featured article/8

An illustration of the beginning of Daylight Saving Time

Daylight saving time is the convention of advancing clocks so that afternoons have more daylight and mornings have less. Typically clocks are adjusted forward one hour near the start of spring and are adjusted backward in autumn; the ancients lengthened summer hours instead. Presaged by a 1784 satire, modern DST was first proposed in 1907 by William Willett, and 1916 saw its first widespread use as a wartime measure aimed at conserving coal. Despite controversy, many countries have used it since then; details vary by location and change occasionally. Adding daylight to afternoons benefits retailing, sports, and other activities that exploit sunlight after working hours, but causes problems for farmers and other workers whose hours depend on the sun. Extra afternoon daylight cuts traffic fatalities; its effect on health and crime is less clear. DST is said to save electricity by reducing the need for artificial evening lighting, but the evidence for this is weak and DST can boomerang by boosting peak demand, increasing overall electricity costs. DST's clock shifts complicate timekeeping and can disrupt meetings, travel, billing, medical devices, and heavy equipment.

...Archive/Nominations

Portal:Society/Featured article/9

The Three Bears

A fairy tale is a story featuring folkloric characters such as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, giants, and talking animals, and usually enchantments. In cultures where demons and witches are perceived as real, fairy tales may merge into legendary narratives, where the context is perceived by teller and hearers as having historical actuality. However, unlike legends and epics they usually do not contain more than superficial references to religion and actual places, persons, and events; they take place once upon a time rather than in actual times. Fairy tales are found in oral folktales and in literary form. The history of the fairy tale is particularly difficult to trace, because only the literary forms can survive. Still, the evidence of literary works at least indicates that fairy tales have existed for thousands of years, although not perhaps recognized as a genre; the name "fairy tale" was first ascribed to them by Madame d'Aulnoy. Literary fairy tales are found over the centuries all over the world, and when they collected them, folklorists found fairy tales in every culture. Fairy tales, and works derived from fairy tales, are still written today.

...Archive/Nominations

Portal:Society/Featured article/10

The Einigkeit newspaper was an organ of the Free Association of German Trade Unions

The Free Association of German Trade Unions (FVdG) was a trade union federation in Imperial and early Weimar Germany. It was founded in 1897 in Halle as the national umbrella organization of the localist current of the German labor movement. During the years following its formation, the FVdG began to adopt increasingly radical positions. During the German socialist movement's debate over the use of mass strikes, the FVdG advanced the view that the general strike must be a weapon in the hands of the working class. The federation believed the mass strike was the last step before a socialist revolution and became increasingly critical of parliamentary action. Disputes with the mainstream labor movement finally led to the expulsion of FVdG members from the Social Democratic Party of Germany in 1908 and the complete severing of relations between the two organizations. Anarchist and especially syndicalist positions became increasingly popular within the FVdG. Immediately after the November Revolution, the FVdG very quickly became a mass organization. It was particularly attractive to miners from the Ruhr area opposed to the mainstream unions' reformist policies. In December 1919, the federation merged with several minor left communist unions to become the Free Workers' Union of Germany.

...Archive/Nominations

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Girl Scouts learning at NASA

The Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA) is a youth organization for girls in the United States and American girls living abroad. The Girl Scout program developed from the concerns of the progressive movement in the United States from people who sought to promote the social welfare of young women and as a female counterpart to the Boy Scouts of America. It was founded by Juliette Gordon Low in 1912 and is based on the Scouting principles developed by Robert Baden-Powell. The GSUSA uses the Scout method to build self-esteem and to teach values such as honesty, fairness, courage, compassion, character, sisterhood, confidence, and citizenship through activities including camping, community service, learning first aid, and earning numerous badges that can teach lifelong skills. Girl Scouts are recognized for their achievements through rank advancement and various special awards. GSUSA has programs for girls with special interests, such as water-based activities. Membership is organized according to age levels with activities appropriate to each age group.

...Archive/Nominations

Portal:Society/Featured article/12

The Norslunda Runestone, bearing runic inscription U 419, which mentions the personal name Kylfingr

The Kylfings were a people of uncertain origin who were active in Northern Europe during the Viking Age. They were active from roughly the late ninth century through the early twelfth century and could be found in areas of Lapland, Russia, and the Byzantine Empire that were frequented by Scandinavian traders, raiders and mercenaries. Scholars differ on whether the Kylfings were ethnically Finnic or Norse. Their geographic origin is also disputed; Denmark, Sweden and the Eastern Baltic are put forward as candidates. Whether the name Kylfing denotes a particular tribal, socio-political, or economic grouping is a matter of much debate. They are mentioned in Old Norse runestone inscriptions, sagas, and poetry, as well as Byzantine records and Rus' law-codes, in which they were afforded significant economic and social privileges. According to the sagas, the Kylfings opposed the consolidation of Norway under Harald Fairhair and participated in the pivotal Battle of Hafrsfjord. After Harald's victory in that battle, they are described in the sagas as having raided in Finnmark and elsewhere in northern Norway and having fought against Harald's lieutenants such as Thorolf Kveldulfsson.

...Archive/Nominations

Portal:Society/Featured article/13

Sappho and Erinna in a Garden at Mytilene

Lesbian is a term most widely used in the English language to describe sexual and romantic desire between females. Lesbian as a concept, used to differentiate women with a shared sexual orientation, is a 20th-century construct. Throughout history, women have not had the freedom or independence to pursue homosexual relationships as men have, but neither have they met the harsh punishment in some societies as homosexual men. Instead, lesbian relationships have often been regarded as harmless and incomparable to heterosexual ones unless the participants attempted to assert privileges traditionally enjoyed by men. As a result, little in history has been documented to give an accurate description of how female homosexuality has been expressed. When early sexologists in the late 19th century began to categorize and describe homosexual behavior, hampered by a lack of knowledge about lesbianism or women's sexuality, they distinguished lesbians as women who did not adhere to female gender roles and designated them mentally ill. Women in homosexual relationships responded to this designation either by hiding their personal lives or accepting the label of outcast and creating a subculture and identity that developed in Europe and the United States. Women exhibit sexual fluidity, and some women who engage in homosexual behavior may reject not only identifying as lesbian but as bisexual as well. Other women may adopt a lesbian identity for political reasons. Greater understanding of women's sexuality has led to three components to identifying lesbians: sexual behavior, sexual desire, or sexual identity.

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The British recognised the Malay Rulers as sovereign over Malaya.

Ketuanan Melayu is the racialist belief that the Malay people are the "tuan" (masters) of Malaysia or Malaya; Malaysian Chinese and Indian Malaysians are considered beholden to the Malays, who have granted them citizenship in return for the Malays' special privileges as set out in Article 153 of the Constitution of Malaysia. This quid pro quo arrangement is usually referred to as the social contract, not to be confused with the usual idea of a social contract between the government and the people. The most vocal opposition towards the concept has come from non-Malay-based parties, such as the Democratic Action Party. However, the portions of the Constitution related to ketuanan Melayu were "entrenched" after the racial riots of May 13 1969, which followed an election campaign focused on the issue of non-Malay rights. The riots caused a major change in the government's approach to racial issues, and led to the introduction of an aggressive affirmative action policy strongly favouring the Malays, the New Economic Policy. The National Culture Policy, also introduced in 1970, emphasised an assimilation of the non-Malays into the Malay ethnic group. However, during the 1990s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad rejected this approach, with his Bangsa Malaysia policy emphasising a Malaysian instead of Malay identity for the state.

...Archive/Nominations

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Australia

The Commonwealth of Australia is a country in the southern hemisphere comprising the world's smallest continent and a number of islands, the largest of which is Tasmania. Australia has been inhabited for about 50,000 years by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Eastern Australia was claimed by the British in 1770, and officially settled as a British penal colony on 26 January 1788. As the population grew and new areas were explored, six largely self-governing Crown colonies were established within Australia over the course of the 19th century. On 1 January 1901 the six colonies federated and the Commonwealth of Australia was formed. Since federation, Australia has had a stable liberal democratic political system and remains a Commonwealth realm. Australia currently has a population of about 20 million, concentrated mainly in the coastal cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

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Belarus

Belarus is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno (Hrodna), Gomel (Homiel), Mogilev (Mahilyow) and Vitebsk (Viciebsk). Forty percent of its 207,600 km2 (80,200 sq mi) is forested, and its strongest economic sectors are agriculture and manufacturing. Until the 20th century, the lands of modern day Belarus belonged to several countries.

The parliament of the republic declared the sovereignty of Belarus on 27 July 1990, and following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Belarus declared independence on 25 August 1991. Alexander Lukashenko has been the country's president since 1994. Under his lead and despite objections from Western governments, Soviet-era policies, such as state ownership of the economy, have been implemented. Most of Belarus's population of 9.85 million reside in the urban areas surrounding Minsk and other voblast (regional) capitals. More than 80% of the population are ethnic Belarusians, with sizable minorities of Russians, Poles and Ukrainians. Since a controversial 1995 referendum, Russian has been an official language alongside Belarusian.

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Belgrade

Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is one of the oldest cities in Europe, first emerging as prehistoric Vinča in 4800 BC. It was settled in the 3rd century BC by the Celts, before becoming the Roman settlement of Singidunum. It first became the capital of Serbia in 1403, and was the capital of various South Slav states from 1918 until 2003, as well as Serbia and Montenegro from 2003 until 2006. The city lies at the confluence of the Sava and Danube Rivers in north central Serbia, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkan Peninsula. The population of Belgrade, according to the Serbian census of 2002, is 1,576,124. Belgrade has the status of a separate territorial unit in Serbia, with its own autonomous city government. Its territory is divided into 17 municipalities, each of which has its own local council. It is the central economic hub of Serbia, and the capital of Serbian culture, education and science.

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Portal:Society/Featured article/18

Boston

Boston is the capital city and most populous city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, a state in the United States. The largest city in New England, it is considered the unofficial capital of the New England region. The city-proper had an estimated population of 596,638 in 2005, and lies at the center of America's eleventh-largest metropolitan area, Greater Boston, which is home to 4.4 million people. Founded in 1630, Boston was the location of several major events during the American Revolution, including the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party. With many colleges and universities within the city and surrounding area, Boston is a center of higher education and a center for health care. The city's economy is also based on research, finance, and technology — principally biotechnology. Boston is struggling with gentrification issues, and has one of the highest costs of living in the United States.

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Seminole family in Indian camp, 1916

The indigenous people of the Everglades region arrived in the Florida peninsula approximately 15,000 years ago, probably following large game. The Paleo-Indians found an arid landscape that supported plants and animals adapted to desert conditions. Climate changes 6,500 years ago brought a wetter landscape, and the Paleo-Indians slowly adapted to the new conditions. Archaeologists call the cultures that resulted from the adaptations Archaic peoples, from whom two major tribes emerged in the area: the Calusa and the Tequesta. The earliest written descriptions of these people come from Spanish explorers who sought to convert and conquer them. After more than 200 years of relations with the Spanish, both indigenous societies lost cohesiveness. Official records indicate that survivors of war and disease were transported to Havana in the late 18th century. Isolated groups may have been assimilated into the Seminole nation, which formed in northern Florida when a band of Creeks consolidated surviving members of pre-Columbian societies in Florida into their own to become a distinct tribe. Seminoles were forced into the Everglades by the U.S. military during the Seminole Wars from 1835 to 1842. The U.S. military pursued the Seminoles into the region, which resulted in some of the first recorded explorations of much of the area. Seminoles continue to live in the Everglades region, and support themselves with casino gaming on six reservations located throughout the state.

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Kavadi dancers in Hamm, Germany in 2007

The Tamil people are an ethnic group from South Asia with a recorded history going back almost two millennia. The oldest Tamil communities are those of southern India and north-eastern Sri Lanka. Unlike many ethnic groups, the Tamils have at no time been governed by a single political entity; Tamil̲akam, the traditional name for the Tamil lands, has always been under the rule of more than one kingdom or state. Despite this, the Tamil cultural identity has always been strong. Historically, this identity has been primarily linguistic, with Tamils being those whose first language was Tamil. In recent times, however, the definition has been broadened to also include emigrants of Tamil descent who maintain Tamil traditions, even when they no longer speak the language. Tamils are ethnically, linguistically and culturally related to the other Dravidian peoples of South Asia. There are an estimated 74 million Tamils around the world.

...Archive/Nominations

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To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World

To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World is an open letter written on February 24, 1836, by William B. Travis, commander of the Texian forces at the Battle of the Alamo, to settlers in Mexican Texas. On February 23, the Alamo Mission in San Antonio, Texas, had been besieged by Mexican forces led by General Antonio López de Santa Anna. Fearing that his small group of men could not withstand an assault, Travis wrote this letter seeking reinforcements and supplies from supporters. The letter was initially entrusted to courier Albert Martin, who carried it to Gonzales and then handed the letter to Launcelot Smithers. Partially in response to the letter, men from throughout Texas and the United States began to gather in Gonzales. Between 32 and 90 of them reached the Alamo before it fell; the remainder formed the nucleus of the army which eventually defeated Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto. After the Texas Revolution, the original letter was delivered to Travis's family in Alabama, and in 1893, one of his descendants sold it to the State of Texas. For many decades it was displayed at the Texas State Library; the original letter is now protected and a copy is on display under a portrait of Travis.

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ANAK Society

The ANAK Society is the oldest known secret society and honor society based at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in Atlanta, Georgia, US. Founded in 1908, ANAK's purpose is "to honor outstanding juniors and seniors who have shown both exemplary leadership and a true love for Georgia Tech". The society's name refers to Anak, a biblical figure said to be the forefather of a race of giants. Although not originally founded as a secret society, ANAK has kept its activities and membership rosters confidential since 1961. Membership is made public upon a student's graduation or a faculty member's retirement. The ANAK Society's membership comprises at least 1,100 Georgia Tech graduates, faculty members, and honorary members. Notable members include Jimmy Carter, Bobby Dodd, Ivan Allen Jr., and most of Georgia Tech's presidents. Membership in the ANAK Society has long been considered the highest honor a Georgia Tech student can receive, although the society's activities have been the object of suspicion and controversy in recent years.

...Archive/Nominations

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A Song Dynasty painting of an outdoor banquet

Chinese society during the Song Dynasty was marked by political and legal reforms, a philosophical revival of Confucianism, and the development of cities beyond administrative purposes into centers of trade, industry, and maritime commerce. The inhabitants of rural areas were mostly farmers, although some were also hunters, fishers, or government employees working in mines or the salt marshes. Contrarily, shopkeepers, artisans, city guards, entertainers, laborers, and wealthy merchants lived in the county and provincial centers along with the Chinese gentry—a small, elite community of educated scholars and scholar-officials. The military also provided a means for advancement in Song society for those who became officers, even though soldiers were not highly-respected members of society. Although certain domestic and familial duties were expected of women in Song society, they nonetheless enjoyed a wide range of social and legal rights in an otherwise patriarchal society. Women's improved rights to property came gradually with the increasing value of dowries offered by brides' families. Daoism and Buddhism were the dominant religions of China in the Song era, the latter deeply impacting many beliefs and principles of Neo-Confucianism throughout the dynasty. The Song justice system was maintained by policing sheriffs, investigators, official coroners, and exam-drafted officials who acted as magistrates.

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A Nigerian Dwarf goat, one of the animals kept by the Oklahoma City Zoo and considered at recovering status by the ALBC

The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy is a nonprofit organization focused on preserving and promoting rare breeds of livestock. Founded in 1977 through the efforts of livestock breed enthusiasts concerned about the disappearance of many of the US's heritage livestock breeds, the ALBC was the pioneer livestock preservation organization in the United States, and remains a leading organization in that field. It has initiated programs that have saved multiple breeds from extinction, and works closely with similar organizations in other countries, including Rare Breeds Canada. The ALBC maintains a conservation priority list that divides endangered breeds of horses, asses, sheep, goats, cattle, rabbits, pigs and poultry into five categories based on population numbers and historical interest. The organization has published several books, and works with breed registries and other groups on several aspects of breed preservation, including genetic testing, historical documentation, animal rescue and marketing. Preservation of genetic material is of special interest to the ALBC, and for a period of time it maintained a gene bank that was later transferred to the United States Department of Agriculture. It has also developed and published several heritage definitions, including parameters for heritage breeds of cattle and poultry.

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A view of the Earth from space.

Sustainability is the capacity to endure through renewal, maintenance, and sustenance, or nourishment, in contrast to durability, the capacity to endure through unchanging resistance to change. For humans in social systems or ecosystems, sustainability is the long-term maintenance of responsibility, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions, and encompasses the concept of stewardship, the responsible management of resource use. In ecology, sustainability describes how biological systems remain diverse, robust, and productive over time, a necessary precondition for the well-being of humans and other organisms. Long-lived and healthy wetlands and forests are examples of sustainable biological systems. Robust, diverse, productive ecosystems and environments provide vital resources and processes (known as "ecosystem services"). There are two major ways of managing human impact on ecosystem services. One approach is environmental management; this approach is based largely on information gained from educated professionals in earth science, environmental science, and conservation biology. Another approach is management of consumption of resources, which is based largely on information gained from educated professionals in economics.

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Gay march celebrating Pride Day and legalization of same-sex marriage

Same-sex marriage in Spain was legalized in 2005. In 2004, the new Socialist government, led by President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, began a campaign for its legalization, which would include adoption by same-sex couples. After much debate, a law permitting same-sex marriage was passed by the Cortes Generales (Spain's bicameral parliament composed of the Senate and the Congress of Deputies). Same-sex marriage officially became legal in Spain on Sunday, 3 July 2005. The ratification of this law has not been devoid of conflict, despite support from 66% of Spaniards. Catholic authorities in particular were adamantly opposed to it, fearing the weakening of the meaning of marriage. After its approval, the conservative People's Party challenged the law in Constitutional Court. Approximately 4,500 same-sex couples have married in Spain during the first year of the law.

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Scouting

Scouting is a worldwide youth movement aiming to develop young people physically, mentally and spiritually, so that they may play constructive roles in society. Scouting began in 1907 when R.S.S. Baden-Powell, Lieutenant General in the British Army, held the first Scouting encampment at Brownsea Island, England. Baden-Powell wrote the principles of Scouting in Scouting for Boys, based on his earlier military books, with influence and support of Seton of the Woodcraft Indians, Smith of the Boys' Brigade, and his publisher Pearson. During the first half of the 20th century, the movement grew to encompass three major age groups for boys (Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Rover Scout) and for girls (Brownie Guide, Girl Guide and Girl Scout, Ranger Guide). The movement employs the Scout method, a program of non-formal education with an emphasis on practical outdoor activities, including camping, woodcraft, aquatics, hiking, backpacking, and sports.

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The Stonewall Inn, taken September 1969

The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn, in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City. They are frequently cited as the first instance in American history when gays and lesbians fought back against a government-sponsored system that persecuted homosexuals, and they have become the defining event that marked the start of the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world. The Stonewall Inn, at the time, was owned by the Mafia. It catered to an assortment of patrons, but it was known to be popular with the most marginalized people in the gay community: transvestites, effeminate young men, hustlers, and homeless youth. Police raids on gay bars were routine in the 1960s, but officers quickly lost control of the situation at the Stonewall Inn, and attracted a crowd that was incited to riot. Tensions between New York City police and gay residents of Greenwich Village erupted into more protests the next evening, and again several nights later. Within six months, two gay activist organizations were formed in New York, concentrating on confrontational tactics, and three newspapers were established to promote rights for gays and lesbians. Within a few years, gay rights organizations were founded across the U.S. and the world. Today Gay Pride events are held annually throughout the world toward the end of June to mark the Stonewall riots.

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Young residents in the Bunun village of Lona, Taiwan

Taiwanese aborigines are the indigenous peoples of Taiwan. Although each group holds a variety of creation stories, contemporary research suggests their ancestors may have been living on the islands for approximately 8,000 years before major Han Chinese immigration began in the 1600s. The Taiwanese Aborigines are Austronesian peoples, with linguistic and genetic ties to other Austronesian ethnic groups, such as peoples of the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Oceania. For centuries Taiwan's Aboriginal peoples experienced economic competition and military conflict with a series of conquering peoples. Centralized government policies designed to foster language shift and cultural assimilation, as well as continued contact with the colonizers through trade, intermarriage and other dispassionate intercultural processes, have resulted in varying degrees of language death and loss of original cultural identity. The bulk of contemporary Taiwanese Aborigines reside in the mountains and the cities. Many Aboriginal groups are actively seeking a higher degree of political self-determination and economic development since the early 1980s.

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Young Toraja girls at a wedding ceremony

The Toraja are an ethnic group indigenous to a mountainous region of South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Their population is approximately 650,000, of which 450,000 still live in the regency of Tana Toraja. Most of the population is Christian, and others are Muslim or have local animist beliefs known as aluk ("the way"). Torajans are renowned for their elaborate funeral rites, burial sites carved into rocky cliffs, massive peaked-roof traditional houses known as tongkonan, and colorful wood carvings. Toraja funeral rites are important social events, usually attended by hundreds of people and lasting for several days. Before the twentieth century, Torajans lived in autonomous villages, where they practised animism and were relatively untouched by the outside world. In the early 1900s, Dutch missionaries first worked to convert Torajan highlanders to Christianity. When the Tana Toraja regency was further opened to the outside world in the 1970s, it became an icon of tourism in Indonesia: it was exploited by tourism developers and studied by anthropologists. By the 1990s, when tourism peaked, Toraja society had evolved significantly, from its agricultural beginnings into a largely Christian society.

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nternational Women's Day rally in Dhaka, Bangladesh, organized by the National Women Workers Trade Union Centre on 8 March 2005.

Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women. In addition, feminism seeks to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A Feminist is "an advocate or supporter of the rights and equality of women". Feminist theory, which emerged from these feminist movements, aims to understand the nature of gender inequality by examining women's social roles and lived experience; it has developed theories in a variety of disciplines in order to respond to issues such as the social construction of sex and gender. Some of the earlier forms of feminism have been criticized for taking into account only white, middle-class, educated perspectives. This led to the creation of ethnically specific or multiculturalist forms of feminism. Feminist activists campaign for women's rights – such as in contract law, property, and voting – while also promoting bodily integrity, autonomy, and reproductive rights for women. Feminist campaigns have changed societies, particularly in the West, by achieving women's suffrage, gender neutrality in English, equal pay for women, reproductive rights for women (including access to contraceptives and abortion), and the right to enter into contracts and own property. Feminists have worked to protect women and girls from domestic violence, sexual harassment, and sexual assault. They have also advocated for workplace rights, including maternity leave, and against forms of discrimination against women. Feminism is mainly focused on women's issues, but because feminism seeks gender equality, some feminists argue that men's liberation is a necessary part of feminism, and that men are also harmed by sexism and gender roles.

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Maj. Gen. William B. Garrett III, commander of U.S. Army Africa, Gen. Nyakayirima Aronda, Chief of Defense Forces, Ugandan People’s Defense Force, and Gen. Jeremiah Kianga, Chief of General Staff, Kenya, render honors during the opening ceremony for Natural Fire 10, Kitgum, Uganda, Oct. 16, 2009.

Polyethnicity refers to the close proximity of people from different ethnic backgrounds within a country or other specific geographic region. It also relates to the ability and willingness of individuals to identify themselves with multiple ethnicities. It occurs when multiple ethnicities inhabit a given area, specifically through means of immigration, intermarriage, trade, conquest, and post-war land-divisions. Professor William H. McNeill states in his series of lectures on polyethnicity that it is the societal norm for cultures to be made up of many ethnic groups. This has had many political and social implications on countries and regions. Many, if not all, countries have some level of polyethnicity, with countries like the United States and Canada having large levels and countries like Japan and Poland having relatively small levels (and more specifically, a sense of homogeneity). The amount of polyethnicity prevalent in current society has spurred some arguments against it, which include a belief that it leads to the weakening of each societies strengths, and also a belief that political-ethnic issues in countries with polyethnic populations are better handled with different laws for certain ethnicities.

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Greeks

The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes (Greek: Ἕλληνες, [ˈelines]), are an ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and other regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world. Greek colonies and communities have been historically established in most corners of the Mediterranean, but Greeks have always been centered around the Aegean Sea, where the Greek language has been spoken since antiquity. Until the early 20th century, Greeks were uniformly distributed between the Greek peninsula, the western coast of Asia Minor, Pontus, Egypt, Cyprus and Constantinople; many of these regions coincided to a large extent with the borders of the Byzantine Empire of the late 11th century and the Eastern Mediterranean areas of the ancient Greek colonization. In the aftermath of the Greco-Turkish War (1919–1922), a large-scale population exchange between Greece and Turkey transferred and confined Christians from Turkey, except Constantinople (effectively ethnic Greeks) into the borders of the modern Greek state and Cyprus. Other ethnic Greek populations can be found from southern Italy to the Caucasus and in diaspora communities in a number of other countries. Today, most Greeks are officially registered as members of the Greek Orthodox Church.

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Sociology

Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity. For many sociologists the goal is to conduct research which may be applied directly to social policy and welfare, while others focus primarily on refining the theoretical understanding of social processes. Subject matter ranges from the micro level of individual agency and interaction to the macro level of systems and the social structure. The traditional focuses of sociology have included social stratification, social class, culture, social mobility, religion, secularization, law, and deviance. As all spheres of human activity are affected by the interplay between social structure and individual agency, sociology has gradually expanded its focus to further subjects, such as health, medical, military and penal institutions, the Internet, and the role of social activity in the development of scientific knowledge. The range of social scientific methods has also expanded. Social researchers draw upon a variety of qualitative and quantitative techniques. The linguistic and cultural turns of the mid-twentieth century led to increasingly interpretative, hermeneutic, and philosophic approaches to the analysis of society. Conversely, recent decades have seen the rise of new analytically, mathematically and computationally rigorous techniques, such as agent-based modelling and social network analysis. Sociology should not be confused with various general social studies courses which bear little relation to sociological theory or social science research methodology.

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Anarchism

Anarchism is generally defined as a political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, or harmful, or, alternatively, as opposing authority or hierarchical organization in the conduct of human relations. Proponents of anarchism, known as "anarchists", advocate stateless societies based on non-hierarchical voluntary associations. There are many types and traditions of anarchism, not all of which are mutually exclusive. Anarchist schools of thought can differ fundamentally, supporting anything from extreme individualism to complete collectivism. Strains of anarchism have been divided into the categories of social and individualist anarchism or similar dual classifications. Anarchism is often considered a radical left-wing ideology, and much of anarchist economics and anarchist legal philosophy reflect anti-statist interpretations of communism, collectivism, syndicalism, or participatory economics. However, anarchism has always included an individualist strain, egoist strain, and free market strain. Some individualist anarchists are also socialists or communists, while some anarcho-communists are also individualists. Anarchism as a mass social movement has regularly endured fluctuations in popularity. The central tendency of anarchism as a social movement has been represented by anarcho-communism and anarcho-syndicalism, with individualist anarchism being primarily a literary phenomenon which nevertheless did have an impact on the bigger currents and individualists have also participated in large anarchist organizations. Most anarchists oppose all forms of aggression, supporting self-defense or non-violence (anarcho-pacifism), while others have supported the use of some coercive measures, including violent revolution and propaganda of the deed, on the path to an anarchist society.

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Birth control

Birth control, also known as contraception and fertility control, refers to methods or devices used to prevent pregnancy. Planning and provision of birth control is called family planning. Safe sex, such as the use of male or female condoms, can also help prevent transmission of sexually transmitted diseases. Contraceptive use in developing countries has cut the number of maternal deaths by 44% (about 270,000 deaths averted in 2008) but could prevent 73% if the full demand for birth control were met. Because teenage pregnancies are at greater risk of adverse outcomes such as preterm birth, low birth weight and infant mortality, adolescents need comprehensive sex education and access to reproductive health services, including contraception. By lengthening the time between pregnancies, birth control can also improve adult women's delivery outcomes and the survival of their children. Effective birth control methods include barriers such as condoms, diaphragms, and the contraceptive sponge; hormonal contraception including oral pills, patches, vaginal rings, and injectable contraceptives; and intrauterine devices (IUDs). Emergency contraception can prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex. Long-acting reversible contraception such as implants, IUDs, or vaginal rings are recommended to reduce teenage pregnancy. Sterilization by means such as vasectomy and tubal ligation is permanent contraception. Some people regard sexual abstinence as birth control, but abstinence-only sex education often increases teen pregnancies when offered without contraceptive education. Birth control methods have been used since ancient times, but effective and safe methods only became available in the 20th century. For some people, contraception involves moral issues, and many cultures limit access to birth control due to the moral and political issues involved. About 222 million women who want to avoid pregnancy in developing countries are not using a modern contraception method. Birth control increases economic growth because of fewer dependent children, more women participating in the workforce, and less consumption of scarce resources. Women's earnings, assets, body mass index, and their children's schooling and body mass index all substantially improve with greater access to contraception.

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The finger

In Western culture, the finger (as in giving someone the finger or the bird), also known as the finger wave, the middle finger, flipping someone off, or the one finger salute is an obscene hand gesture, often meaning the phrases "fuck off" or "fuck you". It is performed by showing the back of a closed fist that has only the middle finger extended upwards, though in some locales the thumb is also extended. Extending the finger is considered a universal symbol of contempt. The gesture dates back to Ancient Greece and was also used in Ancient Rome. Historically, it represented the phallus. In recent times, the gesture has gained increased acceptance, and has been used increasingly by musical artists, athletes, and politicians. However, many still view the gesture as obscene. Many cultures use similar gestures to display their disrespect towards others of a different culture.

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Cold War alliances mid-1975

The concept of the First World first originated during the Cold War, where it was used to describe countries that the United States was aligned with. These countries were democratic and capitalistic. After the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, the term "First World" took on a new meaning that was more applicable to the times. Since its original definition, the term First World has come to be largely synonymous with developed countries or highly developed countries (depending on which definition is being used). First World countries in general have very advanced economies and very high Human Development Indexes. On the other hand, the United Nations defined the First World on the wealth of the nation's gross national product (GNP). The definition of First World is now less concrete than during the Cold War. Global dynamics between the First World and the other Worlds were essentially split into two. Relationships with the Second World were competitive, ideological and hostile. Relationships with Third World countries were normally positive in theory, while some were quite negative in practice (such as with the practice of proxy war). Present inter-world relationships are not so rigid, although there is a disparity in terms of the First World having more influence, wealth, information and advancements than the other worlds. Globalization is an increasingly important phenomenon which has been fueled largely by the First World and its connections with the other worlds. An example of globalization within the First World is the European Union which has brought much cooperation and integration to the region. Multinational corporations also provide examples of the First World's impact on globalization, as they have brought economic, political and social integration in many countries. With the rise of the multinational corporation, the problem of outsourcing has risen in many First World countries.

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