Entries by Alana Joli Abbott

“Sheep-eating” carnivorous plant Puya chilensis and other dangerous plants

Seymour from the Broadway musical Little Shop of Horrors probably wouldn’t be worried by the so-called sheep-eating plant Puya chilensis, a carnivorous plant native to Chile, but the Internet is abuzz with the news of one of these spiny, dangerous plants blooming at the Royal Horticultural Society greenhouse in Surrey, England. Related to the pineapple and a […]

Celebrating Kwita Izina: The Baby Mountain Gorilla Naming Ceremony of Rwanda

In the 1990s, Rwanda was primarily associated with the catastrophic upheaval of its war and genocide. But for the past ten years, Rwanda has been making the news for other reasons: the conservation efforts to save the region’s mountain gorillas. In 2003, the government made official a celebration that Banyarwandas — Rwandanas — had been celebrating for decades: […]

History of Memorial Day: Free research on American soldiers in major wars

Do you know the history of Memorial Day? Founded in 1868 under the name Decoration Day, the first Memorial Day was intended to honor those soldiers who had fought in the American Civil War by decorating their graves. Since then, the event has expanded to honor veterans of any wars fought by American soldiers. In […]

The American Civil War: Free resources for top research topics on Civil War facts

From 1861 to 1865, the United States fought a war over the right of secession, as eleven states wanted to separate from the Union. The causes for the war, and the reasons for its outcome, remain topic for debate over a hundred years later. And Americans continue to celebrate a holiday that was originally designed […]

Earth Month environmental solutions: Free reading on top solutions in environmental resources

Environmentalism is an important topic, not just during Earth Month — celebrated on April 22nd — but any day of the year. When the subject is how to take care of the planet, there are many strategies — and controversies — about how it should be done, and whether it should be done at the expense of more human and […]

Honoring heroes, creating social change for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Since 1986, the U.S. federal government has observed a national holiday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., the civil rights activist whose nonviolent message and words of hope helped to create a vision for a future of racial equality. Martin Luther King Jr. also advocated for social change and justice, and a great number […]

Cracking the kraken mystery: Japanese scientists film giant squid in its natural habitat

It was once thought to be impossible, but the giant squid video released January 7, 2012 by the Discovery Channel and Japan’s National Science Museum showed that humans could actually capture film of the elusive creature in its natural habitat. In December, Discovery made the announcement that Japanese scientists had captured footage of the creature […]