Entries by Alana Joli Abbott

Unscripted: From Candid Camera to today’s Reality TV bullying and narcissism

Who doesn’t love to escape from reality? Increasingly, over the last decade and change, television viewers escape their own realities by watching other people’s. Unscripted reality television programs have grown from a handful of shows in 2000 to around 320 programs in 2010. Reality television isn’t new – shows that featured real people and real […]

Peruvian Independence Day: Google doodles, Bing homepage feature ancient boats to celebrate

¡Feliz Fiestas Patrias Peruanas! Happy celebration of Peru’s national holidays. Every July 28th, the South American nation commemorates Peruvian Independence Day, when José de San Martin liberated Peru from Spain. On the following day, July 29th, Peru honors its National Police and the Peruvian Armed Forces. On July 28, 2013, two major Internet search engines […]

“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: […]

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 […]