Han Chinese Clothing

The traditional clothing of the Han Chinese people, also known as hanfu, is no longer used as everyday garb in China, but it is worn at festivals, special occasions, and cultural events. There is also a movement to revive hanfu for daily wear, in replacement of Western styles. Hanfu outfits typically consist of diagonally wrapped robes and may include several layers. How did formal hanfu garments differ for ordinary citizens, government officials, and royalty? Discuss

lights

day – One of the perpendicular divisions or “lights” of a mullioned window. More…

blackout – Originally a theatrical term for the extinguishing of all lights on the stage when scenery was shifted. More…

taps, last post – Taps, the bugle call for lights out, was originally a drum roll and got its name from the tapping of the drums; taps are also called last post. More…

twilight – The time of two lights, the fading sunset and the emerging light of the moon and stars; there are three sequential stages of twilight: civil twilight, nautical twilight, and astronomical twilight. More…

Jefferson's Birthday

Unique among American presidents, Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) was not only a statesman but a scholar, linguist, writer, philosopher, political theorist, architect, engineer, and farmer. In the United States, he is remembered primarily as the author in 1776 of the Declaration of Independence; he died on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration. A birthday commemoration is held each year at Monticello, Jefferson’s home in Virginia, as well as at the Jefferson Memorial on the Mall in Washington, D.C. Discuss

Terra Nullius

Sandwiched between Egypt and Sudan is a sparsely inhabited parcel of desert claimed by neither country. Known as Bir Tawil, it is one of the few examples of terra nullius—land that legally belongs to no one. Historically, much land has been taken from indigenous peoples under the pretense of declaring it terra nullius, as happened in Australia. Today, almost all land is recognized as being under the jurisdiction of someone, except for Bir Tawil and what other place? Discuss

small room

aedicule – A small room or structure used as a shrine—or a niche for a statue. More…

cove – Comes from Old English cofa, “small room,” from the Germanic root kubon, and came to mean “small hollow place in coastal rocks,” and then “small bay.” More…

cabinet – Originally meant a small room and came to apply to the group of politicians who met in the room. More…

conclave – Based on Latin con- and clavis, “key,” as it was first an inner chamber or private room to which one would have needed a key, literally a “place that can be locked up,” or a room or set of rooms that can be opened with only one key. More…