Antico Setificio Fiorentino
Florence is a city of secrets. As you walk through the ancient streets, large wooden doors open, revealing monastic courtyards, previously unknown workshops, and fresco-filled entranceways. There's always something new to discover. On a sunny spring afternoon, therefore, I shouldn't have been surprised to stumble across a hidden courtyard filled with tropical plants and sprawling vines set against sun-baked ocher walls, leading me to the oldest silk factory in Europe. Unassuming doors open to a large space with sunlight pouring in from skylights high above, diffused by canopies that protect the delicate silk production below. ...
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Poetry, Almanacks, and Spelling Bees
Upon seceding from Britain, her thirteen former colonies immediately began to lay the foundations of an independent humanities tradition. One could argue, of course, that the process of creating a uniquely “American” literature was already well underway long before the Revolution even began—with William Bradford’s “History of Plymouth Plantation,” for example, or the poetry of New Englanders Anne Bradstreet and Edward Taylor, or the religious writings of Cotton Mather, or Roger Williams’s musings on liberty. More recently, one could single out Franklin’s “Autobiography” (and other writings), Tom Paine’s philosophical tracts, or Jefferson’s political ones. The ...
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Sacha Lodge: Where the Wild Things Still Are
After a breathtaking ride over the snowy peaks of the Andes Mountains, the turboprop plane descended from thin air to the thick, humid atmosphere of the jungle. Below us, a muddy river coiled through vibrant verdant forest—until the thick tangle of trees gave way to the dull brown patchwork quilt of agriculture. Ahead lay the airport runway of the city of Coca, near where another river merged and created an even wider winding flow. Beneath me was the Amazon basin, but still a long way from Brazil. It takes a lot of water to feed ...
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Does Natural Immunity Earn Some Freedom?
Millions have rolled up their sleeves to take the COVID-19 vaccination because the jab promises protection against the notorious pathogen. However, millions more remain hesitant. Now, officials are pushing a new incentive: freedom. A growing number of universities now require that students get vaccinated before they return to campus. Airlines and workplaces are devising apps that allow entry based on inoculation status. And several countries are either set to unveil, or have already rolled out, a vaccine passport program. Details in each system may vary, but they all involve lifting restrictions for those who take ...
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