In literature as in movies, monsters represent our fears of the unknown. They constitute those aspects in our societies we see as uncontrollable and menacing. They have been with us since ancient Greek, Chinese, and Egyptian civilizations. The Cyclops in The Odyssey, the Camazotz from Mayan mythology and the Anglican-Celtic Gogmagog are but a few of the creatures humans have created.

They represent our darkest trepidation. Our desire to come together in a common purpose to defeat a seemingly unbeatable foe. …

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Was she a femme fatale a seductress or just a queen trying to protect her throne?

She has captivated our imagination for centuries. And is said to have been a beautiful and mysterious seductress that put political and military titans Julius Caesar and Mark Antony under her spell. While we may never know what Cleopatra looked like or how she was in person, there are some basic facts about her life that are clear: for one, she wielded great power and ruled over one of the greatest kingdoms in the ancient Mediterranean region.

After 2,000 years, historians, writers and Hollywood producers of all sorts continue to attempt molding her enigmatic persona into an image that, more…

The proverbial glass ceiling seems to be a ubiquitous fixture within the halls of power. Given the opportunity, can women perform? Can they compete with their male counterparts?

By J.C. Scull

The Glass Ceiling

In 1978, little known Marilyn Loden, a mid-level manager at New York Telephone Co., was asked to attend the Women’s Exposition in New York City after the company’s only female vice president couldn’t make it. While there, her and four other women joined a panel titled “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall” which was to be discussing how women, and their self-image, were to blame for their lack of advancement in the workforce.

At New York Telephone, Loden, had been tasked with exploring why more women weren’t entering management positions, an issue that was beginning to gain some attention at the…

She became a spy for France during World War I but was suspected of being a double agent. She was executed in 1917.

At 5:00 AM on October 15, 1917, Mata Hari was awakened in her cell in the Prison de Saint-Lazare outside Paris. Father Arbaux, two sisters of charity, Captain Bouchardon, and Maitre Clunet, her lawyer, came to tell her this was the day she would die.

“May I write two letters?” she asked.

Captain Bouchardon gave consent and had pen, ink, paper, and some envelopes delivered to her. She sat up on her bed and passionately but quietly wrote the letters. She handed them over to her lawyer. …

The US Capitol has witnessed numerous acts of violence over the years. However, the murders that took place on this particular day were especially abominable.

A Capitol Police Honor Guard salutes the coffins of Officer Jacob Chestnut and Detective John Gibson in the Capitol Rotunda as they lie in repose. — Public Domain,

Covering well over 1.5 million square feet, several miles of corridors, and more than 600 rooms, the United States (U.S.) Capitol stands as one of our country’s symbols of freedom and democracy. Words that have reverberated through its halls and chambers have often found their way into the world’s history books.

It is the main location where the Senate and the House of Representatives meet to pass the country’s laws. Additionally, it is where presidents are inaugurated as well as deliver their annual State of the Union addresses. Perhaps, because of these highly politically charged events, emotions have often run…

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Many women defied conventions and impersonated men in order to join armies in battle.

Women in the Military

Prior to the 20th century, women’s acceptance into fighting forces had been patently restrictive on a global scale. The vast majority of countries considered women the ‘weaker sex’, consequently relegating them to the duties of childbearing, raising children, domestic work, and caretaking.

In the 1800s, there were some exceptions to this rule. One notable example is an all-female rebel group during the Venezuelan War of Independence in the 1810s, led by Juana Ramirez. This 100-strong artillery unit was instrumental in resisting Spanish soldiers in their attempt to reconquer Venezuela. …

Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet shaking hands with Henry Kissinger in 1976 By Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Chile. — Archivo General Histórico del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores ([1]), CC BY 2.0 cl, — Source:

The governments of eight Latin American countries feared being overthrown by Communist guerrillas

Eight Latin American countries led by either right-wing dictators or military juntas feared being overthrown by communist insurgencies. They created a pact with each other and with the aid of the CIA, fought back. In this article, we will explore what happened and the dire consequences their actions created. These countries are:

  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Peru
  • Ecuador
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Paraguay
  • Uruguay

Latin America and the Cold War

Sometime in the 1940s, the Soviet Union began to use guerrilla insurgencies to overthrow governments that were friendly to the US. Their grand strategy was simply to encircle the U.S. …


Cats have been around for thousands of years and will most likely be around for thousands more

Photo by Hannah Troupe on Unsplash

The Assassin Awaits

The beady eyes shining from the moonlight betray her position on a dark night. As she crawls out of the burrow where her pups are huddled, an assassin patiently awaits. As she sniffs the ground in front of her, the smell of cat urine is ubiquitous and ominous. Unfortunately, for this brown rat, the Toxoplasma gondii parasite invading her system is preventing her from recognizing the bodily odors her predator has left behind. It might even be that these odors are luring her into the clutches of the same perpetrator that spritzed his scent around her dwelling.

The crazy-cat lady…


Strong in body and mind, sled dogs have been around for thousands of years.

Sled dog (husky) — By Denali National Park and Preserve — Source: Public Domain,

Before moving on with this article, there is one ethical consideration that we must get out of the way: Is dog sledding ethical? In my opinion, as well as those held by many animal rights advocates, dog sledding in itself is ethical as long as the dogs are treated as equal members of the team. Just as the mushers, trainers, or any other humans involved in the endeavor are treated, so should be the case for the four-legged participants.

They must be treated humanely and must not be euthanized just because they are not able to contribute to the team…

Over 100,000 people traveled to the Yukon searching for adventure and fortune. Few acquired the riches they sought.

Prospectors with supplies at the Chilkoot Pass. In front: The Scales, left: Golden Steps. c. March 1898. - Public Domain,

The Klondike Gold Find

It all started on August 16, 1896, when George Carmack, an American prospector looking for gold by the Klondike River in Northwestern Canada near the Alaska border, discovered gold. He had been working the area accompanied by his Tagish wife Kate (Shaaw Tláa), her brother Shookum Jim (Keish), and their nephew Dawson Charlie (K̲áa Goox). George was following a suggestion from Canadian prospector Robert Henderson to look for gold on Bonanza Creek (called Rabbit Creek at the time), one of the Klondike River’s tributaries.

J.C. Scull

I write about culture, international trade, and history. Taught international business at two universities in Beijing, China.

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