Mars & water; are we reenacting Reconstruction?; Putin tries to give Obama a history lesson; hippies won the culture war?; southern food and Jim Crow

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Big news today from NASA: it appears that Mars has water, which of course opens the possibility of life. In the wake of that startling news, Time has a “brief history of the search for water (and life) on Mars.”

Here’s an interesting thought: are current events basically a reenactment of Reconstruction? I really like this essay from Adam Arensonis.

Putin decided to give a Soviet history lesson to Obama, claiming that “It seems that far from learning from the mistakes of others, everyone keeps repeating them.”

Is modern America proof that the hippies won the culture war? I’m not sure I totally agree with this professor’s assessment, as I think much of the cultural evolution he attributes to the hippies is probably more a result of the fact that “radical activists” (as he terms them) shared much of these cultural traits with hippies (as he acknowledges), and it was their more mainstream movement (if you can call it that) that mainstreamed these cultural elements. But I am FAR from an expert on this. What do you think?

Gotta throw this in: here’s a nice new H-net review of a book by one of my grad school classmates and friends, Angela Jill Cooley’s To Live and Dine in Dixie: The Evolution of Urban Food Culture in the Jim Crow South.

Who’s ready for Halloween? If you’re like me, you love a good folklore ghost story! This month, the good people at Colonial Williamsburg will be sharing some of their best with us, starting with this one.

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