The Grand Canyon. The Rocky Mountains. The Great Lakes. Many of the names of our American natural wonders are ... a little on the nose.

To be fair, back in the day when people were exploring 3.8 million square miles of largely uncharted territory, literally circling the wagons to brainstorm the name of a random mountain or lake probably got old fast. “Well, they’re pretty rocky, ain’t they? Rocky Mountains — boom. Done.”

But in this vast, amazingly diverse land we call the United States, there are still lots of pretty damn strange names of natural features that might make you say, “Hm, maybe I should go to that pretty place with the funny name.”

Keep Reading Show less

“The Civil War was fought over slavery" and “The Civil War was about much more than slavery."

You might have heard both of these statements before. And not just in your U.S. history class.

Amazingly enough, it's also an ongoing debate today in the real world, especially with the battle over the Confederate flag in the South and the Black Lives Matter movement's push for much-needed changes toward racial equality. In both cases, the legacy of slavery — and its role in our past — matters. For that reason, it's worth re-examining and getting to the bottom of the motivations behind that pivotal conflict — and what it still means today.

Keep Reading Show less

Guess How Many Animals Would Be Saved If You Joined Meatless Monday? Millions? Nope, Guess Again.

Meat is delicious. Like wait-in-line-for-four-hours-for-a-burger-while-eating-a-side-of-bacon delicious. But you can make a huge impact on the world by skipping it just one day a week. One day!

Double bonus: Meatless Mondays are the one day that you get to try all kinds of yummy veggie dishes (and eat ALL THE HUMMUS). And maybe it'll make you feel better. Because Mondays suck enough already.

24 hours of meat-free living can make a lot of change. So, what would happen if everyone skipped meat on Mondays? A few things...

1. It would help the environment.

Keep Reading Show less