A manatee is a marine mammal of the genus Trichechus, found in the tropical coastal waters of America, the Caribbean, and Africa.
Manatees have a prehensile upper lip and a broad flattened tail. All species are endangered.
George Washington was the first President of the United States, and is universally regarded as the ‘Father of his Country’.
He led America to victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, and presided over the writing of the Constitution in 1787, becoming the unanimous choice to serve as the first President of the United States.
Dr. Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.
A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity.
The legend of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice comes from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s 1797 ballad poem Der Zauberlehrling, possibly inspired by a similar tale recounted by Lucian in his Philosopseudes (written c. AD 150).
Goethe’s poem tells the story of an old sorcerer who leaves his apprentice to perform some chores in his workshop. Tired of fetching water by pail, the apprentice, using magic in which he is not yet fully trained, enchants a broom to do the work for him. The floor is soon awash with water, and the apprentice, lacking the power to make it stop, splits the enchancted broom in two with an axe. To the apprentice’s horror, each of the pieces then becomes a new broom, each one taking up a pail and continuing to fetch water, now at twice the speed. Eventually, the old sorcerer returns and quickly breaks the spell. The poem finishes with the sorcerer’s statement that powerful spirits should only be called by the master himself.
Coyame, and the Santiago de Coyame mission, were founded in 1715 by Sergeant Major Juan Antonio Retes Trasviña. After ten years, Coyame was abandoned by the missionaries, but it was later repopulated.
Presidio is located on the Rio Grande, on the US side of the border.
In 1683 Juan Sabeata, the chief of the Jumano Indian nation, reported having seen a fiery cross on the mountain at Presidio and requested that a mission be established at La Junta. The settlement in 1684 became known as La Navidad en Las Cruces.
Around 1760 a penal colony and a small military garrison were established near Presidio. In 1830 the name of the area around Presidio was changed from La Junta de los Rios to Presidio del Norte. White American settlers came to Presidio in 1848 after the Mexican War.
In 1849 a Comanche raid almost destroyed Presidio, and in 1850 Indians drove off most of the cattle in town.
Gondwanaland was one of the two ancient supercontinents produced by the split of the even larger supercontinent Pangaea about 200 million years ago.
It comprised the lands that are now Africa, South America, Australia, Antarctica, and the Indian subcontinent.
The Tigua are a Puebloan Indian tribe who inhabit the Ysleta section of El Paso, Texas. They were one of the many Southern Tiwa-speaking Puebloan peoples who were displaced from New Mexico in 1680-81, during the Pueblo Revolt against the Spanish.
They were considered extinct as a distinct tribe by the 1930s, but began asserting themselves and laying claim to the land they had lost during the 1960s. In 1968 President Lyndon Jonson signed an Act of Congress recognising the Tigua as a tribe and granting them reservation land in Texas.
The Hueco Tanks are a rocky outcropping in the middle of the desert near El Paso. Hueco means hollows in Spanish after the bowl like depressions in the rock which hold small pools of water formed by natural springs.
The Hueco Tanks are culturally and significant to many Native Americans, such as the Mescalero Apache, the Kiowa, the Hopi, and the Pueblo people. This significance is partially manifested in the many pictographs (rock paintings) found through the region, some of which are thousands of years old. The site contains the single largest collection of mask paintings by Native Americans in North America, of which hundreds exist at this site.
Bartlett, travelling through the region in 1851, was one of the first explorers to record these pictographs and his accompanying sketches can be seen below.
The Harpy Eagle is a species of eagle, and the largest and most powerful raptor found in the Americas.
Harpy Eagles range from Mexico, through Central America and into South America. However, destruction of its natural habitat has seen it vanish from most of its former range, and it is almost extinct in Central America.
Sloe-eyed means having attractive, sometimes slanted, dark almond-shaped eyes.
The expression sloe-eyed for a person with dark eyes comes from the blackthorn or sloe fruit Prunus spinosa, and may have been first used in A. J. Wilson's 1867 novel Vashti.
Shakos are military caps in the shape of a cylinder or truncated cone, with a visor and a plume or pompon.
A fandango is a type of dance, traditionally accompanied by guitars and castanets or hand-clapping (‘palmas’ in Spanish and Portuguese).
The dance, probably of Moorish origin (although some believe its roots lie in Greek and Roman culture), was popular in the 18th century and survives today as a folk dance in Spain, Portugal, southern France, and Latin America. It is usually danced by couples, beginning slowly, with the rhythm marked by castanets, hand-clapping, snapping of fingers; the speed gradually increases. The music is in 3/4 or 6/8 time. Occasionally there is a sudden pause in the music, and the dancers stand rigid until the music resumes. The dance is an expression of passion, and the partners tease, challenge, and pursue each other with steps and gestures. In another version, the fandango is danced by two men as a contest of skill. The first dancer sets the rhythm and steps, the second picks up the step and elaborates.
The Devonian was a geological period stretching from 405 to 345 million years ago. It was characterized by the dominance of fishes and the advent of amphibians and ammonites.
Ear trumpets were early hearing aids. They were tubular or funnel-shaped in order to collect sound waves and lead them into the ear. Typically they were made of sheet iron, silver, wood, animal horns, and even snail shells.