The Bronx Zoo, the United States' largest metropolitan zoo, is situated in Bronx Park in an area of New York City known as 'the Bronx'.
Amongst its many attractions are a baboon reserve, a monkey house, a butterfly garden, an aviary, and an area that simulates the African plains.
Many cultures in Africa, the South Pacific and South America have used the seed-pods of various plants, known as gourds, to make rattles and other percussion instruments.
Generally, the seed pods are dried and then filled with beans, beads, or small stones.
In South America, there is a tradition of playing rattles of this type in pairs. They are known as maracas.
LISTEN TO SOUTH AMERICAN MARACAS MUSIC on Spotify
There are also variations on the daiquiri theme, such as strawberry daiquiris and banana daiquiris.
Daiquirí is the name of a village in Cuba, as well as that of a beach near Santiago, and an iron mine in that area.
The tango is a dance that originated in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in the 1890s, and spread to other parts of the world during the early years of the 20th century.
Watch Rudolf Valentino dance the tango in the film The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921):
The Chevrolet car manufacturing company was founded in 1911, and taken over by General Motors in 1917.
It was an extremely successful company in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s, and by 1963 one in ten cars sold in the U.S.A. was a Chevrolet.
A Chevrolet car is sometimes known as a 'Chevy', as in the line 'Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry' from Don Maclean's 1971 hit song, 'The Day the Music Died' ('American Pie').
In the summer of 1953, on her return home from her guest editorship with Mademoiselle, Sylvia Plath heard that she had not gained a place on Frank O'Connor's short-story writing course at Harvard University.
In Letters Home (p.123), her mother describes 'the look of shock and utter despair' that passed over her face when she gave her the news.
Frank O'Connor (1903-1966), whose full name was Michael Francis O'Connor O'Donovan, was a prolific Irish short-story writer whose work was often published in The New Yorker magazine.
During the 1950's he spent a great deal of time in the United states where he taught at various universities including Harvard and Northwestern.
Columbia University in New York City was founded in 1754 as King's College, and is a member of the Ivy League. Originally a men-only college, it began admitting women in 1983.
Barnard College is also in New York City. It is a women-only institution, founded in 1898, and is one of the colleges of Columbia University. It was a member of the group of women's colleges in the Northeastern United States which were known collectively as the 'Seven Sisters'.
Peanut-butter-and-marshmallow sandwiches are particularly popular in the Northeastern United States, where they are sometimes known as 'fluffernutters'. The name derives from the fact that they are often made with a brand of marshmallow cream known as Marshmallow fluff.
A replica of a Hood's milk bottle stands outside the Boston Children's Museum.
Mock-orange, or Philadelphus, is a genus of shrubs containing approximately 60 species.
The process of writing shorthand, sometimes called stenography, involves representing the spoken word as symbols. It has traditionally been used by journalists and secretaries, although it is now a somewhat outmoded skill in the latter field. Two well known shorthand systems are the Pitman system, and the Gregg system.
In Letters Home (p.124), Sylvia Plath's mother notes that she gave her daughter four lessons of shorthand during the summer of 1953, but that Sylvia's 'dis-jointed style of handwriting did not lend itself well to the connected strokes of the Gregg system'. She went on to say that she later regretted that they had attempted the lessons as they 'just added to her [Sylvia's] increasing feelings of failure and inferiority'.
Finnegans Wake is a work of fiction by the Irish author James Joyce, published in 1939.
Written almost exclusively in a 'make-believe' language, it is notoriously difficult to read, and has never been popular with the reading public.
An example of the writing in Finnegans Wake:
'... the humptyhillhead of humself prumptly sends us unquiring one well to the west in quest of his tumptytumtoes: and their upturnpikepointandplace is at the knock out in the park ...'
Full text (if you can face it!)
The four poems are: 'Burnt Norton'; 'East Coker'; 'The Dry Salvages'; and 'Little Gidding'. They were first published together in 1943.
Extract from 'Little Gidding':
'Midwinter spring is its own season
Sempiternal* though sodden towards sundown,
Suspended in time, between pole and tropic.
Beowulf is the name given to an epic poem written in Old English by an anonymous poet some time between the 8th and 11th centuries. It is to be found in a manuscript known as the Nowell Codex which is kept at the British Library.
Listen to the Prologue to Beowulf in Old English: