It’s the largest city on the European continent, so it comes as no surprise that Moscow, Russia, effortlessly attracts the attention of wandering wayfarers. Boasting a rich history and unique customs, Moscow’s far reaches shelter a plethora of secrets. In this edition of The StickerTalk, we invite you to delve into the endless enigma of Moscow, Russia, the capital city and crowning jewel of the largest country in the world.
Go With the Flow: Moscow was named in honor of the Moskva River. Sprawling over a distance of approximately 312 miles, the river serves as a critical source of water for the city as well as a number of neighboring communities.
A Banner of Courage: The city flag of Moscow, Russia, depicts Saint George astride a white horse slaying a serpentine dragon. According to oral tradition, this portrait serves as a metaphor for the eradication of paganism, partially due to the heroism of Saint George himself. Legend claims that the saint faced torture and eventual martyrdom at the hands of his pagan captors without renouncing his Christian faith.
The Curious Kremlin: Moscow’s colossal Kremlin easily takes the title of the world’s largest medieval-era fortress. This living piece of history continues to play an integral role in the Russian identity as it remains in use today. The far-reaching fortress contains four palaces and five cathedrals. The largest cannon in the world along with the world’s most massive bell additionally call the Kremlin home.
Although considered an emblem of the American past, the exquisitely extravagant banana split still boasts the ability to make mouths water and diets be conveniently forgotten. In fact, this sweet treat garners such an abundance of attention that Americans annually dedicate August 25 as National Banana Split Day. In spite of the banana split’s widespread renown, its origins remain disputed, a culinary crusade largely fought between the cities of Wilmington, Ohio, and Latrobe, Pennsylvania. According to homegrown historians hailing from Latrobe, the dessert was created in the sweltering summer of 1904. A druggist apprentice named David Strickler, they claim, first scooped the classic confection in Latrobe’s Tassell Pharmacy in an effort to attract business in an era when pharmacies, soda fountains, and ice cream parlors vied in fierce capitalist competition. This seemingly airtight alibi, however, often elicits the ire of Ohioans who claim the banana split was initially served in their fair city of Wilmington three years later in 1907. A friendly rivalry between the opposing cities continues to provide a source of benevolent banter as people across the globe curiously conclude which side of the split to support. Which city is the confection’s cradle? We’ll let you decide!
An unequalled fusion of archaic ages and fresh fashion, the nation of Egypt perpetually serves as a source of amazement for the inquisitive. While modern Egyptians boast a rich culture and curious customs, much of the country’s allure stems from the era of the Egyptian pharaohs. The StickerTalk invites you to travel back in time to witness the splendor of the ancient African kingdom that continues to thrive on the banks of the Nile.
Bizarre Beliefs: Before the majority of modern Egyptians embraced the monotheism of the Islamic faith, their ancient counterparts worshipped over a thousand gods and goddesses. Religion played an integral role in the lives of ancient Egyptians. They believed that all humans were formed on the potter’s wheel of a god named Knhum and that the annual flooding of the Nile River was caused by the tears of the goddess Isis.
Girl Power: Unlike women in other ancient civilizations, women in ancient Egypt enjoyed many of the same basic rights as Egyptian men. Women could own property and serve on juries. Most impressively, women even ascended the Egyptian throne. The first woman pharaoh was Hatshepsut; however, Hatshepsut’s fame often pales in comparison with that of the infamous femme fatale, Cleopatra, who later became pharaoh.
Molding Modernity: Many contemporary customs trace their roots to ancient Egypt. For example, the tradition of exchanging wedding rings is thought to have originated in ancient Egyptian ceremonies. Several of our modern luxuries, including toothpaste, locks, and paper, also derive from ancient Egyptian inventions.
We’re “Rooting” for You!
As summer vacation draws to a close, marching bands across the country ready themselves for successful seasons. Of course, the Mighty Cougar Marching Band, located in StickerTalk’s hometown of Buna, Texas, is no exception. Dedicating themselves to musical excellence and the art of discipline, this group is sure to impress and amaze in upcoming halftime performances. Many members of the StickerTalk team pride themselves on their past or present involvement in the Buna Band Program and understand the diligence required of a band member, so we decided that a sweet treat would be the perfect way to round out an outstanding series of summer band practices. Providing root beer (and Coke) floats, the StickerTalk team thoroughly enjoyed every minute we were able to spend with members of the Mighty Cougar Marching Band. We’re looking forward to another noteworthy season!
A floral favorite, the sunflower’s distinctive yellow petals can add a bit of brightness to any garden. Whether you enjoy its delectable seeds or simply revel in the flower’s aesthetic charm, the sunflower’s versatility offers a wide array of pleasures to a multitude of tastes. Not only does the sunflower delight the eye and the palate, but also serves as a playground for curiosity. Allow your interest to blossom as The StickerTalk delves into the power of the sunflower.
- Sunflowers are native to North and South America. Native peoples utilized the sunflower for food, dye, and medicine, using it as relief from chest pain and ailing kidneys. Spanish conquistadors introduced the sunflower to the remainder of the world in the 1500s, sparking a worldwide craze that continues today.
- When a sunflower begins to bloom, it develops heliotropic tendencies, meaning the flower follows the sun as it arches across the sky. This all-natural super power ends only when the flower becomes too heavy and stiff for constant movement and the mature flower faces permanently east.
- Average sunflowers stand somewhere between 5 and 12 feet tall when fully mature. However, the world’s tallest sunflower, grown by German gardener Hans-Peter Schiffer, grew to an astounding 30 feet, 1 inch tall!
Besides serving as the subject of the ever-popular, yet increasingly cliche joke, chickens also populate countless farms across the globe as one of the most widely domesticated animals on Earth. Although the word “chicken” has become synonymous with cowardice and dimwittedness, these festively feathered fowls prove entertaining pets as well as an immersive subject of study. In this edition of The StickerTalk we invite you to explore the arcane and obscure nature of the chicken’s history and its everyday antics (although we could not scrounge up a better explanation as to why the chicken crossed the road).
- There’s a Name for That? – The dangling red flap of skin under a rooster’s beak is called a wattle. Scientists tend to believe that the wattle helps roosters attract hens when performing a courtship dance known as tidbitting.
- Maternal Instincts – The hen’s intense attention to her offspring has earned her the accolades of even ancient observers. In Ancient Rome, when someone wished to compliment another person’s upbringing, they would exclaim, “You were raised by a hen!” A tradition that continues today, the phrase “mother hen” describes a lady who takes an especially keen interest in the wellbeing of her children.
- Religious Roosters – Roosters have often found themselves immortalized in religious texts and traditions. For example, in the New Testament a rooster plays a key role in Peter’s denial of Jesus. In Islamic culture, believers are taught that a rooster crows because he has seen an angel. According to some European folk stories, the devil is driven away by the a rooster’s crowing.
The Curious Chasm of the Lone Star State
A spectacle of splendor, Palo Duro Canyon shatters the monotony of the high plains of the Texas Panhandle, carving intricate indentions into brilliantly banded rock. Palo Duro Canyon State Park, a sanctuary where rocky spires may freely scrape endless blue skies, serves as a refuge from the perils of modern life. The canyon boasts a past steeped in a multitude of histories and cultures. Although the physical beauty Palo Duro alone proves capable of capturing the attention of a nation, The StickerTalk hopes to enhance your appreciation of this natural marvel by spotlighting noteworthy incidents of the canyon’s past, a story as deep and mysterious as the landmark itself.
Everything’s Bigger in Texas: At a staggering 120 miles long and 800 feet deep, Palo Duro Canyon’s sheer size earned it the unofficial title of the second largest canyon in the United States. Only Arizona’s Grand Canyon sprawls over a larger area of land; the Grand Canyon spans 277 miles long and reaches a maximum depth of approximately 6,000 feet.
A Land Divided: Like much of the United States, Palo Duro Canyon once witnessed violent clashes between white settlers and Native Americans. Perhaps the most infamous of these conflicts is the Red River War of 1874. Largely led by Comanche Chief Quanah Parker, the Native Americans residing near Palo Duro Canyon fought valiantly to retain their homelands. However, after suffering a series staggering defeats, Quanah Parker and his followers were forced from their land and onto reservations, bringing about a tragic end to an ancient chapter of the canyon’s history.
Exotic Etymology: As Spanish explorers were among the first European explorers to study the geography of Texas, it seems fitting that this massive landmark bears a Spanish name. Observing the hardwood trees growing in the area, these early explorers gave the name “Palo Duro,” meaning “hardwood,” to the canyon.
A Class Act
As the dog days of summer wind to a close, young musicians lay aside the leisures of of the season and take up their instruments, flocking to band halls and practice fields. Seamlessly weaving together musicianship, discipline, and camaraderie, marching band plays an integral role in the lives of countless students, molding untried youths into seasoned leaders. Many students who opt to participate are driven by lighthearted motives; Friday night lights, time spent with friends, and new, exciting music prompt countless students to don a uniform and take to the gridiron. However, band programs offer a plethora of unseen benefits that may not surface until after a band member graduates. As marching season begins to capture the curiosity of spectators, The StickerTalk invites you to explore a sample of the lasting advantages of marching band.
Learning to Lead: The vast majority of marching band programs call upon student leaders to assist band directors and other staff members. Drum majors, section leaders, and council members must fine tune their planning and communication abilities in order to maintain peace and accomplish the goals of the group. As new generations of leaders hone their skills, they cultivate capacities which will serve them in future careers and relationships.
Flex Your Neurons: The art of marching band requires an impressive memory. Participating students must not only memorize their halftime drill, but the accompanying music as well. As a result, band students often become more adept in their academic studies and better able to comprehend complex sets of data.
A Dose of Discipline: Like many extracurricular activities, marching band solicits quite a sacrifice from its participants. By devoting untold amounts of time, energy, and effort into the perfection of a drill, band students acquire the virtues of self-discipline and selflessness. A part of something much larger than themselves, marching band members gain firsthand experience in teamwork, cooperation, and excellence.