The “Rabbits” of Ravensbrück

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Female prisoners at Ravensbrück. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

One of the many atrocities to come out of the Holocaust was the unethical medical experiments performed by Dr. Mengele, the “angel of death”, a man known for selecting twins out of lineups and experimenting on them. But unfortunately, Dr. Mengele’s experiments were not the only ones performed on concentration camp prisoners.

Ravensbrück was the largest concentration camp exclusively for women, and by 1945, had more than 50,000 female prisoners from 30 countries.

But the medical experiments began three years earlier, in 1942. Nazi doctors claimed the experiments were to test treatments for war injuries, but it is widely believed…

A reading list for those in search of a fresh perspective

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Photo by Polina Zimmerman from Pexels

Even though I am no longer the target audience of young adult fiction, I still find myself turning to this genre when I want to relax. Sometimes, we just need books that make us nostalgic for simpler times but also have the prose and character development that appeals to us as a mature reader.

The box office successes of the Harry Potter franchise and The Hunger Games trilogy are proof that YA books can appeal to readers over the age of eighteen.

But as much as I loved reading and rereading The Hunger Games trilogy and Harry Potter, there are…

The effects of Super Bowl ads and Budweiser’s marketing strategy for not airing them in 2021

Two people hold up Coca-Cola bottles.
Two people hold up Coca-Cola bottles.
Photo by Edward Eyer from Pexels

Viewers watching Super Bowl commercials can always count on the memorable 30-second ads put out by Pepsi, Coca-Cola, and Budweiser.

Coca-Cola’s polar bear family, the majestic Budweiser Clydesdales running alongside a cute puppy, and celebrity cameos in Pepsi commercials are always the highlights out of the many ads that air on Super Bowl Sunday.

But this year all three companies will be sitting on the sidelines.

Although each Super Bowl commercial costs over $5 million for 30 seconds of screen time, it may seem puzzling why these three mega-companies are forgoing the Super Bowl publicity, as just under 100 million…

Recognizing the self-sabotaging habits that harm your happiness.

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Happiness is often depicted as a fleeting, elusive feeling.

But psychologists say that if you actively put time, intention, and effort into pursuing it, you can be successful in influencing your own happiness.

This isn’t to say that following these tips can cure depression. But time to time, I find myself engaging in unhealthy habits or thinking that does little but contribute to my unhappiness.

Even though your genetics and your circumstances influence your happiness, you have some power over how you feel. You have agency. So why harm your happiness with self-sabotaging behaviors or habits?

I’ve found by recognizing…

My experience as a first-time investor.

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Photo by David McBee from Pexels

I’ve always been a great saver and as a teenager, put almost everything I earned from my minimum wage jobs into my bank account. So, by the time I was in college, I had a pretty healthy savings account.

But I was tired of earning 0.15% on my money. I wanted my money to work for me, and so I started looking into investing.

I wasn’t new to the concept, and I knew the basics, but it all seemed intimidating. I had so many questions. How much should I invest? Where should I invest? …

Anecdote | Science

How pheromones helped my anxious cat (and me) survive the pandemic

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Photo by Valeria Boltneva from Pexels

My cat has always been an anxious wallflower. Ever since she was born in my garage thirteen years ago, she’s been scared of brooms, vacuums, and wouldn’t come near me if I was wearing mittens or slippers. She would show and accept affection, but only socialized on her own terms. In short: I’d accepted that she would never be this lovey-dovey cat that would befriend any stranger that walked in the door.

This was the status quo for the past twelve years. Then the pandemic hit. …

Captivating novels with beautiful messages in the midst of suffering

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Photo by Ricky Gálvez from Pexels

When looking over the books I’ve read over the past few years, I noticed a common theme. Most of the historical fiction books I read took place during World War II.

Not only did I notice I was constantly selecting books from this time period, but a lot of historical fiction books receiving critical acclaim in recent years were from this time period too (The Prisoner of Auschwitz, All The Light We Cannot See, and The Book Thief, to name a few).

Why was this?

Perhaps it was a time in history when the entire world felt the reverberations of…

The grandchildren still alive two centuries later

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Copper engraving of John Tyler. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Yep, you read that right. Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr. and Harrison Ruffin Tyler, both grandsons of John Tyler, 10th President of the United States, were still alive in 2020.

President John Tyler, born in 1790, became president between 1841–1845 after the previous one, William Henry Harrison, died just thirty days into his term.

John Tyler, born at the end of the eighteenth century, was alive for the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the war of 1812, the Mexican American War, and died in the second year of the Civil War. …

Why it’s important to listen to our bodies.

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

When I couldn’t keep up with my mom and younger sister on an easy bike ride, it never occurred to me that I might be anemic.

I just chalked it up to a hot summer day and not taking enough of puffs of my inhaler.

Not listening to my body was a mistake, and one I continued to make well into my second season of cross country.

By the end of the fall and that season, I went from consistently finishing in the top fifth in races, to hardly being able to finish in the top half. No matter how…

How COVID changed my reading habits

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Photo by James Tarbotton on Unsplash

COVID has inarguably shaken up every facet of our lives, from how we work, to how we celebrate, to how we spend our free time.

But I can think of one silver lining. Restricted by the size of social gatherings or the cancellation of nearly every major event imaginable, I have spent nearly all of my free time, like everyone else, at home. And after exhausting all of the vaguely interesting movies and shows on Amazon Prime and Netflix and yes, Hulu too, I started reading again.

Not a magazine, or more Medium articles, but a proper book.

For a…

L.C. Bird

student, runner, and bread enthusiast.

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