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Possible showdown with Iran sends oil prices soaring

McClatchy Newspapers - The possibility of a confrontation between the United States and Iran appeared to grow Tuesday after the Obama administration dismissed an Iranian warning against moving a U.S. aircraft carrier into the Persian Gulf, saying the deployment was crucial to "the security and stability of the region."  Read more.

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When Ferns Were All The Rage

Every autumn, Victorians swarmed into the woods to collect ferns. From the 1850s until Queen Victoria’s demise, pteridomania (meaning “fern mania”) engulfed Victorians on both sides of the Atlantic. Almost every house had a potted fern. Those who could afford to, kept rare fern varieties “under the ample bell-glass, or in the Wardian case… to enliven the parlor window in the wintry season of the year.”  There were fern books, fern societies, and florists bulked out floral arrangements with ferns. Fern-collecting went beyond past-time to become an occupation.  Read more.