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Unemployed Americans Speak Out as Benefits are Slashed at Christmas

John Dodds @ Truthout - Three days after Christmas this year, 1.3 million laid-off American workers will see their unemployment benefits stopped. In Pennsylvania, the number will be 87,000 people drawing their last check December 28.  Read more.

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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.