Access America

Pop­u­lar Cul­ture, His­to­ry, and Cur­rent Events

Feeding Feathered Friends in February – National Bird-Feeding Month

By Veronika M. Heinrich

Christ­mas and New Year’s Eve are over. Now it’s already Feb­ru­ary, but Valentine’s Day is not real­ly your thing? Wor­ry not! Nation­al Bird-Feed­ing Month has arrived.

It’s just the right time of the year to pro­vide our feath­ered friends with food and water in our back­yards, then sit in front of the win­dow to watch them. It’s a great delight to see them feast on seeds. You can get in touch with nature, take a moment to relax, and help the envi­ron­ment. It’s also cheap, and kids will have a lot of fun learn­ing the dif­fer­ent birds’ names.

You’re not famil­iar with the A and O of bird-feed­ing yet? Don’t wor­ry about this either – I’ve been feed­ing birds in my yard for years. Let me feed you the most impor­tant tit­bits you need to know to participate!

Read more »

Sit, Drink, Eat, Repeat

By Nina Preußler

Did you know that there are now more dan­ger­ous­ly over­weight than mal­nour­ished peo­ple in the world? With over one third of their pop­u­la­tion clas­si­fied as obese, the Unit­ed States is one of the coun­tries most affect­ed. It’s easy to jump to con­clu­sions and dis­miss the ‘obe­si­ty epi­dem­ic’ as a symp­tom of ever-grow­ing lazi­ness in the West­ern world. Instead, the tripling of the obe­si­ty rate in the U.S. over the last 50 years can most­ly be attrib­uted to obe­so­genic envi­ron­ments. You’re ask­ing your­self what that is?

Read more »

Happy Hanukkah 2022!

By Sabrina Völz

If you live in the Unit­ed States or in many oth­er places in the world, it’s impos­si­ble not to know any­thing about Christ­mas. How­ev­er, the same can­not nec­es­sar­i­ly be said about the Jew­ish hol­i­day of Hanukkah, which begins tonight, on Decem­ber 18, and runs until Mon­day, Decem­ber 26. In hon­or of the Feast of Ded­i­ca­tion, some­times referred to as the Fes­ti­val of Lights, I’d like to invite you to watch this short, infor­ma­tive video:

Please acti­vate javascript to watch the video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDMoklVYsvU

Read more »

Six Tips for Perfect Presents – And They’re Sustainable!

By Veronika M. Heinrich

Like every year, Christ­mas always sneaks up and sud­den­ly you’re con­front­ed with one of the most impor­tant tasks of the sea­son: gift shopping.

The shop­ping malls are crowd­ed, every­thing seems to be on sale, and above all, you feel that the gift should be sus­tain­able. Find­ing some­thing that ben­e­fits your wal­let and the envi­ron­ment is hard. But fear not! This year, I’ve cre­at­ed a check­list to make find­ing the right present eas­i­er for you.

Read more »

Put On Your Mourning Clothes, it’s Black Friday

By Hannah Quinque

Pho­to Cred­it: Final­ly, an occa­sion to go shop­ping! Pic­ture by Powhusku under cc-by-sa‑2.0.

Set­ting the scene: Gray Novem­ber skies, sea­son­al blues at full vol­ume. This Fri­day: Black. There’s no escap­ing the loud adver­tise­ments in the shop win­dows, at bus sta­tions, in every mail­box and inbox. They all pro­claim that this Fri­day, the one after Thanks­giv­ing, is the time to start shop­ping. Even if your coun­try, like Ger­many, doesn’t cel­e­brate Thanks­giv­ing. Black Fri­day, con­sumer culture’s biggest hol­i­day, is one very suc­cess­ful Amer­i­can export. Yet, how we cur­rent­ly view suc­cess might not be in tune with the suc­cess­ful con­tin­u­ance of human­i­ty or even a hab­it­able plan­et earth.
Read more »

America and the Holocaust

By Michael Lederer

Beyond a severe­ly lim­it­ed immi­gra­tion quo­ta kept to a bare min­i­mum, few­er than a thou­sand Jew­ish refugees from Europe were admit­ted into the U.S. dur­ing World War II. In August 1944, they were brought on a sin­gle U.S. Lib­er­ty ship, then interned behind barbed wire on an old U.S. Army camp upstate New York until after the war had end­ed. That small lucky group includ­ed my father Ivo, his sis­ter Mira, and their par­ents Otto and Ruza.

Pho­to Cred­it: Michael Led­er­er: Otto, Mira, Ruza, and Ivo Led­er­er in Oswego, New York, 1945.

Read more »