A Leaf from Lawn History

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Lawns in the United States cover an estimated fifty thousand square miles, an area roughly the size of New York state. Americans today can hardly imagine home without picturing a green expanse of neatly cut grass. Yet, lawns have not always been so essential to our image of home. In the 19th century, most yards were bare earth scattered with trees and debris. Furthermore, only the rich could afford lawns since mowers were not invented until 1830. Maintaining a lawn required servants cutting the grass with a scythe, or herds of grazing sheep. Lawns were also out of reach for those who needed their yard to grow food.

It was Frederick Olmstead that popularized lawns in the United States. Olmstead, along with fellow landscape architect Calvert Vaux, had designed Central Park, and in 1868, he designed a suburb in Illinois. Olmstead determined that houses should be set back 30 feet from the road, and fences were eliminated to create an unbroken expanse of grass. The mass production of lawnmowers in the 1890s made lawns more affordable for the average American, and by the 1930s, the U.S. Department of Agriculture had developed the right combination of lawn grasses that could flourish in American climates.

After WWII, suburbs spread rapidly throughout the country, and with it, lawns. Scientists developed new chemical pesticides to make grass greener and protect against pests, thus making the perfect lawn possible. Maintaining a good lawn however, is an ongoing job. Lawns need regular mowing and watering as well as fertilizer and protection from bugs and disease. Search for local lawn care services using Real Local Pages, an online directory containing listings for thousands of U.S. businesses. Visit Real Local Pages online at http://www.reallocalpages.com and select your area. Use the search box to enter keywords such as “lawn” or “garden” to locate lawn care businesses, or choose “landscaping” from the popular categories list on the home page. Each listing on the results page shows the contact number and address of the business. Real Local Pages can also be used to find other types of businesses and services, such as plumbers, florists, restaurants, and spas.

A Friend for Life

little red headIn 2012, over 62 percent of American households owned at least one pet. While most people consider pets part of the family, humans initially kept animals for practical purposes. Wolves, ancestors of modern dogs, were one of the first animals to live and work with humans, being domesticated around 12,000 years ago. Wildcats were domesticated sometime after in the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East where agriculture first developed; they became especially useful since they would hunt rodents attracted to barns and houses.

Humans also kept animals as pets. Chinese emperors pampered their pet dogs, sometimes giving them their own servants and bodyguards. In ancient Egypt, cats were considered sacred and their likenesses were depicted in religious statues. And in Europe, noble women kept small lapdogs for company; Mary Queen of Scots for instance owned a bevy of dogs she dressed up in blue velvet suits. In colonial America it was popular to tame wild animals like squirrels and deer to become pets. Children kept squirrels on tiny leashes of gold chain and trained their pet to perch on their shoulders. Pet deer wearing gold collars or kerchiefs would freely roam the streets and walk through houses. Until the 20th century, many pets hunted outside for their own food, but with the invention of pet food, pets like cats and dogs became indoor creatures and lived more closely with their human owners.

Find a trusted veterinarian for your pet using Real Local Pages (RLP). The RLP website has listings for businesses throughout the United States, and can be used to locate veterinarians, animal clinics, pet supply stores, and other pet-related businesses. Visit http://www.reallocalpages.com and enter your location. Then choose “veterinarian” from the popular categories list on the RLP home page, or enter the search term “pet” into the search box. Search results will include the business address and phone number. RLP can also be used to find other types of businesses and services, such as restaurants, clothing stores, hotels, and auto repair shops.

 

Taking the Waters

best-spa-packagegsFor relaxation and rejuvenation, there’s no better place to visit than a spa. In Europe, spas are known as “thermal waters,” and in fact, the modern spa centers around the use of water. People have used forms of hydrotherapy since ancient times to promote health. The ancient Greeks built baths around naturally-occurring hot springs and believed that bathing in thermal waters would cure diseases. In ancient Rome, aqueducts facilitated the building of elaborate public bath houses, and baths became a place for pleasure and relaxation, much like spas are today.

After the Roman Empire, hydrotherapy and bathing in general suffered a decline. Europeans in the Middle Ages believed that bathing washed off the body’s protective oils; merely washing the face and neck was considered sufficient for cleanliness. Doctors in the 15th century however rediscovered the benefits of hydrotherapy and prescribed bath treatments and drinking cures for sick patients. “Taking the waters” spread throughout Europe and America, and by the 1800s, spa resorts with hotels and entertainment became popular with the upper classes. These spas offered a variety of bizarre treatments such as drinking sulfur water, hot mud baths, and vapor baths in sulfurous pools.

Modern spas focus on relaxation and beautification, incorporating practices from all over the world such as acupuncture, Thai massages, and European facials. Find spas in your area by searching Real Local Pages (RLP). Real Local Pages is an online business directory containing listings for thousands of businesses across the United States, and searching RLP is easy and convenient. Visit the website, http://www.reallocalpages.com and enter keywords such as “spa” or “massage” into the search box. You can also search by choosing from the popular categories list. Results will show businesses offering spa treatments in your area. Each listing displays an address and phone number to help you easily locate the business. RLP can be used to find a wide range of businesses and services; from spas and hotels, to electricians and roofers.

 

A Slice of Pizza History

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Beloved today for its delicious taste and convenience, pizza has a surprising and long history. Originating in the regions surrounding the Mediterranean sea, archaeologists and historians have found early forms of the familiar food as far back as the 6th century BC. For centuries, peasants in Italy, particularly Naples, would eat flat round bread baked upon hot stones. Typically flavored with local ingredients like olive oil, garlic, onions, herbs, and later, cheese, Italian peasants enjoyed the convenience and simplicity of pizza. In the 16th century, tomatoes were brought to Europe from Peru, but believing that tomatoes were poisonous, it took many years before peasants in Naples added tomatoes to their traditional flatbread dish. Although wealthy individuals would occasionally dine on pizza, the meal remained a staple for poorer Italians until 1889 when King Umberto I and Queen Margherita of Italy visited Naples and tried pizza, prompting nationwide interest in this humble dish.

Pizza came to America with Italian immigrants in the late nineteenth century; pizza was consumed in Italian communities in Chicago, Trenton, New Haven, Boston, St. Louis, and of course, New York. In 1905, Gennaro Lombardi acquired a pizza license and opened the first official pizzeria in New York City. Pizza consumption took off after WWII when American soldiers stationed in Italy returned home with a taste for Italian-style pizzas. Pizzerias opened across the United States and the dish became a hit. Local variations developed like California-style pizzas topped with barbeque chicken, and the deep dish Chicago-style pizza.

Find a great pizza restaurant for dinner tonight using Real Local Pages (RLP). The Real Local Pages online directory lists thousands of businesses across the United States; search www.reallocalpages.com to find entertainment, services, stores, and restaurants. Using Real Local Pages is easy; simply enter your zip code, state, and search criteria, such as “pizza” or “restaurant,” into the search box. Listings for pizza restaurants will appear in the results along with the restaurant’s address and phone number. Users can leave reviews of the restaurant on the RLP website by clicking the “add review” button shown next to each business listing.

 

Mosey through a Museum

The term museum comes from the ancient Greek word “mouseion”, which translates as the “seat of the Muses.” The Greek mouseion was a place for contemplation or a philosophical institute rather than a building that housed art and curiosities. In the Middle Ages, wealthy families in Europe collected antiquities, armor, and artwork, and churches housed Christian relics. Chinese emperors amassed jade, pottery, metalwork, works of calligraphy, and paintings into galleries for viewing. The Medicis in Renaissance Italy displayed their collection of paintings for the public in 1582, but it wasn’t until the eighteenth century that the modern concept of a museum emerged. In the 1780s, American painter Charles Wilson Peale created the first public art and science museum in the United States. After a mastodon bone Peale displayed in his home museum became a greater attraction than portraits of American Revolutionary heroes, he transformed his museum, hosting lectures and creating crowd-pleasing exhibits like moving paintings.

Contemporary museums have their roots in these institutions, but today’s museums are dedicated to a range of topics besides simply art and history. Boston’s Burnt Food Museum celebrates culinary disasters, displaying a wide array of scorched food. One of the most visited sites in New Mexico is the International UFO Museum and Research Center dedicated to the 1947 crash in Roswell. In St. Augustine, Florida, Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum features weird artifacts like shrunken heads and a bone motorcycle, and the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum in the Florida Keys exhibits treasure recovered from shipwrecked Spanish galleons.

Find an interesting local museum using the Real Local Pages website, http://www.reallocalpages.com/. Whether you’re a fan of art, history, science, or want something more off the beaten path, Real Local Pages (RLP) can help you find a fascinating place to soak up knowledge and culture. Real Local Pages has listings for hundreds of businesses in the United States and RLP can be used to locate services, restaurants, entertainment, and local attractions. Choose your location, then search using the popular categories listed on the website, or enter your own search term/keyword into the search box. Results will include the address and phone number of each business for your convenience.