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High Above Orlando
News / February 18, 2016

Design. A crucial element of architecture. On a recent visit to Orlando, I discovered the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC). The building inspired me to step back into my training as an architecture and design critic. Hence, today’s blog! Disney’s happy, fantasyland  permeates Orlando.  So many buildings reminded me of Disney, with arches, pyramids, turrets, … Read more…. About Gail Ingis Gail Ingis writes historical romance, loves history and romance of course, has taught history, and her weekly blog frequently covers historical content. A native of Brooklyn, New York, Ingis’s early days began and ended with writing, drawing and music. Her inspiration to write came from books gifted to her by an aunt. But life had other ideas. After graduating from the New York School of Interior Design with a BFA in Interior Architecture and Design and masters’ studies in Architecture and Design Criticism at The New School (Parsons). Her career in interior design and architecture led her to the other arts. Ingis founded the Interior Design Institute, a school of interior design, that she eventually sold, but during her tenure, she was twice asked by publishers to write a textbook, her efforts were thwarted by a heavy schedule. Ingis…

Kathleen Flanagan Rollins | Neanderthals
Author Guest / February 18, 2016

Poor Neanderthals. No matter how many wonderful things we learn about them, they remain our lesser predecessors, dismissed as stupid and coarse. The problem began with their discovery. In 1856, workers in the Neander Valley near Dusseldorf, Germany came across a skull that looked human, except it had a prominent brow ridge, large eye sockets, and a flattened cranium. Thick fossilized bones were discovered nearby. After the Neander valley find, scientists realized similar bones had already been uncovered in Belgium and Gibraltar. Anglo-Irish geologist William King suggested the name Homo neanderthalensis and declared Neanderthals incapable of complex thought. Historical context In 1859 (only three years after the Neander valley find), Charles Darwin published his book On the Origin of Species through Natural Selection. He pointed out that more young are born each year than can survive. Those with an advantage, something that allowed them to be more successful in their environment, were more likely to survive and reproduce. In 1871, Darwin published The Descent of Man, his treatise on human evolution, in which he argued that all life forms, including people, evolved from simpler ones. He used the metaphor of the tree. While a tree may have many branches that…