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5 Historic U.S. Cities You Have to Visit in 2017

5 Historic U.S. Cities You Have to Visit in 2017

As the days pass and spring approaches, many people are already thinking about the warm weather that’s just around the corner. But if you’re looking for a way to pass the time between now and spring, why not start planning a trip with your friends?

Instead of going on your typical American vacation, why not make it somewhat educational and fulfilling? While the U.S. lacks much of the centuries-old history that European countries have, there’s still much to be seen in these five historic cities.

1. Charleston, South Carolina

If you’ve never been to Charleston, South Carolina, you’re missing out on a big piece of American history. You’ll find yourself immersed in a city that, at times, can feel like it’s straight out of the 18th century. Named after King Charles II of England (originally Charles Town), the city is frequently noted as one of the most friendly in the United States.

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Historical Fact: “Charleston is frequently referred to as the ‘Holy City’ for a couple of reasons,” Strawberry Tours explains. “Firstly, because churches and cathedrals are so prominent in what is a fairly low rise city. Secondly because it was one of the few original colonies to accept all Christian denominations.”

2. St. Augustine, Florida

Much like Charleston, St. Augustine will transport you back in time. There are entire streets lined with beautiful 17th and 18th century architecture, large Spanish forts, and beautiful coastlines just waiting to be enjoyed. There’s also incredible food from restaurants that have sourced their recipes from the city’s rich history.

Historical Fact: Founded by the Spanish in 1565, St. Augustine stakes claim to the title of oldest continuously inhabited European-founded city in the United States.

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3. Boston, Massachusetts

If you want to be in a place of firsts, travel up the east coast to Boston. This proud city has so much character and tradition, you’ll feel guilty leaving it behind when your trip is over. Home to the country’s first public library, first public school, first public park, and first public subway system, history oozes from Boston’s core.

Historical Fact: After owner Harry Frazee traded Babe Ruth to New York in 1920, the Boston Red Sox failed to win a World Series championship for 86 years (breaking the streak in 2004). Bostonians called it “the Curse of the Bambino.”

4. Williamsburg, Virginia

Founded in 1699, Williamsburg is recognized as the first colonial capital of Virginia. The settlement actually arose after Jamestown’s poor location along swampy land forced settlers to move seven miles inland. Today, you can visit Colonial Williamsburg, which spans 301 acres and still features 80 of the original structures that were preserved from the development of the colony.

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Historical Fact: Originally called Middle Plantation, Williamsburg was strategically chosen for it’s geographical placement between two rivers. This provided better access to water and more protection from Indian attacks.

5. New Orleans, Louisiana

While much of America’s history is rooted in English history, the city of New Orleans breaks away in a major way. Founded in 1718 by the French Mississippi Company and sold to Spain in 1763, New Orleans is heavily influenced by both French and Spanish architecture, food, and culture.

Historical Fact: Canal Street, which was once the widest in the world, was actually named for a canal that city planners were supposed to build on the street’s dividing median. It was never built, but the name stuck.

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Hit the Road, Jack

Looking to head somewhere new this year but remain in the country? Plan on visiting a couple of these historic cities together with your family and friends. You can even go solo! You’ll have a blast – and might even learn a thing or two in the process.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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Larry Alton

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Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

There are many reasons why people might scream – they’re angry, scared, or in pain (or maybe they’re in a metal band!). Some might say that screaming is bad, but here’s why science says it’s good for you.

“For the first time in the history of psychology there is a way to access feelings, hidden away, in a safe way and thus to reduce human suffering. It is, in essence, the first science of psychotherapy.” — Dr. Arthur Janov

Primal Therapy

Dr. Arthur Janov invented Primal Therapy in the late 1960’s. It is a practice that allows the patient to face their repressed emotions from past trauma head on and let those emotions go. This treatment is intended to cure any mental illness the patient may have that surfaced from this past trauma. In most cases, Primal Therapy has lead Dr. Janov’s patients to scream towards the end of their session, though it was not part of the original procedure. During a group therapy session that was at a standstill, Dr. Janov says that one of his patients, a student he called Danny, told a story that inspired him to implement a technique that he never would have thought of on his own.

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How it Started

“During a lull in our group therapy session, he told us a story about a man named Ortiz who was currently doing an act on the London stage in which he paraded around in diapers drinking bottles of milk. Throughout his number, Ortiz is shouting, ‘Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy!’ at the top of his lungs. At the end of his act he vomits. Plastic bags are passed out, and the audience is requested to follow suit.”

It doesn’t end there, though. Dr. Janov said that his patient was quite fascinated with that story, and that alone moved him to suggest something even he believed to be a little elementary.

“I asked him to call out, ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ Danny refused, saying that he couldn’t see the sense in such a childish act, and frankly, neither could I. But I persisted, and finally, he gave in. As he began, he became noticeably upset. Suddenly he was writhing on the floor in agony. His breathing was rapid, spasmodic. ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ came out of his mouth almost involuntarily in loud screeches. He appeared to be in a coma or hypnotic state. The writhing gave way to small convulsions, and finally, he released a piercing, deathlike scream that rattled the walls of my office. The entire episode lasted only a few minutes, and neither Danny nor I had any idea what had happened. All he could say afterward was: ‘I made it! I don’t know what, but I can feel.’”

Delving deeper

Dr. Janov says he was baffled for months, but then he decided to experiment with another patient with the same method, which lead to a similar result as before. The patient started out calling “Mommy! Daddy!” then experienced convulsions, heavy breathing, and then eventually screamed. After the session, Dr. Janov says his patient was transformed and became “virtually another human being. He became alert… he seemed to understand himself.”

Although the initial intention of this particular practice wasn’t to get the patient to scream, more than once did his Primal Therapy sessions end with the patient screaming and feeling lighter, revived, and relieved of stresses that were holding them down in life.

Some Methods To Practice Screaming

If you want to try it out for yourself, keep reading!

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  • Step 1: Be Alone — Be alone. If you live in a place that you can’t be alone, it might be a good idea to talk to your family or roommates and explain to them what you’re about to do and make sure they’re okay with it. If you’re good to go, move on to step 2.
  • Step 2: Lie Down — Lie down on a yoga mat on your back and place a pillow underneath your head. If you don’t own a yoga mat, you can use a rug or even a soft blanket.
  • Step 3: Think — Think of things that have hurt you or made you angry. It can be anything from your childhood or even something that happened recently to make yourself cry, if you’re not already crying or upset. You could even scream “Mommy! Daddy!” just like Dr. Janov’s patients did to get yourself started.
  • Step 4: Scream — Don’t hold anything back; cry and scream as loud as you can. You can also pound your fists on the ground, or just lie there and scream at the top of your lungs.

After this, you should return your breathing to a normal and steady pace. You should feel lighter, like a weight has been lifted off of you. If not, you can also try these other methods.

Scream Sing

Scream singing” is referring to what a lot of lead singers in metal or screamo bands will do. I’ve tried it and although I wasn’t very good at it, it was fun and definitely relieved me of any stress I was feeling from before. It usually ends up sounding like a really loud grunt, but nonetheless, it’s considered screaming.

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  • Step 1 — Bear down and make a grunting sound.
  • Step 2 — Hiss like a snake and make sure to do this from your diaphragm (your stomach) for as long as you can.
  • Step 3 — Breathe and push your stomach out for more air when you are belting notes, kind of like you would if you were singing.
  • Step 4 — Try different ways to let out air to control how long the note will last, just make sure not to let out too much air.
  • Step 5 — Distort your voice by pushing air out from your throat, just be careful not to strain yourself.
  • Step 6 — Play around with the pitch of your screams and how wide your mouth is open – the wider your mouth is open, the higher the screams will sound. The narrower or rounder your mouth is (and most likely shaped like an “o”), the lower the screams will sound.
  • Step 7 — Start screaming to metal music. If you’re not a huge metal fan, it’s okay. You don’t have to use this method if you don’t want to.

If you want a more thorough walkthrough of how to scream sing, here’s a good video tutorial. If this method is too strenuous on your vocal chords, stop. Also, make sure to stay hydrated when scream singing and drink lots of water.

Scream into a pillow

Grab a pillow and scream into it. This method is probably the fastest and easiest way to practice screaming. Just make sure to come up for air.

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Always remember to make sure that you’re not going to disturb anyone while practicing any of these methods of screaming. And with that, happy screaming!

Featured photo credit: Sharon Mollerus via flickr.com

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