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Seven Elements That Changed the World – John Browne

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Seven Elements That Changed the World

An Adventure of Ingenuity and Discovery

John Browne

Genre: History

Price: $2.99

Publish Date: February 4, 2014

Publisher: Pegasus Books

Seller: OpenRoad Integrated Media, LLC


From iron to uranium, titanium to silicon, this is “a wide-ranging look at scientific progress. It’s also a lot of fun” ( The Wall Street Journal). Iron. Carbon. Gold. Silver. Uranium. Titanium. Silicon. These elements of the periodic table have shaped our lives and our world, in ways both good and bad. Combining history, science, and politics, this “lively, educational examination of civilization’s building blocks” reveals the fascinating story ( Publishers Weekly ). With carbon, we can access heat, light, and mobility at the flick of a switch. Silicon enables us to communicate across the globe in an instant. Uranium is both productive (nuclear power) and destructive (nuclear bombs). Iron is the bloody weapon of war, but also the economic tool of peace. And our desire for alluring gold is the foundation of global trade—but it has also led to the death of millions. Explaining how titanium pervades modern consumer culture and how an innovative new form of carbon could be starting a technology revolution,  Seven Elements That Changed the World  is an adventure in human passion, ingenuity, and discovery—and the latest chapter in a journey that is far from over. “The human quest for knowledge has led to extraordinary progress. This book forces us to confront these realities and does so in a unique and fascinating way. It weaves science and humanity together in a way that gives us new insight. This is an expertly crafted book by a unique thinker.” —Tony Blair “John Browne uses seven elements, the building blocks of the physical world, to explore a multitude of worlds beyond. A lively story that enables us to see the essential elements of modern life in a new and highly engaging way.” —Daniel Yergin, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Quest “Part popular science, part history, part memoir, these pages are infused with insight and lifted by the innate optimism of a scientist.” —Brian Cox, physicist, broadcaster, and author of The Quantum Universe “An admirable popular science account of how iron, carbon, gold, silver, uranium, titanium, and silicon affect our lives . . . An expert on carbon (i.e., oil), Browne relies on the public library for much information but mixes in his travels and anecdotes from an impressive career to produce a lively, educational examination of civilization’s building blocks.” — Publishers Weekly John Browne was born in Germany in 1948 and joined BP as a university apprentice in 1966, rising to group chief executive from 1995 to 2007, where he built a reputation as a visionary leader, regularly voted the most admired businessman by his peers. This is his first book.

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Seven Elements That Changed the World – John Browne

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Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold – Tom Shachtman

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Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold

Tom Shachtman

Genre: History

Price: $1.99

Publish Date: December 12, 2000

Publisher: Mariner Books

Seller: OpenRoad Integrated Media, LLC


“A lovely, fascinating book, which brings science to life.” —Alan Lightman In this engrossing scientific chronicle, a perennial paperback favorite, Tom Shachtman combines science, history, and adventure in the story of our four-centuries-long quest to master the secrets of cold. Now a documentary based largely on Shachtman’s acclaimed book promises to bring these exhilarating scientific accomplishments to a new audience. Underwritten by the National Science Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and set to air on PBS and the BBC, the documentary was produced by British Emmy Award winner David Dugan, in collaboration with Meredith Burch of Meridian Productions in Washington, D.C. Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold demonstrates how temperature science produced astonishing scientific insights and applications that have revolutionized civilization. It also illustrates how scientific advancement, fueled by fortuitous discoveries and the determination of individuals, shapes our understanding of and relation to the world. “A lovely, fascinating book, which brings science to life.” —Alan Lightman   “Schachtman . . . holds the reader’s attention with the skill of a novelist.” — Scientific American Tom Shachtman has written 25 books, including the acclaimed Around the Block and Skyscraper Dreams . He has also written documentary films and tapes, which have won many awards. He lives with his wife in New York City.

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Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold – Tom Shachtman

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Federal officials accidentally emailed a reporter their plans to spin Puerto Rico.

In a memo leaked last week, Department of Homeland Security adviser Tom Bossert recommended White House staff pivot to a “theme of stabilizing” with regard to messaging around the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico.

President Trump, however, appears to have missed that particular update. On Thursday morning, he threatened to pull federal relief workers from the devastated island just three weeks after Maria made landfall.

Meanwhile, most of Puerto Rico is still without power, hospitals are running out of medical supplies, and clean water remains scarce.

Trump isn’t the only prominent Republican refusing to recognize the severity of the crisis. In an interview with CNN on Thursday morning, Representative Scott Perry, a Pennsylvania Republican, accused host Chris Cuomo of fabricating reports of the severity of the disaster.

“Mr. Cuomo, you’re simply just making this stuff up,” Perry said. “If half the country didn’t have food or water, those people would be dying, and they’re not.”

45 Puerto Rican deaths have been officially confirmed so far, and reports from the ground indicate the unofficial number of deaths due to the storm is higher.

Link – 

Federal officials accidentally emailed a reporter their plans to spin Puerto Rico.

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Gifts of an Eagle – Kent Durden

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Gifts of an Eagle

The Remarkable Story of a Bird and Her Family

Kent Durden

Genre: Nature

Price: $7.99

Publish Date: September 11, 2012

Publisher: Open Road Media

Seller: OpenRoad Integrated Media, LLC


New York Times Bestseller: The “extraordinary” true story of a golden eagle adopted by a California ranching family, and how she changed their lives (Delia Ephron). In 1955, Ed Durden brought a baby golden eagle home to his ranch in California, where she would stay for the next sixteen years. As her bond with Ed and the Durden family grew, the eagle, named Lady, displayed a fierce intelligence and strong personality. She learned quickly, had a strong mothering instinct (even for other species), and never stopped surprising those who cared for her. An eight-week New York Times bestseller, Gifts of an Eagle is a fascinating up-close look at one of the most majestic creatures in nature, as well as a heartwarming family story and “an affectionate, unsentimental tribute” ( Kirkus Reviews ). “Superb . . . an outstanding story of one of the grandest creatures of nature, written with rare knowledge and understanding of the subject. It combines keen observation with a remarkable intimate relationship, so seldom found in studies of wild creatures. It should become a ‘classic.’” —Joy Adamson, author of Born Free  “A glad adventure into the fierce free world behind those golden eyes. Mr. Durden has found a way to hand us the friendship of a proud creature, and that’s a gift rarely given . . .” —Richard Bach, author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull Kent Durden (1937–2007) was a wildlife photographer, documentarian, and writer best known for his acclaimed book Gifts of an Eagle (1972), an account of his family’s sixteen years caring for a golden eagle named Lady. In a column for the Wall Street Journal ,Delia Ephron named the memoir among the five greatest books about animals. Durden also wrote the novel Flight to Freedom (1974) and the memoir A Fine and Peaceful Kingdom (1975). A native of Southern California, Durden toured with the Audubon Society for many years, giving lectures and screening his film about Lady, which included original footage of many of the events from the book. It is available at giftsofaneagle.com. His daughter, Krissy Durden, lives in Portland, Oregon, and contributed a new foreword to Open Road’s edition of Gifts of an Eagle .

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Gifts of an Eagle – Kent Durden

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Dinosaurs Without Bones – Anthony J. Martin

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Dinosaurs Without Bones

Dinosaur Lives Revealed by Their Trace Fossils

Anthony J. Martin

Genre: Science & Nature

Price: $11.99

Publish Date: March 4, 2014

Publisher: Pegasus Books

Seller: OpenRoad Integrated Media, LLC


What if we woke up one morning all of the dinosaur bones in the world were gone? How would we know these iconic animals had a 165-million year history on earth, and had adapted to all land-based environments from pole to pole? What clues would be left to discern not only their presence, but also to learn about their sex lives, raising of young, social lives, combat, and who ate who? What would it take for us to know how fast dinosaurs moved, whether they lived underground, climbed trees, or went for a swim? Welcome to the world of ichnology, the study of traces and trace fossils—such as tracks, trails, burrows, nests, toothmarks, and other vestiges of behavior—and how through these remarkable clues, we can explore and intuit the rich and complicated lives of dinosaurs. With a unique, detective-like approach, interpreting the forensic clues of these long-extinct animals that leave a much richer legacy than bones, Martin brings the wild world of the Mesozoic to life for the twenty-first-century reader. Past Praise for Anthony J. Martin: “Martin shows how ancient trace fossils directly relate to modern traces and tracemakers, among them insects, crabs, shorebirds, alligators, and sea turtles. The result is an aesthetically appealing and scientifically accurate book.” — Birdbooker Report “The pedagogy is excellent, and the explanations of technical material are accessible.” —Raymond Freeman-Lynde, University of Georgia “Full of valuable and useful information.” — Geological Magazine Anthony J. Martin is a professor at Emory University, a paleontologist, geologist, and one of the world’s most accomplished ichnologists. He is the co-discoverer of the first known burrowing dinosaur, found the oldest dinosaur burrows in the geologic record, and documented the best assemblage of polar-dinosaur tracks in the Southern Hemisphere. He is the author of two textbooks on dinosaurs and lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Dinosaurs Without Bones – Anthony J. Martin

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Of Wolves and Men – Barry Lopez

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Of Wolves and Men
Barry Lopez

Genre: Nature

Price: $9.99

Publish Date: May 31, 2016

Publisher: Open Road Media

Seller: OpenRoad Integrated Media, LLC


National Book Award Finalist: A “brilliant” study of the science and mythology of the wolf by the New York Times –bestselling author of Arctic Dreams ( The Washington Post ).  When John Fowles reviewed Of Wolves and Men , he called it “A remarkable book, both biologically absorbing and humanly rich, and one that should be read by every concerned American.” In this National Book Award–shortlisted work, literary master Barry Lopez guides us through the world of the wolf and our often-mistaken perceptions of another species’ place on our shared planet. Throughout the centuries, the wolf has been a figure of fascination and mystery, and a major motif in literature and myth. Inspiring fear and respect, the creature has long exerted a powerful influence on the human imagination. Of Wolves and Men takes the reader into the world of the Canis lupus and its relationship to humankind through the ages. Lopez draws on science, history, mythology, and his own field research to present a compelling portrait of wolves both real and imagined, dispelling our fear of them while celebrating their place in our history, legends, and hearts.  This ebook features an illustrated biography of Barry Lopez including rare images and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection. “A splendid, beautiful book.” — The Wall Street Journal “Fascinating. . . . A wealth of observation, mythology, and mysticism.” — The New York Times Book Review “Brilliant. . . . A work of intelligence, dedication, and beauty deserving the widest possible attention not only for the sake of wolves but also for the sake of men.” — The Washington Post Barry Lopez (b. 1945) is the author of thirteen books of essays, short stories, and nonfiction. He is a recipient of the National Book Award, the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and numerous other literary and cultural honors and awards. His highly acclaimed books include Arctic Dreams , Winter Count , and Of Wolves and Men, for which he received the John Burroughs and Christopher medals. He lives in western Oregon.     

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Of Wolves and Men – Barry Lopez

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Scott Pruitt doesn’t want to politicize science.

According to a new study from the nonprofit Environmental Integrity Project, the current presidential administration has collected fewer civil penalties and filed fewer environmental enforcement suits against polluting companies than the Obama, Clinton, and George W. Bush administrations did at the same point in office.

The analysis assesses agreements made in the Environmental Protection Agency’s civil enforcement cases. For abuses under laws like the Clean Air Act, the Trump administration has collected just $12 million in civil penalties, a drop of 60 percent from the average of the other administrations. Trump’s EPA has lodged 26 environmental lawsuits compared to 31, 34, and 45 by Bush, Obama, and Clinton, respectively.

The marked decrease in enforcement likely has to do with the EPA’s deregulatory agenda. Since confirmed, administrator Scott Pruitt has systematically tried to knock out key environmental regulations, especially those created during Obama’s tenure.

The Project notes that its assessment is only of a six-month period, so future enforcement could catch Trump up to his predecessors. Or he’ll continue to look the other way.

“I’ve seen the pendulum swing,” said Bruce Buckheit, who worked in EPA enforcement under Clinton and then Bush, “but never as far as what appears to be going on today.”

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Scott Pruitt doesn’t want to politicize science.

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Chart of the Day: The Sean Spicer Show

Mother Jones

Here’s a fun chart from Media Matters:

(Note: I have switched the colors in the graph to the correct red-state-blue-state representation.)

The remarkable thing here is not that President Obama’s press secretary was televised so little. That’s normal. The remarkable thing is that President Trump’s press secretary is televised so much. This is, pretty obviously, not because Spicer is singularly transparent and produces loads of news. It’s because the guy is a train wreck and we can’t look away.

But here’s a question: the standard excuse for this is that Spicer gets great ratings. But does he? I know he did in his first few weeks, but are his ratings still higher than ordinary news? I can’t seem to find any evidence one way or another.

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Chart of the Day: The Sean Spicer Show

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A Vet Turns to Farming to Heal His Wounds

Mother Jones

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd”>
Alex Sutton sorts through all of his prescribed medications. His regimen at the time included anxiety medication and pills that helped him deal with depression, nightmares, and low energy issues.

Alex Sutton is a decorated US Army veteran who served three tours in Iraq. Raised by his grandparents in Iowa, he joined the Army at 17, and served 13 years in the military. He has been wounded in combat and received the Purple Heart for his injuries. In 2011, he was honorably discharged and medically retired, and took up residence on an isolated farm in rural North Carolina with his fiancée Jessica. They raise heritage breed chickens, along with some pigs and sheep.

Beyond his physical wounds, Alex carries the weight of serious, and chronic, post-traumatic stress. The couple is dead set on healing his mental wounds through rigorous farm work and the space of time; however, healing from PTSD is a nonlinear process. In Alex’s case, it encompassed periods, even weeks, of progress punctuated with deep periods of depression and the constant fear of flashbacks and nightmares.

It’s a story playing out in similar ways in thousands of homes around the country. More than 393,000 US veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been diagnosed with PTSD by the Veterans Health Administration. Meanwhile, a majority of US farms are in their last generation with no family members to carry on the tradition—40 percent of farmers are over the age of 65. Groups like SAVE Farm and the Farmer Veteran Coalition are pushing to reintegrate vets into civilian life and the workforce through farming.

The new film Farmer/Veteran follows Alex and Jessica’s story as they attempt to soothe some of the mental wounds of war through agricultural therapy. Farmer/Veteran premieres on Independent Lens Monday, May 29th.

Alex decided to sell some of his tactical weapons as a result of discussions with his psychologist. He has a kid on the way, and he says he is trying to leave the soldier part of his life behind. He will keep a few handguns and hunting rifles, but feels that selling his military style weaponry will help in his recovery.

Alex holds one of the many birds on his farm. Alex and his fiancée Jessica initially raised hundreds of heritage breed birds before the workload became too difficult to manage.

Jessica sits on her four-wheeler as Alex fishes. When he has bad days, he goes down to the pond on the farm to settle his mind and try and calm down.

On the way to a fishing trip on Badin Lake, Alex stops for bait fish.

Alex baits a hook while fishing on Badin Lake. Fishing is one of the few things that can calm his nerves.

A shot pheasant waits to be cleaned at a Patriot Hunts event for veterans from the Airborne and Special Forces communities. Alex served with the 82nd Airborne and has attended a few of these events that bring together vets from the region.

Jessica stands at the bed of the Sutton’s truck after a Patriot Hunts event.

A rifle cartridge sits on a table at the Sutton residence next to a mailer about veteran medical benefits.

Cattle push and bellow in a pen at a livestock auction in rural North Carolina. The Suttons came to try and a buy a cow or two and ended up with two alpacas, which Alex bought on a whim.

Alex and Jessica wait for the birth of their first child. After losing custody of his first daughter (from a previous marriage) after returning from his third tour in Iraq, Alex has always wanted, but feared, the arrival of his first child in his new relationship.

Alex shows his new haircut.

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A Vet Turns to Farming to Heal His Wounds

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These Early ’70s Ads Tried to Convince Kids the US Army Wasn’t Totally Uptight

Mother Jones

In the early 1970s, the US Army had a serious problem with its brand. It was stuck in an unpopular and bloody war. Morale stank; even President Richard Nixon conceded to West Point cadets that “It is no secret that the discipline, integrity, patriotism, self-sacrifice, which are the very lifeblood of an effective armed force…can no longer be taken for granted in the Army.” Plus, Nixon had promised to stop the draft and the Pentagon had agreed to reintroduce an all-volunteer force in 1973. That meant military brass could no longer rely on a steady stream of warm bodies to fill the ranks—they would have go out and convince new recruits that Army life wasn’t a drag.

Iconic and unseen war photos from Vietnam and Iraq AP Photo

So in 1971, the Army enlisted Madison Avenue to help. Not literally Madison Avenue, but N.W. Ayer, a venerable Philadelphia advertising firm that held the Army recruitment account and had coined copyrwriting gems such as “A diamond is forever.” Armed with a $18.5 million budget—a sixfold increase from 1970—would-be Don Drapers and Peggy Olsons started brainstorming ways to sell the Army to a target demographic that had come of age amid peace protests and love beads.

This wasn’t the first time Ayer had tried to convince young Americans that the military got them. In 1969, it created an ad targeting young women titled “The Army needs girls as well as generals.” Beneath a photo of an aging staff officer and his fresh-faced assistant—his hand creepily touching hers beneath a manila folder—the ad gushed about the need for “girls who can keep things moving in the office.” And if the chance to wage bureaucratic warfare in a potentially hostile work environment wasn’t enticing enough, the copy promised the chance to meet “young people who want to go places and do things.”

N. W. Ayer Advertising Agency Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution

The generals who oversaw the 1971 Army rebranding project were unimpressed by Ayer’s initial pitches. One rejected concept, described by historian Beth Bailey, featured an image of a chicken wearing dog tags with the tag line “Bye Bye Birdie.” (Sorry, Sal Romano.)

Eventually, the firm sold a reluctant Army Chief of Staff General William C. Westmoreland on the slogan “Today’s Army Wants to Join You”—a twist on the old “I Want You for U.S. Army” posters that one ad exec said was meant to evoke “individual expression and changing lifestyles.” (The other branches of the armed services also deployed new slogans to woo the Me Generation: The Navy: “If you’re going to be something, why not be something special?” The Air Force: “Find yourself in the United States Air Force.”)

N. W. Ayer Advertising Agency Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution

N. W. Ayer Advertising Agency Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution

The resulting youth-friendly campaign featured a variety of print ads published in mainstream magazines such as Popular Science and Field and Stream. Ads aimed at African-Americans ran in Ebony, Jet, and other black magazines. “When was the last time you got promoted?” asked an ad depicting a young African-American woman in an office. There was no mention of doing a general’s paperwork; instead, the ad talked up interesting work—”at the same starting salary our men get.”

N. W. Ayer Advertising Agency Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution

The campaign also included TV and radio ads as well as records like the one below. Inconveniently, Bailey notes, the TV spots rolled out just as Lt. William Calley was being tried for his role in the 1968 My Lai massacre. A survey found that the ads didn’t shift young men’s interest in enlisting; some unswayed viewers called them “slick garbage.” The TV campaign ended after three months and its funding was not renewed. But Westmoreland later reported that the short-lived campaign was “eminently successful.”

The external rebranding effort was matched by an internal one. In preparation for the end of the draft, the Army rolled out reforms at a few bases as part of Project VOLAR (Volunteer Army). Changes included an end to reveille and bed checks, fewer inspections and more privacy, and other moves toward easing discipline and breaking down military hierarchy. Commanders could even allow the sale of low-alcohol beer in mess halls and barracks.

Operation Dessert Storm: The military loves giant cakes National Archives

In 1971, a couple of recent enlistees hit the road on their motorcycles on a new kind of recruiting mission. “Rapping with kids on street corners, at dances, at bowling alleys and high schools from New York to Baton Rouge,” according to the Soliders magazine, the duo talked up the perks of the new, laid-back Army. At one high school, Specialist Mike Speegle boasted about his two-person room: “I had black light posters, peace signs, a little styrofoam beer cooler in the corner.”

The changes went all the way to the top. Following “an extensive study of Army policy on haircuts,” restrictions on longer hairstyles, sideburns, and mustaches were eased. A LIFE magazine article on “liberated” Fort Carson, Colorado, reported that the new three-inch haircut rule allowed “enough for a spectacular Afro.” One recruitment ad focused on the new hair policies. “You’ll find that today’s Army is pretty relaxed about how you cut and style your hair,” it read. “You’ll discover that we care more about your head than we do about your hair.”

In 1971 LIFE asked cartoonist Bill Mauldin to view “the new Army” through the eyes of his grizzled World War II dogfaces. Life/Google Books

Soliders

The closest the “Today’s Army” campaign came to acknowledging the Sexual Revolution was an ad that suggested a tour of duty in Germany was a chance to see some action. In it, a GI in civvies and almost-civilian-length sideburns fraternizes with an attentive blonde at what looks like a Parisian café.

N. W. Ayer Advertising Agency Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution

A photographer follows soldiers to Iraq and Afghanistan—and back. Peter van Agtmael

By the mid-1970s, many of the VOLAR reforms were scrapped. Officers and lawmakers alike worried that the changes, exemplified by the “Today’s Army…” slogan, were indicators of deteriorating post-Vietnam morale and readiness. “Because of slogans like that, and because of the felling that they have beer in the barracks, no reveilles, and things like that, it was perceived by a great many Americans that the Army would be an undisciplined Army,” Secretary of the Army Bo Callaway told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee in 1974.

In 1973, “Today’s Army wants to join you” was replaced with a new slogan, “Join the people who’ve joined the Army.” (N.W. Ayer would later lose the Army account after a kickback scandal.) But the campaign’s basic message—that a stint in uniform was a chance for self-realization rather than mindless submission to conformity—would remain a fixture of future recruitment campaigns, from “Be all you can be” to “An Army of one.”

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These Early ’70s Ads Tried to Convince Kids the US Army Wasn’t Totally Uptight

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