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Some news is as predictable as the calendar on the wall—because certain days on the calendar always make news. The seasonal stories ﬁll up the paper. But do they feed your brain? Ours do. Here is the knowledge you need to be a man—or a woman— for all seasons. Learn the real reason summer sizzles, leaves fall, and April rain smells like poetry. Meet the real St. Nick. Discover ﬁve days in U.S. history as bad as 9/11—and see how the nation responded. From Yom Kippur to Ramadan, you’ll get a full year of knowledge fast when you read the KnowledgeNews Almanac. We’ve got the calendar covered. We even tell you how the calendar came to be.
How the Calendar Came To Be........................................................................................................4 Spring 5 Science Surprises for Spring .........................................................................................................7 How Daylight Saving Time Got Started ..........................................................................................9 Professional Fools ..........................................................................................................................10 Meeting Pontius Pilate ................................................................................................................... 11 Who’s to Blame for U.S. Income Tax? ..........................................................................................13 What Is Cinco de Mayo?................................................................................................................14 America’s Greatest Memorial ........................................................................................................15 Summer Why Summer Simmers So .............................................................................................................18 Monsoon Season ............................................................................................................................19 Fireworks for the Fourth ................................................................................................................20 How’d Those Swimsuits Get So Skimpy? .....................................................................................21 Thank Aristotle for Summer Movies .............................................................................................23 Baseball’s Best Pitches ..................................................................................................................25 Labor’s Days Past ..........................................................................................................................27 Fall Why Leaves Fall ............................................................................................................................29 5 Dark Days in America .................................................................................................................31 What Is Ramadan? .........................................................................................................................34 What Is Yom Kippur? ....................................................................................................................35 Viking Raiders Attack Columbus...................................................................................................36 Witch Hunt .....................................................................................................................................38 Gobble, Gobble, Gobble ................................................................................................................42 Winter When Molecules Need Mittens......................................................................................................45 How Hanukkah Got Started ...........................................................................................................46 Who Was the Real St. Nick? ..........................................................................................................47 How Santa Flies High ....................................................................................................................48 Stating the Union ...........................................................................................................................50 Roman Super Sport ........................................................................................................................51 3 Powerful Love Stories.................................................................................................................53
How the Calendar Came To Be
“Thirty days hath September, April, June, and November.” But why? How’d we wind up with a calendar that has four months of 30 days, seven months of 31 days, and one of 28 (not to mention a leap year every four)? It’s a long story—of lunar months, solar years, a caesar, and a pope. Here’s the tale. Lunar Months, Solar Years Time may be relative, but ancient farmers liked to know when to plant, when to reap, and when to celebrate all that planting and reaping. So they looked up. Back then, the night sky provided the most convenient calendar. Even the dimmest of observers could see that the moon took 29 to 30 days (actually, 29.53) to turn from a thin crescent to a bloated orb and back again. That cycle told one lunar month. More astute timekeepers noticed that roughly twice every 12 lunar cycles, there was a day with equal hours of light and dark. These days, the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, marked time for the seasons. The time between one vernal equinox and the next told one solar year (or 365.24 days). The trick was to make a calendar that had lunar months and a solar year. Not so easy, as lunar months don’t ﬁt evenly into solar years. The best compromise was to ﬁt 12 lunar cycles (a little more than 354 days) into one solar cycle. But that left 11 solar days outside time. After just three years on a lunar calendar, the months were off by 33 days. Gradually, June froze over and November got downright sultry. And no one knew when Mother’s Day was. The Merry Month of Mercedonius The only way to ﬁt the solar and lunar calendars together was to intercalate, or to add extra days or months. The Romans, who were the best at many things, were the worst at this. They just tacked on a “leap month” after February every other year, called Mercedonius. Everyone liked Mercedonius. People got another paycheck and could wait to pay off their debts. But the ofﬁcials who were supposed to regulate when Mercedonius started and stopped gleefully abused the extra month, often using it for personal and political ends. Need to keep a friend in ofﬁce? Want to postpone a project? Just manipulate Mercedonius! It was great fun, but lousy timekeeping. Even without the rampant calendrical abuse, the Roman calendar gained a day every year. A year with Mercedonius ran 377 or 378 days, while a normal Roman year lasted 355 days. Since that averaged out to 366.25 days, Roman time gradually pulled ahead of the solar year. Reckon Unto Caesar Julius Caesar put a stop to all the madness in 46 BC. With the help of a Greek astronomer, Caesar devised a strategy to standardize the Roman calendar. First, he added three months to the then-current Roman year, 707, to get things back into whack. Then, he made the Roman year 365 days long, with an extra day in February every fourth year. He abolished Mercedonius. To make 12 lunar months ﬁt into a solar year, Caesar simply added days to the non-February months until he had doled out 365 days across the year. That cratered the idea of having months that track the moon, but something had to give. For Caesar, it was time for the moon to bow to the sun. It took a few decades to work out the kinks, but Caesar’s calendar was actually pretty good—only 11 minutes off each year. To thank him, in 44 BC the Roman Senate
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named the seventh month of the new calendar July, after their exalted and time-sensitive leader. (His successor, Caesar Augustus, laid claim to August in 8 BC.) The Pope’s Command But wait a second: what about those 11 minutes? By the 16th century, the Julian calendar had fallen behind the solar one by 10 days. The Catholic Church, which had used the Julian calendar for centuries despite its known faults, was getting anxious about how far the vernal equinox was creeping away from the “correct” date for Easter. Early 4th-century Christians had decided that Easter should be celebrated on the ﬁrst Sunday after the ﬁrst full moon following the vernal equinox. But every 130 years, the Julian calendar moved one whole day further off solar time. By the year 1500, the vernal equinox fell on the 10th or 11th of March (instead of nearer the 21st of that month). So, in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII ordered everyone to go to bed on Thursday, October 4, and wake up on Friday, October 15. This 10-day adjustment worked well, so Gregory added another change. Century years such as 1700 or 1800 would no longer be counted as leap years unless they were divisible by 400 (like 1600 or 2000). The Gregorian calendar, which the western world still uses today, departs from the solar year by only 26 seconds. That’s one day every 3,323 years. Not all of Europe was quick to adopt the Gregorian calendar. Differences with Rome kept many countries from signing on. England and America held out until 1752, when an act of parliament required his majesty’s subjects to skip 11 days in September, going straight from Wednesday, September 2, to Thursday, September 14. Mother Russia required a revolution to change its dated ways—the Gregorian calendar wasn’t used there until 1918. —Claire Vail
In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII ordered everyone to go to bed on Thursday, October 4, and wake up on Friday, October 15.
KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner, Inc., an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner, Inc. All rights reserved. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles, except by qualiﬁed educational institutions, is prohibited.
Income Tax? What Is Cinco de Mayo? America’s Greatest Memorial .Spring 5 Science Surprises for Spring How Daylight Saving Time Got Started Professional Fools Meeting Pontius Pilate Who’s to Blame for U.S.
It reaches its full height in a month. more wooded areas around the world. The scientists. Yogi and Boo-Boo aren’t exactly into winter sports.. Slack off with a bamboo lawn. All that. Spring Science Surprise #1: Bears Don’t Really Hibernate Scientists say that “true” hibernators. called the aroma “petrichor. Many think it’s the fastest growing plant on the planet. practically die during hibernation. make you grateful you cut your grass just once a week. Yet be thankful. and you’ll be cutting it with a helicopter. but they’re not dead to the world either. It’s called bamboo. They wake up frequently and can stir in a second if someone invades their den. could the smell of rain kill you? Not generally. can grow up to 4 feet (more than a meter) in a single day. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. and something else. Still. Bears just use winter to catch up on their sleep. Spring Science Surprise #3: The Smell of Rain Is Petrichor April showers bring May ﬂowers. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. the smell of rain is likely the smell of spores. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. or rock. Bamboo may grow like a tree. earthy scent marketers never quite manage to put in fabric softener. But only a special.” combining the Greek word petros. So. too: the smell of rain—that fresh. prod. where they’re more whiffable.KnowledgeNews 5 Science Surprises for Spring In the spring. your lawn probably adds a couple of inches each week. Mother bears even give birth to cubs and suckle them sleepily till spring. with ichor. But normally. In moister. but it’s actually a kind of giant grass. towering as much as 72 feet (22 meters) above you and your Lawnboy. from bacteria that live in the soil called actinomycetes. Truth is. They do wake up every few weeks. you can spot KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. less refreshing bacteria. . many minds turn to thoughts of . except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. Inc. A little rain releases the oils into the air. let’s talk about the birds and the bees. the blood-like essence of Greek gods. like so much bath oil. actinomycetes are a primary source of antibiotics used to combat other. preferring winter dormancy to scrounging for dwindling food. Spring Science Surprise #4: The First Robin May Not Signal Spring Alright. 7 . science. Their body temperature drops only a few degrees. such as ground squirrels. you can poke. springtime hit of KnowledgeNews will tell you why the bears didn’t wake up from hibernation. as every tissue toes the line between life and death. Spring Science Surprise #2: Your Grass Doesn’t Grow That Fast Once warmed and watered out of its winter brownness. not every rainy-day aroma comes from botanical extracts. One variety. Spotting a robin does not necessarily signal the start of spring. called madake. slows from a few hundred beats per minute to just ﬁve. Raindrops pounding the ground blast ﬁne particles of soil and spores into the air. and a frank talk about the birds and the bees. Their body temperature drops to near freezing. First thing: Mom lied. for example. . In fact. Even the little nut lover’s bones and teeth deteriorate. of course! Anyone can let you in on the birds and the bees. too. In 1964. and ﬁll your head with petrichor—the smell of spring rain. All rights reserved. or even eat a hibernating critter and get no response. is prohibited. two Australian scientists trying to pin down the elusive smell discovered that plants secrete various oils during dry times that rocks and soil absorb. Inc. A ground squirrel’s heart rate. There is a grass that you’d have to cut every hour of every day for a month just to keep your yard underfoot. who clearly had poetry in their souls. Never try that with a bear. and their organs shut down.
not teamsters. He surely told you that bees make honey. but they save this singing for after they’ve returned to claim a springtime spot. Robins make all kinds of chirps and calls. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. you might see one that ﬂew in from someplace farther north. When your local robins return. But how? It’s not as if the little buzzers have a honey factory inside their hive where they slather sweets into packages like Keebler elves. No. 8 . They tend to arrive after the temperature moves consistently above 37 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius). All rights reserved. Even if your robins ﬂew south for the winter. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. prod. you have to lay eyes on your robins—on the ones actually returning to your area for some spring and summer worming. honeybees sip the best nectar from the ripest ﬂowers. Never try that with a bear. giving the sugars sticky-sweet reign—and giving you the essence of spring ﬂowers on your toast. To make such glorious stuff. honey is pretty much just bee vomit. Spring Science Surprise #5: Honey Is Bee Vomit Dad didn’t tell you the whole story either. Through a combination of repeated regurgitation and vigorous wing fanning. —Michael Himick You can poke. Inc. bees make the solution lose moisture.net American robins just about all year long. But you can listen. Inc. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. Come on: they’re bees. which bees use to feed their young and sustain the hive during winter. is prohibited. marking their territories with a distinctive song: cheer-up. You can’t exactly check their boarding passes. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. To get a thumbs-up on spring.. the males call dibs on worms. Nectar is a watery mix of various sugars. That’s when worms head back to the surface after tunneling all winter below the frost. with those sugars accounting for between 3 and 80 percent of the solution. cheer-up.http://KnowledgeNews. cheer-a-lee. or even eat a hibernating critter and get no response.
to be taken as seriously (or as lightly) as you want. The clock trick we know today came largely from one William Willett. when more people are awake. Farmers. States Meet Uniform Time After the war. which poetically called it “Summer Time. “Everyone appreciates the long light evenings. involved taxing window shutters. is so seldom seen or used. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. —Michael Himick and Adam Zoll KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. including Britain. never liked the time change.S. Today. wreaking havoc on railway timetables and broadcast schedules. The plan he put forth in 1907. a London builder. Other countries followed suit. Big Ben Meets Will Willett Franklin ﬁrst suggested maximizing daylight hours—and so conserving candles—in a whimsical 1784 letter to the editor of the Journal de Paris. restricting nighttime trafﬁc. Big Ben didn’t hit on any clock tricks. Ben Franklin thought so. though. Countries near the equator generally don’t change their clocks because they get roughly the same amount of daylight each day of the year. Unfortunately for him. but abandoned it after only seven months because it was so unpopular.” Willett wrote. many U. But skeptics’ minds changed in World War I. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. right? Well. And that reduces the amount of energy needed to power lights and appliances. U. “Everyone laments their shrinkage as the days grow shorter. Inc. grumbling that earlyrising cows and chickens didn’t adjust their clocks.” Will Willett Meets World War Willett’s idea got people talking.S. Germany and Austria instituted Daylight Saving Time in 1916. states decided to stick with various versions of Daylight Saving Time. But different states—or even towns—changed their clocks on different dates. His proposal.” called for everyone to set their clocks forward 20 minutes on each Sunday in April and then to wind their clocks back 20 minutes on each Sunday in September. clocks were kept one hour ahead of standard time yearround from 1942 to 1945. Easy. About 70 other countries use some form of Daylight Saving Time. 9 . Inc. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. in particular. In England. Yet World War II brought Daylight Saving Time back as “War Time. Setting clocks one hour ahead adds one hour of daylight to the end of the day. every state but Arizona and Hawaii observes the time change. during Spring and Summer months. and ringing church bells and ﬁring cannons at dawn to encourage early rising. All rights reserved. too. they were advanced two hours ahead of standard time during the summer and one hour ahead the rest of the year.KnowledgeNews How Daylight Saving Time Got Started The idea behind Daylight Saving Time is simple.” In the United States. the talk was mostly about what a harebrained scheme he was proposing. So Congress stepped in and standardized the time changes with the Uniform Time Act of 1966. and nearly everyone has given utterance to a regret that the clear bright light of early morning..” The United States adopted Daylight Saving Time in 1918. is prohibited. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. when saving energy was vital. in a pamphlet titled “Waste of Daylight.
kings and queens hired the pros. is prohibited. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. the fool was as important culturally as he was politically. Nobody’s Fool If the fool could pull it off.” Fools who kept their positions at court could also become important advisors. the court jester—a professional fool. to monks defrocked for fooling around with nuns. Fool’s Errands Court jesters were the standup comics of their day. does walk about the orb like the sun. Meet. a. None had much to look forward to in the Middle Ages. but not his lands—a decent end for a “fool” who started out as “a most dexterous sheep-stealer. Inc. When April Fool’s Day rolls around. Most were low born. They came from all manner of men—from college dropouts. to swineherds. Insolence eventually cost him his job. New generations of actors took comedy in new directions. Archibald Armstrong. jester to kings James I and Charles I of England. was the Robin Williams of his age (once he quit tending swine). Elizabeth’s favorite jester. It was a dangerous job. Richard Tarlton. He may even have been the model for Shakespeare’s Yorick. The ﬁrst was Will Kempe. England named its ﬁrst ofﬁcial court jester in over 350 years—Nigel Roder. they could be trusted to By the time of Queen Elizabeth I. All rights reserved. though. dear reader.. Times change. the court jester for Henry VIII. was granted more than a thousand acres of land in Ireland. be more honest than the courtiers who crowded around the king. “Kester the Jester. The fool was expected to provide a steady stream of entertainment. Yet it turned out that the jester’s day was not quite done. including Touchstone in As You Like It. whose scenestealing improvisational antics may have inspired Hamlet’s advice to the actors he welcomes at court: “let those that play your clowns speak no more than is set down for them. Feste in Twelfth Night.” Kempe was replaced by the razorwitted Robert Armin. Will Somers.” —Mark Diller KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. In 2004. who likely played Shakespeare’s most famous fools. Shakespeare’s Feste should have the last word: “Foolery. he might end up on easy street.a. Back in the day. was so highly esteemed that he served under the next two monarchs as well.k. it shines everywhere. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners.KnowledgeNews Professional Fools Watch your back. Fools Fade Away The court jester tradition mostly died out by the end of the 17th century. It wasn’t unusual for a fool to suffer an unfortunate end when someone didn’t think a joke was funny. unless they were quick-witted—and lucky—enough to sign on as the ofﬁcial fool for a king or lord. Shakespeare’s own theater company employed two famous fools.” As for foolishness itself. sir. and the Fool in King Lear. there will be plenty of amateur fools looking for a mark. Much Ado about Jesting 10 . the “fellow of inﬁnite jest” whose skull Hamlet admires. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. Usually he did this by mocking everyone and everything—the boss and his powerful friends included. Many were deformed or disabled. With no political ambitions of their own. Inc. New generations of monarchs believed they had nothing to learn from fools.
who worshipped scores of deities. Pilate consults with the Jewish high priests about the charges. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. Judeo-Roman Relations Keeping the peace wasn’t easy in Judea. who’s currently in Jerusalem (it’s Passover). Inc. And he almost surely had experience as a Roman army ofﬁcer.. not far from the modern city of Haifa. Jesus is taken to such a court after he’s been betrayed and arrested. But they didn’t want a lot of trouble in the region. is prohibited. when hundreds of thousands of Jews gathered in that city.KnowledgeNews Meeting Pontius Pilate If it weren’t for the part he played in one of the most famous stories of all time—the Easter story—few people would still remember Pontius Pilate. the Romans. since that’s how would-be prefects earned their stripes. That’s where he spent most of his time for the next 10 years—though he and his troops likely went to Jerusalem each Passover. but we can safely make some assumptions. he was the region’s chief magistrate. 11 . Jewish high priests interrogate Jesus and pronounce him guilty of blasphemy. So they bring Jesus before Pilate. There are no contemporary records of Pilate’s early life. asks Jesus some questions. responsible for presiding over legal disputes. for example.” they didn’t like it when the Jews claimed that distinction. But Matthew’s Gospel adds an element that would not have been part of a normal Roman hearing. Pilate settled into the prefect’s palace on the Mediterranean. Pilate had two important jobs. and keep the peace. he was expected to collect taxes. That’s one reason they allowed the Jews to handle most of their own legal disputes in Jewish religious courts. In the Bible. who would not have had all the rights of a Roman citizen. usually featured portraits of the emperor. Pontius Pilate oversaw Judea as prefect. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. Since his name was “Pontius. After making the month-long trip from Rome. For their part.” Scholars of ancient Rome say the Gospels describe a fairly typical hearing for someone like Jesus. in charge of a few thousand troops. All rights reserved. Some time after Pilate turned 30—the minimum age for a prefect—the emperor Tiberius appointed him prefect of Judea. Christians will never forget him. since the Romans also thought of themselves as “the chosen people. Inc. And. Rome’s Man in Judea From AD 26 to 36. he was the top local military commander. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. First. But they aren’t empowered to execute prisoners—they need the approval of the Roman prefect. Meeting Jesus All four Gospels describe the legal proceedings leading up to Jesus’s execution. Second. where local Jews and imported Romans didn’t mix well. the Romans offended the Jews. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. a capital crime. As occupiers in Judea. Pilate calls for a basin of water and literally washes his hands of the decision to execute Jesus—though he goes on to order the cruciﬁxion anyway. As it is. Wielding both military and civil authority. Even when they weren’t trying to. encourage trade with Rome. but many Jews considered such portraits “graven images” and refused to use the money. and ultimately does “deliver him to be cruciﬁed. found the Jews’ insistence on praying to just one God both stingy and odd. the Romans could have cracked down on the Jews even harder than they did. Roman coins. As prefect of a far-off province. which lay between two more valuable Roman possessions: Egypt and Syria. Basically.” he probably came from the Pontii clan of central Italy. The land had come under Roman control about 90 years earlier. or military governor.
In some. some of which survive today. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. Inc. But the contemporary records of actions Pilate took while in ofﬁce are gone. though there’s no shortage of stories about him. tries to stop him from taking part in Jesus’s trial. After that. Pilate issued several small bronze coins. archaeologists unearthed an inscribed stone that says Pilate erected a public building—we’re not sure what kind—during his term. is prohibited.http://KnowledgeNews. In 1961. it’s hard to tell what happened to Pilate. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner.net After Jesus According to Josephus. Pilate lost his job a few years later—after dealing harshly with a village of Samaritans who complained to the Roman powers-that-were. Inc. Today. Pilate commits suicide. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles..) We know that. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. a Jewish historian of the time. in Matthew’s Gospel. All rights reserved. —Colleen Kelly Scholars of ancient Rome say the Gospels describe a fairly typical hearing for someone like Jesus. he is remembered almost exclusively for the order he gave to crucify Jesus of Nazareth—and for immediately trying to wash his hands of it. In others. Procula. 12 . as prefect. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. (Orthodox Christians canonize her as St. he converts to Christianity along with his wife—who. Ancient sources say he also built a viaduct.
however. All rights reserved. Inc. Today. The top tax ofﬁcial publicly carried out the order to burn the records—while secretly retaining copies. a lawsuit had made its way to the Supreme Court. In an effort to preserve a more perfect union. ﬁve justices to four.” In 1799. Sadly. for instance. that parts of the income tax law were unconstitutional. At ﬁrst. this rare national harmony unravels when taxpayers argue over who’s to blame for the government’s grip on income. President Woodrow Wilson signed a new tax law that year. Social security. (American lawmakers overlooked the fact that the income tax was so hated in Great Britain that when it was repealed in 1816.KnowledgeNews Who’s to Blame for U. Congress began an end run around the Supreme Court by submitting a constitutional amendment to the states. and other taxes bring in 6 percent. On annual income between $600 and $10. the Little Corporal is indirectly responsible for “subtract line 56 from line 46.) So. In 1909.250 in 1864. who was coming off a winning streak and seemed to be a direct threat to Great Britain. By 1940. He overpaid $1. Some accuse Congress. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. explained to a Supreme Court justice that he and his neighbors favored the income tax—because no one in their entire state made more than the $4. is prohibited. Inc. the tax rate for income over $10.” the Court ruled. After hearing the tax characterized as “communistic. when provisions in the Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act created the ﬁrst peacetime income tax. taxpayers demanded that all records be destroyed. the British government levied a personal income tax of 10 percent to raise money to ﬁnance the war against Napoleon. 13 . Peace Is Expensive Too The government phased out income tax after the war. One Arkansan. Because the tax fell on the rich. —Colleen Kelly Apparently. War Is Expensive Yes.000. you paid a 5 percent tax. By 1895. Abraham Lincoln signed the Tax Act of 1862. KnowledgeNews offers a scapegoat that should appeal to all Americans: Napoleon. British law and government policies greatly inﬂuenced 19th-century American leaders. gift. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. Income Tax? Every April. personal and corporate. Others point the ﬁnger at big corporations.S. the taxman struck again. the states had ratiﬁed the 16th Amendment to the U. it accounted for 20 percent. including Republican president Teddy Roosevelt. Excise. 70 percent. income tax accounted for less than 5 percent of federal revenues. Yet the idea that the wealthy should pay proportionately more tax than the poor had continued appeal for that era’s progressive politicians. 49 percent of federal revenues come from income taxes. unemployment taxes. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. Uncle Sam borrows the rest. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner.. In just two years. when the Union needed money to ﬁght the Civil War. Opponents soon challenged the very heart of the law: that the rate of taxation should increase as income rises. estate. you paid a 3 percent tax.000 had jumped to 10 percent. Above $10.000.000 exempted by the law. By 1970. Still others rage against the IRS. But in 1894. just after his last term. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions.S. millions of Americans ﬁnd themselves united in one pursuit: complaining about federal income tax. Constitution. raising revenue via excise taxes and import duties instead. who observed that citizens found income tax more palatable if the money went for war. and other retirement taxes account for 32 percent. By 1913. customs. those with less wealth generally applauded it. Medicare. Lincoln himself seems to have had some difﬁculty with the paperwork.
Yet for Mexicans and friends of Mexico. When his troops seized the port city of Veracruz that December. Laurencez led 7. the Mexicans got the better of Napoleon III and his puppet just a few years later. as many Americans assume. they might have supported the South in the American Civil War. before the French roared back and put an Austrian emperor in Latin America. In fact. Many historians believe that had the French achieved quick victory at Puebla.500 troops toward Puebla. The French got 30.. and Abraham Lincoln trembled at the thought that a foreign power might join the Confederate cause. Clear? Read on. Laurencez ordered his men to charge the enemy’s center. President Lincoln got a free gift out of the deal. when a defeated Emperor Max faced a ﬁring squad. It was empire. the American Civil War was entering its bloodiest year. Laurencez withdrew back to Veracruz. took the capital. along with the citizens of Puebla. General Porﬁrio Díaz led the Mexican cavalry against elite French horsemen in a surprise victory and a force of Zapotec Indians armed with machetes stirred up hundreds of cattle. Twice more the French drove straight at the Mexican line but were defeated. But it does celebrate how the Mexicans beat the French (and inﬂuenced the American Civil War). Mexican Heroes Take Heart On May 5. Meanwhile. Archduke Maximilian of Austria. 1862. Inc. With all the odds on his side—the latest military equipment. General Charles Latrille Laurencez. May 5 is.000 mestizo and Indian troops. Conﬁdent. 60 miles (100 km) east of Mexico City. But Mexico had nothing to offer. whose troops were practically next door. But the battle became a source of national pride for Mexicans nonetheless. its coffers drained by winning independence from Spain in 1821 and losing half its land to the United States in 1848. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. Inc. the Mexicans held their ground. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. who carried their farm tools as weapons. who felt it symbolized the people’s right to defend the country against foreign invaders. and support from upper-crust Mexican landowners— Napoleon ordered his commander. 14 . May 5 is probably just another day. There. The victory at Puebla wasn’t decisive. Aided by the distraction. To his shock. to take Mexico’s capital. At the head of its mighty army sat Emperor Napoleon III. France was a likely candidate. Mexican president Benito Juárez tried to negotiate a lengthy installment plan. The French emperor planned to make his cousin. who stampeded toward the French. is prohibited. They had been marching through Mexico for months. the mestizo and Indian army overwhelmed the French lines. Cinco de Mayo does not celebrate Mexico’s independence from Spain. literally. crack cavalry and foot soldiers. Juárez knew it wasn’t just money the French were after. ostensibly to collect unpaid debts. All rights reserved. —Claire Vail KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. waited 2. under the command of General Ignacio Zaragoza. Mexico. or celebrate Dutch Liberation Day. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. and put Maximilian in charge. Cinco de Mayo—a national holiday and day of pride.000 reinforcements from across the sea. Abraham Lincoln Worries In 1862. emperor of Mexico. The South had proved to be a far tougher adversary than the North had anticipated. But Napoleon III (nephew of the famed French conqueror) sent soldiers in 1861 to press the issue. in 1867.KnowledgeNews What Is Cinco de Mayo? Unless you’re of Mexican descent.
Getting to Gettysburg Fought July 1-3. President Lincoln visited Gettysburg to help dedicate a new national cemetery. Determined to have the shoes. 15 . because his army was short on supplies that were easier stolen than grown or sewn. or any nation so conceived and so dedicated. 1863. and not realizing the considerable size of the Federal force. Lincoln spoke for just two minutes.” in which more than 12. it seems. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. Two Armies Converge Advancing northward. Even before Americans began decorating Civil War graves to give Memorial Day its start. In late spring 1863. Inc. He opted to attack—at least partly. He said: Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation. Lincoln’s Few But Forceful Words Four months after the battle. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. is prohibited.. Since the troops needed shoes. including food. It was also one of the most decisive battles of the Civil War. Inc. Now we are engaged in a great civil war. and never mounted another serious offensive. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. In late June. tens of thousands of men on both sides were in the ﬁght. Major General Henry Heth received permission to use his division to take Gettysburg. speaking for two hours straight. As was customary. America’s Memorial Day tends to be more beach-and-barbecue than reﬂection-and-remembrance. and its commander noted that the town contained a shoe factory. testing whether that nation.KnowledgeNews America’s Greatest Memorial Today. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. a Confederate brigade passed through Gettysburg. Pennsylvania.1 million American service members who have died in battle—and to remember why they gave up their lives. Lee realized that he could either prepare for yet another Union assault or take the ﬁght to the North. though Gettysburg itself was hardly a strategic site. Everett delivered a lengthy oration. the location of the famous battle was something of an accident. The president was not the event’s main speaker. After three days of attack and counterattack—culminating in “Pickett’s Charge. a Massachusetts statesman and perhaps the bestknown orator of the time. Lee. commander of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. conceived in liberty. clothing. That honor belonged to Edward Everett. In fact. Yet the brigade turned back upon observing Federal soldiers headed toward the town. General Robert E. Before long. We have come to dedicate a portion of that ﬁeld as a ﬁnal resting- KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. 1863. Lincoln’s short speech pointed the way to the greatest memorial of all. confronted a dilemma. the Battle of Gettysburg was one of the bloodiest in American history. Lee retreated back to Virginia. Lee’s army met little resistance until it reached the small farming town of Gettysburg. We are met on a great battleﬁeld of that war. on November 19. a brigade was dispatched on June 30 to procure footwear from the factory. can long endure. and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. and shoes. But Memorial Day still exists to commemorate the sacriﬁce of the more than 1. All rights reserved. Having repelled the Federal Army of the Potomac at the Battle of Chancellorsville (protecting the Confederate capital at Richmond).000 Confederate troops stormed the Federal lines and were gruesomely repelled—the Union army prevailed. No one has ever done that better than Abraham Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address.
It is altogether ﬁtting and proper that we should do this. in a larger sense. living and dead.1 million American service members who have died in battle. for the people. we cannot dedicate. under God. The day after the ceremony.net place for those who here gave their lives that this nation might live. the central idea of the occasion remains the same. who struggled here. Inc. —Steve Sampson America’s Memorial Day commemorates the sacriﬁce of the more than 1. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain. But. Edward Everett wrote to Lincoln.http://KnowledgeNews. “I wish that I could ﬂatter myself that I had come as near to the central idea of the occasion in two hours as you did in two minutes. We dedicate memorials by dedicating ourselves. by the people. we cannot consecrate. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here. As Lincoln points out. the living. 16 .. is prohibited. It is for us. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. rather. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. but it can never forget what they did here. to be dedicated here to the unﬁnished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. we cannot hallow. The brave men. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. All rights reserved. we honor the sacriﬁce of soldiers for freedom and self-government best by carrying forward the work of democracy. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. Inc. shall have a new birth of freedom. have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract.” Today. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. shall not perish from the earth. this ground. and that government of the people. that this nation.
Summer Why Summer Simmers So Monsoon Season Fireworks for the Fourth How’d Those Swimsuits Get So Skimpy? Thank Aristotle for Summer Movies Baseball’s Best Pitches Labor’s Days Past .
Inc. as much as 40 times more. which affects the intensity and duration of sunlight we get hit with throughout the year. No tilt. while the south pole leans 23. The pool-party hemisphere doesn’t heat up because it’s closer to the sun. the south pole leans toward the sun and the north pole leans away. or in the winter. We Live in a Cockeyed Place Astronomically. the sun. Actually. In fact. You’ll want to stay poolside. All rights reserved. Because of this tilt. during the morning or evening. rotating on its axis at an incline. summer comes from the tilt of the Earth. Like the hot.) You get a more intense bake in the summer. the north pole gets 24 hours of daylight every summer day. Whichever hemisphere leans toward the sun gets pool parties and picnics. Half Baked by the Sun’s Rays The hemisphere leaning into the sun gets a whole lot of daylight every day. Think of summer as a sort of seasonal high noon.5 degrees away. It must be a lot closer to us in the summer than in the winter. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. you guessed it. Bottom line: summer happens because Earth is a cockeyed place. Sure. because of the Earth’s tilt. It heats up because that hemisphere receives the sun’s solar energy at a more direct angle. we’re closest to the sun in January and farthest from it in July. is prohibited. with the Earth’s elliptical orbit.. you get a lot of light aimed right at you and concentrated through a thin atmosphere. (The equator. At the poles. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. A bit warmer. Earth got absolutely clobbered by a Mars-sized protoplanet in a spectacular collision of worlds. The other hemisphere hauls out parkas. Not much heat in that oval patch of light. on the other hand. That collision knocked Earth into a tilted rotational axis. but at the expense of a lot of energy.KnowledgeNews Why Summer Simmers So The basic player in summer heat is. too. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. or tilt. But let’s be clear here. No. the aptly named North Star. But knock the world a little off-center. of 23. is Earth’s Even Steven.5-degree tilt no matter where it is in its annual orbit around the sun. the summer sun points right at you. So the reason we get scorched is not because we’ve cozied up to the celestial furnace. —Michael Himick and Jay Ferrari KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. Earth stays in this 23. With the sun more directly overhead—like at noontime. it has to slug through far more atmosphere. with 12 hours of daylight every day of the year. and for at least three months a year. the northern end of the Earth’s tilted axis more or less points toward the same place in space throughout the year—at Polaris. And that means more intense solar energy. Earth’s a little off-kilter. On the winter solstice (around December 21).5 degrees toward the sun on the summer solstice (around June 21). Earth’s north pole leans 23. right? Not true. It’s the same if you angle your reading lamp at the wall. Why the La-Z-Boy position? Scientists think that sometime early on. In fact. even if you pull the lamp back a bit. 18 . Inc. while its pasty counterpart gets less tanning time and more starry sky. is there? Now point it straight at the wall. in summer.5 degrees. directly overhead. no seasons. while the south pole sits the season out in darkness. noontime sun. it gets to the same place eventually. or at the equator—sunlight effectively tunnels straight into our air. which affects both the duration and intensity of your daily bake.
as long as the wet season has been wet enough. Inc. Like a Day at the Beach If you’ve been to the beach on a hot day and hung around past sunset. After the sun sets. Drying Off Monsoon systems bring dry weather as surely as wet. Many countries have monsoonal climates. India generally stays dry. Inc. Soon the cooler air moves inland. In fact. By October. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. bringing dry weather as well as wet. while the air over the water stays cooler (because water absorbs and retains more solar radiation than land). as summer gives way to autumn. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. and they fall more quickly over the land than they do over the water. blowing in across the ocean and picking up moisture that falls to earth in torrential monsoon rains. India’s people face another of nature’s killers: drought. and you get a refreshing sea breeze. Getting Hotter. the air over the beach heats up quickly. you’ve likely experienced a minimonsoon effect. But the Asiatic monsoon that washes over the Indian subcontinent every year is the mother of them all. cooler air from over the water rushes in to take its place. Getting Wetter The same thing happens in and around the Indian subcontinent every year. temperatures fall..KnowledgeNews Monsoon Season Say “monsoon. is prohibited. even as they provide the water it needs to survive. Every year. Cooling Down. of course. During the day. As the air over the water gets warmer than the air over the land. By late spring. —Steve Sampson KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. Even the southwestern United States has a small-scale monsoon. with strong seasonal winds. it’s sweltering.” But monsoons aren’t rainstorms. which ancient Arab mariners used to refer to seasonal shifts in sea breezes. and dry winters. Nothing wrong with dry weather. wet summers. because the water has absorbed more heat from the sun and can hold it longer). When it hasn’t. As March gives way to April and May. As the hot air over the land rises. while the cooler land air heads out to sea. the word monsoon comes from the Arabic mausim (“season”).” and most people think “rain. In India. with highs regularly above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius). an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. but on a much larger scale. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. They’re wind systems that reverse direction when the seasons change. 19 . and they stay that way throughout winter and early spring. India’s winds generally blow out to sea. those rains wreak havoc on the Indian subcontinent. Now the warmer ocean air rises. the air over the land cools off more quickly than the air over the water (again. When land winds prevail. the breeze shifts. All rights reserved. But the mercury rises much more quickly above the land than it does above the Indian Ocean. temperatures in India rise.
Underneath the shell is another chamber of black powder called the lift charge. of small black balls called stars. yet for all the brilliance. they’re contained in a shell of paper rolled into a tube or sphere. The fuel is essentially the same one discovered a thousand years ago: black powder. All around the stars is a bursting charge of more black powder. they didn’t have any color. Packed inside the shell are dozens. the bursting charge explodes. but also making them less safe. Generally. hurling colorfully glowing stars into the sky. early ﬁreworks lacked a certain ﬂair.. low explosive power. Some Fireworks History Legend has it that a thousand years ago. Still. millions of Americans gather to gaze at a spectacle of lights. metallic salts. Fireworks arrived in Europe in the 13th century and quickly became the hallmark of kings and queens. Composed of 75 percent potassium nitrate (saltpeter). allowing it to burn hotter. possesses low explosive force. And leaving one end open created a bamboo rocket! Soon folks were using ﬁreworks to celebrate holidays and great events throughout the East. 15 percent charcoal.” The gastronomic applications were pretty limited. Its low ignition point is a double-edged sword. exploding it and forcing the shell up through the top of the mortar. it’s simply the power of powder. Different substances give off differing amounts of these energies when they burn. and earn our oohs and aahs. Simultaneously. Made of black powder. Today’s Big Bangs The ﬁreworks used in today’s big public displays combine multiple explosions for maximum effect. 20 . And to science. Once the shell reaches its maximum height. and 10 percent sulfur. which hurls the shell upward when it ignites. The combustion of any material generally releases energy in one of two forms: heat or light. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. All rights reserved. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. a slower time-delay fuse begins to burn toward the bursting charge. who demonstrated royal grandeur with dazzling displays. Inc. —Christopher Call KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. Yet historically. A fast-acting fuse ignites the lift charge underneath the shell. The hotter burn could ignite metal salts. sometimes hundreds. Inc. but the Chinese quickly learned that stufﬁng black powder into hollow bamboo and sealing both ends could produce an explosion. By arranging the stars in different ways. today’s pyrotechnicians make shapes and dazzling effects. Bright as they were. Italian pyrotechnicians solved this problem in the 19th century by adding potassium chlorate to black powder. black powder has three chemical properties that give it maximum bang for the buck: high incandescence. The entire thing ﬁts snugly into a mortar—a steel or plastic tube placed upright and packed in sand. these stars produce the brilliant ﬂashes of light in a ﬁreworks display. which makes it ideal for entertainment (as opposed to serious destruction). making ﬁreworks easier to ignite than most other explosives. and low heat of ignition. is prohibited. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners.KnowledgeNews Fireworks for the Fourth On the same night each year. which blazed in a brilliant array of colors. Some Fireworks Science All ﬁreworks use a self-sustaining reaction of fuel in the presence of oxygen—a chemical process known as combustion. Black powder burns brightly. this most American of events— Fourth of July ﬁreworks—is oh so Chinese. a Chinese cook accidentally mixed saltpeter (used as a food preservative) with sulfur and charcoal (fuel to cook a meal) to come up with “black powder. and binding agents to keep them intact.
All rights reserved. 1946. shawls. after the end of England’s bloody civil war. I See Everyone’s Underpants Finally. the fashionable set rode from their lodgings to the baths inside sedan chairs carried by porters. . the upstairs classes began abandoning spa towns for the sea. bathing suits have gotten positively Roman. as Napoleon conquered Europe. Soon. “I never expected to see the day when girls would get sunburned in the places they now do. There. In the 1660s. Men wore a full-length wool unitard. And no real lady ventured into the sea without a bathing machine—a horse-drawn cabana where she may have shed an article or two. while the bottom was a generous trouser. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. But a year later. Male bathers wore heavy canvas waistcoats. Inc. By the mid-19th century. 21 . English bathing suits in the 17th and 18th centuries required enough canvas to launch the Royal Navy. I See France . Inc. I See London . In 1907. or wrapped themselves in scanty straps of cloth or leather for a little exercise support. notorious English playboy King Charles II decided it was time for a bath.” And he combed his last beach in 1935. every girl was wearing one.” Reard named his swimsuit the bikini. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. and a linen cap. Our story starts outside London. stockings. How’d we get back to that? Here’s a “brief” history—a look at how yesterday’s big bloomers became today’s shrinking briefs. guides led them to stone seats where they could enjoy the mineral water. Romans let it all hang out. Later.KnowledgeNews How’d Those Swimsuits Get So Skimpy? American wisecracker Will Rogers once said. canvas undershorts and shoes. Women struggled into the two-piece belted costumes that had replaced the wool ﬂannel dress. A porcelain complexion was de rigueur for both ladies and gentlemen (suntans being strictly for peasants). with the (oh my!) arms and upper chest bare. but not much more. So he and all his court embraced the idea of a fashionable bathing resort at Tunbridge Wells. At their beloved baths. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. The top was typically square-cut like a sailor’s jacket. resembling a man’s bathing suit. just southeast of London. after the newly radioactive Bikini Atoll. but even a king and a camp full of courtiers couldn’t strip down in public. Women donned canvas gowns over petticoats that had weights sewn into the hems to keep the skirts from ﬂoating up. on July 5. Kellerman was arrested. . the working classes were pouring out of smoggy cities for a day of leisure at the beach. and hired a stripper to model it. four days after the United States had tested an atom bomb on a chain of islands in the South Paciﬁc. French engineer Louis Reard unveiled a new concept in swimwear: 30 shocking square inches of fabric that “revealed everything about the girl except her mother’s maiden name. There was plenty of carousing. Gals wore similar two-piece outﬁts or one-piece tank suits. The porters brought men and women into segregated slips— anterooms to the main pool. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. eleven years before the birth of the belly-baring bikini! Since then. . . and shoes. Ads show women in wool dresses (sometimes worn over trousers) with bonnets. On the contrary. around the time Roman-style baths came back into vogue. is prohibited. So. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. too. in spa towns like Tunbridge Wells and Bath. fellas ditched the black unitards and put on brightly hued tank tops and shorts. But a casual dip at a place like Brighton still required a formidable ensemble. Australian swimmer Annette Kellerman horriﬁed Boston beachgoers when she appeared in a one-piece wool swimsuit that ended mid-thigh.. courtesy of fashion maverick Amelia Bloomer.
better known as the thong. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions.” Bikini sales skyrocketed. Inc. reports of skin cancer have reached all-time highs. 22 . and other countries even banned it from the beach. too—with the tanga. Bathing machine. All rights reserved.. Today. Inc. Spain. anyone? —Claire Vail English bathing suits in the 17th and 18th centuries required enough canvas to launch the Royal Navy. By the 1970s. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. is prohibited. covering up at the beach is rare (many European beaches are top-optional). Then. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. in 1960. Designer Rudi Gernreich tried to one-up the bikini with a topless suit called the monokini in 1964. Italy. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners.http://KnowledgeNews. singer Brian Hyland helped market the two-piece with a hit song: “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini. Brazilians were pushing the envelope. and despite shelves of sunscreen.net Although actresses like Brigitte Bardot made it famous on ﬁlm. the bikini stayed on hangers for more than a decade.
orders an assistant in his lab. goes unexploited for nearly 2. the brothers Auguste and Louis Lumière perfect a commercially viable ﬁlm projector and screen movies in front of ticket-buying crowds.. which are introduced to the world in 1839. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners.New optical toys (such as the thaumatrope. notices that an image of the sun has been projected onto the ground through a hole in the leaves. But since there is no way to ﬁx the image.In a banner year for shutterbugs. 23 . The toys put a series of still images on a disk or in a drum. Dickson produces the Kinetograph to record the ﬁlm and the Kinetoscope to play it back. From this. Viewed in sequence. who reduces the exposure time to 30 minutes with daguerreotypes. then taken up and mass-produced by George Eastman the following year. Viewers looked through an eyepiece. so Muybridge set up a series of cameras triggered by tripwires and had a horse gallop by. the sharper the image.Thomas Wedgwood reports success in capturing images using light-sensitive materials. are one-of-a-kind affairs. 1888 . 4th century BC . standing beneath a tree during an eclipse. We mean how “motion pictures” came to be. 1887 . the rays cross to form an inverted image on the other side. voilà. to invent a movie camera. The sensation they caused paved the way for movies. he takes on a partner named Louis Daguerre.Inspired by a Kinetoscope display in Paris. which makes negatives. or even the days when William Faulkner created screenplays from novels by Ernest Hemingway for directors like Howard Hawks.KnowledgeNews Thank Aristotle for Summer Movies Are today’s summer blockbusters not tempting you into the theater? Then take a trip with us back into movie history. The innovation makes it possible to put thousands of sequential images onto one roll of ﬁlm. phenakistoscope. looking for a sequel to his phonograph. All rights reserved.Frenchman Joseph Niépce captures the ﬁrst true photograph. 16th century . 1826 . so only one person could watch at a time.000 years. He experiments and ﬁnds that the smaller the hole. Their multi- KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. This principle. exposure time had been reduced to less than 1/100th of a second. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. Daguerreotypes. is prohibited. He then has actors perform outside the room so that their images are projected inside for spectators. Happily. 1895 . 1802 . William Kennedy Laurie Dickson. and zoetrope) exploit the way human brains process a quick succession of images. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. the images proved that a horse’s legs do all leave the ground. and della Porta is brought up on charges of sorcery. We mean the days when the technology of movies was just a gleam in Aristotle’s eye. Inc. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. Viewers ﬂee in panic at the sight. his results are short-lived (unlike your highschool yearbook photos. We don’t mean recent history. he ﬁgures that light moves in a straight line and that when it meets a surface with a small hole in it. which is at the basis of the camera. This allows for an unlimited number of prints. you see moving pictures! 1878 . Spin the disk or drum rapidly and. calling it a heliograph. But his method requires an 8-hour exposure. mid-19th century .Thomas Edison.Giambattista della Porta builds on Aristotle’s idea by constructing a large room with a small hole in one wall—a camera obscura. English scientist William Fox Talbot unveils the calotype process. 1839 . By 1878.The idea of recording photographs on celluloid roll ﬁlm is implemented by Hannibal Goodwin. which are eternal).British-American photographer Eadweard Muybridge settles once and for all the question of whether a galloping horse’s legs all leave the ground at the same time.The Greek philosopher Aristotle. by contrast. Inc.
net purpose machine—camera. 1993 .” 1932 . Each negative was dyed to bring out the color and then superimposed on one emulsion to create a color-accurate print. Afterward. stretch across several screens to ﬁll viewers’ ﬁeld of vision.The Neil Simon comedy Lost in Yonkers becomes the ﬁrst movie to be edited digitally. Inc. The spectators wear red and green glasses that create a single image from two images photographed slightly apart. three Canadian ﬁlmmakers agree to develop a process to achieve the same effect with a single projector. 1929 . 1919 . it achieves its greatest success: Bwana Devil. that the silent ﬁlm era effectively ends. with nearly ﬁfty 3D movies released in three years. 3D never conquers the movie business. The ﬁlm’s popularity triggers a boom in 3D ﬁlmmaking. is prohibited. including The Jazz Singer (1927). which debuts in 1970. Their efforts ultimately result in the creation of the IMAX format. a small studio struggling to expand. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles.. through the use of multiple projectors. a thriller about two man-eating lions in Kenya. greens. The change kills the careers of several silent movie stars.Lee De Forest develops a method called Phonoﬁlm for recording sound onto motion picture ﬁlm. but they wonder why in the world people would want to hear movies talk. Inc. printer. All rights reserved. several pavilions display short ﬁlms that. Skeptics shake their heads and yearn for simpler days. a WWI dogﬁghting drama with spectacular aerial footage. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. using light-splitting optics to simultaneously record the reds. 1952 . 24 . Copyright © 2006 Every Learner.Warner Brothers. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions.http://KnowledgeNews.Herbert Kalmus perfects the Technicolor process. He tries to market it to studio executives. specially treated black-and-white negatives. but it never dies either. —Mark Diller KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. 1925 .At the Montreal International Exposition. The award for best picture goes to Wings. 1967 . and projector all in one—was called the cinématographe and is the source of the modern term “cinema. Producers of other action ﬂicks immediately take heart that they too might someday win “best picture.3D not only refuses to die. and blues of life on three separate. just sound and images captured and manipulated electronically. buys a competing sound technology called Vitaphone to market as a short-term novelty. Popular response is so strong for WB’s sound-enabled pictures. This technological step—invisible to most moviegoers— paves the way for a Lucasian time when movies will involve no ﬁlm at all. whose voices prove to be considerably less appealing than their looks.The ﬁrst Academy Awards are presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize achievement in the ﬁlm industry.The ﬁrst 3D ﬁlms debut before a paying audience.” 1915 .
Screwballs break the opposite way. and fast baseballs hurt more. He applies pressure with his middle ﬁnger and thumb. down and away on lefties.KnowledgeNews Baseball’s Best Pitches Baseball announcers will tell you when a pitcher’s got his “good stuff. so that it “sinks” laterally. By applying pressure to one of these. That’s called a cutter. Some have compared the movement to a ball rolling off a table. (Actually. and different. too. the sinker—also features speed. He then curls his other two ﬁngers on the side and puts his thumb under the ball. Some pitchers can actually throw a “reverse” curve—a screwball—by rotating their wrist inside out in a sort of corkscrew motion. Southpaw curves spin down and in on right-handed batters. or wide part of the seams. Split-ﬁngered fastball The split-ﬁngered fastball came to its current prominence as the money pitch of famed 1970s reliever Bruce Sutter. 3. he snaps his cocked wrist so that the back of his hand faces the catcher. He snaps his wrist straight down on release. Inc. 25 . Some pitchers hold the two-seam fastball a little off-center.” but you’re in a pickle if you don’t know what’s so “good” about sinkers. he can get the ball to sink as it nears home. The natural rotation of a right-hander’s wrist snap causes the ball to spin down and away from right-handed batters. sliders. The basic fastball is the “four-seamer. the pitcher grips the ball with his middle and index ﬁngers across two seams at their widest point and cocks his wrist inward. Curveball Developed by W. resting on the outside edge of the ball’s seams. To throw a curve. who threw it pitch after pitch and dared batters to hit it. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. movement. so that the palm faces the catcher after release. Yet the two aren’t that different. All rights reserved. down and in on lefties. and curves. Here the pitcher puts his ﬁrst and middle ﬁngers running atop the two narrow seams. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. Most of that movement comes in the last quarter of the trip. Here’s a brief rundown on baseball’s best pitches. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. Fastball Southpaw great Sandy Koufax once said. is prohibited. has been nearly replaced by Sutter’s pitch. like a whip. to give the ball some backspin and get the seams rotating. but a different grip creates more. This technique gives the ball plenty of topspin and some sidespin. But the devious splitter dives down as it nears home plate. splitters.a. Because of the backspin. too.. Inc.” Quite simply. batters must somehow “read” a curve early on. “The art of pitching is the art of instilling fear. baseballs hurt. too—in about one-sixth of a second.” The pitcher puts his ﬁrst and middle ﬁngers half an inch apart across the horseshoe. The forkball. the blazing ball seems to rise as it burns by batters. Think about it: a 90-mph fastball reaches home in just four-tenths of a second. a relative of the splitter and a mainstay of 1960s relief pitching. it just falls less than you’d expect. 2. It looks the same as a regular fastball when it comes out of the pitcher’s hand and travels with a lot of velocity.k. As he throws. A big-league curveball can veer as much as 17 inches by the time it reaches home. Forkball pitchers just hold the ball a little higher between the ﬁngers. Pitchers create this movement by throwing with the middle and index ﬁngers split wide. keeping his index ﬁnger loose.A. 1. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner.) The “two-seam” fastball—a. So it’s not surprising that ﬂame-throwing ﬁreballers intimidate. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. the curveball has ended a lot of aspiring major-league hitters’ careers. Considering that it takes a ﬁfth of a second to swing a bat. “Candy” Cummings in 1867.
is prohibited. For the circle change. veering. 26 . Inc. And if he’s not anticipating anything. but the ball will veer just a little to the side when it reaches home. All rights reserved. maintaining the same delivery and arm speed. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. Inc. To throw a slider. the batter will think the pitch is a fastball. Throwing the occasional change-up keeps the batter on his toes. the batter has little time to react—even the slight sideways movement can throw him off. Result: weak pop-ups and ground balls (though a poorly thrown “hanging” slider will often end up in the seats). Knuckleballers actually push the ball off the tips of their index. Such unpredictability can devastate batters. Since the pitch travels so fast and breaks so late. he’ll swing well ahead of the “off-speed” pitch. Change-up Good pitchers work hard to disrupt a batter’s timing. —Michael Himick and Shana Drehs KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. and ring ﬁngers atop the widest part of the seams and his pinky and thumb tucked under the ball. . Famed hitting instructor Charlie Lau once said. he makes a circle with his thumb and index ﬁnger on the ball’s side. middle. That lack of spin lets unpredictable air currents change the ball’s trajectory.. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. so that it has little or no spin. Unfortunately. The pitcher holds the three-ﬁngered change with his index. unpredictable knuckleball. he’ll learn how to time it. 5. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles.net 4. the pitcher puts his index and middle ﬁngers a little off-center across the two widest seams and applies pressure with his thumb and middle ﬁnger. Even if a pitcher can throw 95 mph. And Then There’s the . Even the pitcher doesn’t know which way the slow-moving ball will break. “There are only two theories on hitting the knuckleball. Enter the change-up. Generally. he has to throw the pitch as if were a fastball. and ring ﬁngers. The release requires the pitcher to pull down slightly with his elbow at the last possible moment—and that can damage a pitcher’s arm. In both cases. Knuckleball Few pitchers can master the bobbing. With a little saliva or other slippery stuff on two ﬁngers. The grip is what takes heat off the ball.” Spitballs and other doctored pitches achieve the same effect with less mastery. . neither of them works. which is essentially a slow fastball. If he’s anticipating a fastball.http://KnowledgeNews. he’s right where the pitcher wants him—reacting rather than anticipating. Slider The devastating slider has more movement than a fastball but travels faster than a curve. if a batter sees enough heat. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. The pitch’s name is a misnomer. The most common change-ups are the three-ﬁngered and the circle. middle. the pitcher can make the ball squirt out of his hand with little or no spin.
the 5-day workweek. Inc. convinced the federal courts to issue a sweeping injunction against all strike activity. Some 5. All rights reserved. When railway ofﬁcials ﬁred the men. a former railway lawyer. any person or persons to abandon the employment of . “We are born in a Pullman house. the workers went on strike. Company brochures painted the town as a workers’ paradise. The U.” he said. . . Pullman. a law passed. “I Owe My Soul to the Company Store” Just south of Chicago. “There is nothing to arbitrate. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. attorney general. and for failing to reasonably protect the rights of labor.000 workers and their families sank deep into the company’s debt. A few generations ago. manufacturer of the Pullman sleeping car used by railroads. 1894. the union called for a boycott of Pullman cars. Stymied. —Michael Himick KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. catechized in the Pullman church. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. Railroad trafﬁc across the country ceased.” In reality. is prohibited. run by and for the company as a moneymaking venture. . “where all that is ugly and discordant and demoralizing is eliminated. approved by Congress the same year as the Pullman strike. . In fact. in May 1894. A few generations ago. people died when labor struggled. the town of Pullman was literally owned by George M. arguing that the strikers had formed an illegal conspiracy in restraint of trade under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. Pullman slashed wages 25 percent.S. companies learned to use injunctions from business-friendly courts as a weapon against labor. though. the company town was just that. and when we die we shall be buried in the Pullman cemetery and go to the Pullman hell. victories would come: the 8-hour workday. American working men and women (and often children.. improved working conditions. without reducing rents at company houses or prices at the company store. Progressive era was born out of labor’s pains. Example: the Pullman railway strike of 1894. One injunction threatened to arrest anyone “inducing or attempting to induce . The strike collapsed. Pullman closed the plant and rebuffed all requests for arbitration. federal troops descended on Chicago to enforce the injunction. and got it in spades. Finally. fed from the Pullman shop. taught in the Pullman school. Railway ofﬁcials turned to the federal government for help. too) struggled just to get weekends off—let alone a long one. to combat big business. Beginning June 26. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. but labor’s days past were no picnic. and mobs set hundreds of freight cars alight. One worker said. railway companies. Out of “Pullman Hell” In the powder-keg atmosphere that followed. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. soldiers shot into crowds trying to stop trains. On July 4. Inc.” Yet even as the Pullman strike crumbled. trainmen everywhere walked off the job. switchmen refused to attach Pullman cars to trains. ironically.” “There Is Nothing to Arbitrate” When depression struck America in 1893. child labor laws. the political winds began to shift. a federal commission called to investigate the incident blamed the government “for not adequately controlling monopoly and corporations. More ominously for workers. Eventually. collective bargaining rights—even a national Labor Day. 27 .KnowledgeNews Labor’s Days Past America’s Labor Day may be summer’s last hurrah.” A new. and all that inspires to self-respect is generously provided.
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it’s more a matter of light. we’d all starve: ﬁrst the plants. which they combine with carbon dioxide to make carbohydrates. leaves are liable to freeze. For the trees. which excites some of their electrons. the reason is simple: less sunlight means less photosynthesis. Too Trees love their photosynthesis. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. To replace the electrons they’ve donated to these acceptors. The trees then use the carbohydrates and other organic substances they’ve produced through photosynthesis to feed their growth—much as we. Even in warmer climes. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. In fact. hydrogen ions. and less sugary-sweet food means the party’s over—it’s time to shed the costly costume (those energy-sapping leaves) and sleep till spring. ultimately. Better for the trees to drop their leaves. and sunlight. Such electron larceny breaks the nearby water apart. less photosynthesis means less sugary-sweet food. then the animals that eat the plants. There Goes the Sun— And the Photosynthesis. the foliage ﬁreworks begin. If photosynthesis were to suddenly stop. Once the trees decide to go dormant. All rights reserved. And that’s roughly what happens every fall. Inc. and the leaves produce less and less of the sugary-sweet food their trees need to stay healthy and keep growing. and wait till the springtime sun is ready to ﬁre up photosynthesis again. other than a few bacteria that can survive on chemical energy from inorganic compounds.. Inc. as their productivity drops. go dormant. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. photosynthesis in the leaves of deciduous trees slows down. Yet really. To return to their normal energy level (since not even a molecule is comfortable staying excited forever). then the animals that eat the animals that eat the plants. and photosynthesis will cease. in turn. producing gaseous oxygen. sun-sopping chlorophyll. Take any of these four players away. all living things ultimately depend for their sustenance on the photosynthetic conversion of light energy into chemical energy. potentially damaging the ﬂesh of the trees. 29 . As the duration and intensity of daily sunlight decreases. green plants can convert sunlight into chemical energy. water. the leaves threaten to become a serious liability for the trees. proteins. the chlorophyll molecules transfer electrons to nearby molecules called “electron acceptors. Other hydrogen ions and electrons join with minerals to produce amino acids and. which is also the pigment that makes plants green most of the time. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner.” which pass the electrons along an electron bucket brigade. use the carbohydrates and other good stuff they’ve photosynthesized to feed our growth (if we remember to eat our fruits and vegetables). is prohibited. The Life and Liabilities of a Little Leaf The key players in the literally life-giving photosynthetic process are chlorophyll. Chlorophyll molecules in green plants absorb solar energy. which gets scarce and less intense as long summer days shorten into crisp fall quickies. What’s worse.KnowledgeNews Why Leaves Fall Most people think leaf loss follows from colder weather. deciduous trees tend to lose their leaves as the summer sun gives way to the harvest moon. which is just waste product to a tree. Since they’re thin and full of water. The trees have no more reason to produce gloriously green. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. and a few “free” electrons. chlorophyll molecules then steal electrons from nearby water molecules. We’re grateful for the oxygen. Trees have more use for the hydrogen ions and free electrons. carbon dioxide. The key is a cool chemical called chlorophyll. And what’s not to love? Given only water and carbon dioxide.
30 . In some trees. turn the leaves red or even purple. as the trees go dormant. All rights reserved. cherries. and strawberries their color. turning them orange or yellow. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. other pigments. when the trees sense sunny days again. It soon falls. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. form when sugar is still being produced in the leaves but can no longer ﬂow to the tree (usually when there’s been a series of warm and sunny days followed by cool but not freezing nights).http://KnowledgeNews. carotene pigments (like the ones that give carrots their color) become visible in the leaves. Better for the trees to drop their leaves.. and a layer of cells separating leaf stem from branch begins to form. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. Inc. go dormant. is prohibited. and wait for the springtime sun. Leaves contain carotene pigments all year. called anthocyanins. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. the veins that carry sap to and from their leaves close off. Eventually. —Steve Sampson Less sunlight means less photosynthesis. Once this “separation layer” is complete. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. the leaf is effectively severed from the ﬂesh of the tree. but during the spring and summer months the constant creation of chlorophyll overwhelms the carotene color. which give cranberries. Anthocyanins.net And as the trees produce less chlorophyll. not to be replaced till spring. Inc.
1929 When the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange rang on October 29. President Franklin Roosevelt signed the declaration of war that Congress had passed. It also had destroyed a half-dozen light cruisers and destroyers and 188 aircraft. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner.177 men. All rights reserved. By the time it hit bottom—in 1932—the market had shed nearly 90 percent of its value.S. Then it sank some more. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. Their survival would come to haunt Japanese military planners. 1987. The brief rally that followed the crash quickly proved to be what traders call a dead-cat bounce.S. Others bombed and torpedoed the 130 vessels moored in Pearl Harbor itself. The crash poured kerosene onto an already ﬂammable ﬁnancial house. manufacturers produced half of what they had in 1929. By 1933. By 1933.178 wounded. And so did many an investor. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. The United States then embarked on a fouryear mission that would change the lives of every American and put the nation on the world stage. The Dow sank to new lows in November. 1941 One sunny Sunday morning in the tropical paradise of Pearl Harbor. Yet a handful of horrible days did open wounds just as grievous. and the battleship sank in nine minutes.KnowledgeNews 5 Dark Days in America Few days in American history have wounded the nation more deeply than September 11. we remember 9/11 by remembering those dark days of the past—and the strength that emerged from their shadows. poorly regulated banks went bust. and a quarter of American workers had no job.403 dead and 1. The day before. sailors were deep in battle when an armor-piercing bomb weighing nearly a ton smashed into the deck and ignited the forward magazine. and men all over the country volunteered for duty. businesses stopped producing. 1929—Black Tuesday—the market lay in ruins. Full of fuel. October 29. Arizona. On October 19.S. U. The end came shockingly fast for 1. Not until 1954 would the Dow again touch its 1929 peak. Inc. 31 . unambiguous declaration of war ever came.400 Americans died in a war they didn’t even know they were ﬁghting. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. Some concentrated on straﬁng the Oahu airﬁelds to destroy the aircraft parked there. Hawaii. On the U. the Paciﬁc Fleet’s aircraft carriers were not in port and escaped the attack. Wall Street has seen worse days. Consumers stopped spending.000 of the United States’ 25. people were shocked at the sneak attack and horriﬁed by the loss of life: 2. the Dow shed nearly 23 percent. But before long. more than 2. Their attack had sunk ﬁve battleships and damaged three more. and the economy slipped into a coma. The next day. Inc. Not so in 1929. 11.000 banks had closed up shop. however. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners.S. No formal. In a stroke of luck for Americans. The two-hour attack was meticulously planned to cause maximum damage. A huge explosion broke the ship in two. Tensions between the United States and Japan had run high all year. 2001. it had bled nearly 13 percent. December 7. but the attack caught U. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ﬁnished the day down almost 12 percent.. The strike gave the Japanese a huge military advantage. is prohibited. either in the crash or in the crush of jittery depositors demanding their cash. Just as investors lost their shirts. that market had rounded up the bulls and regained its lost ground. Waves of Japanese planes conducted nearly simultaneous bombing runs. As the news spread across the United States. forces almost completely off-guard. Today. the Arizona burned for three days. which had arrived in Pearl Harbor just the day before.
Scholars say that if McClellan had sent his remaining forces into the fray. But Union general George McClellan cautiously kept his reserves in check. British soldiers landed along the Patuxent River in Maryland. As British solders marched ever closer.net Government only made the crisis worse. First lady Dolley Madison was one of the last to ﬂee. and cleared the way to Washington. Union artillery received orders to commence ﬁring on Confederate infantry taking positions in the nearby cornﬁelds. residents of Leesburg. live a more moral life. In fact. the battle’s enormous toll became clear—more than 23. the ﬁghting was so intense that men had to stop shooting because they couldn’t see their targets through the heavy smoke of gunﬁre. staying to preside over the selection of items that would be carried away from the White House. a handful of thoughtful patriots scrambled to pack up national artifacts like the Declaration of Independence. After repulsing several Union charges. Instead. Inc. spurred by massive wartime spending—but not before government completely changed its approach. the Civil War dragged on for almost three more years and claimed hundreds of thousands of American lives. Pearl Harbor. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. . After a truce. At times. liquidate real estate. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. “Liquidate labor. withdraw from the ﬁeld. 1814 KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. Lee might have been forced to surrender. or missing. People will work harder. liquidate stocks. 32 . forces had managed few victories in their attempt to invade Canada. giving Confederate general Robert E. September 17. Clearly. Lee a chance to gather his defeated army. Treasury secretary Andrew Mellon said. On an otherwise ordinary summer night in 1814. and ﬁght again another day. Values will be adjusted. wounded. Maryland. liquidate the farmers. the city was a veritable ghost town. is prohibited. Disorganized U. The bitter irony is that either side could have ended the war that day. The shots started a one-day battle that would come to symbolize the fury of the American Civil War: Antietam. and might have forced a truce. as it was called in the South) shifted constantly. It would be hours or even days before the panicked locals learned that Washington had been burnt to the ground by British soldiers. or Normandy. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner.000 men were dead. A Confederate victory would have put Lee on Lincoln’s doorstep. and enterprising people will pick up the wrecks from less competent people. All rights reserved.http://KnowledgeNews. in August of 1814. saw an opportunity to score a decisive blow. on a ridge near the small town of Sharpsburg. shifting to hands-on economic policies and programs that persist even today. mopped up a local militia. which in turn pounded Confederate positions in the corn with artillery barrages that mowed entire ﬁelds to the ground. more Americans died at Antietam than died in the entire Revolutionary War. 1862 In the early dawn of September 17. west of Washington. By some estimates. . By then. The American economy eventually recovered—more than a decade later. bloodier than Iwo Jima. literally off the chart. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. the battle of Antietam remains the bloodiest day in American history. Standard policy then was to let the economy sweat out ﬁnancial fever. bolstered by reinforcements from home. Virginia.” Yet the depression that followed the crash of 1929 was an order of magnitude worse than any previous economic crisis. Inc. even as they avenged the Americans’ torching of York (now Toronto).S. And British generals. gazed up at an orange-colored sky. the Confederate line ﬁnally broke in the middle. August 24.. The tide of the battle of Antietam (or Sharpsburg. the War of 1812 wasn’t going well for the American side. 1862. DC. So. Confederate sharpshooters inﬂicted heavy casualties on the advancing Union army. .
and the Treasury. All rights reserved. the British were so impressed by the architecture that some had second thoughts about setting the city ablaze—but decided to burn it nonetheless. They torched most of the city’s important buildings. is prohibited. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. 1619 The year 1619 falls almost outside the scope of U. Inc. Ultimately. “I had rather be mad in this way.http://KnowledgeNews.” The French general was aware many would think the idea crazy. for the time of his natural life. history. But the nation’s longest and darkest chapter arguably began one late summer day of that year. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. Though the new arrivals certainly received no warm welcome—they were promptly sold at auction—documents from the time suggest that the settlers weren’t sure what to make of them. state against state. George Washington claimed that “there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do.” Over the next two centuries. America’s ﬁrst slaves arrived less by design than by sad historical accident.” Later records show an increasing number of free blacks in the colonies. and use them only as tenants. leaders decided to rebuild the city on the Potomac. Then they turned toward Baltimore. one of America’s busiest ports. even if they did nothing. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. lifelong race-based slavery would become an evil American institution. A Late Summer Day. 33 . though. including the White House. But “if it be a wild scheme. Steve Sampson. a court had condemned at least one African slave to “serve his master .” —Michael Himick..S. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. Inc.” suggesting that they may have been considered “indentured” rather than “enslaved. and Laura Kane KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. Christopher Call. colonies in the South were writing slave codes into law and conﬁscating the lands of formerly free African-Americans—setting up inevitable conﬂict: race against race. the Capitol.” he wrote.net Arriving in the deserted capital. to see a plan adopted for the abolition of it” and entertained a proposal from his friend Lafayette to establish an estate where they would “free the negroes. than to be thought wise in the other task. the ideal of freedom as a founding principle against the harsh reality of slavery as a part of American life. By the 1660s. The damage to Washington was so great that Congress considered leaving the ruins behind and starting over elsewhere. Still. . The Dutch sailors had stolen some 20 captive Africans from a Spanish slave ship. reﬂecting a growing sense of pride that would shepherd the country through dark days yet to come. by 1640. and they traded their ill-gotten “goods” at Jamestown for food. when a Dutch ship put in at Jamestown to replenish its supplies—and delivered the ﬁrst African slaves to the American colonies. . Records from the 1620s list the ﬁrst African-Americans as “servants. The founders saw the conﬂict of slavery. Colleen Kelly.
That way. Muslims return home to break the fast with a meal called the iftar. that you may attain God-consciousness. but with the heart. no water. It’s not just about food. All rights reserved. Ramadan comes to an end. “even as it was prescribed for those before you.” For any healthy person past puberty. Muhammad began to receive (and recite) the verses that make up the Qur’an. the “Festival of Fast-Breaking.KnowledgeNews What Is Ramadan? Ramadan is the Islamic calendar’s ninth month. it’s one of the Five Pillars of Islam. the Qur’an. (Those excused temporarily have to make up the fast days later. With the next new moon. In fact.” the Qur’an says. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. Often the 114 chapters of the Qur’an are divided into 30 segments. and the time of the year when Muslims worldwide fast each day from sunrise to sunset. —Mark Diller KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. and one of Islam’s most important festivals begins: ’Id al-Fitr.) Breakfast at Sunset When the sun goes down. Not surprisingly. everyone has a chance to hear the entire Qur’an during Ramadan. the “Night of Power” The last 10 days of the month are particularly important and reach a spiritual apex in the “Night of Power”—the night Muhammad is said to have received the ﬁrst verses of the Qur’an. they start with a light repast of dates and water. 34 . except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. Those who can’t fast for permanent health reasons can make up the duty by feeding one poor person each day. Muslim groups sponsor food and clothing drives to help the needy. one of which is recited each night.” Fasting for Good During the month. Muslims believe. and bring the believer closer to God. is prohibited.” Celebrations and gifts follow special prayers at the mosque. Traditionally. Many Muslims spend this night entirely at prayer. Inc. Then a full meal follows with family and friends—a nightly celebration that goes hand in hand with the daily deprivation. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. which deﬁne the core of the faith. either. the literal words of Allah. which many attend at the mosque. So is sexual intercourse. every Muslim must observe a month-long fast (sawm) to focus the mind. followed by the evening prayer. the sawm isn’t optional. “Fasting is prescribed for you. Inc. the consumption of groceries actually goes up during Ramadan. Devout Muslims will tell you they fast “not with the stomach. Believers are supposed to learn what it’s like to be poor.. Muslims set their alarms early enough to eat a predawn meal. not even tobacco smoke or chewing gum. called the suhur. and how little material things mean in relation to God. nothing should enter the mouth: no food. Until dark. tells them to—and because they believe the angel Gabriel appeared to Muhammad during Ramadan and said “Iqraa!” That word—usually translated as “Read!” or “Proclaim!” or “Recite!”—marks an epochal event in Islamic history. inspire sympathy for the poor. the moment you can tell the difference between a black thread and a white one—the fast period begins. “Recite!” And Fast! To commemorate that angelic event. Finally. charity is a central part of the holiday. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. (In some Muslim cities. With it.) The day concludes with the night prayer. Bad thoughts and deeds are verboten. Why? Because their holy book. Once the sun comes up—by tradition. too.
Let My People Atone Incensed that the people of Israel had worshipped a golden calf rather than the Lord. God forgave the people. Of course. this day of atonement—Yom Kippur—involved a goat: a “scapegoat. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. it’s a chance to learn a little more about one of the world’s most enduring faiths—and to rediscover a ritual speciﬁcally commanded in the Bible. So he decreed that the tenth day of Tishri remain a day of atonement for all generations: And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month. you pretty much have to say you’re sorry—and mean it. on the tenth day of the month. For Gentiles. as prescribed by Leviticus 16:2026. goat. When you read in Joshua 6:20 that “the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass . On Yom Kippur itself. The fasts and prayers of Yom Kippur support this spiritual renewal. It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you. folks spend the day at prayer in the synagogue.” you’re reading about the shofar. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. and continuing to Yom Kippur.” Every Yom Kippur. beginning before sunset on the eve of Yom Kippur and ending after nightfall on Yom Kippur day. . beginning on Rosh Hashanah. . that ye may be clean from all your sins before the Lord. Yom Kippur services traditionally end with the sounding of the shofar. All rights reserved. (Leviticus 16:29-31) Don’t Forget the Goat In early Judaism. 35 . between a faithless act of idol worship and a broken covenant. to cleanse you. Modern observances of Yom Kippur typically involve ten days of self-examination and repentance. carrying the blame for the people’s sins on its head. In fact. people do stupid things. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. ye shall afﬂict your souls. DeMille. was then driven into the desert. a time to seek God’s forgiveness for the sins of the past year. Inc. either from the Bible or Cecil B. or other animal. and ye shall afﬂict your souls. and do no work at all . an instrument made from the horn of a ram. Yom Kippur is a day of atonement. but also the collective atonement of the Jewish people. For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you.KnowledgeNews What Is Yom Kippur? For Jews. a high priest laid hands on a goat’s head and confessed the people’s sins. Breaking from the workaday world. This goat. and Moses came back with a second copy of the covenant—returning on the tenth day of Tishri. by a statute for ever. you probably know most of the story. that the wall [of Jericho] fell down ﬂat. humble before God and asking pardon for transgressions against his law. the Jewish New Year. Inc. is prohibited. and God knew they would sin again. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. —Michael Himick KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. Well. Think priests blowing blasts from a wild horn. . These “Days of Awe” are a time to seek forgiveness for transgressions against others and to mortify yourself before God. the community fasts for 25 hours. and the nation fasted from sunrise to sunset.. Shofars go back to biblical times as instruments of ritual and war. before the destruction of the Temple at Jerusalem. So Moses ascended the mountain again to plead for God’s forgiveness. the seventh Jewish month. . never to be seen again. reinforcing not only personal introspection and repentance. Moses cast down and broke the tablets of the Ten Commandments he had received on Mount Sinai. not Louis Armstrong with polished brass.
Psst . The Greenlanders’ Saga describes ﬁve separate expeditions and credits Leif Eriksson with the discovery and naming of the new territory. green place to the south. Europe’s rumor mill was churning out gossip about a rich country somewhere in the North Atlantic. and to the south. fur. After discovering Helluland (Flat Slab Land) and Markland (Forest Land). Icelandic sagas certainly have the most tantalizing account of Vinland’s discovery. Scandinavian sailors probably swapped yarns about their ancestors’ accomplishments at sea. the Vinland tale grew taller. Traders might have bragged a bit as they journeyed from port to port. kings. But both sagas tell the same basic story. Excursions turned up timber..” KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. and lumber for export to Greenland and Europe. collecting grapes. As time passed. A 12th-century history of Iceland added more detail—native settlements along Vinland’s coast. All rights reserved. Rumor is another. wheat. So they built a settlement meant to last. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. . The sagas even record the birth of Vinland’s ﬁrst Norse citizen. with great halls. and warriors. streams full of salmon. a crew of Norse adventurers came to Canada’s northeastern coast. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. Yet after only a few years. Did he gather facts about lands to the west? Based on a True Story Maybe. something even rarer—wild grapes. A collection of intricately rhymed poems celebrating Norse gods. For guys used to snow and seal meat. grapes were a real ﬁnd. they made camp and set about exploring.KnowledgeNews Viking Raiders Attack Columbus This Columbus Day. 36 . a forge. butternuts. Inc. In 1075. and history’s ofﬁcial memory of “Vinland” faded with it. Today. scholars regard the stories as heavily embellished accounts of real events. the sagas were written down in the 13th and 14th centuries after being spoken aloud for centuries. More than 100 men and 15 women came to live in Vinland. a Danish king told German historian Adam of Bremen that he’d heard of a place west of Greenland where grapes and wheat abounded. Some historians think these stories made an impression on at least one ambitious young mariner. forget everything you learned in school about Christopher Columbus—or at least the bit about him discovering America. the small colony faded away. Columbus got all the glory. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. In Vinland Veritas Five hundred years before Columbus considered sailing off the map’s edge. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. where they set up one or more camps. We Discovered North America. is prohibited. It’s now ofﬁcially a fact that Leif “The Lucky” Eriksson got the jump on the Genoese mariner. a boy named Snorri. made by the Icelandic merchant Thorﬁnn Karlsefni. Columbus’s son said that his dad made a trip to Iceland 15 years before setting out to ﬁnd a passage to the West Indies. the Norse found a warm. Pass It On Ofﬁcial history is one thing. Inc. and tell of hostile encounters with the natives. whom the Norse called “skraelings. Even after Viking power faded. Amazed by the sight of green grass in winter. Erik the Red’s Saga condenses all ﬁve voyages into one. Modern historians combine elements of two sagas written in the early 1200s—The Greenlanders’ Saga and Erik the Red’s Saga—to get the most accurate portrait of Vinland. and the Vikings got a football team. and comfortable huts. .
Many historians think the Newfoundland site was the gateway to Vinland. History is a-changing. They came up empty. but Viking fans have more than a hunch on their side. Today. Let’s Go Home Despite Vinland’s good vibes. The couple soon traced eight buildings that were the spitting image of Norse structures in Iceland and Greenland. Viking artifacts were turning up in every New Englander’s backyard. is prohibited.. A 13th-century Inuit artist on Bafﬁn Island carved a man dressed European-style. Lawrence River. So Vinland was probably somewhere farther south. grapes. All rights reserved. the part of Canada just above Maine.net Look. —Claire Vail KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. Excavations yielded Viking artifacts dating to around the year 1000. and timber. evidence suggests that the Norse did make trips to America long after the collapse of their colony. America was stunned—and delighted to have found a new hobby. Norwegian historian Helge Ingstad and his wife Anne found the sod foundations of Norse longhouses in Newfoundland. Evidence of iron-working and a forge supported the theory of a small colony. they could plunder grapes and timber just as easily on journeys from home. and the Vikings of Vinland are ﬁnally getting their due. There’s a Viking Helmet in Our Garden Iceland’s sagas remained obscure until 1837. In fact. Icelandic annals record that a ship laden with timber from Markland made berth at Iceland in 1347. None proved genuine. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. butternuts and wild grapes only grow as far north as New Brunswick. Or perhaps they ﬁgured that. when a Danish professor published the ﬁrst translations to ﬁnd a popular audience. But was it Vinland? According to the sagas. the Vikings had made trips from their base camp to collect butternuts. because it led to permanent colonization. It was a lost Viking settlement. the sagas’ Erik the Red). Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. Then. Throughout the 19th and most of the 20th centuries. and possibly even Maine. Inc. Dear. Columbus admirers tend to say his voyage counted most. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. archaeologists scoured Canada’s northeastern coast for proof of a Viking presence.http://KnowledgeNews. Inc. Suddenly. New Brunswick. now that they knew where to look. and the discovery of a soapstone spindle whorl suggested women weavers. the Norse quickly packed their bags and headed for home in Greenland (settled just decades earlier by Leif Eriksson’s daring dad. in 1960. Unfriendly skraelings may have forced them to skedaddle. a region that may have extended to the St. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. They probably stayed in Vinland for about a decade. 37 . From the detailed topographic descriptions in the sagas. historians had a good hunch that Helluland was Bafﬁn Island (in the Canadian Arctic) and that Markland was southern Labrador.
and most people will assume you’re talking politics. so Parris organizes prayer and fasting to combat the evil. for help against the devil. one of the ﬁrst three women accused. about 30 people have been jailed. is prohibited. the girls accuse Tituba (a slave). opens in Salem Town to “hear KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. begin having ﬁts. November 1689 . and Sarah Osborne (an old woman notorious for having married her servant). authorized by the new governor of Massachusetts. arrive in Salem Village and examine the three accused “witches. who remains in heavy irons for eight months. and his 11-year-old niece. We should see what happened. January 1692 . sobs uncontrollably. 1692 . At the behest of a neighbor. Hathorne and Corwin examine Cory and Nurse and send both to prison—along with Sarah Good’s 4-year-old daughter Dorcas. the committee refuses to assess taxes that pay Parris’s salary and challenges his ownership of the parsonage.A new Salem Village Committee. granted to him by his contract. October 1691 . But we will—every Halloween. Abigail Williams. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners.A Court of Oyer and Terminer. By the end of April. In short order. Inc.. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. including 12-year-old Ann Putnam. Inc. Accusations. June 2. February 1692 . Elizabeth’s husband. begin behaving strangely. possibly under duress. Betty.Samuel Parris’s 9-year-old daughter. full of Parris opponents.Deputy Governor Thomas Danforth and others join Hathorne and Corwin to examine Elizabeth Proctor and Sarah Cloyce. The magistrates send all three to prison. The next month.Other girls. John Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin. falling into epileptic-like seizures and trance-like states. and goes insane.Samuel Parris is made minister of Salem Village church. dies in prison in Boston. Sir William Phips. Good and Osborne maintain their innocence. All rights reserved. 38 .KnowledgeNews Witch Hunt: What Happened in Salem? Say “witch hunt” these days. By the end of May. the Putnams. and imprisonments continue. April 1692 . the two magistrates send all three women to prison. May 1692 . use the girls’ urine to make a “witch cake. Sarah Good (a beggar). confesses to witchcraft and claims that undiscovered witches walk in Salem.Ann Putnam’s mother (also named Ann) begins having ﬁts. March 1. a generally respected church member. During the examination. Tituba and John Indian. Parris’s Caribbean Indian slaves. Few will connect the term to its harrowing history.” From the start. rest of March 1692 . who have also been denounced as witches. the Salem witch hunts have haunted American history. examinations. With that.” Pressured to identify the demons tormenting them.Two magistrates from Salem Town. 1692 . and 71-yearold Rebecca Nurse of witchcraft. interspersed with bouts of incoherent babbling and blasphemous screams. vigorously defends his wife and ﬁnds himself accused.” Parris calls it “going to the devil. and ask what demons possessed that Puritan place. with support from one of the community’s largest and most prominent farming families. they act more like inquisitors than impartial judges. Tituba. the number of people imprisoned has more than doubled. For more than 300 years. Mrs. the Putnams. wins election. Putnam and the afﬂicted girls accuse Martha Cory. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions.Sarah Osborne. The winter promises to be a stressful one for the Parrises—and for their allies. The village doctor suggests they may be under the inﬂuence of Satan. John Proctor.
August 19.Martha Cory.” Court authorities tie him to the ground and slowly stack heavy stones on his chest. convicts. but Governor Phips reprieves them. 1692 . Elizabeth Howe. Inc. convenes to try the remaining “witches. and George Burroughs are hanged. who take their show on the road. a feat thought to be impossible for one in league with Satan. July 19. “than that one innocent person should be condemned.Having refused to enter a plea and stand trial. the court acquits 49 people outright.A new Superior Court. Martha Carrier. Ann Foster.” August 5.. Wilmot Reed. and condemns six more “witches”: Martha Cory.” he argues. and Mary Bradbury. and the judges order the jurors to reconsider. George Jacobs. All rights reserved. Opposition to the court mounts.Essex County sheriff George Corwin reports that he has “safely conveyed” Bridget Bishop from the Salem jail and caused her “to be hanged by the neck until she was dead. Before her execution. Alice Parker. and all ﬁve “witches” are condemned to die. No more will. George Jacobs. Mary Easty writes a poignant letter pleading with the court not for her own life but for the lives of other innocents she fears will follow. September 22. 1692 . September 19. May 1693 . an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. Four of the others confess and save their necks.” This time. New deputy governor William Stoughton presides as chief judge. The jury initially acquits Rebecca Nurse. Inc. It convicts three. Wilmot Reed.The court sentences nine more people to death: Margaret Scott. 1692 .” Nathaniel Saltonstall. Meanwhile. September 9. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. 80-year-old Giles Cory is tortured to death by “pressing. Sarah Wilds. The witch hunt ends. examinations. but word of her acquittal sends the afﬂicted girls into ﬁts. resigns in protest. John Willard. John Willard. Ann Pudeator. Samuel Wardwell. and Samuel Wardwell are hanged. and George Burroughs (a local minister and a known enemy of the Putnams). September 17. Margaret Scott.John Proctor. until he can’t breathe. The court spares Abigail Faulkner because she is pregnant. Abigail Faulkner. and imprisonments continue. one of the judges appointed to the court. and Abigail Hobbs. Susannah Martin. and Rebecca Nurse. Mary Easty. June 10. Burroughs recites the Lord’s Prayer ﬂawlessly.” Governor Phips issues an order forbidding further imprisonments for witchcraft and dissolves the Court of Oyer and Terminer. 1692 . Mary Bradbury escapes it by escaping. operating under much stricter rules of evidence. Mary Parker. Mary Parker. Susannah Martin. Mary Easty. The court spares Elizabeth Proctor because she is pregnant. convicts her of witchcraft. October 1692 .Sarah Good. Alice Parker. 1692 . 1692 . June 29. Martha Carrier.Governor Phips orders that all accused “witches” still awaiting trial in jail be released.net and determine” the cases against the accused. Dorcas Hoar escapes execution by confessing. and condemns John and Elizabeth Proctor. On the scaffold. 1692 . Dorcas Hoar. including the governor’s wife. and sentences her to death. Mary Lacy. Elizabeth Howe. They subsequently vote to convict.http://KnowledgeNews. Puritan heavyweight Increase Mather casts doubt on the use of “spectral evidence. and Rebecca Nurse are each hanged “for the horrible crime of witchcraft. 39 . but accusations. is prohibited. 1692 . convicts. Rebecca Eames. Sarah Wilds.The court tries.The court tries.The court tries and convicts Sarah Good.Seeking to root out its own “witches. The court tries Bridget Bishop. Along the way. 1692 .” the town of Andover sends for the afﬂicted girls.” “Better that ten suspected witches should escape. —Steve Sampson KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. they accuse some very prominent people. January 1693 . Ann Pudeator.
But many other New Englanders believed wholeheartedly. historians have tended to agree. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. suggested that the girls would “make devils of us all” and that spankings would produce a faster cure than hangings.” she said. For at least 20 years. Witches became scapegoats for accidents and injuries. But not earlier. And by 1692. author of a popular book on witchcraft. declining livestock productivity. who was eventually accused and hanged.” Those executed on “Witches’ Hill” had said as much in 1692. 40 . On one side were the Putnams and their allies. something we still don’t fully understand. “It was a great delusion of Satan that deceived me in that sad time. most of whom shared one trait. and even the premature spoiling of beer. Of course. witch Still. All rights reserved. Possessed by Witches? It’s hard to believe today that Ann Putnam and her cohorts were truly possessed by witches—or by Satan more directly. almost any afﬂiction could be blamed on a witch and her maleﬁcium (“malevolent sorcery”). illnesses and deaths. The Salem Village witch hunts accounted for 31 of those convictions and 19 of those executions—more than half. They began by accusing women who were highly marginalized in Salem Village society. So what more possessed the people of Salem? There was actually a good deal of method to the afﬂicted girls’ madness. Maintaining their innocence—in full knowledge that they could avoid execution by confessing to crimes they didn’t commit—several lamented that Salem Village itself seemed to have been possessed by Satan. mostly farmers from the village’s west side. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. dementia. The farmer and tavern owner John Proctor. something simultaneously fascinating and deeply disturbing. Even some early New Englanders had their doubts. which was emerging as a mercantile hub. the Salem villagers weren’t alone in their fear. too. 14 years after the Salem witch hunts. persecution of “witches” was rare in medieval Europe. claimed that the girls’ afﬂictions “could not possibly be dissembled. 56 people were convicted of witchcraft in New England and 35 were executed. in one way or another. The witch craze began only in the late 15th century.. Possessed by Possessions? KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. insomnia. Then they began accusing less marginalized people. theologians had come to believe that any magical event not obviously the work of God could only be the work of the Devil. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. Inc.” The magistrates Jonathan Corwin and John Hathorne treated the girls’ claims as nearly beyond reproach. In spirit at least. Salem Village was divided into two groups. By then. impotence. “What I did was ignorantly done. They were. Basically. They even allowed the use of “spectral evidence”—basically. Inc. From 1620 to 1725. Something strangely demonic was at work in Salem Village. being deluded by Satan. actual convictions for witchcraft were rare. Massachusetts) from Salem Town. is prohibited. any claim made by the girls in a ﬁt—against defendants in their court. arch-accuser Ann Putnam made a formal apology to the congregation of the Salem Village church. Contrary to popular belief. Scholars say that as many as half of the people in the world still believe in witches. they had been working to formally separate Salem Village (now Danvers. The Reverend Cotton Mather. the Putnam family. hunts had been a periodic part of European culture for more than 200 years. The Devil was in the details.KnowledgeNews Witch Hunt: What Possessed Salem? In 1706. New England Puritans blamed demonic forces for all sorts of maladies. afﬁliated with a faction in Salem Village that opposed the Reverend Samuel Parris and his allies. In short.
questioning the propriety not only of his ministry but also of his ownership of the parsonage. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. In recent years. If so. dumbness. In the end. as any good Puritan could tell you.. Of the 14 accused witches who lived in Salem Village proper. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. Too many of their symptoms—including strange contortions of their bodies. closest to Salem Town. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. greed. Ignorance. a new Salem Village Committee was elected. 41 . It’s also the source of lysergic acid. especially under the terms that had been offered. under pressure from the adults around them. and. more severely still. is prohibited. Parris had come to Salem in 1689. mostly from the village’s east side. convulsions. In October 1691. they came ﬁrst to the Parrises. they called for an inquiry into the legality of Parris’s hiring in 1689. They opposed separating from the town. most historians agree that the afﬂicted girls were not simply putting on a show. Possessed by LSD? Despite the method beneath the madness. and psychosis to severe burning sensations. a few bad bread trips may have been just the spark needed to ignite Salem Village’s pious Puritan (and plainly political) powder keg. Second. especially rye. 30 lived away from Salem Town on the village’s western side. no less devilish than a witch’s maleﬁcium. they pointed primarily toward the men and women of the Salem Town faction. and blindness—would have been difﬁcult to fake. On the contrary. they refused to levy the local tax used to pay his salary.http://KnowledgeNews. the group ﬁnally succeeded that year and made Parris their minister. death. Of the 32 adults who testiﬁed against them. they are all the more subtly satanic—and they are all the more frightening for being with us still. despite a standing resolution from 1681 declaring that the parsonage should forever remain village property. The new committee moved against Parris in two ways. even for professional actors. First. this one controlled by the Salem Town faction. Inc. Ingesting bread made from ergot-infested rye ﬂour produces symptoms ranging from hallucinations. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. at a time when the Putnams and their allies controlled the Salem Village Committee. Inc. All rights reserved. Not surprisingly. —Steve Sampson KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. some historians have offered a pharmacological explanation for the girls’ behavior: St. then to the Putnams. the Salem Town faction opposed Parris’s hiring. hatred. When the ﬁts came. or sign-of-the-times witch hunt. Parris’s contract stipulated a considerable annual salary and granted him the village parsonage and its lands. Ergot is a fungus that grows on cereal grasses. Anthony’s ﬁre. And when. the girls’ accusations began. seizures. otherwise known as ergot poisoning. envy. Perhaps the afﬂicted girls were less bewitched than stoned. and temporary deafness. which is used to make the drug LSD. We know that the Salem Villagers ate rye and that weather conditions around the time of the witch trials were right for an ergot breakout. That winter—the winter when their daughters began falling prey to strange ﬁts—Parris and his supporters felt besieged. the forces at work in Salem Village were larger and more diabolical than any rye bread high. community catﬁght. and self-righteousness are common to every time and place—and. 12 lived on the eastern side of the village. severe gangrene. Having failed in previous years to establish an independent Salem Village church (as part of their attempt to separate Salem Village from Salem Town).net On the other side was a smaller but wealthier faction of farmers and merchants.
where the upper muscles of the throat contract and force you down into the esophagus—you’re getting swallowed. moving food along. In less than two days. But your digestive system keeps you alive.. But it has far worse secretions to drench you in than saliva. we’ll see you on the other side. bile breaks down fats. and digestive enzymes start to break apart the starches inside you. Meanwhile. while the back ones—bicuspids. and you’re not carving turkey—you are a turkey. Around the Teeth and Through the Gums Usually when they stick a fork in you. Look Out. After stewing in the stomach for a few hours. Your journey is only beginning. Gobble. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. You’re pushed to the back of the mouth. In addition to bile. After just a few juicy chews. as the entrance to a wild ride is closing in: the mouth. One of the most powerful acids known. As if that weren’t enough. though it can expand to hold as much as four (a useful talent on days like Thanksgiving). It needs to be digested ﬁrst. nutrient-rich mass of small particles called chyme. Now it’s time for the squeeze. Here It Comes Your journey lasts only a few seconds before you splash down in the stomach. It’s Thanksgiving. and that’s hard work that deserves your respect—especially after a holiday feast. the stomach rhythmically contracts to break up and mix food. Most of the food you eat. Well. If you thought the mouth was bad. two sets of hard enameled teeth go to work on you. The front ones—incisors and canines—rip and tear you into small pieces. After the swallow comes a pattern of muscular contraction called peristalsis. we’re going to send someone down there: namely. you’re done. You quickly become softer and easier to swallow. your once-tough ﬂesh has been broken down into a small. By this time. you sure are now. That stinging sensation comes from the hydrochloric acid in the gastric juice you’re bathing in. The stomach is a muscular compartment that holds about a liter of food. Inc. molars. As you arrive. the ﬁrst of many secretions the digestive system will squirt at you. starts breaking down your proteins. Immediately. another gastric juice component. so maybe digestion isn’t as sexy as reproduction or as thought-provoking as your brain. the enzyme pepsin. try getting comfortable in here. and you’re on your way to the small intestine. you’re really not looking much like your old self. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. too. Stomach. Gobble What’s 30 feet long and devours more than 50 tons of food in its life? A python? The shark from Jaws? A genetically modiﬁed monster turkey? No. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. is bile. So. Inc. Like the mouth. you’re also being mixed with a variety of chemicals coming in from the KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. and wisdom teeth—pound and mash you into a pulp. in which muscles contract in sequence along the length of the digestive tract. no matter how nutritious it is. mushy mass that medical types call a bolus. you. to ﬁnd out more about this important process. and you better get used to it because it’s going to happen a lot. lipids. All rights reserved. so if you weren’t lean meat before. is prohibited. Coming in from the liver. But not this time.KnowledgeNews Gobble. can’t be immediately absorbed by your body. it’s your digestive system. you’re being spit on. you’re a soupy. You’re getting soaked in saliva. sort of. OK. and electrolyte chemicals. Good luck. it quickly kills most of the microbial life you may have brought in with you. by way of the gallbladder. and you’re going to get gobbled. you’re joined by new secretions that will digest you even more. A complex mix of acids. 42 .
because the large intestine is teeming with microbial life. electrolytes. All the while. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. well. couldn’t stomach. When You Gotta Go. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. Some even synthesize key nutrients like thiamin (vitamin B1) and vitamin K. You quickly get the feeling you’re not alone. Many different species begin to attack. The large intestine doesn’t secrete much. Inc. water—all are absorbed. and proteins. fats. One last squeeze from those digestive muscles and you’re released. What’s left of you has entered the large intestine. After roughly a day of slow percolating. growing body for the eater and a burial at sea for you. The others are enzymes that break down starches. winding curves. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t quite a bit brewing in here. vitamins. —Christopher Call Your stomach can hold about a liter of food. You don’t smell so sweet either. things get a little less constricting. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. Inc.http://KnowledgeNews. millions of tiny ﬁngerlike projections called villi suck up your nutrients and disperse them into the body. Tougher stuff like cellulose is actually fermented in the process.. you’re a mass of bacteria-infested undigested ﬁber and water. carbohydrates. It mostly just absorbs any water and electrolytes left behind by the small intestine. though it can expand to hold as much as four—a useful talent on days like Thanksgiving. what’s left of you is ready for the last step in digestion. The result is gas—lots of gas. which helps neutralize the acid from the stomach.net pancreas. and it’s been waiting for you. All the good stuff in you has been broken down and is ready to go. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. The end result: a healthy. is prohibited. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. and it’s a bizarre place. One is bicarbonate. All rights reserved. Proteins. Finally. but it doesn’t have to. Over the course of about ﬁve hours. 43 . you’re pushed along 20 feet (6 meters) of narrow. The small intestine itself doesn’t secrete much except water. fats. only a bit of mucus to help move you along. You Gotta Go After leaving the small intestine. breaking down parts of you that the stomach.
Winter When Molecules Need Mittens How Hanukkah Got Started Who Was the Real St. Nick? How Santa Flies High Stating the Union Roman Super Sport 3 Powerful Love Stories .
oxygen condenses. At even lower temperatures.KnowledgeNews When Molecules Need Mittens No matter how cold it gets this winter. Now things really get strange. We’ll start at a nice warm temperature. How cold can it get? We’ll use your car as our experimental chamber (hope you don’t mind). Everything in the universe has thermal energy. you’re starting to feel a little chill in the air. the inside of your car reaches the temperature of the darkest parts of space: about 3 K (-454 degrees F or -270 degrees C). carbon dioxide condenses. Except that now. Ice. the air that once ﬁlled your car is a pool of liquid on the ﬂoor. its atoms and molecules vibrate more. If you add thermal energy to an object. The temperature is dropping to 45 degrees F (7 degrees C). becoming superconductive. and we’re at 32 degrees F (0 degrees C). Usually. As the temperature drops further. Even the warmest parka in the world couldn’t save you at this temperature. and it warms up. is prohibited. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. and you might even want a cold drink. and it gets colder. Regular thermometers don’t work anymore—their mercury has frozen solid. scientists have managed to drop the temperature below 3 K—down to just a few billionths of a degree above absolute zero (0 K or -460 degrees F). Pretty soon. You only need to wear a shirt and shorts. and we’ve reached -44 degrees F (-42 degrees C). substances that were once pliable become brittle. First. All rights reserved. But at about 133 K (-220 degrees F or -140 degrees C). Your leather seat begins to crack and crumble under your weight. and a rubber tire wouldn’t bounce on the ﬂoor—it would shatter. And they’re right. Turning Off the Heat What we call temperature is just an easy way to measure thermal energy. You’re numb. In the lab. oldtimers will say it could be worse. But don’t worry about that. metals like lead and tin become superconductive. Inc. You’d better grab a coat and long pants. Your body is shivering. Naturally. Your Last Drink of Air Our next stop is 184 K (-129 degrees F or -89 degrees C). even really conductive materials like copper wire lose energy because of electrical resistance. 45 . Eventually. forming tiny frost-like crystals. with no heat at all. You need a hat and gloves. Time to switch to the Kelvin scale. Baby A few more minutes. This is as cold as the universe gets. too. There is some good news. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. Inc. and you can see your breath in the air as the water vapor from your lungs condenses in the cold. and we reach 0 degrees F (-18 degrees C). Your car’s electric system just improved. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. The air itself starts to condense. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. where it’s a balmy 231. at around 90 K (-298 degrees F or -183 degrees C). Ice. It could be colder—a lot colder. fogging up your windshield. as vibrating molecules slow down. certain metal-oxide ceramics lose their resistance. Then. You’re no longer breathing anyway. at least.. It could be absolute zero. and your extremities are frostbitten. There’s just enough ambient thermal energy bouncing around to keep us from ever shedding those last three degrees. using muscular energy to generate heat to keep you warm. —Christopher Call KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. which exists in the form of vibrations in atoms and molecules. Don’t worry about the heat—we’ve turned that off. the lowest temperature ever recorded on Earth. Another moment. its atoms and molecules vibrate less. If you remove thermal energy. though. And your cold drink has frozen solid (not that you’d want it now). A little longer. You’ve probably never felt cold like this. say 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius).
is prohibited. Antiochus decided to put an end to Jerusalem’s fractious internal politics. it quickly became the “Festival of Lights”—thanks to a miracle told in the Talmud. that oil burned for eight days. until replacement oil arrived. the many into the hands of the few. Hanukkah also involves special prayers and songs—some of which celebrate resistance against political oppression. Inc. The shammash is used to light the other candles. he appointed a man named Jason. Eventually.KnowledgeNews How Hanukkah Got Started The original Hanukkah story took place around 165 BC in the ancient region of Judea.” —Mark Diller KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. and an altar to Zeus was set up in the Temple. Miraculously. At ﬁrst. however. A Hanukkah prayer thanks God for delivering “the strong into the hands of the weak. If Judas originally intended Hanukkah as a sort of ancient Veterans Day. 46 . Hanukkah now mainly commemorates God’s miracle. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. tried to control Judea by appointing the high priest of the Temple of Jerusalem. so that the lights grow with the holiday). It has branches for eight candles (or pots of oil). Hanukkah’s most important ritual activity involves lights. led by a priest named Mattathias and his sons. but he later replaced Jason with a rival named Menelaus (reportedly because Menelaus’s bribes were bigger than Jason’s). Inc. The invasion of the Temple cut especially deep. Judas chased the Syrians out of Jerusalem and set about purifying the Temple.k. All rights reserved. the epicenter of Jewish life. At sunset on every night of Hanukkah. and then lit from left to right (one for each day. From the Jewish perspective. the Talmud says. called the shammash (“servant”). Descended from one of Alexander the Great’s generals. and the wicked into the hands of the righteous. Judas found only enough ritually pure oil to burn for one day. Light My Fire Not surprisingly. Antiochus butted heads with the Romans. On ﬁrst entering the Temple. It helped that Antiochus had a knack for making enemies. plus a ninth. who took to the hills and embarked on a three-year war against the Syrians. Back then. It’s also traditional to give gifts on Hanukkah. A special menorah—the hanukkiya—is prominently displayed for the occasion. Judea was a pawn in a series of squabbles between Egypt and Syria. not Judas’s military victory. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. Antiochus promoted Greek culture in the territories he ruled. Hammer Time That was too much to take. Parthians.. Soon Mattathias’s son Judas Maccabeus (a. He decreed that the most distinctive aspects of Jewish identity were no longer “kosher. Beware of Greeks Bearing Altars The Syrian king.” Jews weren’t allowed to worship or study their sacred texts. When Jason returned with an army and threw Menelaus out. the impure into the hands of the pure. and repeatedly frustrated Syrian soldiers with guerrilla tactics. Antiochus IV. “The Hammer”) took command. an annual eight-day celebration to commemorate the victory over the Syrians. A revolt broke out. candles are placed in the hanukkiya from right to left. Along with the Egyptians.a. the presence of the foreign altar polluted God’s house. He sent in his own army and tried to reshape Judea along Syrian lines. to inspire the gratitude that’s at the heart of the festivities. and Armenians. He dedicated a new altar and instituted a new holiday—Hanukkah (Hebrew for “dedication”). in the middle.
—Colleen Kelly KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. No one would marry any of the girls. is prohibited. and just about everyone else. His Legend Grows Stories about the beloved local bishop were told and retold. Russians.700 years ago. Nicholas simply highlights his generosity. Nicholas’s popularity waned in many Protestant countries. called off the persecutions. the church at Myra attracted pilgrims. St. Constantine. All rights reserved. and the cult of Nicholas grew. a group of Dutch settlers traveled to America in a ship adorned with a St. Nick? Kids can spot Santa Claus in the twinkling of an eye. Nicholas became a bishop. The white beard. Anti-Christian edicts made it a dangerous time for a Christian like Nicholas. There was talk they would have to prostitute themselves to survive. a reference to the three bags of gold St. Soon the church at Bari had become a great pilgrimage site. where the Dutch continued to revere St. in 1087. and by the 6th century a huge church was built in his honor in Myra. but the facts are few. Nicholas gave to those unmarried girls 1. ample lap. Inc. lawyers. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. newlyweds. Nicholas’s parents died and left him an inheritance when he was young..” In 1626.KnowledgeNews Who Was the Real St. But the story most told about St. Nick. pronounced “Sinterklaas. Historians agree that he was born around the year 280 in Asia Minor. Nicholas ﬁgurehead. Nicholas. The teenage Nicholas heard that a neighbor had three daughters and no money to feed them—much less provide dowries. sometime between 343 and 353. Sinterklaas For hundreds of years. 47 . he anonymously left three small bags of gold coins at the family’s house. Greeks. According to medieval biographers. a spry guy with olive skin who lived in what’s now Turkey and whose ample compassion inspired century after century of legend? Just the Facts The legends about St. when a new emperor. Inc. prisoners. orphans. Then. unmarried girls. and cookie crumbs tend to give him away. Life got easier in 312. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. But who knows the real St. It wasn’t long before the legend of “Santa Claus” took root in the New World. and many believers were martyred. Plays and paintings depicted the saint. We have no records of his years as a bishop. Nicholas appeared in the 9th century. He died on December 6. appears to have inspired the tradition of giving gifts on his feast day of December 6. enhancing the saint’s reputation. crimson suit. He is even the patron saint of pawnbrokers. Nicholas was the patron saint of—take a deep breath—sailors. During his youth. but it seems he was revered as a kindly fellow who helped the poor and sick. who still indicate their trade by displaying three golden balls. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. The men smashed into the sarcophagus that contained the saint’s bones and spirited them away to the town of Bari. coupled with Nicholas’s celebrated kindness to children. The next year. children. near the heel of boot-shaped Italy. When Protestants condemned the practice of praying to saints. This tale. barrel makers. and was buried in the town of Myra. Nicholas are abundant. Nicholas’s homeland was under the control of Diocletian. It tells of him miraculously calming the sea with his prayers and magically replenishing wheat during a famine. Before long. An inﬂuential biography of St. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. But not in the Netherlands. it attracted some Italians with larcenous intentions. the Roman emperor. After Nicholas learned of their plight.
But how? Just how do Santa and his eight reindeer friends (nine. Generally. But before Santa can cruise. since gravity is basically constant here on Earth. the big guy has to deal with his weight problem.. Major Tom to Pound Control When it comes to ﬂying. because he’s ready for takeoff. Getting an aircraft airborne is basically a matter of generating enough lift to overcome its weight.KnowledgeNews How Santa Flies High When Christmas Eve comes. Of course. the presents absolutely. is always exerting itself). thrust. in Santa’s case. lift is an aerodynamic force directed perpendicular to your ﬂight path. if Santa can get his sleigh airborne. to unwanted fruitcakes on Christmas morning. and airplane designers try to remove all unnecessary components from their crafts. Santa’s grounded. thanks to gravity. He needs thrust. one way to help do that is to lighten the load as much as possible from the start. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. counting Rudolph) get a sleigh full of toys airborne? There’s a little magic involved. (Memo from Rudolph to Santa: cut back on the Christmas cookies. We measure gravity’s pull on that mass as weight. we do this by forcing air around an “airfoil. The good thing is. before Santa can get airborne. May the Forces Be with You. push it forward.” like a wing. The interactions of weight. but mostly Santa and his North Pole helpers just know their physics cold—speciﬁcally the four forces that regulate all ﬂying objects. but easier said than done. Keeping an aircraft “ﬁt and trim” just makes the job of lifting it easier. weight is the easiest force to deal with. Unlike weight (which. and. All rights reserved. positively have to be there overnight. What thrust pushes forward. and drag determine whether any aircraft soars to new heights or crashes and burns. So. drag holds back. That’s called cruising. Inc. Fortunately. Every aircraft has mass. Generating it requires three key elements—a gas (or liquid). The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. lift. But if he can create lift greater than his weight. a ﬂying sleigh will keep ﬂying forever as long as the forces working to lift it up. We have to create it ourselves. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners.) The Gift of Lift As long as weight is greater than lift. and motion of the solid in relation to the gas (or vice versa). pull it down. from jet planes. a solid. is prohibited. weight pulls down. Rudolph Here’s what Santa knows. Simple enough. so is the aircraft’s weight (at least until it burns fuel—or. 48 . According to Newton’s ﬁrst law of motion (the “law of inertia”). to Santa’s sleigh. Inc. he needs to build up a head of steam. and hold it back all balance. then he can put his tray table up and his seat back in the full upright position. Santa’s sleigh can really ﬂy. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. because its effects are relatively constant and easy to measure. keeping it that way requires no more than getting the four forces to cancel each other out. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. lift isn’t exactly self-motivating. Hence aircraft parts are made to weigh the minimum while still safely doing their jobs. Like all aeronauts. Technically. Santa must orchestrate these four forces— which is no simple matter since they pull in different directions. That which lift would elevate. That means lift goes to work only when your wings are moving in relation to air (or vice versa). unloads toys).
Aerodynamic shapes produce less disturbance. turbulent ﬂow. Aircraft create thrust in different ways.net Thrust or Bust Thrust is a mechanical force that propels objects forward. Newton’s third law of motion (“for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”) is key. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. but for non-Santa aircraft. And when any two objects slide past each other. All rights reserved. Drag gets even worse when aircraft get supersonic. Non-aerodynamic shapes. which siphons off kinetic energy (motion) and converts it into heat.http://KnowledgeNews. and that increases drag. cause chaotic. It’s the air’s own resistance to being turned and thrust about. backward. streamlined movement of air called laminar ﬂow. Jets and rockets use explosive chemical reactions to blast gases backward. Why Bumpy Flights Are a Drag If weight is a downer. Inc. too. Why should air resist a speeding sleigh? Because air is something and not nothing after all. the more energy the sliding objects lose. The more friction. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. It’s caused by the disturbance of air as it ﬂows around an object. the faster it propels air backward—and backward blowing leads to equal forward thrusting. when “wave drag” kicks in and sound waves themselves impede progress. The faster a propeller spins. creating a smooth. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. and the more they slow down.. such as plain old air. Drag is the aerodynamic force that opposes an aircraft’s motion through the air. Honestly. they generate friction. and all that gas backwardness generates equal and opposite forward thrusting. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. Propeller-based aircraft use internal combustion engines to rapidly spin blades that behave like rotating airfoils. Inc. Turbulence costs Santa something. like parachutes or reindeer. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. 49 . By propelling gases. we’re not sure how reindeer-based systems work. an aircraft’s engines generate the thrust that pushes the craft forward. is prohibited. —Christopher Call Santa and his North Pole helpers know their physics cold. drag is a stopper. But we’re guessing Santa would seek help from FedEx before asking his elves to build a supersonic sleigh.
The fourth is freedom from fear. . So much for carefully debated replies. All rights reserved. is prohibited. The third is freedom from want. . Woodrow Wilson decided to follow Washington’s lead and not Jefferson’s. Congress debated. 50 . . Memorable Moments In 1823. drafted.085 words. and delivered a courteous reply promising its cooperation. The ﬁrst president to take full advantage of the power of prime-time TV was Lyndon Johnson. but he didn’t do it in prime time. who in 1941 famously looked forward to a future founded on four freedoms: “The ﬁrst is freedom of speech and expression. delivering written “information” instead of speeches. . Washington’s address is among the shortest ever.S. Constitution requires presidents to give “information on the state of the union” to the Congress “from time to time. —Steve Sampson KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. But most agree that the master of the radio address was Franklin Roosevelt. Calvin Coolidge delivered the ﬁrst State of the Union address to be broadcast by radio. And. Inc. . of course. in 1862. After hearing the president’s proposals. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner.” In the midst of the Civil War.. At 1. in 1965. by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. “information” needn’t be speeches. presidents have ﬁgured “from time to time” means once a year. Jefferson thought Washington’s approach reeked of royalty. . . section 3. . Jefferson submitted his message in writing—saving Congress from “the bloody conﬂict which the making an answer would have committed them. of the U. around when Congress convenes. George Washington delivered the ﬁrst State of the Union speech to a joint session of Congress convened in New York City (then the nation’s capital). “will light us down in honor or dishonor to the latest generation. Abraham Lincoln used his message to propose emancipation of the slaves. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way. Rather than speaking. He gave a speech to both houses of Congress—reestablishing. that “the President of the United States is a person.” he wrote. are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers. Jefferson thought the Congress had better things to do than debate replies to presidential speeches. the idea for the State of the Union address did derive from a British tradition in which the king opened Parliament with a “Speech from the Throne. not a mere department of the government hailing Congress from some isolated island of jealous power.” Finally.” Media Darlings Ten years after Wilson’s speech. The following year saw the ﬁrst televised opposition response immediately following the address.KnowledgeNews Stating the Union Article II. Inc.” The next 24 presidents followed Jefferson’s lead rather than Washington’s. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. So such speeches went until 1801. but there’s no rule.” Generally. when Thomas Jefferson became president. “The ﬁery trial through which we pass.”) What’s more. which declared that “the American continents. as he put it.” President Harry Truman delivered the ﬁrst televised State of the Union speech in 1947. in 1913. (In fact. In giving freedom to the slave we assure freedom to the free—honorable alike in what we give and what we preserve. . James Monroe used his written message to Congress to lay out the Monroe Doctrine. Precedents for Presidents In 1790.
The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. Why gladiate yourself like that? Maybe for the money (the winning gladiator often got a cash prize) or for the food (three square meals could be hard to scrounge). superfast. By law. bears. you trained (not unlike boxers today). gladiators commanded more and more attention. however. strength. and nearly anything else would be paraded through the arena—and then killed by men or animals. Gladiators embodied the courage. You just had to swear an oath agreeing to be branded. Depending on the show. where he (or she— female gladiators were a rare but popular attraction) would be carefully trained in the arts of war.KnowledgeNews Roman Super Sport Come this year’s Super Bowl. or they might be forced to ﬁght one another until only one man stood. featuring fabulous and fearsome beasts from throughout the land. in peak physical condition. and ready to ﬁght. But there’s a super difference: the Roman gladiator frequently paid for defeat with his life. and a welltrained gladiator not only provided a better show. Or maybe for the girls. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. 51 . Rome fell sword-over-shields in love with the martial display. ostriches. the sons of Junius Brutus Pera honored their father at his funeral by holding a contest featuring three pairs of gladiators. no archaeological evidence that the Etruscans did any such thing. and abused mercilessly against your will. Cue the “Rocky” Music Gladiators were. who dominated Italy before Rome’s rise. you’d be well nourished. in the entertainment business. they might be tied to posts and savaged by animals starved for food. chained. Someone Call PETA Gladiatorial games typically consisted of three acts. the Roman origin of the gladiator— from the Latin gladius. and military skill at the heart of Rome’s rule. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. in fact. The rest of the time. good with a sword. stabbed. tigers. and for the next ﬁve centuries. as aristocratic women were rumored to relieve their boredom by testing famous gladiators’ prowess. you could see a “hunt” (venatio). except by qualiﬁed educational institutions.. In the morning. Lions. but was also more likely to live to wow them another day. In 264 BC. By the time you made it into the arena. All rights reserved. is prohibited. or compelled to give up their lives for sport. On the other hand. or “sword”—is well documented. prisoners of war. you could expect to ﬁght two or three times per year. No one knows whether the poor sap who survived won his freedom or merely delayed his fate. First Blood The Romans believed they inherited the idea of gladiatorial contests from the Etruscans. We Who Are About to Die The majority of gladiators—condemned criminals. Rome was a militaristic society in which death and violence were always near at hand. As a gladiator. Inc. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. No doubt many fought simply because they liked it. Yet many free Romans chose to become gladiators. A new gladiator would be sent to school. slaves—had no choice in the matter.” Maybe the supersized. such people could be killed for virtually any reason. The second act began around lunch. when condemned criminals were executed. elephants. The displays involved so many animals that some species simply disappeared from the empire. you may hear TV announcers talk about “gridiron gladiators. superrich athletes who struggle in the Super Bowl do look a little gladiatorial. too. Inc. There is. Gladiators were. after all.
Different types of gladiator. Yet eventually. the ﬁrst emperor to embrace Christianity. distinguished by their armor and weapons. Roman senators and emperors could win popular backing by entertaining the masses with fascinating and bloody attractions. is prohibited. tried to abolish the contests in 325. the hoplomachi who fought in full battle gear. But this hope depended on the mercy of a howling mob. Not Very Christian Gladiatorial contests initially took off in Rome because they were politically expedient. and the laquearii who tried to lasso their opponents. their bodies dumped in a pit and their arms and armor handed down to the gladiators who took their place. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. sword. he found. and the gladiator came under increasing attack. Gladiators may have continued to ﬁght unofﬁcially for another century or so. 52 . but their glory days were gone for good. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. and shield. The Mercy of the Mob Some ﬁghts were purely for show. but no one knows for sure). including the andabatae who fought blindfolded. —Mark Diller KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner.” signaling whether the victor should ﬁnish his opponent off (perhaps using the modern thumbs up/thumbs down. The lightly armed retiarius (“net man”). might match his speed against the slower but more thoroughly armed secutor (“pursuer”). New types arose as Rome expanded into new territories and brought home new kinds of prisoners of war. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. There were many other gladiator types. but most gladiators fought in deadly earnest. Power Afternoon and evening brought the main event: gladiators.net Speed vs. The aristocrat presiding at the festivities would then—taking his cues from the crowd—“give the thumb. the average gladiator’s career spanned just ten matches. round buckler and carried a curved dagger. If the loser had fought well. while the “Thracian. might face off against the murmillo. Most were killed. he would hold up his hand to signal surrender. All rights reserved.” who wore a small. who would then be forced to ﬁght in their native style. By one estimate.http://KnowledgeNews. who wore no armor and fought with just a net and trident. matched up against other types. Inc. with a helmet. Few lived long enough to retire. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner.. he might be allowed to live. Constantine. Christianity won Rome over. Inc. When a ﬁghter knew he had been beaten. but gladiators. the essedarii who fought from chariots. die hard. It took 80 years (and another emperor: Honorius) before gladiatorial contests were ﬁnally prohibited in 404.
In a ﬁnal. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. and lovely foreigner Aspasia takes up with Athens’s democratic leader Pericles. but he’s soon back with Cleo. Girl Meets Boys. we’re pitching three steamy story ideas featuring legendary power couples—puissant pairs from history’s PG-13 pages. Pericles shocks everyone by treating Aspasia with respect. So. the Athenian assembly at last acknowledges its debt to the city’s greatest statesman by granting his son full citizenship. and Josephine de Beauharnais is moving comfortably in the highest circles of Parisian society. touching scene. Meanwhile. isn’t exactly robust. Rather than be dragged behind a chariot through Alexandria’s streets. We’ve got ﬁerce battles. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. When Athens goes to war with Sparta. and jealous enemies. Octavian. who dies in 429 BC after trying to legitimize his son.KnowledgeNews 3 Powerful Love Stories Like Henry Kissinger said. he even marries her—and insults all of Rome in the process. All rights reserved. Inc.” Pericles never marries Aspasia. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. is assassinated in 44 BC. He even asks her opinion on political and philosophical matters. All we need now is Steven Spielberg’s email. For the next several years. power is the ultimate aphrodisiac. Antony sucks up to Octavian by marrying his sister. cools her heels in Alexandria—but has her eye on Rome’s rising star. in an age when women are generally kept out of sight. Boy Loses City— Pericles & Aspasia Sparks ﬂy in 445 BC when the witty. their many enemies conspire. but she knows the jig is up. is prohibited. who surrenders on the spot. but she soon bears him a son who will one day become a great general. After 20 years with Pericles. she commits suicide by holding a deadly asp to her breast. Octavian grants her ﬁnal wish to be buried with Antony. That sets malicious tongues a-wagging—not least because Aspasia is evidently a high-class courtesan. The lovestruck Antony falls on his sword. Boy Tries to Rule the World— Napoleon & Josephine It’s just after the French Revolution. Cleo tries to switch gears and seduce Octavian. for Valentine’s Day. Dressed to conquer. is living openly with his new lover. and diddle the nights away. Boy Meets Girl. Rumors abound that Antony might soon ﬁll Caesar’s shoes. Aspasia ﬁnally earns some grudging respect when Socrates admits she’s one of Athens’s brightest minds. sons of non-Athenian women can’t be citizens. educated. Desperate to unload Antony. Cleopatra. dance. particularly as Caesar’s young heir. Girl Loses Country— Antony & Cleopatra After her lover. Cleo has messengers announce her sudden death. by a law Pericles himself introduced. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. Boy Meets Girl. Cleo sails a royal barge up the Cydnus River to see Antony.” the divorced Pericles. Compounding the scandal. Julius Caesar. The Roman Senate declares war on Cleo and Antony and defeats their forces at the naval battle of Actium in 31 BC. dashing general Mark Antony. Egypt’s striking young queen. poisonous snakes. Yet war and plague turn the city against Pericles. now in his ﬁfties. In 40 BC. Inc. Only a few years ago. her lover for more than 11 years. This time. gossip rages that Aspasia started it because Sparta’s allies stole the prettiest girls from her brothel. Before you can say “Helen of Troy.. they drink. Ironically. 53 . or “hetaira.
Now Empress Josephine can relax and spend all the money she wants—but she can’t seem to give Napoleon a son. Napoleon crowns himself emperor in 1804. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. Inc. and jealous enemies. Inc. Josephine swears everlasting ﬁdelity to him and keeps her promise. Six years later.http://KnowledgeNews. Napoleon isn’t so keen on the idea. With a broken heart. Napoleon nulliﬁes their marriage on a technicality and marries the teenage daughter of Emperor Francis I of Austria for the sake of an alliance and a male heir. she carries on with another man at home (despite smutty letters from Nappy). he threatens divorce. a short. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. and she was thrown in jail. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. Josephine reluctantly agrees to marry him in a civil ceremony in 1796. and Josephine rushes to renew their vows with full religious rites. When Napoleon ﬁnds out what she’s been up to. is prohibited. the army . she meets Napoleon Bonaparte. and ambitious Corsican with a certain je ne sais quoi. poisonous snakes. too. Napoleon still loves her. All rights reserved. 54 . blunt. who generally prefers making war to love.. She sweet-talks him out of it—and into paying all her creditors. Josephine. but he’s still willing. he refuses to see anyone for days. but she knows a meal ticket when she sees one. . When she dies in 1814. In 1795. Josephine is repelled by his manners. . On his own deathbed in 1821. This time. All we need now is Steven Spielberg’s email. but she’s put all that behind her. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. But while he’s on campaign in Egypt.net her handsome husband was guillotined. is swept away. Napoleon. his ﬁnal words are “France. After Napoleon assumes control of France in 1799. Josephine retires to her private mansion.” —Claire Vail We’ve got ﬁerce battles.
to the courts. But do they feed your brain? Ours do. But when the story is enriched uranium or birds with a deadly ﬂu. You hear the news. You ﬁnd out what happened. Almanac Some news is as predictable as the calendar on the wall—because certain days on the calendar always make news. Don’t worry.KnowledgeNews Ebooks World Tour Every single day. DC. Here is the historical knowledge you need to really understand world news. Here is the knowledge you need to be a man—or a woman—for all seasons. SciencePhiles When there’s news in the Middle East or Washington. to the Congress. the news takes you to a faraway place and reports on some event that could literally change the world. Americana From the president. you need to know some science. The seasonal stories ﬁll up the paper. We have the scientiﬁc knowledge you need to make sense of today’s top news. what happens in Washington affects the world. too. But does anyone ever explain why the American system works the way it does? We do. a little history can help you understand. Here are 40 things you should absolutely know about the USA. But do you ever learn why? You can. .
KnowledgeNews Editors Michael Himick. bring your family closer together. Michael used to be managing editor at Britannica. Steve Sampson. He used to teach writing. . the ﬁrm that practically invented e-newsletters. He’s produced email newsletters to track daily news. Steve taught writing at George Washington University and worked at the famed Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington. He produced the ofﬁcial e-newsletter of the Sydney Olympic Games. Before all that? Serious academic research. edit history and humanities books.com. publisher and editor-in-chief Michael Himick heads up KnowledgeNews. DC. Now. science. and culture editors invented online features for the world-famous Encyclopaedia Britannica. improve your health. managing editor Steve Sampson has written more articles for KnowledgeNews than anyone—and produced a host of world-class email newsletters. working on location to send daily features to fans in 150 countries. He used to be vice president and executive producer at e-newsletter giant LifeMinders. where he and a team of history. provide weather updates. and more. and write on business and ﬁnance. he has the best job around—interacting with learners all over the world and discovering something new every day.
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