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.

Contents

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

KnowledgeNews
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.

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S. 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.

One variety. Inc. less refreshing bacteria. First thing: Mom lied. 7 . In 1964. Spotting a robin does not necessarily signal the start of spring. like so much bath oil. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. Even the little nut lover’s bones and teeth deteriorate. who clearly had poetry in their souls. Spring Science Surprise #4: The First Robin May Not Signal Spring Alright. But only a special. of course! Anyone can let you in on the birds and the bees. So. Their body temperature drops only a few degrees. All rights reserved. and you’ll be cutting it with a helicopter. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. Slack off with a bamboo lawn. Bears just use winter to catch up on their sleep. Spring Science Surprise #2: Your Grass Doesn’t Grow That Fast Once warmed and watered out of its winter brownness. There is a grass that you’d have to cut every hour of every day for a month just to keep your yard underfoot. . Never try that with a bear. the blood-like essence of Greek gods. A little rain releases the oils into the air. Bamboo may grow like a tree. make you grateful you cut your grass just once a week. two Australian scientists trying to pin down the elusive smell discovered that plants secrete various oils during dry times that rocks and soil absorb. or rock. and a frank talk about the birds and the bees. towering as much as 72 feet (22 meters) above you and your Lawnboy. is prohibited. let’s talk about the birds and the bees. Raindrops pounding the ground blast fine particles of soil and spores into the air. called the aroma “petrichor. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. In moister. and fill your head with petrichor—the smell of spring rain. the smell of rain is likely the smell of spores. Inc. Spring Science Surprise #1: Bears Don’t Really Hibernate Scientists say that “true” hibernators. except by qualified educational institutions. actinomycetes are a primary source of antibiotics used to combat other. Yogi and Boo-Boo aren’t exactly into winter sports. not every rainy-day aroma comes from botanical extracts. and their organs shut down. Spring Science Surprise #3: The Smell of Rain Is Petrichor April showers bring May flowers. The scientists. They wake up frequently and can stir in a second if someone invades their den. many minds turn to thoughts of . with ichor. and something else. prod. could the smell of rain kill you? Not generally. But normally. practically die during hibernation. .” combining the Greek word petros. more wooded areas around the world. slows from a few hundred beats per minute to just five. Yet be thankful. Mother bears even give birth to cubs and suckle them sleepily till spring. Truth is. can grow up to 4 feet (more than a meter) in a single day. too. or even eat a hibernating critter and get no response. for example. such as ground squirrels. All that. Still. It reaches its full height in a month. but they’re not dead to the world either. It’s called bamboo. preferring winter dormancy to scrounging for dwindling food. earthy scent marketers never quite manage to put in fabric softener. as every tissue toes the line between life and death.KnowledgeNews 5 Science Surprises for Spring In the spring. In fact. you can poke. springtime hit of KnowledgeNews will tell you why the bears didn’t wake up from hibernation. you can spot KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. Their body temperature drops to near freezing.. your lawn probably adds a couple of inches each week. too: the smell of rain—that fresh. from bacteria that live in the soil called actinomycetes. A ground squirrel’s heart rate. Many think it’s the fastest growing plant on the planet. They do wake up every few weeks. where they’re more whiffable. but it’s actually a kind of giant grass. science. called madake.

you have to lay eyes on your robins—on the ones actually returning to your area for some spring and summer worming. Nectar is a watery mix of various sugars. No. Even if your robins flew south for the winter. bees make the solution lose moisture. But you can listen. is prohibited. That’s when worms head back to the surface after tunneling all winter below the frost. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. except by qualified educational institutions. which bees use to feed their young and sustain the hive during winter. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner.. Spring Science Surprise #5: Honey Is Bee Vomit Dad didn’t tell you the whole story either. giving the sugars sticky-sweet reign—and giving you the essence of spring flowers on your toast. you might see one that flew in from someplace farther north.net American robins just about all year long. —Michael Himick You can poke. To get a thumbs-up on spring. Never try that with a bear. To make such glorious stuff. cheer-a-lee. They tend to arrive after the temperature moves consistently above 37 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius). The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. with those sugars accounting for between 3 and 80 percent of the solution. All rights reserved. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. He surely told you that bees make honey. You can’t exactly check their boarding passes. marking their territories with a distinctive song: cheer-up. cheer-up. 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. 8 . Robins make all kinds of chirps and calls. When your local robins return. honey is pretty much just bee vomit. Through a combination of repeated regurgitation and vigorous wing fanning. the males call dibs on worms. not teamsters. prod. or even eat a hibernating critter and get no response. Come on: they’re bees. honeybees sip the best nectar from the ripest flowers. Inc.http://KnowledgeNews. Inc. but they save this singing for after they’ve returned to claim a springtime spot.

S.” In the United States. restricting nighttime traffic. and ringing church bells and firing cannons at dawn to encourage early rising. “Everyone laments their shrinkage as the days grow shorter. Inc. So Congress stepped in and standardized the time changes with the Uniform Time Act of 1966. a London builder. clocks were kept one hour ahead of standard time yearround from 1942 to 1945. Big Ben didn’t hit on any clock tricks. All rights reserved. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. is prohibited. U. Easy. Setting clocks one hour ahead adds one hour of daylight to the end of the day. is so seldom seen or used. Germany and Austria instituted Daylight Saving Time in 1916. In England. which poetically called it “Summer Time. states decided to stick with various versions of Daylight Saving Time. though.. States Meet Uniform Time After the war.” Will Willett Meets World War Willett’s idea got people talking. many U. And that reduces the amount of energy needed to power lights and appliances. during Spring and Summer months. never liked the time change. too. including Britain. But skeptics’ minds changed in World War I. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. Farmers.” Willett wrote. “Everyone appreciates the long light evenings. grumbling that earlyrising cows and chickens didn’t adjust their clocks. they were advanced two hours ahead of standard time during the summer and one hour ahead the rest of the year. the talk was mostly about what a harebrained scheme he was proposing. to be taken as seriously (or as lightly) as you want. —Michael Himick and Adam Zoll KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. except by qualified educational institutions. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. His proposal. 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. but abandoned it after only seven months because it was so unpopular.KnowledgeNews How Daylight Saving Time Got Started The idea behind Daylight Saving Time is simple. Today. Countries near the equator generally don’t change their clocks because they get roughly the same amount of daylight each day of the year. Inc. Unfortunately for him. in particular. when saving energy was vital. wreaking havoc on railway timetables and broadcast schedules. and nearly everyone has given utterance to a regret that the clear bright light of early morning. Yet World War II brought Daylight Saving Time back as “War Time.” The United States adopted Daylight Saving Time in 1918. right? Well. Ben Franklin thought so. in a pamphlet titled “Waste of Daylight.S. every state but Arizona and Hawaii observes the time change. The clock trick we know today came largely from one William Willett. when more people are awake. But different states—or even towns—changed their clocks on different dates. 9 . The plan he put forth in 1907. About 70 other countries use some form of Daylight Saving Time. Other countries followed suit. involved taxing window shutters.” 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.

an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. Feste in Twelfth Night.KnowledgeNews Professional Fools Watch your back. except by qualified educational institutions. Inc. Shakespeare’s own theater company employed two famous fools. unless they were quick-witted—and lucky—enough to sign on as the official fool for a king or lord. was the Robin Williams of his age (once he quit tending swine). though. With no political ambitions of their own. Meet. The fool was expected to provide a steady stream of entertainment. 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. does walk about the orb like the sun. to monks defrocked for fooling around with nuns. was so highly esteemed that he served under the next two monarchs as well. and the Fool in King Lear. Shakespeare’s Feste should have the last word: “Foolery. Inc. Will Somers. who likely played Shakespeare’s most famous fools. Fools Fade Away The court jester tradition mostly died out by the end of the 17th century. All rights reserved. In 2004. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner.a. Most were low born. it shines everywhere. to swineherds. New generations of actors took comedy in new directions. a. but not his lands—a decent end for a “fool” who started out as “a most dexterous sheep-stealer. New generations of monarchs believed they had nothing to learn from fools. They came from all manner of men—from college dropouts. the court jester for Henry VIII. When April Fool’s Day rolls around. Many were deformed or disabled. Archibald Armstrong.” As for foolishness itself. Usually he did this by mocking everyone and everything—the boss and his powerful friends included. the fool was as important culturally as he was politically. dear reader.k. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. Times change. be more honest than the courtiers who crowded around the king. there will be plenty of amateur fools looking for a mark.. Back in the day. None had much to look forward to in the Middle Ages. including Touchstone in As You Like It. Nobody’s Fool If the fool could pull it off. sir. is prohibited. It wasn’t unusual for a fool to suffer an unfortunate end when someone didn’t think a joke was funny. Insolence eventually cost him his job. the “fellow of infinite jest” whose skull Hamlet admires. jester to kings James I and Charles I of England. “Kester the Jester. they could be trusted to By the time of Queen Elizabeth I.” Fools who kept their positions at court could also become important advisors. was granted more than a thousand acres of land in Ireland. Richard Tarlton. It was a dangerous job. The first was Will Kempe. He may even have been the model for Shakespeare’s Yorick. England named its first official court jester in over 350 years—Nigel Roder.” —Mark Diller KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. he might end up on easy street. Yet it turned out that the jester’s day was not quite done. kings and queens hired the pros. Elizabeth’s favorite jester. Much Ado about Jesting 10 . the court jester—a professional fool.” Kempe was replaced by the razorwitted Robert Armin. Fool’s Errands Court jesters were the standup comics of their day.

Since his name was “Pontius. But they didn’t want a lot of trouble in the region. 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. 11 . Basically. 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. After making the month-long trip from Rome. he was the top local military commander. usually featured portraits of the emperor.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. All rights reserved. For their part. As prefect of a far-off province. As it is. in charge of a few thousand troops. Jewish high priests interrogate Jesus and pronounce him guilty of blasphemy. he was expected to collect taxes. is prohibited. he was the region’s chief magistrate. but we can safely make some assumptions. since that’s how would-be prefects earned their stripes.” Scholars of ancient Rome say the Gospels describe a fairly typical hearing for someone like Jesus. But they aren’t empowered to execute prisoners—they need the approval of the Roman prefect. Pilate settled into the prefect’s palace on the Mediterranean. Christians will never forget him.” they didn’t like it when the Jews claimed that distinction. Wielding both military and civil authority. Inc. Pilate had two important jobs. Even when they weren’t trying to. Rome’s Man in Judea From AD 26 to 36. First. and keep the peace. Some time after Pilate turned 30—the minimum age for a prefect—the emperor Tiberius appointed him prefect of Judea. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. which lay between two more valuable Roman possessions: Egypt and Syria. since the Romans also thought of themselves as “the chosen people. the Romans. Jesus is taken to such a court after he’s been betrayed and arrested. Inc. So they bring Jesus before Pilate. Roman coins. In the Bible. the Romans offended the Jews. The land had come under Roman control about 90 years earlier. And he almost surely had experience as a Roman army officer.” he probably came from the Pontii clan of central Italy.. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. That’s one reason they allowed the Jews to handle most of their own legal disputes in Jewish religious courts. a capital crime. encourage trade with Rome. and ultimately does “deliver him to be crucified. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. or military governor. when hundreds of thousands of Jews gathered in that city. Second. but many Jews considered such portraits “graven images” and refused to use the money. asks Jesus some questions. Pontius Pilate oversaw Judea as prefect. who would not have had all the rights of a Roman citizen. Pilate consults with the Jewish high priests about the charges. Meeting Jesus All four Gospels describe the legal proceedings leading up to Jesus’s execution. except by qualified educational institutions. There are no contemporary records of Pilate’s early life. But Matthew’s Gospel adds an element that would not have been part of a normal Roman hearing. found the Jews’ insistence on praying to just one God both stingy and odd. for example. Judeo-Roman Relations Keeping the peace wasn’t easy in Judea. who’s currently in Jerusalem (it’s Passover). where local Jews and imported Romans didn’t mix well. who worshipped scores of deities. not far from the modern city of Haifa. As occupiers in Judea. the Romans could have cracked down on the Jews even harder than they did. responsible for presiding over legal disputes. And.

as prefect. In 1961. tries to stop him from taking part in Jesus’s trial. All rights reserved. Inc. Pilate issued several small bronze coins. But the contemporary records of actions Pilate took while in office are gone. he converts to Christianity along with his wife—who. Inc. except by qualified educational institutions. 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. it’s hard to tell what happened to Pilate. Today. a Jewish historian of the time.. 12 . KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. Procula. in Matthew’s Gospel. some of which survive today. Pilate commits suicide. is prohibited. archaeologists unearthed an inscribed stone that says Pilate erected a public building—we’re not sure what kind—during his term. In others.net After Jesus According to Josephus. (Orthodox Christians canonize her as St. Ancient sources say he also built a viaduct. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. Pilate lost his job a few years later—after dealing harshly with a village of Samaritans who complained to the Roman powers-that-were.http://KnowledgeNews. —Colleen Kelly Scholars of ancient Rome say the Gospels describe a fairly typical hearing for someone like Jesus. though there’s no shortage of stories about him. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner.) We know that. In some. After that. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners.

that parts of the income tax law were unconstitutional. Some accuse Congress. the tax rate for income over $10. Lincoln himself seems to have had some difficulty with the paperwork. Inc. taxpayers demanded that all records be destroyed. Above $10. War Is Expensive Yes.KnowledgeNews Who’s to Blame for U. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. The top tax official publicly carried out the order to burn the records—while secretly retaining copies. 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. who was coming off a winning streak and seemed to be a direct threat to Great Britain. Congress began an end run around the Supreme Court by submitting a constitutional amendment to the states.250 in 1864. Abraham Lincoln signed the Tax Act of 1862. the British government levied a personal income tax of 10 percent to raise money to finance the war against Napoleon. when provisions in the Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act created the first peacetime income tax. just after his last term. Others point the finger at big corporations. is prohibited. By 1913. income tax accounted for less than 5 percent of federal revenues. millions of Americans find themselves united in one pursuit: complaining about federal income tax. Inc. In an effort to preserve a more perfect union. this rare national harmony unravels when taxpayers argue over who’s to blame for the government’s grip on income. Excise. including Republican president Teddy Roosevelt. when the Union needed money to fight the Civil War. President Woodrow Wilson signed a new tax law that year. British law and government policies greatly influenced 19th-century American leaders.000.000 exempted by the law. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. except by qualified educational institutions. —Colleen Kelly Apparently. it accounted for 20 percent. Uncle Sam borrows the rest. At first. a lawsuit had made its way to the Supreme Court. you paid a 5 percent tax. who observed that citizens found income tax more palatable if the money went for war. unemployment taxes. gift. personal and corporate. By 1895. Still others rage against the IRS. however. five justices to four. All rights reserved. Today. for instance. Sadly. Social security.” the Court ruled. Peace Is Expensive Too The government phased out income tax after the war. After hearing the tax characterized as “communistic. In 1909. 13 .” In 1799.000. Income Tax? Every April. the states had ratified the 16th Amendment to the U. On annual income between $600 and $10. and other retirement taxes account for 32 percent. Opponents soon challenged the very heart of the law: that the rate of taxation should increase as income rises. But in 1894. He overpaid $1.) So. (American lawmakers overlooked the fact that the income tax was so hated in Great Britain that when it was repealed in 1816. Yet the idea that the wealthy should pay proportionately more tax than the poor had continued appeal for that era’s progressive politicians. the Little Corporal is indirectly responsible for “subtract line 56 from line 46. 49 percent of federal revenues come from income taxes. those with less wealth generally applauded it. In just two years. raising revenue via excise taxes and import duties instead. Constitution. Medicare. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners.S. KnowledgeNews offers a scapegoat that should appeal to all Americans: Napoleon. One Arkansan.000 had jumped to 10 percent. Because the tax fell on the rich. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. customs. By 1940. By 1970. 70 percent. the taxman struck again. and other taxes bring in 6 percent.. you paid a 3 percent tax.S. estate.

The victory at Puebla wasn’t decisive. and support from upper-crust Mexican landowners— Napoleon ordered his commander. waited 2. Abraham Lincoln Worries In 1862. Cinco de Mayo—a national holiday and day of pride. the mestizo and Indian army overwhelmed the French lines. crack cavalry and foot soldiers. The French got 30. as many Americans assume. Many historians believe that had the French achieved quick victory at Puebla. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. they might have supported the South in the American Civil War. except by qualified educational institutions. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. 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. In fact. Aided by the distraction.000 mestizo and Indian troops. and put Maximilian in charge. The South had proved to be a far tougher adversary than the North had anticipated. When his troops seized the port city of Veracruz that December. May 5 is. Mexican president Benito Juárez tried to negotiate a lengthy installment plan. emperor of Mexico. At the head of its mighty army sat Emperor Napoleon III. whose troops were practically next door. who stampeded toward the French. Archduke Maximilian of Austria. May 5 is probably just another day. With all the odds on his side—the latest military equipment. To his shock. ostensibly to collect unpaid debts. But Napoleon III (nephew of the famed French conqueror) sent soldiers in 1861 to press the issue. They had been marching through Mexico for months. took the capital. President Lincoln got a free gift out of the deal. France was a likely candidate. 1862. the American Civil War was entering its bloodiest year. Clear? Read on. Laurencez led 7. under the command of General Ignacio Zaragoza. But Mexico had nothing to offer. Yet for Mexicans and friends of Mexico.. literally. 14 . Mexico. in 1867. the Mexicans got the better of Napoleon III and his puppet just a few years later. But the battle became a source of national pride for Mexicans nonetheless. Inc. There. Twice more the French drove straight at the Mexican line but were defeated. 60 miles (100 km) east of Mexico City. the Mexicans held their ground. Meanwhile. and Abraham Lincoln trembled at the thought that a foreign power might join the Confederate cause. is prohibited. to take Mexico’s capital. before the French roared back and put an Austrian emperor in Latin America.000 reinforcements from across the sea. —Claire Vail KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. or celebrate Dutch Liberation Day. It was empire. who carried their farm tools as weapons. Cinco de Mayo does not celebrate Mexico’s independence from Spain. Laurencez ordered his men to charge the enemy’s center. All rights reserved. Laurencez withdrew back to Veracruz. when a defeated Emperor Max faced a firing squad.500 troops toward Puebla. Confident. But it does celebrate how the Mexicans beat the French (and influenced the American Civil War). Copyright © 2006 Every Learner.KnowledgeNews What Is Cinco de Mayo? Unless you’re of Mexican descent. who felt it symbolized the people’s right to defend the country against foreign invaders. The French emperor planned to make his cousin. Mexican Heroes Take Heart On May 5. Juárez knew it wasn’t just money the French were after. along with the citizens of Puebla. its coffers drained by winning independence from Spain in 1821 and losing half its land to the United States in 1848. General Charles Latrille Laurencez. Inc.

The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. Inc. 1863. clothing. a Massachusetts statesman and perhaps the bestknown orator of the time. Lee retreated back to Virginia. President Lincoln visited Gettysburg to help dedicate a new national cemetery. and its commander noted that the town contained a shoe factory. or any nation so conceived and so dedicated.000 Confederate troops stormed the Federal lines and were gruesomely repelled—the Union army prevailed.KnowledgeNews America’s Greatest Memorial Today. Before long. speaking for two hours straight. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting- KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner.. After three days of attack and counterattack—culminating in “Pickett’s Charge. and not realizing the considerable size of the Federal force. it seems. Having repelled the Federal Army of the Potomac at the Battle of Chancellorsville (protecting the Confederate capital at Richmond). We are met on a great battlefield of that war.” in which more than 12. Getting to Gettysburg Fought July 1-3. confronted a dilemma. including food. He opted to attack—at least partly. because his army was short on supplies that were easier stolen than grown or sewn. In fact. commander of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. Since the troops needed shoes. a Confederate brigade passed through Gettysburg. a brigade was dispatched on June 30 to procure footwear from the factory. is prohibited. the Battle of Gettysburg was one of the bloodiest in American history. Lincoln’s Few But Forceful Words Four months after the battle. Everett delivered a lengthy oration. In late spring 1863. The president was not the event’s main speaker. All rights reserved. and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. He said: Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation. Yet the brigade turned back upon observing Federal soldiers headed toward the town. Lee. and shoes. tens of thousands of men on both sides were in the fight. on November 19. General Robert E. It was also one of the most decisive battles of the Civil War. except by qualified educational institutions. Determined to have the shoes. 15 . testing whether that nation. No one has ever done that better than Abraham Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address. But Memorial Day still exists to commemorate the sacrifice of the more than 1. Pennsylvania. Lee’s army met little resistance until it reached the small farming town of Gettysburg. and never mounted another serious offensive.1 million American service members who have died in battle—and to remember why they gave up their lives. That honor belonged to Edward Everett. Even before Americans began decorating Civil War graves to give Memorial Day its start. Lee realized that he could either prepare for yet another Union assault or take the fight to the North. 1863. As was customary. Now we are engaged in a great civil war. In late June. Lincoln spoke for just two minutes. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. America’s Memorial Day tends to be more beach-and-barbecue than reflection-and-remembrance. conceived in liberty. Inc. the location of the famous battle was something of an accident. can long endure. though Gettysburg itself was hardly a strategic site. Two Armies Converge Advancing northward. Major General Henry Heth received permission to use his division to take Gettysburg. Lincoln’s short speech pointed the way to the greatest memorial of all.

shall not perish from the earth. we cannot hallow. who struggled here. rather. shall have a new birth of freedom. and that government of the people. that this nation.net place for those who here gave their lives that this nation might live. The brave men. Inc. 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. living and dead. but it can never forget what they did here. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here. 16 . in a larger sense. As Lincoln points out. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. except by qualified educational institutions. under God. this ground. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. “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. is prohibited. —Steve Sampson America’s Memorial Day commemorates the sacrifice of the more than 1. The day after the ceremony.1 million American service members who have died in battle. we honor the sacrifice of soldiers for freedom and self-government best by carrying forward the work of democracy. the central idea of the occasion remains the same. the living. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles.” Today. We dedicate memorials by dedicating ourselves. But. All rights reserved. Edward Everett wrote to Lincoln. by the people. we cannot dedicate. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. for the people. It is for us. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. we cannot consecrate. Inc.http://KnowledgeNews..

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 .

It must be a lot closer to us in the summer than in the winter. Earth got absolutely clobbered by a Mars-sized protoplanet in a spectacular collision of worlds. is there? Now point it straight at the wall. or in the winter. the sun. but at the expense of a lot of energy. is Earth’s Even Steven. 18 . Think of summer as a sort of seasonal high noon. even if you pull the lamp back a bit. Why the La-Z-Boy position? Scientists think that sometime early on. Sure. it gets to the same place eventually.5 degrees. So the reason we get scorched is not because we’ve cozied up to the celestial furnace. too. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. On the winter solstice (around December 21). rotating on its axis at an incline. right? Not true. noontime sun. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. while the south pole sits the season out in darkness. we’re closest to the sun in January and farthest from it in July. But let’s be clear here.5 degrees away. because of the Earth’s tilt. no seasons. Inc. Half Baked by the Sun’s Rays The hemisphere leaning into the sun gets a whole lot of daylight every day. the northern end of the Earth’s tilted axis more or less points toward the same place in space throughout the year—at Polaris. as much as 40 times more. Not much heat in that oval patch of light. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. It heats up because that hemisphere receives the sun’s solar energy at a more direct angle. We Live in a Cockeyed Place Astronomically. All rights reserved. A bit warmer. The pool-party hemisphere doesn’t heat up because it’s closer to the sun. except by qualified educational institutions. At the poles. the south pole leans toward the sun and the north pole leans away. Like the hot. which affects the intensity and duration of sunlight we get hit with throughout the year. In fact. while its pasty counterpart gets less tanning time and more starry sky.KnowledgeNews Why Summer Simmers So The basic player in summer heat is. With the sun more directly overhead—like at noontime. the summer sun points right at you. of 23. And that means more intense solar energy. Earth’s a little off-kilter. Actually. You’ll want to stay poolside. directly overhead. and for at least three months a year. on the other hand. Whichever hemisphere leans toward the sun gets pool parties and picnics. No tilt. That collision knocked Earth into a tilted rotational axis. In fact. Earth stays in this 23. during the morning or evening. The other hemisphere hauls out parkas.. Inc. or tilt. Earth’s north pole leans 23. with 12 hours of daylight every day of the year. Bottom line: summer happens because Earth is a cockeyed place. No. or at the equator—sunlight effectively tunnels straight into our air. while the south pole leans 23. which affects both the duration and intensity of your daily bake. the north pole gets 24 hours of daylight every summer day. with the Earth’s elliptical orbit. Because of this tilt. (The equator. —Michael Himick and Jay Ferrari KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. But knock the world a little off-center. the aptly named North Star. you get a lot of light aimed right at you and concentrated through a thin atmosphere. is prohibited. it has to slug through far more atmosphere.) You get a more intense bake in the summer. in summer. you guessed it. It’s the same if you angle your reading lamp at the wall.5-degree tilt no matter where it is in its annual orbit around the sun.5 degrees toward the sun on the summer solstice (around June 21). summer comes from the tilt of the Earth.

As the air over the water gets warmer than the air over the land. you’ve likely experienced a minimonsoon effect. As the hot air over the land rises. while the cooler land air heads out to sea. but on a much larger scale. When it hasn’t. Every year. the breeze shifts.” But monsoons aren’t rainstorms. while the air over the water stays cooler (because water absorbs and retains more solar radiation than land). Soon the cooler air moves inland. bringing dry weather as well as wet. Nothing wrong with dry weather. —Steve Sampson KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. those rains wreak havoc on the Indian subcontinent. But the mercury rises much more quickly above the land than it does above the Indian Ocean. because the water has absorbed more heat from the sun and can hold it longer). Inc. Cooling Down. temperatures in India rise. During the day. Inc. is prohibited. and you get a refreshing sea breeze. Getting Hotter. and they fall more quickly over the land than they do over the water. of course. India generally stays dry. as long as the wet season has been wet enough. which ancient Arab mariners used to refer to seasonal shifts in sea breezes. Drying Off Monsoon systems bring dry weather as surely as wet. as summer gives way to autumn. Even the southwestern United States has a small-scale monsoon. India’s winds generally blow out to sea.KnowledgeNews Monsoon Season Say “monsoon. Many countries have monsoonal climates. blowing in across the ocean and picking up moisture that falls to earth in torrential monsoon rains. and dry winters. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. the air over the land cools off more quickly than the air over the water (again. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. Like a Day at the Beach If you’ve been to the beach on a hot day and hung around past sunset. When land winds prevail. After the sun sets. Now the warmer ocean air rises.. it’s sweltering. But the Asiatic monsoon that washes over the Indian subcontinent every year is the mother of them all. They’re wind systems that reverse direction when the seasons change. As March gives way to April and May. with highs regularly above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius). India’s people face another of nature’s killers: drought. the air over the beach heats up quickly. cooler air from over the water rushes in to take its place. even as they provide the water it needs to survive. temperatures fall. and they stay that way throughout winter and early spring. wet summers. the word monsoon comes from the Arabic mausim (“season”). In fact. Getting Wetter The same thing happens in and around the Indian subcontinent every year.” and most people think “rain. In India. with strong seasonal winds. 19 . By late spring. except by qualified educational institutions. By October. All rights reserved.

and binding agents to keep them intact. Packed inside the shell are dozens. Simultaneously. a slower time-delay fuse begins to burn toward the bursting charge. low explosive power. which blazed in a brilliant array of colors. Different substances give off differing amounts of these energies when they burn. they’re contained in a shell of paper rolled into a tube or sphere. By arranging the stars in different ways. which hurls the shell upward when it ignites. 20 . The entire thing fits snugly into a mortar—a steel or plastic tube placed upright and packed in sand. allowing it to burn hotter. 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.” The gastronomic applications were pretty limited. making fireworks easier to ignite than most other explosives. Fireworks arrived in Europe in the 13th century and quickly became the hallmark of kings and queens. except by qualified educational institutions. metallic salts. Still. And leaving one end open created a bamboo rocket! Soon folks were using fireworks to celebrate holidays and great events throughout the East. Black powder burns brightly. All rights reserved. Some Fireworks Science All fireworks use a self-sustaining reaction of fuel in the presence of oxygen—a chemical process known as combustion.. exploding it and forcing the shell up through the top of the mortar. it’s simply the power of powder. sometimes hundreds. yet for all the brilliance. today’s pyrotechnicians make shapes and dazzling effects. and low heat of ignition. hurling colorfully glowing stars into the sky. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. Inc. —Christopher Call KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. The hotter burn could ignite metal salts. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. but the Chinese quickly learned that stuffing black powder into hollow bamboo and sealing both ends could produce an explosion. the bursting charge explodes. 15 percent charcoal. Today’s Big Bangs The fireworks used in today’s big public displays combine multiple explosions for maximum effect. Inc. these stars produce the brilliant flashes of light in a fireworks display. and 10 percent sulfur. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. Some Fireworks History Legend has it that a thousand years ago. this most American of events— Fourth of July fireworks—is oh so Chinese. Underneath the shell is another chamber of black powder called the lift charge. but also making them less safe. Yet historically. All around the stars is a bursting charge of more black powder. Generally. Its low ignition point is a double-edged sword. possesses low explosive force. Composed of 75 percent potassium nitrate (saltpeter). And to science. millions of Americans gather to gaze at a spectacle of lights.KnowledgeNews Fireworks for the Fourth On the same night each year. which makes it ideal for entertainment (as opposed to serious destruction). early fireworks lacked a certain flair. and earn our oohs and aahs. The combustion of any material generally releases energy in one of two forms: heat or light. of small black balls called stars. A fast-acting fuse ignites the lift charge underneath the shell. Once the shell reaches its maximum height. Made of black powder. Bright as they were. they didn’t have any color. black powder has three chemical properties that give it maximum bang for the buck: high incandescence. who demonstrated royal grandeur with dazzling displays. The fuel is essentially the same one discovered a thousand years ago: black powder. is prohibited. Italian pyrotechnicians solved this problem in the 19th century by adding potassium chlorate to black powder.

after the end of England’s bloody civil war. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. But a year later.” Reard named his swimsuit the bikini. The porters brought men and women into segregated slips— anterooms to the main pool. In the 1660s. but even a king and a camp full of courtiers couldn’t strip down in public. too. while the bottom was a generous trouser. shawls. A porcelain complexion was de rigueur for both ladies and gentlemen (suntans being strictly for peasants). Our story starts outside London. Soon. except by qualified educational institutions. So he and all his court embraced the idea of a fashionable bathing resort at Tunbridge Wells. Men wore a full-length wool unitard. So. guides led them to stone seats where they could enjoy the mineral water. and shoes. By the mid-19th century. At their beloved baths.KnowledgeNews How’d Those Swimsuits Get So Skimpy? American wisecracker Will Rogers once said. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. I See France . There was plenty of carousing. I See London . Kellerman was arrested. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. 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. as Napoleon conquered Europe. . “I never expected to see the day when girls would get sunburned in the places they now do. Romans let it all hang out. eleven years before the birth of the belly-baring bikini! Since then.” And he combed his last beach in 1935. and hired a stripper to model it. stockings. in spa towns like Tunbridge Wells and Bath. In 1907. 1946. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. All rights reserved. Gals wore similar two-piece outfits or one-piece tank suits. Women donned canvas gowns over petticoats that had weights sewn into the hems to keep the skirts from floating up. the working classes were pouring out of smoggy cities for a day of leisure at the beach. around the time Roman-style baths came back into vogue. But a casual dip at a place like Brighton still required a formidable ensemble. notorious English playboy King Charles II decided it was time for a bath. English bathing suits in the 17th and 18th centuries required enough canvas to launch the Royal Navy. or wrapped themselves in scanty straps of cloth or leather for a little exercise support. but not much more. fellas ditched the black unitards and put on brightly hued tank tops and shorts. . There. . resembling a man’s bathing suit. Ads show women in wool dresses (sometimes worn over trousers) with bonnets. 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. The top was typically square-cut like a sailor’s jacket. four days after the United States had tested an atom bomb on a chain of islands in the South Pacific. after the newly radioactive Bikini Atoll. Later. is prohibited. Women struggled into the two-piece belted costumes that had replaced the wool flannel dress. I See Everyone’s Underpants Finally. . On the contrary. Inc. 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. Australian swimmer Annette Kellerman horrified Boston beachgoers when she appeared in a one-piece wool swimsuit that ended mid-thigh. every girl was wearing one. on July 5. with the (oh my!) arms and upper chest bare.. the upstairs classes began abandoning spa towns for the sea. Inc. courtesy of fashion maverick Amelia Bloomer. Male bathers wore heavy canvas waistcoats. 21 . canvas undershorts and shoes. bathing suits have gotten positively Roman. and a linen cap. just southeast of London. the fashionable set rode from their lodgings to the baths inside sedan chairs carried by porters.

All rights reserved. 22 . the bikini stayed on hangers for more than a decade. and despite shelves of sunscreen. By the 1970s. singer Brian Hyland helped market the two-piece with a hit song: “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini.net Although actresses like Brigitte Bardot made it famous on film. except by qualified educational institutions. and other countries even banned it from the beach. Brazilians were pushing the envelope. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. Spain. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. anyone? —Claire Vail English bathing suits in the 17th and 18th centuries required enough canvas to launch the Royal Navy. reports of skin cancer have reached all-time highs. Then. in 1960.. Inc. is prohibited.” Bikini sales skyrocketed. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. Designer Rudi Gernreich tried to one-up the bikini with a topless suit called the monokini in 1964. Inc. Bathing machine.http://KnowledgeNews. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. Today. better known as the thong. too—with the tanga. covering up at the beach is rare (many European beaches are top-optional). Italy.

and della Porta is brought up on charges of sorcery. phenakistoscope. He experiments and finds that the smaller the hole. which makes negatives.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. except by qualified educational institutions. or even the days when William Faulkner created screenplays from novels by Ernest Hemingway for directors like Howard Hawks. you see moving pictures! 1878 . he figures that light moves in a straight line and that when it meets a surface with a small hole in it. the sharper the image. Their multi- KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. Viewers looked through an eyepiece. Inc. 16th century . Copyright © 2006 Every Learner.Inspired by a Kinetoscope display in Paris. is prohibited. Spin the disk or drum rapidly and. then taken up and mass-produced by George Eastman the following year. This principle. notices that an image of the sun has been projected onto the ground through a hole in the leaves. Daguerreotypes. The sensation they caused paved the way for movies.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. Dickson produces the Kinetograph to record the film and the Kinetoscope to play it back. From this. and zoetrope) exploit the way human brains process a quick succession of images. standing beneath a tree during an eclipse. the brothers Auguste and Louis Lumière perfect a commercially viable film projector and screen movies in front of ticket-buying crowds.Thomas Wedgwood reports success in capturing images using light-sensitive materials. which are introduced to the world in 1839. are one-of-a-kind affairs. We mean how “motion pictures” came to be. 1839 . so Muybridge set up a series of cameras triggered by tripwires and had a horse gallop by.Thomas Edison. the rays cross to form an inverted image on the other side. 23 .The idea of recording photographs on celluloid roll film is implemented by Hannibal Goodwin. mid-19th century . English scientist William Fox Talbot unveils the calotype process. so only one person could watch at a time. All rights reserved. who reduces the exposure time to 30 minutes with daguerreotypes.Giambattista della Porta builds on Aristotle’s idea by constructing a large room with a small hole in one wall—a camera obscura. looking for a sequel to his phonograph. voilà. 4th century BC . 1826 .000 years. by contrast. 1802 . which are eternal). But his method requires an 8-hour exposure. Inc. This allows for an unlimited number of prints. We mean the days when the technology of movies was just a gleam in Aristotle’s eye. he takes on a partner named Louis Daguerre. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. We don’t mean recent history. The toys put a series of still images on a disk or in a drum. William Kennedy Laurie Dickson. 1887 .Frenchman Joseph Niépce captures the first true photograph. By 1878. to invent a movie camera. Viewed in sequence. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. exposure time had been reduced to less than 1/100th of a second. calling it a heliograph. 1888 .In a banner year for shutterbugs. the images proved that a horse’s legs do all leave the ground. his results are short-lived (unlike your highschool yearbook photos. But since there is no way to fix the image. The innovation makes it possible to put thousands of sequential images onto one roll of film. goes unexploited for nearly 2.New optical toys (such as the thaumatrope. 1895 . He then has actors perform outside the room so that their images are projected inside for spectators. Happily. orders an assistant in his lab. which is at the basis of the camera.The Greek philosopher Aristotle. Viewers flee in panic at the sight..

3D not only refuses to die. just sound and images captured and manipulated electronically. Popular response is so strong for WB’s sound-enabled pictures. Afterward. 1993 .. a WWI dogfighting drama with spectacular aerial footage. greens. The change kills the careers of several silent movie stars. using light-splitting optics to simultaneously record the reds. The spectators wear red and green glasses that create a single image from two images photographed slightly apart. 1919 . All rights reserved.At the Montreal International Exposition.The first Academy Awards are presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize achievement in the film industry. The award for best picture goes to Wings. He tries to market it to studio executives. 1967 . several pavilions display short films that. specially treated black-and-white negatives. The film’s popularity triggers a boom in 3D filmmaking. Producers of other action flicks immediately take heart that they too might someday win “best picture. three Canadian filmmakers agree to develop a process to achieve the same effect with a single projector.The Neil Simon comedy Lost in Yonkers becomes the first movie to be edited digitally. and projector all in one—was called the cinématographe and is the source of the modern term “cinema. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. —Mark Diller KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. with nearly fifty 3D movies released in three years. 1952 . 3D never conquers the movie business.Lee De Forest develops a method called Phonofilm for recording sound onto motion picture film. except by qualified educational institutions.Herbert Kalmus perfects the Technicolor process. buys a competing sound technology called Vitaphone to market as a short-term novelty. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. 1929 . This technological step—invisible to most moviegoers— paves the way for a Lucasian time when movies will involve no film at all. Each negative was dyed to bring out the color and then superimposed on one emulsion to create a color-accurate print.” 1915 .http://KnowledgeNews. 1925 . which debuts in 1970.Warner Brothers. it achieves its greatest success: Bwana Devil. Inc.” 1932 . and blues of life on three separate. a thriller about two man-eating lions in Kenya. printer. but they wonder why in the world people would want to hear movies talk. whose voices prove to be considerably less appealing than their looks. that the silent film era effectively ends. Their efforts ultimately result in the creation of the IMAX format. Inc. stretch across several screens to fill viewers’ field of vision. 24 . is prohibited. but it never dies either. Skeptics shake their heads and yearn for simpler days. a small studio struggling to expand.The first 3D films debut before a paying audience. including The Jazz Singer (1927). through the use of multiple projectors. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner.net purpose machine—camera.

who threw it pitch after pitch and dared batters to hit it. As he throws.. 2. All rights reserved. That’s called a cutter. So it’s not surprising that flame-throwing fireballers intimidate. 25 . sliders. except by qualified educational institutions. “Candy” Cummings in 1867. Inc. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. splitters. too—in about one-sixth of a second. down and away on lefties. He then curls his other two fingers on the side and puts his thumb under the ball. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. He applies pressure with his middle finger and thumb. Screwballs break the opposite way. he snaps his cocked wrist so that the back of his hand faces the catcher. batters must somehow “read” a curve early on. Southpaw curves spin down and in on right-handed batters. It looks the same as a regular fastball when it comes out of the pitcher’s hand and travels with a lot of velocity. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. too. Curveball Developed by W. The forkball. He snaps his wrist straight down on release. and different. has been nearly replaced by Sutter’s pitch. the pitcher grips the ball with his middle and index fingers across two seams at their widest point and cocks his wrist inward. By applying pressure to one of these. so that the palm faces the catcher after release. (Actually. Inc. 1. the curveball has ended a lot of aspiring major-league hitters’ careers.KnowledgeNews Baseball’s Best Pitches Baseball announcers will tell you when a pitcher’s got his “good stuff. so that it “sinks” laterally.k.” but you’re in a pickle if you don’t know what’s so “good” about sinkers. Here’s a brief rundown on baseball’s best pitches. Split-fingered fastball The split-fingered fastball came to its current prominence as the money pitch of famed 1970s reliever Bruce Sutter. Because of the backspin. keeping his index finger loose. The basic fastball is the “four-seamer. Most of that movement comes in the last quarter of the trip. the sinker—also features speed. This technique gives the ball plenty of topspin and some sidespin. Forkball pitchers just hold the ball a little higher between the fingers.A. the blazing ball seems to rise as it burns by batters. and curves. Here the pitcher puts his first and middle fingers running atop the two narrow seams. Considering that it takes a fifth of a second to swing a bat. and fast baseballs hurt more. Some pitchers can actually throw a “reverse” curve—a screwball—by rotating their wrist inside out in a sort of corkscrew motion. Pitchers create this movement by throwing with the middle and index fingers split wide.” The pitcher puts his first and middle fingers half an inch apart across the horseshoe. down and in on lefties. A big-league curveball can veer as much as 17 inches by the time it reaches home. 3. is prohibited.a.” Quite simply. The natural rotation of a right-hander’s wrist snap causes the ball to spin down and away from right-handed batters. Some pitchers hold the two-seam fastball a little off-center. like a whip. Fastball Southpaw great Sandy Koufax once said. a relative of the splitter and a mainstay of 1960s relief pitching. it just falls less than you’d expect. Some have compared the movement to a ball rolling off a table. Think about it: a 90-mph fastball reaches home in just four-tenths of a second. resting on the outside edge of the ball’s seams. or wide part of the seams. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. To throw a curve. baseballs hurt.) The “two-seam” fastball—a. “The art of pitching is the art of instilling fear. he can get the ball to sink as it nears home. movement. to give the ball some backspin and get the seams rotating. But the devious splitter dives down as it nears home plate. Yet the two aren’t that different. but a different grip creates more. too.

http://KnowledgeNews. veering. And Then There’s the . Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. The most common change-ups are the three-fingered and the circle. except by qualified educational institutions. if a batter sees enough heat. 26 . the batter will think the pitch is a fastball.” Spitballs and other doctored pitches achieve the same effect with less mastery. Since the pitch travels so fast and breaks so late. Inc. For the circle change. he has to throw the pitch as if were a fastball.net 4. Such unpredictability can devastate batters. Slider The devastating slider has more movement than a fastball but travels faster than a curve. he’ll learn how to time it. Inc.. 5. Change-up Good pitchers work hard to disrupt a batter’s timing. . Enter the change-up. The pitch’s name is a misnomer. middle. the batter has little time to react—even the slight sideways movement can throw him off. so that it has little or no spin. he’s right where the pitcher wants him—reacting rather than anticipating. Unfortunately. but the ball will veer just a little to the side when it reaches home. which is essentially a slow fastball. 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. he’ll swing well ahead of the “off-speed” pitch. and ring fingers. Knuckleball Few pitchers can master the bobbing. The pitcher holds the three-fingered change with his index. That lack of spin lets unpredictable air currents change the ball’s trajectory. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. unpredictable knuckleball. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. maintaining the same delivery and arm speed. 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. he makes a circle with his thumb and index finger on the ball’s side. . And if he’s not anticipating anything. Even if a pitcher can throw 95 mph. is prohibited. Throwing the occasional change-up keeps the batter on his toes. All rights reserved. To throw a slider. and ring fingers atop the widest part of the seams and his pinky and thumb tucked under the ball. neither of them works. the pitcher can make the ball squirt out of his hand with little or no spin. “There are only two theories on hitting the knuckleball. The grip is what takes heat off the ball. Knuckleballers actually push the ball off the tips of their index. middle. If he’s anticipating a fastball. Result: weak pop-ups and ground balls (though a poorly thrown “hanging” slider will often end up in the seats). —Michael Himick and Shana Drehs KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. Famed hitting instructor Charlie Lau once said. Even the pitcher doesn’t know which way the slow-moving ball will break. With a little saliva or other slippery stuff on two fingers. Generally.

When railway officials fired the men.” “There Is Nothing to Arbitrate” When depression struck America in 1893. Progressive era was born out of labor’s pains. and all that inspires to self-respect is generously provided. Finally. without reducing rents at company houses or prices at the company store. though. trainmen everywhere walked off the job. arguing that the strikers had formed an illegal conspiracy in restraint of trade under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. 1894. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. people died when labor struggled. The strike collapsed. —Michael Himick KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. companies learned to use injunctions from business-friendly courts as a weapon against labor. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. federal troops descended on Chicago to enforce the injunction. Eventually.” Yet even as the Pullman strike crumbled. in May 1894. In fact. improved working conditions. . and when we die we shall be buried in the Pullman cemetery and go to the Pullman hell. a federal commission called to investigate the incident blamed the government “for not adequately controlling monopoly and corporations. Inc. “where all that is ugly and discordant and demoralizing is eliminated. and for failing to reasonably protect the rights of labor. attorney general. Pullman closed the plant and rebuffed all requests for arbitration. catechized in the Pullman church. Pullman. convinced the federal courts to issue a sweeping injunction against all strike activity.” A new. Beginning June 26. . fed from the Pullman shop. the union called for a boycott of Pullman cars. too) struggled just to get weekends off—let alone a long one. Railway officials turned to the federal government for help. child labor laws. any person or persons to abandon the employment of . A few generations ago. Railroad traffic across the country ceased.. More ominously for workers. “We are born in a Pullman house. Pullman slashed wages 25 percent. to combat big business. Stymied. Out of “Pullman Hell” In the powder-keg atmosphere that followed.000 workers and their families sank deep into the company’s debt. the political winds began to shift. and got it in spades. . the 5-day workweek. switchmen refused to attach Pullman cars to trains. taught in the Pullman school. railway companies. the town of Pullman was literally owned by George M.S.” he said. American working men and women (and often children. a law passed. run by and for the company as a moneymaking venture. victories would come: the 8-hour workday. . ironically. A few generations ago. Example: the Pullman railway strike of 1894. One worker said. 27 .KnowledgeNews Labor’s Days Past America’s Labor Day may be summer’s last hurrah. and mobs set hundreds of freight cars alight. a former railway lawyer. but labor’s days past were no picnic. approved by Congress the same year as the Pullman strike. the company town was just that. The U. is prohibited. soldiers shot into crowds trying to stop trains. the workers went on strike. Company brochures painted the town as a workers’ paradise. Inc. except by qualified educational institutions. On July 4. collective bargaining rights—even a national Labor Day. “There is nothing to arbitrate. manufacturer of the Pullman sleeping car used by railroads. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. “I Owe My Soul to the Company Store” Just south of Chicago.” In reality. All rights reserved. One injunction threatened to arrest anyone “inducing or attempting to induce . Some 5.

Gobble . Gobble.Fall Why Leaves Fall 5 Dark Days in America What Is Ramadan? What Is Yom Kippur? Viking Raiders Attack Columbus Witch Hunt: What Happened in Salem? Witch Hunt: What Possessed Salem? Gobble.

chlorophyll molecules then steal electrons from nearby water molecules.. which excites some of their electrons. photosynthesis in the leaves of deciduous trees slows down. proteins. hydrogen ions.KnowledgeNews Why Leaves Fall Most people think leaf loss follows from colder weather. all living things ultimately depend for their sustenance on the photosynthetic conversion of light energy into chemical energy. ultimately. Take any of these four players away. Other hydrogen ions and electrons join with minerals to produce amino acids and. The Life and Liabilities of a Little Leaf The key players in the literally life-giving photosynthetic process are chlorophyll. and a few “free” electrons. Trees have more use for the hydrogen ions and free electrons. leaves are liable to freeze. it’s more a matter of light. and the leaves produce less and less of the sugary-sweet food their trees need to stay healthy and keep growing. As the duration and intensity of daily sunlight decreases. Too Trees love their photosynthesis. and photosynthesis will cease. Once the trees decide to go dormant. and wait till the springtime sun is ready to fire up photosynthesis again. which gets scarce and less intense as long summer days shorten into crisp fall quickies. the foliage fireworks begin.” which pass the electrons along an electron bucket brigade. is prohibited. Since they’re thin and full of water. go dormant. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. Better for the trees to drop their leaves. except by qualified educational institutions. which is just waste product to a tree. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. carbon dioxide. 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. deciduous trees tend to lose their leaves as the summer sun gives way to the harvest moon. If photosynthesis were to suddenly stop. which is also the pigment that makes plants green most of the time. Inc. use the carbohydrates and other good stuff they’ve photosynthesized to feed our growth (if we remember to eat our fruits and vegetables). and sunlight. What’s worse. as their productivity drops. Chlorophyll molecules in green plants absorb solar energy. producing gaseous oxygen. less photosynthesis means less sugary-sweet food. Even in warmer climes. we’d all starve: first the plants. For the trees. green plants can convert sunlight into chemical energy. All rights reserved. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. the chlorophyll molecules transfer electrons to nearby molecules called “electron acceptors. The trees then use the carbohydrates and other organic substances they’ve produced through photosynthesis to feed their growth—much as we. The trees have no more reason to produce gloriously green. We’re grateful for the oxygen. 29 . KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. potentially damaging the flesh of the trees. then the animals that eat the animals that eat the plants. other than a few bacteria that can survive on chemical energy from inorganic compounds. water. There Goes the Sun— And the Photosynthesis. the reason is simple: less sunlight means less photosynthesis. Yet really. And that’s roughly what happens every fall. To return to their normal energy level (since not even a molecule is comfortable staying excited forever). Such electron larceny breaks the nearby water apart. then the animals that eat the plants. the leaves threaten to become a serious liability for the trees. which they combine with carbon dioxide to make carbohydrates. Inc. In fact. The key is a cool chemical called chlorophyll. in turn. sun-sopping chlorophyll. And what’s not to love? Given only water and carbon dioxide. To replace the electrons they’ve donated to these acceptors.

but during the spring and summer months the constant creation of chlorophyll overwhelms the carotene color. Anthocyanins. turning them orange or yellow. which give cranberries. —Steve Sampson Less sunlight means less photosynthesis. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. not to be replaced till spring. All rights reserved. and a layer of cells separating leaf stem from branch begins to form. Better for the trees to drop their leaves. go dormant. and wait for the springtime sun. Eventually. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. called anthocyanins. Once this “separation layer” is complete. except by qualified educational institutions. In some trees. carotene pigments (like the ones that give carrots their color) become visible in the leaves. is prohibited. other pigments. as the trees go dormant. 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. Inc. and strawberries their color.net And as the trees produce less chlorophyll. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. 30 . cherries. the leaf is effectively severed from the flesh of the tree. Inc. turn the leaves red or even purple. Leaves contain carotene pigments all year. the veins that carry sap to and from their leaves close off. when the trees sense sunny days again. It soon falls.. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner.

000 banks had closed up shop. The Dow sank to new lows in November. which had arrived in Pearl Harbor just the day before. and men all over the country volunteered for duty. Yet a handful of horrible days did open wounds just as grievous. All rights reserved. By 1933. The crash poured kerosene onto an already flammable financial house. and a quarter of American workers had no job. President Franklin Roosevelt signed the declaration of war that Congress had passed. Consumers stopped spending. Inc. that market had rounded up the bulls and regained its lost ground. 1987. Not so in 1929. 2001. unambiguous declaration of war ever came. the Dow shed nearly 23 percent. and the economy slipped into a coma. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. The two-hour attack was meticulously planned to cause maximum damage. October 29. December 7. more than 2.S. and the battleship sank in nine minutes. By 1933. Inc. As the news spread across the United States. 31 .S. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. A huge explosion broke the ship in two. Their survival would come to haunt Japanese military planners. Some concentrated on strafing the Oahu airfields to destroy the aircraft parked there. Today. The next day. but the attack caught U.403 dead and 1.400 Americans died in a war they didn’t even know they were fighting.000 of the United States’ 25. On the U. It also had destroyed a half-dozen light cruisers and destroyers and 188 aircraft.178 wounded.S. Tensions between the United States and Japan had run high all year.S. businesses stopped producing. But before long. U. it had bled nearly 13 percent. Not until 1954 would the Dow again touch its 1929 peak. Waves of Japanese planes conducted nearly simultaneous bombing runs. people were shocked at the sneak attack and horrified by the loss of life: 2. And so did many an investor. manufacturers produced half of what they had in 1929. In a stroke of luck for Americans. No formal.. forces almost completely off-guard. The day before. 1941 One sunny Sunday morning in the tropical paradise of Pearl Harbor. 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. except by qualified educational institutions. The brief rally that followed the crash quickly proved to be what traders call a dead-cat bounce. 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. 1929—Black Tuesday—the market lay in ruins. By the time it hit bottom—in 1932—the market had shed nearly 90 percent of its value. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. the Arizona burned for three days. however. 11. either in the crash or in the crush of jittery depositors demanding their cash. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. The end came shockingly fast for 1. 1929 When the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange rang on October 29. Full of fuel. Arizona. Then it sank some more.177 men. The strike gave the Japanese a huge military advantage. Their attack had sunk five battleships and damaged three more. is prohibited. Just as investors lost their shirts. Wall Street has seen worse days.KnowledgeNews 5 Dark Days in America Few days in American history have wounded the nation more deeply than September 11. sailors were deep in battle when an armor-piercing bomb weighing nearly a ton smashed into the deck and ignited the forward magazine. On October 19. Hawaii. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the day down almost 12 percent. the Pacific Fleet’s aircraft carriers were not in port and escaped the attack. Others bombed and torpedoed the 130 vessels moored in Pearl Harbor itself.

the battle of Antietam remains the bloodiest day in American history. Lee a chance to gather his defeated army. Scholars say that if McClellan had sent his remaining forces into the fray.” Yet the depression that followed the crash of 1929 was an order of magnitude worse than any previous economic crisis. It would be hours or even days before the panicked locals learned that Washington had been burnt to the ground by British soldiers. saw an opportunity to score a decisive blow. The tide of the battle of Antietam (or Sharpsburg. Treasury secretary Andrew Mellon said. the Confederate line finally broke in the middle. The shots started a one-day battle that would come to symbolize the fury of the American Civil War: Antietam. First lady Dolley Madison was one of the last to flee. People will work harder. wounded. As British solders marched ever closer. British soldiers landed along the Patuxent River in Maryland.000 men were dead. All rights reserved. Pearl Harbor. or missing. the War of 1812 wasn’t going well for the American side. spurred by massive wartime spending—but not before government completely changed its approach. On an otherwise ordinary summer night in 1814. But Union general George McClellan cautiously kept his reserves in check. shifting to hands-on economic policies and programs that persist even today. withdraw from the field. Lee might have been forced to surrender.S. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. Maryland. liquidate real estate. 32 . Instead. By some estimates. Inc. and enterprising people will pick up the wrecks from less competent people. Disorganized U. “Liquidate labor. bolstered by reinforcements from home. a handful of thoughtful patriots scrambled to pack up national artifacts like the Declaration of Independence. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. the battle’s enormous toll became clear—more than 23. more Americans died at Antietam than died in the entire Revolutionary War. residents of Leesburg. In fact. Virginia. DC. . Union artillery received orders to commence firing on Confederate infantry taking positions in the nearby cornfields. mopped up a local militia. literally off the chart. or Normandy. A Confederate victory would have put Lee on Lincoln’s doorstep. August 24. After a truce. 1814 KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. is prohibited. 1862. the city was a veritable ghost town. and cleared the way to Washington. At times. except by qualified educational institutions. giving Confederate general Robert E. as it was called in the South) shifted constantly. and might have forced a truce. . By then. the fighting was so intense that men had to stop shooting because they couldn’t see their targets through the heavy smoke of gunfire. Standard policy then was to let the economy sweat out financial fever. So. west of Washington. Confederate sharpshooters inflicted heavy casualties on the advancing Union army. Inc. bloodier than Iwo Jima. forces had managed few victories in their attempt to invade Canada. 1862 In the early dawn of September 17. on a ridge near the small town of Sharpsburg. and fight again another day. in August of 1814. gazed up at an orange-colored sky. live a more moral life. September 17. Values will be adjusted. liquidate stocks. The bitter irony is that either side could have ended the war that day. liquidate the farmers. staying to preside over the selection of items that would be carried away from the White House. the Civil War dragged on for almost three more years and claimed hundreds of thousands of American lives. Clearly. The American economy eventually recovered—more than a decade later. . an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners.. even as they avenged the Americans’ torching of York (now Toronto). And British generals.net Government only made the crisis worse.http://KnowledgeNews. After repulsing several Union charges. which in turn pounded Confederate positions in the corn with artillery barrages that mowed entire fields to the ground.

By the 1660s. Inc. one of America’s busiest ports. Still. and they traded their ill-gotten “goods” at Jamestown for food. . Then they turned toward Baltimore. when a Dutch ship put in at Jamestown to replenish its supplies—and delivered the first African slaves to the American colonies.S. Christopher Call. the Capitol. 1619 The year 1619 falls almost outside the scope of U. reflecting a growing sense of pride that would shepherd the country through dark days yet to come. . state against state. The damage to Washington was so great that Congress considered leaving the ruins behind and starting over elsewhere. the British were so impressed by the architecture that some had second thoughts about setting the city ablaze—but decided to burn it nonetheless. except by qualified educational institutions. But the nation’s longest and darkest chapter arguably began one late summer day of that year. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. Records from the 1620s list the first African-Americans as “servants. 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. 33 . the ideal of freedom as a founding principle against the harsh reality of slavery as a part of American life. 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. A Late Summer Day. All rights reserved. “I had rather be mad in this way. But “if it be a wild scheme.. Steve Sampson. for the time of his natural life. including the White House. George Washington claimed that “there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do. and Laura Kane KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. history. a court had condemned at least one African slave to “serve his master . The reprinting or redistribution of these articles.” Over the next two centuries.” The French general was aware many would think the idea crazy.” —Michael Himick.” suggesting that they may have been considered “indentured” rather than “enslaved. is prohibited. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner.” Later records show an increasing number of free blacks in the colonies. by 1640. Inc. Ultimately. than to be thought wise in the other task. Colleen Kelly. and use them only as tenants. The Dutch sailors had stolen some 20 captive Africans from a Spanish slave ship.http://KnowledgeNews. They torched most of the city’s important buildings. and the Treasury. even if they did nothing. The founders saw the conflict of slavery. America’s first slaves arrived less by design than by sad historical accident. though. 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.net Arriving in the deserted capital. lifelong race-based slavery would become an evil American institution. leaders decided to rebuild the city on the Potomac.” he wrote.

Those who can’t fast for permanent health reasons can make up the duty by feeding one poor person each day. that you may attain God-consciousness. the moment you can tell the difference between a black thread and a white one—the fast period begins. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners.” Fasting for Good During the month. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. “Recite!” And Fast! To commemorate that angelic event. “Fasting is prescribed for you. With the next new moon. —Mark Diller KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. is prohibited. Traditionally. which many attend at the mosque. the Qur’an. which define the core of the faith. “even as it was prescribed for those before you. Ramadan comes to an end. So is sexual intercourse. (In some Muslim cities. charity is a central part of the holiday. Bad thoughts and deeds are verboten. they start with a light repast of dates and water. the “Festival of Fast-Breaking. Believers are supposed to learn what it’s like to be poor. not even tobacco smoke or chewing gum. no water. 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.) Breakfast at Sunset When the sun goes down. That way.. Then a full meal follows with family and friends—a nightly celebration that goes hand in hand with the daily deprivation. the consumption of groceries actually goes up during Ramadan. one of which is recited each night. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. Not surprisingly. Finally. Devout Muslims will tell you they fast “not with the stomach.” the Qur’an says. called the suhur. Inc. Muslims set their alarms early enough to eat a predawn meal. except by qualified educational institutions. Until dark. It’s not just about food. 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.) The day concludes with the night prayer. it’s one of the Five Pillars of Islam. the sawm isn’t optional. All rights reserved. and how little material things mean in relation to God. (Those excused temporarily have to make up the fast days later. Often the 114 chapters of the Qur’an are divided into 30 segments. every Muslim must observe a month-long fast (sawm) to focus the mind. Muslims return home to break the fast with a meal called the iftar. too. In fact. and one of Islam’s most important festivals begins: ’Id al-Fitr.” Celebrations and gifts follow special prayers at the mosque. inspire sympathy for the poor.KnowledgeNews What Is Ramadan? Ramadan is the Islamic calendar’s ninth month. and the time of the year when Muslims worldwide fast each day from sunrise to sunset. either. Why? Because their holy book. Muhammad began to receive (and recite) the verses that make up the Qur’an. 34 . Inc. Many Muslims spend this night entirely at prayer. and bring the believer closer to God. Once the sun comes up—by tradition. but with the heart. Muslim groups sponsor food and clothing drives to help the needy. nothing should enter the mouth: no food. With it. Muslims believe. followed by the evening prayer.” For any healthy person past puberty. everyone has a chance to hear the entire Qur’an during Ramadan. the literal words of Allah.

When you read in Joshua 6:20 that “the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass . on the tenth day of the month. to cleanse you. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. between a faithless act of idol worship and a broken covenant. 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. All rights reserved. folks spend the day at prayer in the synagogue. Moses cast down and broke the tablets of the Ten Commandments he had received on Mount Sinai. The fasts and prayers of Yom Kippur support this spiritual renewal. or other animal. the seventh Jewish month. Yom Kippur services traditionally end with the sounding of the shofar. God forgave the people. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. Modern observances of Yom Kippur typically involve ten days of self-examination and repentance. . Inc. Inc. 35 . carrying the blame for the people’s sins on its head. you pretty much have to say you’re sorry—and mean it. 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 probably know most of the story. (Leviticus 16:29-31) Don’t Forget the Goat In early Judaism. ye shall afflict your souls. before the destruction of the Temple at Jerusalem. that the wall [of Jericho] fell down flat. Shofars go back to biblical times as instruments of ritual and war.KnowledgeNews What Is Yom Kippur? For Jews. this day of atonement—Yom Kippur—involved a goat: a “scapegoat. either from the Bible or Cecil B. DeMille. humble before God and asking pardon for transgressions against his law. and God knew they would sin again. . On Yom Kippur itself. Think priests blowing blasts from a wild horn. Let My People Atone Incensed that the people of Israel had worshipped a golden calf rather than the Lord. and ye shall afflict your souls. goat. These “Days of Awe” are a time to seek forgiveness for transgressions against others and to mortify yourself before God. beginning before sunset on the eve of Yom Kippur and ending after nightfall on Yom Kippur day.” you’re reading about the shofar. . the community fasts for 25 hours. For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you. an instrument made from the horn of a ram. It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you. the Jewish New Year. Of course. never to be seen again. In fact. as prescribed by Leviticus 16:2026. Yom Kippur is a day of atonement. reinforcing not only personal introspection and repentance. and the nation fasted from sunrise to sunset. and continuing to Yom Kippur.” Every Yom Kippur. a time to seek God’s forgiveness for the sins of the past year. Breaking from the workaday world. by a statute for ever. —Michael Himick KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. and do no work at all . but also the collective atonement of the Jewish people.. that ye may be clean from all your sins before the Lord. Well. a high priest laid hands on a goat’s head and confessed the people’s sins. was then driven into the desert. not Louis Armstrong with polished brass. is prohibited. This goat. So Moses ascended the mountain again to plead for God’s forgiveness. people do stupid things. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. For Gentiles. and Moses came back with a second copy of the covenant—returning on the tenth day of Tishri. . except by qualified educational institutions. beginning on Rosh Hashanah.

they made camp and set about exploring. a Danish king told German historian Adam of Bremen that he’d heard of a place west of Greenland where grapes and wheat abounded. grapes were a real find. Columbus got all the glory. . The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. It’s now officially a fact that Leif “The Lucky” Eriksson got the jump on the Genoese mariner. Pass It On Official history is one thing. 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. a forge. Excursions turned up timber. the Vinland tale grew taller. Traders might have bragged a bit as they journeyed from port to port. . But both sagas tell the same basic story. Some historians think these stories made an impression on at least one ambitious young mariner. and history’s official memory of “Vinland” faded with it.” KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner.KnowledgeNews Viking Raiders Attack Columbus This Columbus Day. a crew of Norse adventurers came to Canada’s northeastern coast. The sagas even record the birth of Vinland’s first Norse citizen. In Vinland Veritas Five hundred years before Columbus considered sailing off the map’s edge. 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. Scandinavian sailors probably swapped yarns about their ancestors’ accomplishments at sea. kings. Rumor is another. Erik the Red’s Saga condenses all five voyages into one. a boy named Snorri. Did he gather facts about lands to the west? Based on a True Story Maybe. Amazed by the sight of green grass in winter. 36 . and lumber for export to Greenland and Europe. For guys used to snow and seal meat. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. Psst . Today. All rights reserved. made by the Icelandic merchant Thorfinn Karlsefni. whom the Norse called “skraelings. is prohibited. something even rarer—wild grapes. After discovering Helluland (Flat Slab Land) and Markland (Forest Land). A collection of intricately rhymed poems celebrating Norse gods. the small colony faded away. and to the south. A 12th-century history of Iceland added more detail—native settlements along Vinland’s coast. In 1075. Inc. We Discovered North America. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. Yet after only a few years. and the Vikings got a football team. and tell of hostile encounters with the natives. Even after Viking power faded. collecting grapes. scholars regard the stories as heavily embellished accounts of real events. and warriors.. except by qualified educational institutions. Icelandic sagas certainly have the most tantalizing account of Vinland’s discovery. Europe’s rumor mill was churning out gossip about a rich country somewhere in the North Atlantic. forget everything you learned in school about Christopher Columbus—or at least the bit about him discovering America. fur. where they set up one or more camps. the sagas were written down in the 13th and 14th centuries after being spoken aloud for centuries. wheat. Inc. More than 100 men and 15 women came to live in Vinland. butternuts. streams full of salmon. the Norse found a warm. with great halls. 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. and comfortable huts. So they built a settlement meant to last. As time passed.

archaeologists scoured Canada’s northeastern coast for proof of a Viking presence. Icelandic annals record that a ship laden with timber from Markland made berth at Iceland in 1347. when a Danish professor published the first translations to find a popular audience. —Claire Vail KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. All rights reserved. and the Vikings of Vinland are finally getting their due. Let’s Go Home Despite Vinland’s good vibes. they could plunder grapes and timber just as easily on journeys from home. historians had a good hunch that Helluland was Baffin Island (in the Canadian Arctic) and that Markland was southern Labrador. except by qualified educational institutions. but Viking fans have more than a hunch on their side. Unfriendly skraelings may have forced them to skedaddle. and timber. History is a-changing. Evidence of iron-working and a forge supported the theory of a small colony. It was a lost Viking settlement.net Look. Columbus admirers tend to say his voyage counted most. evidence suggests that the Norse did make trips to America long after the collapse of their colony.. because it led to permanent colonization. There’s a Viking Helmet in Our Garden Iceland’s sagas remained obscure until 1837. and the discovery of a soapstone spindle whorl suggested women weavers. butternuts and wild grapes only grow as far north as New Brunswick. But was it Vinland? According to the sagas. Then. Today. Inc. None proved genuine. America was stunned—and delighted to have found a new hobby. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. is prohibited. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. Excavations yielded Viking artifacts dating to around the year 1000. the Vikings had made trips from their base camp to collect butternuts. the part of Canada just above Maine. A 13th-century Inuit artist on Baffin Island carved a man dressed European-style. Viking artifacts were turning up in every New Englander’s backyard. Inc. Many historians think the Newfoundland site was the gateway to Vinland. grapes.http://KnowledgeNews. the Norse quickly packed their bags and headed for home in Greenland (settled just decades earlier by Leif Eriksson’s daring dad. New Brunswick. 37 . In fact. the sagas’ Erik the Red). The couple soon traced eight buildings that were the spitting image of Norse structures in Iceland and Greenland. Norwegian historian Helge Ingstad and his wife Anne found the sod foundations of Norse longhouses in Newfoundland. in 1960. So Vinland was probably somewhere farther south. now that they knew where to look. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. Throughout the 19th and most of the 20th centuries. Or perhaps they figured that. Dear. They probably stayed in Vinland for about a decade. They came up empty. From the detailed topographic descriptions in the sagas. Suddenly. and possibly even Maine. Lawrence River. a region that may have extended to the St.

38 . falling into epileptic-like seizures and trance-like states. and Sarah Osborne (an old woman notorious for having married her servant).” Parris calls it “going to the devil. the girls accuse Tituba (a slave). 1692 . full of Parris opponents.A Court of Oyer and Terminer. Betty. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. wins election. dies in prison in Boston. By the end of May. Few will connect the term to its harrowing history. Mrs. who remains in heavy irons for eight months. Inc.Samuel Parris is made minister of Salem Village church. Inc. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. Abigail Williams. possibly under duress.A new Salem Village Committee. Accusations. The next month. During the examination.. and ask what demons possessed that Puritan place. With that. But we will—every Halloween. arrive in Salem Village and examine the three accused “witches. The magistrates send all three to prison. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles.KnowledgeNews Witch Hunt: What Happened in Salem? Say “witch hunt” these days. We should see what happened. sobs uncontrollably. the Salem witch hunts have haunted American history.Deputy Governor Thomas Danforth and others join Hathorne and Corwin to examine Elizabeth Proctor and Sarah Cloyce.” Pressured to identify the demons tormenting them. Tituba and John Indian. examinations. Parris’s Caribbean Indian slaves. John Proctor. the committee refuses to assess taxes that pay Parris’s salary and challenges his ownership of the parsonage. use the girls’ urine to make a “witch cake. confesses to witchcraft and claims that undiscovered witches walk in Salem. By the end of April. The winter promises to be a stressful one for the Parrises—and for their allies. For more than 300 years. begin having fits. November 1689 . The village doctor suggests they may be under the influence of Satan. Tituba. about 30 people have been jailed.” From the start. March 1. vigorously defends his wife and finds himself accused. and 71-yearold Rebecca Nurse of witchcraft. 1692 . and imprisonments continue.Samuel Parris’s 9-year-old daughter.Sarah Osborne. February 1692 .Ann Putnam’s mother (also named Ann) begins having fits. except by qualified educational institutions. May 1692 . June 2. granted to him by his contract. they act more like inquisitors than impartial judges. so Parris organizes prayer and fasting to combat the evil. and his 11-year-old niece. a generally respected church member. rest of March 1692 . Elizabeth’s husband. At the behest of a neighbor. one of the first three women accused. In short order. the two magistrates send all three women to prison. begin behaving strangely. Sarah Good (a beggar). who have also been denounced as witches. interspersed with bouts of incoherent babbling and blasphemous screams. is prohibited. with support from one of the community’s largest and most prominent farming families. October 1691 . and goes insane. Hathorne and Corwin examine Cory and Nurse and send both to prison—along with Sarah Good’s 4-year-old daughter Dorcas. the Putnams. Putnam and the afflicted girls accuse Martha Cory. Good and Osborne maintain their innocence. opens in Salem Town to “hear KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. including 12-year-old Ann Putnam. January 1692 . All rights reserved. the Putnams. authorized by the new governor of Massachusetts. Sir William Phips. and most people will assume you’re talking politics.Other girls. April 1692 . for help against the devil. the number of people imprisoned has more than doubled. John Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin.Two magistrates from Salem Town.

and condemns John and Elizabeth Proctor.net and determine” the cases against the accused. and sentences her to death. On the scaffold. Alice Parker.” August 5.” Nathaniel Saltonstall. until he can’t breathe. June 29. June 10. one of the judges appointed to the court. examinations.” “Better that ten suspected witches should escape. Susannah Martin. they accuse some very prominent people. Meanwhile. Wilmot Reed. the court acquits 49 people outright. 1692 . and Rebecca Nurse. Margaret Scott. October 1692 . September 19.Seeking to root out its own “witches. John Willard. All rights reserved. Elizabeth Howe.http://KnowledgeNews. convenes to try the remaining “witches.” Court authorities tie him to the ground and slowly stack heavy stones on his chest.” the town of Andover sends for the afflicted girls. Wilmot Reed.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. but accusations. Mary Parker. Sarah Wilds. Burroughs recites the Lord’s Prayer flawlessly.” This time. 1692 . Mary Easty. and George Burroughs are hanged. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. Sarah Wilds. a feat thought to be impossible for one in league with Satan. 1692 . Dorcas Hoar escapes execution by confessing. convicts her of witchcraft. but Governor Phips reprieves them. —Steve Sampson KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. and Mary Bradbury. May 1693 . January 1693 . The court spares Abigail Faulkner because she is pregnant. No more will. Martha Carrier. 39 . It convicts three. September 17. Samuel Wardwell.” he argues. and George Burroughs (a local minister and a known enemy of the Putnams). They subsequently vote to convict. Inc. convicts. is prohibited. Dorcas Hoar. resigns in protest.Governor Phips orders that all accused “witches” still awaiting trial in jail be released. and Samuel Wardwell are hanged. Ann Pudeator. July 19. 1692 . The witch hunt ends. operating under much stricter rules of evidence. Along the way.Having refused to enter a plea and stand trial. Opposition to the court mounts. Mary Bradbury escapes it by escaping. except by qualified educational institutions. The jury initially acquits Rebecca Nurse. who take their show on the road. The court spares Elizabeth Proctor because she is pregnant. New deputy governor William Stoughton presides as chief judge.. 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. “than that one innocent person should be condemned. 80-year-old Giles Cory is tortured to death by “pressing. including the governor’s wife. August 19. Mary Parker. The court tries Bridget Bishop. Susannah Martin. and imprisonments continue. and Abigail Hobbs. 1692 . 1692 . convicts.A new Superior Court. but word of her acquittal sends the afflicted girls into fits. Inc.” Governor Phips issues an order forbidding further imprisonments for witchcraft and dissolves the Court of Oyer and Terminer. September 22. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. Martha Carrier. Four of the others confess and save their necks. George Jacobs. Ann Foster.John Proctor.The court tries. Alice Parker. and all five “witches” are condemned to die. Puritan heavyweight Increase Mather casts doubt on the use of “spectral evidence. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. George Jacobs.The court tries and convicts Sarah Good. Elizabeth Howe. September 9. 1692 . and Rebecca Nurse are each hanged “for the horrible crime of witchcraft. 1692 .Sarah Good. and condemns six more “witches”: Martha Cory.The court tries. Mary Lacy.Martha Cory. Before her execution. Mary Easty.The court sentences nine more people to death: Margaret Scott. 1692 . Rebecca Eames. and the judges order the jurors to reconsider. Abigail Faulkner. John Willard. Ann Pudeator.

14 years after the Salem witch hunts. In short. the Putnam family. in one way or another. Then they began accusing less marginalized people. who was eventually accused and hanged. Something strangely demonic was at work in Salem Village. But many other New Englanders believed wholeheartedly. On one side were the Putnams and their allies. author of a popular book on witchcraft. They began by accusing women who were highly marginalized in Salem Village society. suggested that the girls would “make devils of us all” and that spankings would produce a faster cure than hangings. Of course. they had been working to formally separate Salem Village (now Danvers. 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. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. And by 1692. The witch craze began only in the late 15th century. In spirit at least. claimed that the girls’ afflictions “could not possibly be dissembled. the Salem villagers weren’t alone in their fear. Salem Village was divided into two groups. something simultaneously fascinating and deeply disturbing. dementia. Inc. being deluded by Satan. By then.. They were. 56 people were convicted of witchcraft in New England and 35 were executed. They even allowed the use of “spectral evidence”—basically. actual convictions for witchcraft were rare. Scholars say that as many as half of the people in the world still believe in witches. historians have tended to agree.” Those executed on “Witches’ Hill” had said as much in 1692. Witches became scapegoats for accidents and injuries. Even some early New Englanders had their doubts. mostly farmers from the village’s west side. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. For at least 20 years. But not earlier. From 1620 to 1725. arch-accuser Ann Putnam made a formal apology to the congregation of the Salem Village church. New England Puritans blamed demonic forces for all sorts of maladies.” she said. 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. is prohibited. impotence. The farmer and tavern owner John Proctor. almost any affliction could be blamed on a witch and her maleficium (“malevolent sorcery”). The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. except by qualified educational institutions. All rights reserved.KnowledgeNews Witch Hunt: What Possessed Salem? In 1706. Possessed by Possessions? KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. witch Still. Basically. something we still don’t fully understand. Inc. affiliated with a faction in Salem Village that opposed the Reverend Samuel Parris and his allies. “What I did was ignorantly done. theologians had come to believe that any magical event not obviously the work of God could only be the work of the Devil. Contrary to popular belief. and even the premature spoiling of beer. 40 . persecution of “witches” was rare in medieval Europe. too. The Reverend Cotton Mather. insomnia. hunts had been a periodic part of European culture for more than 200 years.” The magistrates Jonathan Corwin and John Hathorne treated the girls’ claims as nearly beyond reproach. which was emerging as a mercantile hub. illnesses and deaths. any claim made by the girls in a fit—against defendants in their court. Massachusetts) from Salem Town. “It was a great delusion of Satan that deceived me in that sad time. The Devil was in the details. declining livestock productivity. The Salem Village witch hunts accounted for 31 of those convictions and 19 of those executions—more than half. most of whom shared one trait.

the forces at work in Salem Village were larger and more diabolical than any rye bread high. a few bad bread trips may have been just the spark needed to ignite Salem Village’s pious Puritan (and plainly political) powder keg. Of the 32 adults who testified against them. is prohibited. under pressure from the adults around them. even for professional actors. convulsions. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. and. Parris had come to Salem in 1689. no less devilish than a witch’s maleficium. then to the Putnams. they refused to levy the local tax used to pay his salary. especially rye. the Salem Town faction opposed Parris’s hiring. they came first to the Parrises. First. In recent years. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. dumbness. Ergot is a fungus that grows on cereal grasses. more severely still. as any good Puritan could tell you. 41 . Not surprisingly. Inc. Second. and psychosis to severe burning sensations. And when. 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. except by qualified educational institutions. Anthony’s fire. otherwise known as ergot poisoning. 30 lived away from Salem Town on the village’s western side. Too many of their symptoms—including strange contortions of their bodies. Parris’s contract stipulated a considerable annual salary and granted him the village parsonage and its lands. most historians agree that the afflicted girls were not simply putting on a show. they are all the more subtly satanic—and they are all the more frightening for being with us still. In the end. If so. and blindness—would have been difficult to fake. despite a standing resolution from 1681 declaring that the parsonage should forever remain village property. the girls’ accusations began. this one controlled by the Salem Town faction. some historians have offered a pharmacological explanation for the girls’ behavior: St. and temporary deafness. hatred. the group finally succeeded that year and made Parris their minister. community catfight. On the contrary. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. Possessed by LSD? Despite the method beneath the madness. Having failed in previous years to establish an independent Salem Village church (as part of their attempt to separate Salem Village from Salem Town). envy. They opposed separating from the town. Of the 14 accused witches who lived in Salem Village proper. closest to Salem Town. Inc. Perhaps the afflicted girls were less bewitched than stoned. mostly from the village’s east side. at a time when the Putnams and their allies controlled the Salem Village Committee. especially under the terms that had been offered.http://KnowledgeNews. or sign-of-the-times witch hunt.. they pointed primarily toward the men and women of the Salem Town faction. Ingesting bread made from ergot-infested rye flour produces symptoms ranging from hallucinations. a new Salem Village Committee was elected. That winter—the winter when their daughters began falling prey to strange fits—Parris and his supporters felt besieged. When the fits came. —Steve Sampson KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. In October 1691. seizures. they called for an inquiry into the legality of Parris’s hiring in 1689. which is used to make the drug LSD. All rights reserved. The new committee moved against Parris in two ways. greed.net On the other side was a smaller but wealthier faction of farmers and merchants. and self-righteousness are common to every time and place—and. Ignorance. It’s also the source of lysergic acid. severe gangrene. death. questioning the propriety not only of his ministry but also of his ownership of the parsonage. 12 lived on the eastern side of the village.

we’ll see you on the other side. Around the Teeth and Through the Gums Usually when they stick a fork in you. 42 . All rights reserved. One of the most powerful acids known. After stewing in the stomach for a few hours. and you better get used to it because it’s going to happen a lot. though it can expand to hold as much as four (a useful talent on days like Thanksgiving). So. and you’re not carving turkey—you are a turkey. Like the mouth. After just a few juicy chews. except by qualified educational institutions. you’re really not looking much like your old self. It’s Thanksgiving. the first of many secretions the digestive system will squirt at you. as the entrance to a wild ride is closing in: the mouth. If you thought the mouth was bad. Meanwhile. you’re joined by new secretions that will digest you even more. Good luck. Well. Inc. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. But your digestive system keeps you alive. In addition to bile. by way of the gallbladder. it’s your digestive system. You quickly become softer and easier to swallow. OK. Your journey is only beginning. and that’s hard work that deserves your respect—especially after a holiday feast. and wisdom teeth—pound and mash you into a pulp. we’re going to send someone down there: namely. Now it’s time for the squeeze. so if you weren’t lean meat before. lipids. while the back ones—bicuspids. too. is bile. in which muscles contract in sequence along the length of the digestive tract. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. try getting comfortable in here.KnowledgeNews Gobble. In less than two days. the enzyme pepsin. you’re a soupy. no matter how nutritious it is. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. Most of the food you eat. The stomach is a muscular compartment that holds about a liter of food. Stomach.. and digestive enzymes start to break apart the starches inside you. nutrient-rich mass of small particles called chyme. it quickly kills most of the microbial life you may have brought in with you. and you’re going to get gobbled. so maybe digestion isn’t as sexy as reproduction or as thought-provoking as your brain. It needs to be digested first. is prohibited. you. the stomach rhythmically contracts to break up and mix food. You’re pushed to the back of the mouth. Here It Comes Your journey lasts only a few seconds before you splash down in the stomach. The front ones—incisors and canines—rip and tear you into small pieces. where the upper muscles of the throat contract and force you down into the esophagus—you’re getting swallowed. two sets of hard enameled teeth go to work on you. and electrolyte chemicals. starts breaking down your proteins. you’re also being mixed with a variety of chemicals coming in from the KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. sort of. another gastric juice component. 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. mushy mass that medical types call a bolus. you’re done. your once-tough flesh has been broken down into a small. you sure are now. After the swallow comes a pattern of muscular contraction called peristalsis. As if that weren’t enough. and you’re on your way to the small intestine. A complex mix of acids. moving food along. But not this time. By this time. to find out more about this important process. As you arrive. you’re being spit on. can’t be immediately absorbed by your body. bile breaks down fats. Gobble. But it has far worse secretions to drench you in than saliva. molars. That stinging sensation comes from the hydrochloric acid in the gastric juice you’re bathing in. Inc. Immediately. Look Out. You’re getting soaked in saliva. Coming in from the liver.

After roughly a day of slow percolating. Many different species begin to attack. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. water—all are absorbed. Some even synthesize key nutrients like thiamin (vitamin B1) and vitamin K. fats. One last squeeze from those digestive muscles and you’re released. What’s left of you has entered the large intestine.http://KnowledgeNews. The large intestine doesn’t secrete much. vitamins. —Christopher Call Your stomach can hold about a liter of food. One is bicarbonate. what’s left of you is ready for the last step in digestion. and it’s been waiting for you. but it doesn’t have to. All the good stuff in you has been broken down and is ready to go. You quickly get the feeling you’re not alone. You Gotta Go After leaving the small intestine. and proteins. All rights reserved. and it’s a bizarre place. is prohibited. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. When You Gotta Go. things get a little less constricting. couldn’t stomach. except by qualified educational institutions. The result is gas—lots of gas. fats. Tougher stuff like cellulose is actually fermented in the process.. which helps neutralize the acid from the stomach. well. growing body for the eater and a burial at sea for you. winding curves. The end result: a healthy. millions of tiny fingerlike projections called villi suck up your nutrients and disperse them into the body. though it can expand to hold as much as four—a useful talent on days like Thanksgiving. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t quite a bit brewing in here. carbohydrates. electrolytes. All the while. The others are enzymes that break down starches. you’re pushed along 20 feet (6 meters) of narrow. It mostly just absorbs any water and electrolytes left behind by the small intestine. 43 . because the large intestine is teeming with microbial life. Finally. You don’t smell so sweet either. Inc.net pancreas. only a bit of mucus to help move you along. breaking down parts of you that the stomach. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. Inc. Proteins. Over the course of about five hours. you’re a mass of bacteria-infested undigested fiber and water. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. The small intestine itself doesn’t secrete much except water.

Nick? How Santa Flies High Stating the Union Roman Super Sport 3 Powerful Love Stories .Winter When Molecules Need Mittens How Hanukkah Got Started Who Was the Real St.

It could be absolute zero. Your car’s electric system just improved. And they’re right. A little longer. substances that were once pliable become brittle. where it’s a balmy 231. Time to switch to the Kelvin scale. and it gets colder. You’ve probably never felt cold like this.. You only need to wear a shirt and shorts. Ice. say 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius). There is some good news. Regular thermometers don’t work anymore—their mercury has frozen solid. Inc. If you remove thermal energy. Eventually. becoming superconductive. Turning Off the Heat What we call temperature is just an easy way to measure thermal energy. and we’ve reached -44 degrees F (-42 degrees C). Naturally. In the lab. metals like lead and tin become superconductive. its atoms and molecules vibrate more. Inc. the lowest temperature ever recorded on Earth. is prohibited. fogging up your windshield. Except that now. Don’t worry about the heat—we’ve turned that off. its atoms and molecules vibrate less. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. Your leather seat begins to crack and crumble under your weight. It could be colder—a lot colder. How cold can it get? We’ll use your car as our experimental chamber (hope you don’t mind). You’re numb. But don’t worry about that. If you add thermal energy to an object. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. You’d better grab a coat and long pants. and we’re at 32 degrees F (0 degrees C). This is as cold as the universe gets. you’re starting to feel a little chill in the air. at least.KnowledgeNews When Molecules Need Mittens No matter how cold it gets this winter. Even the warmest parka in the world couldn’t save you at this temperature. Your body is shivering. The temperature is dropping to 45 degrees F (7 degrees C). too. using muscular energy to generate heat to keep you warm. Pretty soon. and we reach 0 degrees F (-18 degrees C). except by qualified educational institutions. at around 90 K (-298 degrees F or -183 degrees C). and your extremities are frostbitten. 45 . carbon dioxide condenses. At even lower temperatures. Usually. But at about 133 K (-220 degrees F or -140 degrees C). The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. oldtimers will say it could be worse. 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). The air itself starts to condense. Everything in the universe has thermal energy. and a rubber tire wouldn’t bounce on the floor—it would shatter. Your Last Drink of Air Our next stop is 184 K (-129 degrees F or -89 degrees C). Then. and it warms up. and you might even want a cold drink. the inside of your car reaches the temperature of the darkest parts of space: about 3 K (-454 degrees F or -270 degrees C). —Christopher Call KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. You’re no longer breathing anyway. We’ll start at a nice warm temperature. which exists in the form of vibrations in atoms and molecules. and you can see your breath in the air as the water vapor from your lungs condenses in the cold. though. even really conductive materials like copper wire lose energy because of electrical resistance. Another moment. the air that once filled your car is a pool of liquid on the floor. Now things really get strange. certain metal-oxide ceramics lose their resistance. forming tiny frost-like crystals. as vibrating molecules slow down. As the temperature drops further. with no heat at all. You need a hat and gloves. First. There’s just enough ambient thermal energy bouncing around to keep us from ever shedding those last three degrees. Baby A few more minutes. oxygen condenses. And your cold drink has frozen solid (not that you’d want it now). Ice. All rights reserved.

and the wicked into the hands of the righteous. an annual eight-day celebration to commemorate the victory over the Syrians. Hanukkah also involves special prayers and songs—some of which celebrate resistance against political oppression. and an altar to Zeus was set up in the Temple. A special menorah—the hanukkiya—is prominently displayed for the occasion. All rights reserved. Antiochus IV. who took to the hills and embarked on a three-year war against the Syrians.k. Hanukkah’s most important ritual activity involves lights. Antiochus promoted Greek culture in the territories he ruled.a.. Parthians. At first. If Judas originally intended Hanukkah as a sort of ancient Veterans Day. The invasion of the Temple cut especially deep. On first entering the Temple. called the shammash (“servant”). Eventually. he appointed a man named Jason. Judas chased the Syrians out of Jerusalem and set about purifying the Temple. Back then. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. The shammash is used to light the other candles. in the middle. Hanukkah now mainly commemorates God’s miracle. Beware of Greeks Bearing Altars The Syrian king. Miraculously. so that the lights grow with the holiday). the many into the hands of the few. candles are placed in the hanukkiya from right to left. Descended from one of Alexander the Great’s generals. He decreed that the most distinctive aspects of Jewish identity were no longer “kosher.” —Mark Diller KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. however. and Armenians. He sent in his own army and tried to reshape Judea along Syrian lines. It’s also traditional to give gifts on Hanukkah. led by a priest named Mattathias and his sons. When Jason returned with an army and threw Menelaus out. not Judas’s military victory. tried to control Judea by appointing the high priest of the Temple of Jerusalem. and repeatedly frustrated Syrian soldiers with guerrilla tactics. Judas found only enough ritually pure oil to burn for one day. 46 . the presence of the foreign altar polluted God’s house. At sunset on every night of Hanukkah. that oil burned for eight days. Along with the Egyptians. Soon Mattathias’s son Judas Maccabeus (a. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. it quickly became the “Festival of Lights”—thanks to a miracle told in the Talmud. but he later replaced Jason with a rival named Menelaus (reportedly because Menelaus’s bribes were bigger than Jason’s). is prohibited. to inspire the gratitude that’s at the heart of the festivities. Judea was a pawn in a series of squabbles between Egypt and Syria. the Talmud says. plus a ninth.KnowledgeNews How Hanukkah Got Started The original Hanukkah story took place around 165 BC in the ancient region of Judea. Light My Fire Not surprisingly. the epicenter of Jewish life. Inc. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. It has branches for eight candles (or pots of oil). “The Hammer”) took command. except by qualified educational institutions. and then lit from left to right (one for each day. Antiochus butted heads with the Romans. A Hanukkah prayer thanks God for delivering “the strong into the hands of the weak. Hammer Time That was too much to take.” Jews weren’t allowed to worship or study their sacred texts. until replacement oil arrived. the impure into the hands of the pure. Antiochus decided to put an end to Jerusalem’s fractious internal politics. He dedicated a new altar and instituted a new holiday—Hanukkah (Hebrew for “dedication”). A revolt broke out. From the Jewish perspective. Inc. It helped that Antiochus had a knack for making enemies.

Nicholas’s homeland was under the control of Diocletian. unmarried girls. Nicholas figurehead. and was buried in the town of Myra. The men smashed into the sarcophagus that contained the saint’s bones and spirited them away to the town of Bari. it attracted some Italians with larcenous intentions. The white beard. It tells of him miraculously calming the sea with his prayers and magically replenishing wheat during a famine. But the story most told about St. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. The next year. During his youth.” In 1626. 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. but the facts are few. Nicholas’s popularity waned in many Protestant countries. and the cult of Nicholas grew. There was talk they would have to prostitute themselves to survive. barrel makers. who still indicate their trade by displaying three golden balls. in 1087. Inc. enhancing the saint’s reputation. crimson suit. Constantine. Plays and paintings depicted the saint. Before long. Nicholas appeared in the 9th century.KnowledgeNews Who Was the Real St. and just about everyone else. a reference to the three bags of gold St. Nick. Nicholas simply highlights his generosity. His Legend Grows Stories about the beloved local bishop were told and retold. St. It wasn’t long before the legend of “Santa Claus” took root in the New World. We have no records of his years as a bishop. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners.. lawyers. But not in the Netherlands. coupled with Nicholas’s celebrated kindness to children. 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. appears to have inspired the tradition of giving gifts on his feast day of December 6. Sinterklaas For hundreds of years. Nicholas became a bishop. the Roman emperor. Greeks. 47 . According to medieval biographers. ample lap. Nicholas’s parents died and left him an inheritance when he was young. Nicholas gave to those unmarried girls 1. An influential biography of St. No one would marry any of the girls. is prohibited. when a new emperor. the church at Myra attracted pilgrims. and by the 6th century a huge church was built in his honor in Myra. orphans. Inc. pronounced “Sinterklaas. Historians agree that he was born around the year 280 in Asia Minor. a group of Dutch settlers traveled to America in a ship adorned with a St. When Protestants condemned the practice of praying to saints. Anti-Christian edicts made it a dangerous time for a Christian like Nicholas. children. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. called off the persecutions. and many believers were martyred. but it seems he was revered as a kindly fellow who helped the poor and sick. Life got easier in 312. newlyweds. Nicholas. Nick? Kids can spot Santa Claus in the twinkling of an eye. Nicholas was the patron saint of—take a deep breath—sailors. Then. This tale. After Nicholas learned of their plight.700 years ago. where the Dutch continued to revere St. he anonymously left three small bags of gold coins at the family’s house. All rights reserved. and cookie crumbs tend to give him away. Russians. Nicholas are abundant. But who knows the real St. —Colleen Kelly KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. Soon the church at Bari had become a great pilgrimage site. He is even the patron saint of pawnbrokers. prisoners. except by qualified educational institutions. He died on December 6. near the heel of boot-shaped Italy.

weight is the easiest force to deal with. lift is an aerodynamic force directed perpendicular to your flight path. a flying sleigh will keep flying forever as long as the forces working to lift it up. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. Fortunately. to Santa’s sleigh. and airplane designers try to remove all unnecessary components from their crafts. That which lift would elevate. Simple enough. The interactions of weight. then he can put his tray table up and his seat back in the full upright position. one way to help do that is to lighten the load as much as possible from the start. lift. we do this by forcing air around an “airfoil. Inc. Of course.KnowledgeNews How Santa Flies High When Christmas Eve comes. before Santa can get airborne. Santa must orchestrate these four forces— which is no simple matter since they pull in different directions. Technically. from jet planes. Major Tom to Pound Control When it comes to flying. Keeping an aircraft “fit and trim” just makes the job of lifting it easier. and motion of the solid in relation to the gas (or vice versa). but easier said than done. But how? Just how do Santa and his eight reindeer friends (nine. Unlike weight (which. Generally. a solid. We measure gravity’s pull on that mass as weight. but mostly Santa and his North Pole helpers just know their physics cold—specifically the four forces that regulate all flying objects. is always exerting itself).” like a wing. All rights reserved. he needs to build up a head of steam. keeping it that way requires no more than getting the four forces to cancel each other out. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. The good thing is. So. He needs thrust. positively have to be there overnight. and hold it back all balance. We have to create it ourselves. But before Santa can cruise. pull it down. unloads toys). But if he can create lift greater than his weight. Like all aeronauts. so is the aircraft’s weight (at least until it burns fuel—or. is prohibited. lift isn’t exactly self-motivating. That’s called cruising. and. to unwanted fruitcakes on Christmas morning.. because its effects are relatively constant and easy to measure. Hence aircraft parts are made to weigh the minimum while still safely doing their jobs. Santa’s sleigh can really fly. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. the presents absolutely. May the Forces Be with You. Every aircraft has mass. thrust. According to Newton’s first law of motion (the “law of inertia”). drag holds back. except by qualified educational institutions. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. Generating it requires three key elements—a gas (or liquid). counting Rudolph) get a sleigh full of toys airborne? There’s a little magic involved. 48 . (Memo from Rudolph to Santa: cut back on the Christmas cookies. push it forward. Rudolph Here’s what Santa knows. in Santa’s case. Inc.) The Gift of Lift As long as weight is greater than lift. since gravity is basically constant here on Earth. That means lift goes to work only when your wings are moving in relation to air (or vice versa). Getting an aircraft airborne is basically a matter of generating enough lift to overcome its weight. weight pulls down. the big guy has to deal with his weight problem. if Santa can get his sleigh airborne. Santa’s grounded. thanks to gravity. and drag determine whether any aircraft soars to new heights or crashes and burns. because he’s ready for takeoff. What thrust pushes forward.

an aircraft’s engines generate the thrust that pushes the craft forward. Inc. By propelling gases. —Christopher Call Santa and his North Pole helpers know their physics cold. which siphons off kinetic energy (motion) and converts it into heat. 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.http://KnowledgeNews. and all that gas backwardness generates equal and opposite forward thrusting. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. It’s the air’s own resistance to being turned and thrust about. turbulent flow. like parachutes or reindeer. Propeller-based aircraft use internal combustion engines to rapidly spin blades that behave like rotating airfoils. creating a smooth. All rights reserved. Drag gets even worse when aircraft get supersonic. cause chaotic. and the more they slow down. streamlined movement of air called laminar flow. too. Jets and rockets use explosive chemical reactions to blast gases backward. Honestly. Why Bumpy Flights Are a Drag If weight is a downer. Non-aerodynamic shapes. but for non-Santa aircraft. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. Aerodynamic shapes produce less disturbance. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. backward.net Thrust or Bust Thrust is a mechanical force that propels objects forward. But we’re guessing Santa would seek help from FedEx before asking his elves to build a supersonic sleigh. The faster a propeller spins. Turbulence costs Santa something. they generate friction. such as plain old air. except by qualified educational institutions. The more friction. Newton’s third law of motion (“for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”) is key. and that increases drag. Aircraft create thrust in different ways.. we’re not sure how reindeer-based systems work. drag is a stopper. Inc. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. Why should air resist a speeding sleigh? Because air is something and not nothing after all. 49 . is prohibited. Drag is the aerodynamic force that opposes an aircraft’s motion through the air. when “wave drag” kicks in and sound waves themselves impede progress. the more energy the sliding objects lose. And when any two objects slide past each other.

Precedents for Presidents In 1790. . —Steve Sampson KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner.. James Monroe used his written message to Congress to lay out the Monroe Doctrine. . but there’s no rule. in 1862. in 1913. when Thomas Jefferson became president. Calvin Coolidge delivered the first State of the Union address to be broadcast by radio. The third is freedom from want. drafted. “information” needn’t be speeches.085 words.KnowledgeNews Stating the Union Article II. . And.”) What’s more. around when Congress convenes. Congress debated. All rights reserved. Constitution requires presidents to give “information on the state of the union” to the Congress “from time to time. of course. Jefferson thought the Congress had better things to do than debate replies to presidential speeches. So such speeches went until 1801. In giving freedom to the slave we assure freedom to the free—honorable alike in what we give and what we preserve. but he didn’t do it in prime time. and delivered a courteous reply promising its cooperation. Woodrow Wilson decided to follow Washington’s lead and not Jefferson’s. are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers.” Finally. The fourth is freedom from fear. . (In fact. The first president to take full advantage of the power of prime-time TV was Lyndon Johnson. .” Generally. except by qualified educational institutions. “will light us down in honor or dishonor to the latest generation. At 1. Inc.” The next 24 presidents followed Jefferson’s lead rather than Washington’s. 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).” Media Darlings Ten years after Wilson’s speech. not a mere department of the government hailing Congress from some isolated island of jealous power. which declared that “the American continents. Abraham Lincoln used his message to propose emancipation of the slaves. Rather than speaking. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. So much for carefully debated replies. presidents have figured “from time to time” means once a year. Washington’s address is among the shortest ever.” President Harry Truman delivered the first televised State of the Union speech in 1947. . 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. . Memorable Moments In 1823. . Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. is prohibited. Jefferson thought Washington’s approach reeked of royalty. . in 1965. of the U. Inc. The following year saw the first televised opposition response immediately following the address. as he put it. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way. section 3. After hearing the president’s proposals. that “the President of the United States is a person. Jefferson submitted his message in writing—saving Congress from “the bloody conflict which the making an answer would have committed them. He gave a speech to both houses of Congress—reestablishing. 50 . who in 1941 famously looked forward to a future founded on four freedoms: “The first is freedom of speech and expression. “The fiery trial through which we pass. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. But most agree that the master of the radio address was Franklin Roosevelt. by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain.S. delivering written “information” instead of speeches.” In the midst of the Civil War.” he wrote.

an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. strength. slaves—had no choice in the matter. ostriches. and ready to fight. in peak physical condition. or they might be forced to fight one another until only one man stood. where he (or she— female gladiators were a rare but popular attraction) would be carefully trained in the arts of war. but was also more likely to live to wow them another day. you could expect to fight two or three times per year. you could see a “hunt” (venatio). the sons of Junius Brutus Pera honored their father at his funeral by holding a contest featuring three pairs of gladiators. We Who Are About to Die The majority of gladiators—condemned criminals. Depending on the show. In the morning. Or maybe for the girls. But there’s a super difference: the Roman gladiator frequently paid for defeat with his life. or compelled to give up their lives for sport. and military skill at the heart of Rome’s rule. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. after all. and abused mercilessly against your will.KnowledgeNews Roman Super Sport Come this year’s Super Bowl. is prohibited. Rome was a militaristic society in which death and violence were always near at hand. superrich athletes who struggle in the Super Bowl do look a little gladiatorial. and nearly anything else would be paraded through the arena—and then killed by men or animals. The displays involved so many animals that some species simply disappeared from the empire. 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). No one knows whether the poor sap who survived won his freedom or merely delayed his fate. Inc. and for the next five centuries. In 264 BC. you’d be well nourished. Someone Call PETA Gladiatorial games typically consisted of three acts. you may hear TV announcers talk about “gridiron gladiators. stabbed. There is. You just had to swear an oath agreeing to be branded. such people could be killed for virtually any reason. The second act began around lunch. Cue the “Rocky” Music Gladiators were. By the time you made it into the arena. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. or “sword”—is well documented. tigers. No doubt many fought simply because they liked it. in fact. the Roman origin of the gladiator— from the Latin gladius.. however. As a gladiator. Rome fell sword-over-shields in love with the martial display. except by qualified educational institutions. Lions. On the other hand. Yet many free Romans chose to become gladiators. Gladiators embodied the courage. featuring fabulous and fearsome beasts from throughout the land. too. First Blood The Romans believed they inherited the idea of gladiatorial contests from the Etruscans. Gladiators were. superfast. chained.” Maybe the supersized. good with a sword. Inc. bears. elephants. By law. gladiators commanded more and more attention. who dominated Italy before Rome’s rise. when condemned criminals were executed. 51 . as aristocratic women were rumored to relieve their boredom by testing famous gladiators’ prowess. All rights reserved. they might be tied to posts and savaged by animals starved for food. The rest of the time. A new gladiator would be sent to school. you trained (not unlike boxers today). no archaeological evidence that the Etruscans did any such thing. and a welltrained gladiator not only provided a better show. prisoners of war. in the entertainment business. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner.

Roman senators and emperors could win popular backing by entertaining the masses with fascinating and bloody attractions. All rights reserved.” who wore a small. who would then be forced to fight in their native style. Yet eventually. might face off against the murmillo. is prohibited. If the loser had fought well. By one estimate. The lightly armed retiarius (“net man”). he would hold up his hand to signal surrender.. but no one knows for sure). he might be allowed to live. and the gladiator came under increasing attack. might match his speed against the slower but more thoroughly armed secutor (“pursuer”). Constantine. and shield. Most were killed. Gladiators may have continued to fight unofficially for another century or so. New types arose as Rome expanded into new territories and brought home new kinds of prisoners of war. while the “Thracian. the first emperor to embrace Christianity. but their glory days were gone for good. die hard. the hoplomachi who fought in full battle gear. matched up against other types. 52 . The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. When a fighter knew he had been beaten. sword. —Mark Diller KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. tried to abolish the contests in 325. and the laquearii who tried to lasso their opponents. he found. the essedarii who fought from chariots.” signaling whether the victor should finish his opponent off (perhaps using the modern thumbs up/thumbs down. round buckler and carried a curved dagger. Power Afternoon and evening brought the main event: gladiators. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. There were many other gladiator types. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. but gladiators. Not Very Christian Gladiatorial contests initially took off in Rome because they were politically expedient. The Mercy of the Mob Some fights were purely for show. Inc.http://KnowledgeNews. their bodies dumped in a pit and their arms and armor handed down to the gladiators who took their place. Few lived long enough to retire. Inc. Different types of gladiator. But this hope depended on the mercy of a howling mob. but most gladiators fought in deadly earnest.net Speed vs. who wore no armor and fought with just a net and trident. Christianity won Rome over. The aristocrat presiding at the festivities would then—taking his cues from the crowd—“give the thumb. except by qualified educational institutions. including the andabatae who fought blindfolded. with a helmet. It took 80 years (and another emperor: Honorius) before gladiatorial contests were finally prohibited in 404. distinguished by their armor and weapons. the average gladiator’s career spanned just ten matches.

So. Only a few years ago. educated. her lover for more than 11 years. poisonous snakes. who dies in 429 BC after trying to legitimize his son. power is the ultimate aphrodisiac. Julius Caesar. In 40 BC. Before you can say “Helen of Troy. That sets malicious tongues a-wagging—not least because Aspasia is evidently a high-class courtesan. Cleo has messengers announce her sudden death.” Pericles never marries Aspasia. dashing general Mark Antony. Meanwhile. the Athenian assembly at last acknowledges its debt to the city’s greatest statesman by granting his son full citizenship. but he’s soon back with Cleo. in an age when women are generally kept out of sight. for Valentine’s Day. Cleo sails a royal barge up the Cydnus River to see Antony. who surrenders on the spot. Boy Meets Girl. or “hetaira.KnowledgeNews 3 Powerful Love Stories Like Henry Kissinger said. Girl Meets Boys. This time. Boy Meets Girl. Boy Loses City— Pericles & Aspasia Sparks fly in 445 BC when the witty. After 20 years with Pericles. For the next several years. Compounding the scandal. cools her heels in Alexandria—but has her eye on Rome’s rising star. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. We’ve got fierce battles. Egypt’s striking young queen. particularly as Caesar’s young heir. Inc. He even asks her opinion on political and philosophical matters. now in his fifties. sons of non-Athenian women can’t be citizens. is assassinated in 44 BC. Girl Loses Country— Antony & Cleopatra After her lover. dance. their many enemies conspire. Dressed to conquer. they drink. When Athens goes to war with Sparta. All rights reserved. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. The lovestruck Antony falls on his sword. except by qualified educational institutions. we’re pitching three steamy story ideas featuring legendary power couples—puissant pairs from history’s PG-13 pages. Rumors abound that Antony might soon fill Caesar’s shoes. she commits suicide by holding a deadly asp to her breast. Pericles shocks everyone by treating Aspasia with respect.. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. Ironically. Aspasia finally earns some grudging respect when Socrates admits she’s one of Athens’s brightest minds. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. 53 .” the divorced Pericles. and Josephine de Beauharnais is moving comfortably in the highest circles of Parisian society. and lovely foreigner Aspasia takes up with Athens’s democratic leader Pericles. touching scene. is living openly with his new lover. Cleopatra. and diddle the nights away. Cleo tries to switch gears and seduce Octavian. In a final. and jealous enemies. but she knows the jig is up. Octavian grants her final wish to be buried with Antony. Antony sucks up to Octavian by marrying his sister. but she soon bears him a son who will one day become a great general. is prohibited. The Roman Senate declares war on Cleo and Antony and defeats their forces at the naval battle of Actium in 31 BC. Boy Tries to Rule the World— Napoleon & Josephine It’s just after the French Revolution. Desperate to unload Antony. Yet war and plague turn the city against Pericles. Inc. All we need now is Steven Spielberg’s email. Rather than be dragged behind a chariot through Alexandria’s streets. isn’t exactly robust. by a law Pericles himself introduced. gossip rages that Aspasia started it because Sparta’s allies stole the prettiest girls from her brothel. he even marries her—and insults all of Rome in the process. Octavian.

Inc. he threatens divorce. poisonous snakes. All we need now is Steven Spielberg’s email. she meets Napoleon Bonaparte. After Napoleon assumes control of France in 1799. But while he’s on campaign in Egypt. too. Josephine is repelled by his manners. With a broken heart. Napoleon still loves her. and jealous enemies. but he’s still willing.. . Josephine swears everlasting fidelity to him and keeps her promise. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. This time. Inc. Napoleon crowns himself emperor in 1804. his final words are “France. and she was thrown in jail. 54 . Josephine retires to her private mansion. he refuses to see anyone for days. is prohibited. Napoleon. When Napoleon finds out what she’s been up to. but she knows a meal ticket when she sees one. She sweet-talks him out of it—and into paying all her creditors.net her handsome husband was guillotined. Six years later. Josephine reluctantly agrees to marry him in a civil ceremony in 1796.” —Claire Vail We’ve got fierce battles. Now Empress Josephine can relax and spend all the money she wants—but she can’t seem to give Napoleon a son. she carries on with another man at home (despite smutty letters from Nappy). KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner.http://KnowledgeNews. blunt. a short. When she dies in 1814. who generally prefers making war to love. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. is swept away. but she’s put all that behind her. All rights reserved. . the army . except by qualified educational institutions. 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. In 1795. Napoleon isn’t so keen on the idea. On his own deathbed in 1821. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. and Josephine rushes to renew their vows with full religious rites. and ambitious Corsican with a certain je ne sais quoi. Josephine.

But do they feed your brain? Ours do. what happens in Washington affects the world. We have the scientific knowledge you need to make sense of today’s top news.KnowledgeNews Ebooks World Tour Every single day. But when the story is enriched uranium or birds with a deadly flu. Don’t worry. But do you ever learn why? You can. the news takes you to a faraway place and reports on some event that could literally change the world. The seasonal stories fill up the paper. SciencePhiles When there’s news in the Middle East or Washington. Almanac Some news is as predictable as the calendar on the wall—because certain days on the calendar always make news. to the courts. You find out what happened. Here is the knowledge you need to be a man—or a woman—for all seasons. a little history can help you understand. Here are 40 things you should absolutely know about the USA. too. Here is the historical knowledge you need to really understand world news. Americana From the president. DC. to the Congress. you need to know some science. But does anyone ever explain why the American system works the way it does? We do. . You hear the news.

Michael used to be managing editor at Britannica. He used to teach writing. He used to be vice president and executive producer at e-newsletter giant LifeMinders. Steve Sampson. He’s produced email newsletters to track daily news. he has the best job around—interacting with learners all over the world and discovering something new every day.KnowledgeNews Editors Michael Himick. bring your family closer together. provide weather updates. edit history and humanities books. publisher and editor-in-chief Michael Himick heads up KnowledgeNews. the firm that practically invented e-newsletters. Now. .com. improve your health. working on location to send daily features to fans in 150 countries. He produced the official e-newsletter of the Sydney Olympic Games. science. and write on business and finance. and culture editors invented online features for the world-famous Encyclopaedia Britannica. and more. Steve taught writing at George Washington University and worked at the famed Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington. managing editor Steve Sampson has written more articles for KnowledgeNews than anyone—and produced a host of world-class email newsletters. DC. Before all that? Serious academic research. where he and a team of history.

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