Some news is as predictable as the calendar on the wall—because certain days on the calendar always make news. The seasonal stories fill up the paper. But do they feed your brain? Ours do. Here is the knowledge you need to be a man—or a woman— for all seasons. Learn the real reason summer sizzles, leaves fall, and April rain smells like poetry. Meet the real St. Nick. Discover five days in U.S. history as bad as 9/11—and see how the nation responded. From Yom Kippur to Ramadan, you’ll get a full year of knowledge fast when you read the KnowledgeNews Almanac. We’ve got the calendar covered. We even tell you how the calendar came to be.


How the Calendar Came To Be........................................................................................................4 Spring 5 Science Surprises for Spring .........................................................................................................7 How Daylight Saving Time Got Started ..........................................................................................9 Professional Fools ..........................................................................................................................10 Meeting Pontius Pilate ................................................................................................................... 11 Who’s to Blame for U.S. Income Tax? ..........................................................................................13 What Is Cinco de Mayo?................................................................................................................14 America’s Greatest Memorial ........................................................................................................15 Summer Why Summer Simmers So .............................................................................................................18 Monsoon Season ............................................................................................................................19 Fireworks for the Fourth ................................................................................................................20 How’d Those Swimsuits Get So Skimpy? .....................................................................................21 Thank Aristotle for Summer Movies .............................................................................................23 Baseball’s Best Pitches ..................................................................................................................25 Labor’s Days Past ..........................................................................................................................27 Fall Why Leaves Fall ............................................................................................................................29 5 Dark Days in America .................................................................................................................31 What Is Ramadan? .........................................................................................................................34 What Is Yom Kippur? ....................................................................................................................35 Viking Raiders Attack Columbus...................................................................................................36 Witch Hunt .....................................................................................................................................38 Gobble, Gobble, Gobble ................................................................................................................42 Winter When Molecules Need Mittens......................................................................................................45 How Hanukkah Got Started ...........................................................................................................46 Who Was the Real St. Nick? ..........................................................................................................47 How Santa Flies High ....................................................................................................................48 Stating the Union ...........................................................................................................................50 Roman Super Sport ........................................................................................................................51 3 Powerful Love Stories.................................................................................................................53

How the Calendar Came To Be
“Thirty days hath September, April, June, and November.” But why? How’d we wind up with a calendar that has four months of 30 days, seven months of 31 days, and one of 28 (not to mention a leap year every four)? It’s a long story—of lunar months, solar years, a caesar, and a pope. Here’s the tale. Lunar Months, Solar Years Time may be relative, but ancient farmers liked to know when to plant, when to reap, and when to celebrate all that planting and reaping. So they looked up. Back then, the night sky provided the most convenient calendar. Even the dimmest of observers could see that the moon took 29 to 30 days (actually, 29.53) to turn from a thin crescent to a bloated orb and back again. That cycle told one lunar month. More astute timekeepers noticed that roughly twice every 12 lunar cycles, there was a day with equal hours of light and dark. These days, the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, marked time for the seasons. The time between one vernal equinox and the next told one solar year (or 365.24 days). The trick was to make a calendar that had lunar months and a solar year. Not so easy, as lunar months don’t fit evenly into solar years. The best compromise was to fit 12 lunar cycles (a little more than 354 days) into one solar cycle. But that left 11 solar days outside time. After just three years on a lunar calendar, the months were off by 33 days. Gradually, June froze over and November got downright sultry. And no one knew when Mother’s Day was. The Merry Month of Mercedonius The only way to fit the solar and lunar calendars together was to intercalate, or to add extra days or months. The Romans, who were the best at many things, were the worst at this. They just tacked on a “leap month” after February every other year, called Mercedonius. Everyone liked Mercedonius. People got another paycheck and could wait to pay off their debts. But the officials who were supposed to regulate when Mercedonius started and stopped gleefully abused the extra month, often using it for personal and political ends. Need to keep a friend in office? Want to postpone a project? Just manipulate Mercedonius! It was great fun, but lousy timekeeping. Even without the rampant calendrical abuse, the Roman calendar gained a day every year. A year with Mercedonius ran 377 or 378 days, while a normal Roman year lasted 355 days. Since that averaged out to 366.25 days, Roman time gradually pulled ahead of the solar year. Reckon Unto Caesar Julius Caesar put a stop to all the madness in 46 BC. With the help of a Greek astronomer, Caesar devised a strategy to standardize the Roman calendar. First, he added three months to the then-current Roman year, 707, to get things back into whack. Then, he made the Roman year 365 days long, with an extra day in February every fourth year. He abolished Mercedonius. To make 12 lunar months fit into a solar year, Caesar simply added days to the non-February months until he had doled out 365 days across the year. That cratered the idea of having months that track the moon, but something had to give. For Caesar, it was time for the moon to bow to the sun. It took a few decades to work out the kinks, but Caesar’s calendar was actually pretty good—only 11 minutes off each year. To thank him, in 44 BC the Roman Senate

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named the seventh month of the new calendar July, after their exalted and time-sensitive leader. (His successor, Caesar Augustus, laid claim to August in 8 BC.) The Pope’s Command But wait a second: what about those 11 minutes? By the 16th century, the Julian calendar had fallen behind the solar one by 10 days. The Catholic Church, which had used the Julian calendar for centuries despite its known faults, was getting anxious about how far the vernal equinox was creeping away from the “correct” date for Easter. Early 4th-century Christians had decided that Easter should be celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox. But every 130 years, the Julian calendar moved one whole day further off solar time. By the year 1500, the vernal equinox fell on the 10th or 11th of March (instead of nearer the 21st of that month). So, in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII ordered everyone to go to bed on Thursday, October 4, and wake up on Friday, October 15. This 10-day adjustment worked well, so Gregory added another change. Century years such as 1700 or 1800 would no longer be counted as leap years unless they were divisible by 400 (like 1600 or 2000). The Gregorian calendar, which the western world still uses today, departs from the solar year by only 26 seconds. That’s one day every 3,323 years. Not all of Europe was quick to adopt the Gregorian calendar. Differences with Rome kept many countries from signing on. England and America held out until 1752, when an act of parliament required his majesty’s subjects to skip 11 days in September, going straight from Wednesday, September 2, to Thursday, September 14. Mother Russia required a revolution to change its dated ways—the Gregorian calendar wasn’t used there until 1918. —Claire Vail

In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII ordered everyone to go to bed on Thursday, October 4, and wake up on Friday, October 15.

KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner, Inc., an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner, Inc. All rights reserved. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles, except by qualified educational institutions, is prohibited.


Income Tax? What Is Cinco de Mayo? America’s Greatest Memorial .Spring 5 Science Surprises for Spring How Daylight Saving Time Got Started Professional Fools Meeting Pontius Pilate Who’s to Blame for U.S.

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

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

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

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

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

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

is prohibited. 70 percent. In 1909.000 exempted by the law. income tax accounted for less than 5 percent of federal revenues. a lawsuit had made its way to the Supreme Court. and other taxes bring in 6 percent. War Is Expensive Yes.000. customs. just after his last term.) So. KnowledgeNews offers a scapegoat that should appeal to all Americans: Napoleon. the Little Corporal is indirectly responsible for “subtract line 56 from line 46. it accounted for 20 percent. Others point the finger at big corporations.” In 1799.KnowledgeNews Who’s to Blame for U. After hearing the tax characterized as “communistic.000 had jumped to 10 percent. Uncle Sam borrows the rest. Inc. Abraham Lincoln signed the Tax Act of 1862. On annual income between $600 and $10.000. Peace Is Expensive Too The government phased out income tax after the war. Some accuse Congress. you paid a 3 percent tax. however. (American lawmakers overlooked the fact that the income tax was so hated in Great Britain that when it was repealed in 1816. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. In an effort to preserve a more perfect union. At first. taxpayers demanded that all records be destroyed. the tax rate for income over $10. including Republican president Teddy Roosevelt. raising revenue via excise taxes and import duties instead. those with less wealth generally applauded it. One Arkansan.. the states had ratified the 16th Amendment to the U. who was coming off a winning streak and seemed to be a direct threat to Great Britain. that parts of the income tax law were unconstitutional. The top tax official publicly carried out the order to burn the records—while secretly retaining copies. five justices to four. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. —Colleen Kelly Apparently. British law and government policies greatly influenced 19th-century American leaders. 49 percent of federal revenues come from income taxes. By 1895. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. Income Tax? Every April. the taxman struck again. He overpaid $1. Yet the idea that the wealthy should pay proportionately more tax than the poor had continued appeal for that era’s progressive politicians.250 in 1864. when provisions in the Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act created the first peacetime income tax. Sadly. All rights reserved. unemployment taxes. Above $10. Still others rage against the IRS. By 1940. President Woodrow Wilson signed a new tax law that year. gift. Constitution. when the Union needed money to fight the Civil War. Social security. But in 1894. By 1913. millions of Americans find themselves united in one pursuit: complaining about federal income tax. Lincoln himself seems to have had some difficulty with the paperwork. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. the British government levied a personal income tax of 10 percent to raise money to finance the war against Napoleon.” the Court ruled. for instance. and other retirement taxes account for 32 percent. By 1970. except by qualified educational institutions. 13 . Because the tax fell on the rich. personal and corporate. who observed that citizens found income tax more palatable if the money went for war. this rare national harmony unravels when taxpayers argue over who’s to blame for the government’s grip on income. Opponents soon challenged the very heart of the law: that the rate of taxation should increase as income rises. estate.S. Today. In just two years. Inc.S. 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. Excise. Congress began an end run around the Supreme Court by submitting a constitutional amendment to the states. Medicare. you paid a 5 percent tax.

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

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

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

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 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. Gobble .

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

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

and the economy slipped into a coma. sailors were deep in battle when an armor-piercing bomb weighing nearly a ton smashed into the deck and ignited the forward magazine. As the news spread across the United States. 31 . The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. except by qualified educational institutions. It also had destroyed a half-dozen light cruisers and destroyers and 188 aircraft. October 29.000 of the United States’ 25.400 Americans died in a war they didn’t even know they were fighting.S. President Franklin Roosevelt signed the declaration of war that Congress had passed. Wall Street has seen worse days. On October 19. Consumers stopped spending. The day before. Waves of Japanese planes conducted nearly simultaneous bombing runs. The two-hour attack was meticulously planned to cause maximum damage. people were shocked at the sneak attack and horrified by the loss of life: 2. A huge explosion broke the ship in two. Their attack had sunk five battleships and damaged three more. The next day. Their survival would come to haunt Japanese military planners. The strike gave the Japanese a huge military advantage. No formal. U. is prohibited. But before long. 1987. Not so in 1929.000 banks had closed up shop. Inc. Then it sank some more. which had arrived in Pearl Harbor just the day before. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. businesses stopped producing. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. Yet a handful of horrible days did open wounds just as grievous. and men all over the country volunteered for duty. poorly regulated banks went bust. By 1933. And so did many an investor.S..S.177 men. December 7. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. Full of fuel. By the time it hit bottom—in 1932—the market had shed nearly 90 percent of its value.403 dead and 1.178 wounded. The Dow sank to new lows in November. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the day down almost 12 percent. Inc. The brief rally that followed the crash quickly proved to be what traders call a dead-cat bounce. All rights reserved. 1929—Black Tuesday—the market lay in ruins. 1941 One sunny Sunday morning in the tropical paradise of Pearl Harbor. and a quarter of American workers had no job. either in the crash or in the crush of jittery depositors demanding their cash. however.S. The end came shockingly fast for 1. Today. 1929 When the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange rang on October 29. the Pacific Fleet’s aircraft carriers were not in port and escaped the attack. 11. Others bombed and torpedoed the 130 vessels moored in Pearl Harbor itself. 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. manufacturers produced half of what they had in 1929.KnowledgeNews 5 Dark Days in America Few days in American history have wounded the nation more deeply than September 11. Not until 1954 would the Dow again touch its 1929 peak. the Dow shed nearly 23 percent. and the battleship sank in nine minutes. Tensions between the United States and Japan had run high all year. it had bled nearly 13 percent. forces almost completely off-guard. The crash poured kerosene onto an already flammable financial house. Hawaii. On the U. Just as investors lost their shirts. Some concentrated on strafing the Oahu airfields to destroy the aircraft parked there. unambiguous declaration of war ever came. By 1933. we remember 9/11 by remembering those dark days of the past—and the strength that emerged from their shadows. the Arizona burned for three days. but the attack caught U. that market had rounded up the bulls and regained its lost ground. Arizona. In a stroke of luck for Americans. more than 2. 2001.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Inc. Nicholas was the patron saint of—take a deep breath—sailors. and cookie crumbs tend to give him away. and the cult of Nicholas grew. But the story most told about St. called off the persecutions. but it seems he was revered as a kindly fellow who helped the poor and sick. coupled with Nicholas’s celebrated kindness to children. in 1087. It wasn’t long before the legend of “Santa Claus” took root in the New World. is prohibited. Plays and paintings depicted the saint. But who knows the real St. Nicholas gave to those unmarried girls 1. crimson suit. Nicholas figurehead. No one would marry any of the girls. Constantine. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. pronounced “Sinterklaas. St. and many believers were martyred. Nicholas are abundant. Nicholas appeared in the 9th century. His Legend Grows Stories about the beloved local bishop were told and retold. Nicholas. appears to have inspired the tradition of giving gifts on his feast day of December 6. who still indicate their trade by displaying three golden balls. After Nicholas learned of their plight. enhancing the saint’s reputation. Life got easier in 312. An influential biography of St. 47 .700 years ago. —Colleen Kelly KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. Nicholas’s parents died and left him an inheritance when he was young. Nicholas’s popularity waned in many Protestant countries. orphans. unmarried girls. Soon the church at Bari had become a great pilgrimage site. He died on December 6. a group of Dutch settlers traveled to America in a ship adorned with a St. Sinterklaas For hundreds of years. When Protestants condemned the practice of praying to saints. But not in the Netherlands. Nick.KnowledgeNews Who Was the Real St. Historians agree that he was born around the year 280 in Asia Minor. The teenage Nicholas heard that a neighbor had three daughters and no money to feed them—much less provide dowries. This tale. Greeks. except by qualified educational institutions. and was buried in the town of Myra. ample lap. The white beard. children. Nicholas became a bishop. newlyweds. where the Dutch continued to revere St. The men smashed into the sarcophagus that contained the saint’s bones and spirited them away to the town of Bari. 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. sometime between 343 and 353.” In 1626. the Roman emperor. It tells of him miraculously calming the sea with his prayers and magically replenishing wheat during a famine. Nick? Kids can spot Santa Claus in the twinkling of an eye. All rights reserved. There was talk they would have to prostitute themselves to survive. Russians. but the facts are few. During his youth. near the heel of boot-shaped Italy. Anti-Christian edicts made it a dangerous time for a Christian like Nicholas. Before long. a reference to the three bags of gold St. Inc. prisoners. The next year. Nicholas simply highlights his generosity. barrel makers. We have no records of his years as a bishop. and by the 6th century a huge church was built in his honor in Myra. he anonymously left three small bags of gold coins at the family’s house. and just about everyone else. According to medieval biographers. it attracted some Italians with larcenous intentions. Nicholas’s homeland was under the control of Diocletian. lawyers. the church at Myra attracted pilgrims. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. when a new emperor. Then. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. He is even the patron saint of pawnbrokers..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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