This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
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
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.
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 .S.Spring 5 Science Surprises for Spring How Daylight Saving Time Got Started Professional Fools Meeting Pontius Pilate Who’s to Blame for U.
preferring winter dormancy to scrounging for dwindling food. Inc. where they’re more whiffable. There is a grass that you’d have to cut every hour of every day for a month just to keep your yard underfoot. Never try that with a bear. not every rainy-day aroma comes from botanical extracts. and something else.. Spring Science Surprise #4: The First Robin May Not Signal Spring Alright. In moister. such as ground squirrels. Many think it’s the fastest growing plant on the planet. Spring Science Surprise #2: Your Grass Doesn’t Grow That Fast Once warmed and watered out of its winter brownness. In fact. slows from a few hundred beats per minute to just ﬁve. A little rain releases the oils into the air. It’s called bamboo. Inc. . and a frank talk about the birds and the bees. All rights reserved. as every tissue toes the line between life and death. science. of course! Anyone can let you in on the birds and the bees.KnowledgeNews 5 Science Surprises for Spring In the spring. more wooded areas around the world. and you’ll be cutting it with a helicopter. the smell of rain is likely the smell of spores. called madake. actinomycetes are a primary source of antibiotics used to combat other. the blood-like essence of Greek gods. It reaches its full height in a month. Bamboo may grow like a tree. from bacteria that live in the soil called actinomycetes. A ground squirrel’s heart rate. They wake up frequently and can stir in a second if someone invades their den. Still. with ichor. but it’s actually a kind of giant grass. you can spot KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. Spring Science Surprise #3: The Smell of Rain Is Petrichor April showers bring May ﬂowers. too: the smell of rain—that fresh. Spring Science Surprise #1: Bears Don’t Really Hibernate Scientists say that “true” hibernators. Truth is. or even eat a hibernating critter and get no response. practically die during hibernation. towering as much as 72 feet (22 meters) above you and your Lawnboy. is prohibited. But normally. They do wake up every few weeks. Their body temperature drops only a few degrees. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. or rock. and ﬁll your head with petrichor—the smell of spring rain. One variety. but they’re not dead to the world either. called the aroma “petrichor. prod. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. Raindrops pounding the ground blast ﬁne particles of soil and spores into the air. springtime hit of KnowledgeNews will tell you why the bears didn’t wake up from hibernation. like so much bath oil. The scientists. could the smell of rain kill you? Not generally. for example. Even the little nut lover’s bones and teeth deteriorate. and their organs shut down. let’s talk about the birds and the bees. Spotting a robin does not necessarily signal the start of spring. Yet be thankful. you can poke. many minds turn to thoughts of . In 1964. less refreshing bacteria. make you grateful you cut your grass just once a week. Bears just use winter to catch up on their sleep. Slack off with a bamboo lawn. Their body temperature drops to near freezing. 7 . your lawn probably adds a couple of inches each week.” combining the Greek word petros. two Australian scientists trying to pin down the elusive smell discovered that plants secrete various oils during dry times that rocks and soil absorb. who clearly had poetry in their souls. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. Mother bears even give birth to cubs and suckle them sleepily till spring. First thing: Mom lied. can grow up to 4 feet (more than a meter) in a single day. All that. Yogi and Boo-Boo aren’t exactly into winter sports. . So. too. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. But only a special. earthy scent marketers never quite manage to put in fabric softener.
honeybees sip the best nectar from the ripest ﬂowers. 8 .. You can’t exactly check their boarding passes. bees make the solution lose moisture. with those sugars accounting for between 3 and 80 percent of the solution. you have to lay eyes on your robins—on the ones actually returning to your area for some spring and summer worming. Never try that with a bear.net American robins just about all year long. He surely told you that bees make honey. To get a thumbs-up on spring. Inc. All rights reserved. Inc. marking their territories with a distinctive song: cheer-up. 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. To make such glorious stuff. honey is pretty much just bee vomit. you might see one that ﬂew in from someplace farther north. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. They tend to arrive after the temperature moves consistently above 37 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius). prod. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners.http://KnowledgeNews. but they save this singing for after they’ve returned to claim a springtime spot. the males call dibs on worms. When your local robins return. That’s when worms head back to the surface after tunneling all winter below the frost. —Michael Himick You can poke. is prohibited. cheer-a-lee. Nectar is a watery mix of various sugars. cheer-up. which bees use to feed their young and sustain the hive during winter. Robins make all kinds of chirps and calls. Even if your robins ﬂew south for the winter. Spring Science Surprise #5: Honey Is Bee Vomit Dad didn’t tell you the whole story either. or even eat a hibernating critter and get no response. giving the sugars sticky-sweet reign—and giving you the essence of spring ﬂowers on your toast. Through a combination of repeated regurgitation and vigorous wing fanning. No. Come on: they’re bees. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. not teamsters.
” Willett wrote. grumbling that earlyrising cows and chickens didn’t adjust their clocks. Inc. though.” 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. “Everyone appreciates the long light evenings. Countries near the equator generally don’t change their clocks because they get roughly the same amount of daylight each day of the year. too. Today. when saving energy was vital.” The United States adopted Daylight Saving Time in 1918. Farmers.S. and ringing church bells and ﬁring cannons at dawn to encourage early rising. His proposal. restricting nighttime trafﬁc. every state but Arizona and Hawaii observes the time change. the talk was mostly about what a harebrained scheme he was proposing. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. 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.” Will Willett Meets World War Willett’s idea got people talking. never liked the time change. In England. “Everyone laments their shrinkage as the days grow shorter. Big Ben didn’t hit on any clock tricks. States Meet Uniform Time After the war. But skeptics’ minds changed in World War I.. is prohibited. 9 . —Michael Himick and Adam Zoll KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. U. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. The plan he put forth in 1907. And that reduces the amount of energy needed to power lights and appliances. Ben Franklin thought so. The clock trick we know today came largely from one William Willett. states decided to stick with various versions of Daylight Saving Time. All rights reserved. Easy. many U. which poetically called it “Summer Time. Yet World War II brought Daylight Saving Time back as “War Time. Setting clocks one hour ahead adds one hour of daylight to the end of the day. is so seldom seen or used.” In the United States. but abandoned it after only seven months because it was so unpopular. So Congress stepped in and standardized the time changes with the Uniform Time Act of 1966. wreaking havoc on railway timetables and broadcast schedules. right? Well. during Spring and Summer months.S. in particular. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. including Britain.KnowledgeNews How Daylight Saving Time Got Started The idea behind Daylight Saving Time is simple. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. Unfortunately for him. clocks were kept one hour ahead of standard time yearround from 1942 to 1945. About 70 other countries use some form of Daylight Saving Time. in a pamphlet titled “Waste of Daylight. But different states—or even towns—changed their clocks on different dates. Inc. Other countries followed suit. they were advanced two hours ahead of standard time during the summer and one hour ahead the rest of the year. when more people are awake. to be taken as seriously (or as lightly) as you want. Germany and Austria instituted Daylight Saving Time in 1916. a London builder. and nearly everyone has given utterance to a regret that the clear bright light of early morning. involved taxing window shutters.
When April Fool’s Day rolls around. but not his lands—a decent end for a “fool” who started out as “a most dexterous sheep-stealer. be more honest than the courtiers who crowded around the king. the court jester—a professional fool.. he might end up on easy street. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. They came from all manner of men—from college dropouts.” —Mark Diller KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. It was a dangerous job. Shakespeare’s own theater company employed two famous fools. is prohibited. Times change. unless they were quick-witted—and lucky—enough to sign on as the ofﬁcial fool for a king or lord. though. It wasn’t unusual for a fool to suffer an unfortunate end when someone didn’t think a joke was funny. was the Robin Williams of his age (once he quit tending swine).” As for foolishness itself. was granted more than a thousand acres of land in Ireland.k. Most were low born. to monks defrocked for fooling around with nuns. including Touchstone in As You Like It. there will be plenty of amateur fools looking for a mark. Will Somers. the fool was as important culturally as he was politically. it shines everywhere. Yet it turned out that the jester’s day was not quite done. Archibald Armstrong. does walk about the orb like the sun. None had much to look forward to in the Middle Ages. and the Fool in King Lear. The fool was expected to provide a steady stream of entertainment. He may even have been the model for Shakespeare’s Yorick. Meet. Back in the day. The ﬁrst was Will Kempe. Inc. they could be trusted to By the time of Queen Elizabeth I. Usually he did this by mocking everyone and everything—the boss and his powerful friends included. who likely played Shakespeare’s most famous fools. 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. New generations of monarchs believed they had nothing to learn from fools. Elizabeth’s favorite jester.” Kempe was replaced by the razorwitted Robert Armin. New generations of actors took comedy in new directions. Shakespeare’s Feste should have the last word: “Foolery.” Fools who kept their positions at court could also become important advisors. to swineherds. Richard Tarlton. the court jester for Henry VIII. jester to kings James I and Charles I of England. With no political ambitions of their own. Many were deformed or disabled. Insolence eventually cost him his job. In 2004. was so highly esteemed that he served under the next two monarchs as well. Feste in Twelfth Night. kings and queens hired the pros. Nobody’s Fool If the fool could pull it off. England named its ﬁrst ofﬁcial court jester in over 350 years—Nigel Roder. Fools Fade Away The court jester tradition mostly died out by the end of the 17th century. “Kester the Jester. Much Ado about Jesting 10 .a. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. a. All rights reserved.KnowledgeNews Professional Fools Watch your back. dear reader. Inc. sir. Fool’s Errands Court jesters were the standup comics of their day. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. the “fellow of inﬁnite jest” whose skull Hamlet admires. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles.
. There are no contemporary records of Pilate’s early life. Second. Some time after Pilate turned 30—the minimum age for a prefect—the emperor Tiberius appointed him prefect of Judea.” he probably came from the Pontii clan of central Italy. 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. encourage trade with Rome. a capital crime. since the Romans also thought of themselves as “the chosen people. who’s currently in Jerusalem (it’s Passover).” they didn’t like it when the Jews claimed that distinction. Roman coins. which lay between two more valuable Roman possessions: Egypt and Syria. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. and ultimately does “deliver him to be cruciﬁed. responsible for presiding over legal disputes. First. All rights reserved. the Romans. Inc. he was the region’s chief magistrate. Pontius Pilate oversaw Judea as prefect. In the Bible. 11 . But they aren’t empowered to execute prisoners—they need the approval of the Roman prefect. when hundreds of thousands of Jews gathered in that city. and keep the peace. since that’s how would-be prefects earned their stripes. Pilate consults with the Jewish high priests about the charges. For their part. That’s one reason they allowed the Jews to handle most of their own legal disputes in Jewish religious courts. for example. Judeo-Roman Relations Keeping the peace wasn’t easy in Judea. So they bring Jesus before Pilate. Christians will never forget him.” Scholars of ancient Rome say the Gospels describe a fairly typical hearing for someone like Jesus. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. Jesus is taken to such a court after he’s been betrayed and arrested. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. Jewish high priests interrogate Jesus and pronounce him guilty of blasphemy. But Matthew’s Gospel adds an element that would not have been part of a normal Roman hearing. And he almost surely had experience as a Roman army ofﬁcer. but we can safely make some assumptions. he was expected to collect taxes. Pilate settled into the prefect’s palace on the Mediterranean. Meeting Jesus All four Gospels describe the legal proceedings leading up to Jesus’s execution. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. Basically. Even when they weren’t trying to. where local Jews and imported Romans didn’t mix well. but many Jews considered such portraits “graven images” and refused to use the money. After making the month-long trip from Rome. And.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. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. asks Jesus some questions. Wielding both military and civil authority. The land had come under Roman control about 90 years earlier. in charge of a few thousand troops. the Romans could have cracked down on the Jews even harder than they did. the Romans offended the Jews. not far from the modern city of Haifa. he was the top local military commander. usually featured portraits of the emperor. Pilate had two important jobs. or military governor. Since his name was “Pontius. But they didn’t want a lot of trouble in the region. That’s where he spent most of his time for the next 10 years—though he and his troops likely went to Jerusalem each Passover. is prohibited. As occupiers in Judea. found the Jews’ insistence on praying to just one God both stingy and odd. Rome’s Man in Judea From AD 26 to 36. Inc. who worshipped scores of deities. who would not have had all the rights of a Roman citizen. As prefect of a far-off province. As it is.
In 1961. 12 . as prefect. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. some of which survive today.net After Jesus According to Josephus. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. it’s hard to tell what happened to Pilate. Procula. is prohibited. In some. he converts to Christianity along with his wife—who. All rights reserved. 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.. a Jewish historian of the time. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. —Colleen Kelly Scholars of ancient Rome say the Gospels describe a fairly typical hearing for someone like Jesus. archaeologists unearthed an inscribed stone that says Pilate erected a public building—we’re not sure what kind—during his term. Ancient sources say he also built a viaduct. But the contemporary records of actions Pilate took while in ofﬁce are gone. though there’s no shortage of stories about him. tries to stop him from taking part in Jesus’s trial. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles.) We know that. Inc. In others. Pilate lost his job a few years later—after dealing harshly with a village of Samaritans who complained to the Roman powers-that-were. Inc.http://KnowledgeNews. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. Today. (Orthodox Christians canonize her as St. After that. in Matthew’s Gospel. Pilate issued several small bronze coins. Pilate commits suicide.
Still others rage against the IRS. 49 percent of federal revenues come from income taxes. The top tax ofﬁcial publicly carried out the order to burn the records—while secretly retaining copies.250 in 1864. Above $10. you paid a 5 percent tax. when the Union needed money to ﬁght the Civil War. After hearing the tax characterized as “communistic. Because the tax fell on the rich. One Arkansan. those with less wealth generally applauded it.000.000 had jumped to 10 percent. 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. (American lawmakers overlooked the fact that the income tax was so hated in Great Britain that when it was repealed in 1816. raising revenue via excise taxes and import duties instead. is prohibited. this rare national harmony unravels when taxpayers argue over who’s to blame for the government’s grip on income. income tax accounted for less than 5 percent of federal revenues. the British government levied a personal income tax of 10 percent to raise money to ﬁnance the war against Napoleon. But in 1894. Constitution. By 1940. for instance. a lawsuit had made its way to the Supreme Court.” the Court ruled. the states had ratiﬁed the 16th Amendment to the U. In an effort to preserve a more perfect union. just after his last term. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. 70 percent. Opponents soon challenged the very heart of the law: that the rate of taxation should increase as income rises. Income Tax? Every April.” In 1799. it accounted for 20 percent.S. President Woodrow Wilson signed a new tax law that year. and other retirement taxes account for 32 percent.000 exempted by the law. British law and government policies greatly inﬂuenced 19th-century American leaders. By 1913. personal and corporate. ﬁve justices to four. Others point the ﬁnger at big corporations. Sadly. Abraham Lincoln signed the Tax Act of 1862. By 1970.KnowledgeNews Who’s to Blame for U. the taxman struck again. Inc. On annual income between $600 and $10. All rights reserved..S. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. however. Uncle Sam borrows the rest. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. and other taxes bring in 6 percent. Yet the idea that the wealthy should pay proportionately more tax than the poor had continued appeal for that era’s progressive politicians. who was coming off a winning streak and seemed to be a direct threat to Great Britain. Some accuse Congress. customs. Social security. the tax rate for income over $10. unemployment taxes. Peace Is Expensive Too The government phased out income tax after the war. Inc.000. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. who observed that citizens found income tax more palatable if the money went for war. Lincoln himself seems to have had some difﬁculty with the paperwork. 13 . The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. War Is Expensive Yes. that parts of the income tax law were unconstitutional. gift. estate. In just two years. including Republican president Teddy Roosevelt. taxpayers demanded that all records be destroyed. In 1909. Today. the Little Corporal is indirectly responsible for “subtract line 56 from line 46.) So. Congress began an end run around the Supreme Court by submitting a constitutional amendment to the states. millions of Americans ﬁnd themselves united in one pursuit: complaining about federal income tax. KnowledgeNews offers a scapegoat that should appeal to all Americans: Napoleon. Medicare. At ﬁrst. By 1895. Excise. He overpaid $1. —Colleen Kelly Apparently. when provisions in the Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act created the ﬁrst peacetime income tax. you paid a 3 percent tax.
But it does celebrate how the Mexicans beat the French (and inﬂuenced the American Civil War).. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. Laurencez ordered his men to charge the enemy’s center. and support from upper-crust Mexican landowners— Napoleon ordered his commander. Yet for Mexicans and friends of Mexico. before the French roared back and put an Austrian emperor in Latin America. —Claire Vail KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. crack cavalry and foot soldiers. Mexican Heroes Take Heart On May 5. Mexico. along with the citizens of Puebla. Mexican president Benito Juárez tried to negotiate a lengthy installment plan. Many historians believe that had the French achieved quick victory at Puebla. Laurencez led 7. Juárez knew it wasn’t just money the French were after. literally.KnowledgeNews What Is Cinco de Mayo? Unless you’re of Mexican descent. Cinco de Mayo—a national holiday and day of pride. Laurencez withdrew back to Veracruz. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. the Mexicans held their ground. Inc. waited 2. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. But the battle became a source of national pride for Mexicans nonetheless. At the head of its mighty army sat Emperor Napoleon III. But Napoleon III (nephew of the famed French conqueror) sent soldiers in 1861 to press the issue. Abraham Lincoln Worries In 1862. Cinco de Mayo does not celebrate Mexico’s independence from Spain.000 reinforcements from across the sea. took the capital. They had been marching through Mexico for months. But Mexico had nothing to offer. The French got 30. the mestizo and Indian army overwhelmed the French lines. The South had proved to be a far tougher adversary than the North had anticipated. Archduke Maximilian of Austria. the Mexicans got the better of Napoleon III and his puppet just a few years later. There. General Charles Latrille Laurencez. or celebrate Dutch Liberation Day. they might have supported the South in the American Civil War.500 troops toward Puebla. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. May 5 is. when a defeated Emperor Max faced a ﬁring squad. in 1867. and put Maximilian in charge. the American Civil War was entering its bloodiest year. who stampeded toward the French. With all the odds on his side—the latest military equipment. All rights reserved. President Lincoln got a free gift out of the deal. whose troops were practically next door. is prohibited. When his troops seized the port city of Veracruz that December. 60 miles (100 km) east of Mexico City. Inc. The French emperor planned to make his cousin. emperor of Mexico. under the command of General Ignacio Zaragoza. Twice more the French drove straight at the Mexican line but were defeated. Aided by the distraction. France was a likely candidate. its coffers drained by winning independence from Spain in 1821 and losing half its land to the United States in 1848. who felt it symbolized the people’s right to defend the country against foreign invaders. Meanwhile. Conﬁdent. ostensibly to collect unpaid debts. May 5 is probably just another day. To his shock. General Porﬁrio Díaz led the Mexican cavalry against elite French horsemen in a surprise victory and a force of Zapotec Indians armed with machetes stirred up hundreds of cattle. In fact. as many Americans assume.000 mestizo and Indian troops. and Abraham Lincoln trembled at the thought that a foreign power might join the Confederate cause. who carried their farm tools as weapons. It was empire. 1862. 14 . to take Mexico’s capital. Clear? Read on. The victory at Puebla wasn’t decisive.
Major General Henry Heth received permission to use his division to take Gettysburg. Determined to have the shoes. All rights reserved. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. including food. Now we are engaged in a great civil war. Yet the brigade turned back upon observing Federal soldiers headed toward the town. Getting to Gettysburg Fought July 1-3. In fact. 15 .1 million American service members who have died in battle—and to remember why they gave up their lives. testing whether that nation. because his army was short on supplies that were easier stolen than grown or sewn. conceived in liberty. and not realizing the considerable size of the Federal force. Even before Americans began decorating Civil War graves to give Memorial Day its start. Lee realized that he could either prepare for yet another Union assault or take the ﬁght to the North. or any nation so conceived and so dedicated. Having repelled the Federal Army of the Potomac at the Battle of Chancellorsville (protecting the Confederate capital at Richmond). We are met on a great battleﬁeld of that war. It was also one of the most decisive battles of the Civil War. Inc. tens of thousands of men on both sides were in the ﬁght. a brigade was dispatched on June 30 to procure footwear from the factory. 1863. No one has ever done that better than Abraham Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address. He opted to attack—at least partly. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. 1863.000 Confederate troops stormed the Federal lines and were gruesomely repelled—the Union army prevailed. America’s Memorial Day tends to be more beach-and-barbecue than reﬂection-and-remembrance. and its commander noted that the town contained a shoe factory. That honor belonged to Edward Everett.” in which more than 12. After three days of attack and counterattack—culminating in “Pickett’s Charge. a Confederate brigade passed through Gettysburg. the Battle of Gettysburg was one of the bloodiest in American history. Lincoln’s Few But Forceful Words Four months after the battle. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. In late June. But Memorial Day still exists to commemorate the sacriﬁce of the more than 1. commander of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. Since the troops needed shoes. Lee. clothing. Everett delivered a lengthy oration. He said: Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation. The president was not the event’s main speaker. is prohibited. As was customary.. though Gettysburg itself was hardly a strategic site. can long endure. Lee retreated back to Virginia. a Massachusetts statesman and perhaps the bestknown orator of the time. General Robert E. on November 19. Lincoln’s short speech pointed the way to the greatest memorial of all.KnowledgeNews America’s Greatest Memorial Today. In late spring 1863. and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. speaking for two hours straight. Inc. We have come to dedicate a portion of that ﬁeld as a ﬁnal resting- KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. and shoes. it seems. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. confronted a dilemma. Lee’s army met little resistance until it reached the small farming town of Gettysburg. the location of the famous battle was something of an accident. Before long. Two Armies Converge Advancing northward. Lincoln spoke for just two minutes. Pennsylvania. and never mounted another serious offensive. President Lincoln visited Gettysburg to help dedicate a new national cemetery.
for the people. 16 .. But. shall not perish from the earth.1 million American service members who have died in battle. Inc. Inc. shall have a new birth of freedom. and that government of the people.http://KnowledgeNews. 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. “I wish that I could ﬂatter myself that I had come as near to the central idea of the occasion in two hours as you did in two minutes. we cannot dedicate. we honor the sacriﬁce of soldiers for freedom and self-government best by carrying forward the work of democracy. It is altogether ﬁtting and proper that we should do this. in a larger sense. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. we cannot hallow. living and dead. the central idea of the occasion remains the same. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. The day after the ceremony. Edward Everett wrote to Lincoln. We dedicate memorials by dedicating ourselves. It is for us. —Steve Sampson America’s Memorial Day commemorates the sacriﬁce of the more than 1. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. is prohibited. have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. the living. we cannot consecrate. All rights reserved.” Today. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. by the people. The brave men. to be dedicated here to the unﬁnished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. who struggled here. that this nation. rather.net place for those who here gave their lives that this nation might live. but it can never forget what they did here. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. As Lincoln points out. this ground. under God.
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 .
Bottom line: summer happens because Earth is a cockeyed place. In fact. And that means more intense solar energy. Think of summer as a sort of seasonal high noon. the sun. All rights reserved. while the south pole sits the season out in darkness. summer comes from the tilt of the Earth. No. you guessed it. while its pasty counterpart gets less tanning time and more starry sky.5 degrees. Why the La-Z-Boy position? Scientists think that sometime early on.5-degree tilt no matter where it is in its annual orbit around the sun. Whichever hemisphere leans toward the sun gets pool parties and picnics. during the morning or evening. The pool-party hemisphere doesn’t heat up because it’s closer to the sun. Earth stays in this 23. Sure. It’s the same if you angle your reading lamp at the wall. Inc. it gets to the same place eventually. as much as 40 times more. That collision knocked Earth into a tilted rotational axis. the summer sun points right at you. With the sun more directly overhead—like at noontime. At the poles. or in the winter. Not much heat in that oval patch of light. the north pole gets 24 hours of daylight every summer day. is Earth’s Even Steven. it has to slug through far more atmosphere. but at the expense of a lot of energy. which affects the intensity and duration of sunlight we get hit with throughout the year. directly overhead. In fact. Earth’s a little off-kilter. Earth’s north pole leans 23. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. Half Baked by the Sun’s Rays The hemisphere leaning into the sun gets a whole lot of daylight every day. which affects both the duration and intensity of your daily bake. is prohibited. is there? Now point it straight at the wall. you get a lot of light aimed right at you and concentrated through a thin atmosphere. But knock the world a little off-center. Like the hot. —Michael Himick and Jay Ferrari KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. we’re closest to the sun in January and farthest from it in July. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. It must be a lot closer to us in the summer than in the winter. or tilt. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. 18 . But let’s be clear here.5 degrees away. So the reason we get scorched is not because we’ve cozied up to the celestial furnace. (The equator. We Live in a Cockeyed Place Astronomically. or at the equator—sunlight effectively tunnels straight into our air.5 degrees toward the sun on the summer solstice (around June 21). the south pole leans toward the sun and the north pole leans away. with 12 hours of daylight every day of the year. On the winter solstice (around December 21). too. Actually. The other hemisphere hauls out parkas. Inc. Earth got absolutely clobbered by a Mars-sized protoplanet in a spectacular collision of worlds. A bit warmer. in summer. You’ll want to stay poolside. even if you pull the lamp back a bit.) You get a more intense bake in the summer. Because of this tilt. right? Not true. no seasons. on the other hand.KnowledgeNews Why Summer Simmers So The basic player in summer heat is.. of 23. the aptly named North Star. with the Earth’s elliptical orbit. because of the Earth’s tilt. It heats up because that hemisphere receives the sun’s solar energy at a more direct angle. while the south pole leans 23. the northern end of the Earth’s tilted axis more or less points toward the same place in space throughout the year—at Polaris. rotating on its axis at an incline. noontime sun. No tilt. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. and for at least three months a year.
Getting Hotter. blowing in across the ocean and picking up moisture that falls to earth in torrential monsoon rains. India’s winds generally blow out to sea. because the water has absorbed more heat from the sun and can hold it longer). with strong seasonal winds. Getting Wetter The same thing happens in and around the Indian subcontinent every year. you’ve likely experienced a minimonsoon effect. But the Asiatic monsoon that washes over the Indian subcontinent every year is the mother of them all. and they fall more quickly over the land than they do over the water. with highs regularly above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius). wet summers.KnowledgeNews Monsoon Season Say “monsoon. which ancient Arab mariners used to refer to seasonal shifts in sea breezes. But the mercury rises much more quickly above the land than it does above the Indian Ocean. as long as the wet season has been wet enough.. as summer gives way to autumn. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions.” But monsoons aren’t rainstorms. By October. As March gives way to April and May. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. In India. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. Cooling Down. 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 generally stays dry. is prohibited. As the air over the water gets warmer than the air over the land. and they stay that way throughout winter and early spring. Soon the cooler air moves inland. Now the warmer ocean air rises. but on a much larger scale. and you get a refreshing sea breeze. even as they provide the water it needs to survive. In fact. and dry winters. while the cooler land air heads out to sea. —Steve Sampson KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. temperatures in India rise. the breeze shifts. As the hot air over the land rises. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. After the sun sets. bringing dry weather as well as wet. India’s people face another of nature’s killers: drought. it’s sweltering. All rights reserved. By late spring. while the air over the water stays cooler (because water absorbs and retains more solar radiation than land). Many countries have monsoonal climates. the air over the land cools off more quickly than the air over the water (again. Even the southwestern United States has a small-scale monsoon. cooler air from over the water rushes in to take its place. Inc. of course. During the day. Nothing wrong with dry weather.” and most people think “rain. Inc. temperatures fall. the air over the beach heats up quickly. Drying Off Monsoon systems bring dry weather as surely as wet. They’re wind systems that reverse direction when the seasons change. 19 . those rains wreak havoc on the Indian subcontinent. When land winds prevail. When it hasn’t. Every year.
Fireworks arrived in Europe in the 13th century and quickly became the hallmark of kings and queens. today’s pyrotechnicians make shapes and dazzling effects. The entire thing ﬁts snugly into a mortar—a steel or plastic tube placed upright and packed in sand. which hurls the shell upward when it ignites. Bright as they were. which blazed in a brilliant array of colors. it’s simply the power of powder. sometimes hundreds. All rights reserved. —Christopher Call KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner.. they didn’t have any color. Italian pyrotechnicians solved this problem in the 19th century by adding potassium chlorate to black powder. who demonstrated royal grandeur with dazzling displays. Generally. possesses low explosive force. Simultaneously. The hotter burn could ignite metal salts. Composed of 75 percent potassium nitrate (saltpeter). but also making them less safe. 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. allowing it to burn hotter. and low heat of ignition. Some Fireworks History Legend has it that a thousand years ago. which makes it ideal for entertainment (as opposed to serious destruction). hurling colorfully glowing stars into the sky. black powder has three chemical properties that give it maximum bang for the buck: high incandescence. Its low ignition point is a double-edged sword. these stars produce the brilliant ﬂashes of light in a ﬁreworks display. Made of black powder.KnowledgeNews Fireworks for the Fourth On the same night each year. And leaving one end open created a bamboo rocket! Soon folks were using ﬁreworks to celebrate holidays and great events throughout the East. of small black balls called stars. Packed inside the shell are dozens.” The gastronomic applications were pretty limited. A fast-acting fuse ignites the lift charge underneath the shell. And to science. Different substances give off differing amounts of these energies when they burn. metallic salts. Still. the bursting charge explodes. The combustion of any material generally releases energy in one of two forms: heat or light. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. The fuel is essentially the same one discovered a thousand years ago: black powder. a slower time-delay fuse begins to burn toward the bursting charge. Yet historically. they’re contained in a shell of paper rolled into a tube or sphere. By arranging the stars in different ways. yet for all the brilliance. and 10 percent sulfur. Underneath the shell is another chamber of black powder called the lift charge. Some Fireworks Science All ﬁreworks use a self-sustaining reaction of fuel in the presence of oxygen—a chemical process known as combustion. making ﬁreworks easier to ignite than most other explosives. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. but the Chinese quickly learned that stufﬁng black powder into hollow bamboo and sealing both ends could produce an explosion. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. this most American of events— Fourth of July ﬁreworks—is oh so Chinese. and binding agents to keep them intact. low explosive power. All around the stars is a bursting charge of more black powder. exploding it and forcing the shell up through the top of the mortar. Black powder burns brightly. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. 20 . and earn our oohs and aahs. Once the shell reaches its maximum height. Inc. Inc. is prohibited. 15 percent charcoal. early ﬁreworks lacked a certain ﬂair. millions of Americans gather to gaze at a spectacle of lights. Today’s Big Bangs The ﬁreworks used in today’s big public displays combine multiple explosions for maximum effect.
Ads show women in wool dresses (sometimes worn over trousers) with bonnets. But a casual dip at a place like Brighton still required a formidable ensemble. canvas undershorts and shoes. So he and all his court embraced the idea of a fashionable bathing resort at Tunbridge Wells. . in spa towns like Tunbridge Wells and Bath. notorious English playboy King Charles II decided it was time for a bath. A porcelain complexion was de rigueur for both ladies and gentlemen (suntans being strictly for peasants). four days after the United States had tested an atom bomb on a chain of islands in the South Paciﬁc. But a year later. There. . except by qualiﬁed educational institutions.KnowledgeNews How’d Those Swimsuits Get So Skimpy? American wisecracker Will Rogers once said. The top was typically square-cut like a sailor’s jacket. every girl was wearing one. around the time Roman-style baths came back into vogue. The porters brought men and women into segregated slips— anterooms to the main pool. 21 . I See France . . So. . fellas ditched the black unitards and put on brightly hued tank tops and shorts. and a linen cap. guides led them to stone seats where they could enjoy the mineral water. courtesy of fashion maverick Amelia Bloomer. but not much more. Later. 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. Male bathers wore heavy canvas waistcoats.” And he combed his last beach in 1935. Women struggled into the two-piece belted costumes that had replaced the wool ﬂannel dress. after the end of England’s bloody civil war. English bathing suits in the 17th and 18th centuries required enough canvas to launch the Royal Navy. as Napoleon conquered Europe. 1946. Kellerman was arrested. eleven years before the birth of the belly-baring bikini! Since then. Gals wore similar two-piece outﬁts or one-piece tank suits. Women donned canvas gowns over petticoats that had weights sewn into the hems to keep the skirts from ﬂoating up. too. I See Everyone’s Underpants Finally. In the 1660s. Inc. the upstairs classes began abandoning spa towns for the sea. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. resembling a man’s bathing suit. after the newly radioactive Bikini Atoll. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. In 1907.. and shoes. and hired a stripper to model it. Our story starts outside London. I See London . By the mid-19th century. All rights reserved. with the (oh my!) arms and upper chest bare. On the contrary. 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. “I never expected to see the day when girls would get sunburned in the places they now do. shawls. but even a king and a camp full of courtiers couldn’t strip down in public. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. the fashionable set rode from their lodgings to the baths inside sedan chairs carried by porters. while the bottom was a generous trouser. There was plenty of carousing. Soon. Inc. the working classes were pouring out of smoggy cities for a day of leisure at the beach. Men wore a full-length wool unitard.” Reard named his swimsuit the bikini. stockings. on July 5. Romans let it all hang out. just southeast of London. 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. or wrapped themselves in scanty straps of cloth or leather for a little exercise support. bathing suits have gotten positively Roman. Australian swimmer Annette Kellerman horriﬁed Boston beachgoers when she appeared in a one-piece wool swimsuit that ended mid-thigh. is prohibited. At their beloved baths.
and despite shelves of sunscreen. Italy. By the 1970s. reports of skin cancer have reached all-time highs. singer Brian Hyland helped market the two-piece with a hit song: “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini. Designer Rudi Gernreich tried to one-up the bikini with a topless suit called the monokini in 1964. All rights reserved. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. Brazilians were pushing the envelope.http://KnowledgeNews. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. too—with the tanga. covering up at the beach is rare (many European beaches are top-optional). an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. Bathing machine. the bikini stayed on hangers for more than a decade. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. Inc.net Although actresses like Brigitte Bardot made it famous on ﬁlm. Today. Spain. is prohibited.. Then.” Bikini sales skyrocketed. Inc. and other countries even banned it from the beach. in 1960. better known as the thong. anyone? —Claire Vail English bathing suits in the 17th and 18th centuries required enough canvas to launch the Royal Navy. 22 . except by qualiﬁed educational institutions.
then taken up and mass-produced by George Eastman the following year. William Kennedy Laurie Dickson. 16th century .The Greek philosopher Aristotle. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles.New optical toys (such as the thaumatrope. Happily. We don’t mean recent history.000 years. Viewers looked through an eyepiece. 4th century BC . which makes negatives.Giambattista della Porta builds on Aristotle’s idea by constructing a large room with a small hole in one wall—a camera obscura. goes unexploited for nearly 2.Inspired by a Kinetoscope display in Paris. and zoetrope) exploit the way human brains process a quick succession of images. From this. he ﬁgures that light moves in a straight line and that when it meets a surface with a small hole in it. By 1878. the images proved that a horse’s legs do all leave the ground. phenakistoscope. Daguerreotypes.Thomas Wedgwood reports success in capturing images using light-sensitive materials. This principle. Spin the disk or drum rapidly and. Dickson produces the Kinetograph to record the ﬁlm and the Kinetoscope to play it back. mid-19th century . voilà. Their multi- KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. his results are short-lived (unlike your highschool yearbook photos. so Muybridge set up a series of cameras triggered by tripwires and had a horse gallop by. the sharper the image.Thomas Edison. so only one person could watch at a time. who reduces the exposure time to 30 minutes with daguerreotypes. The innovation makes it possible to put thousands of sequential images onto one roll of ﬁlm. by contrast. But since there is no way to ﬁx the image. The toys put a series of still images on a disk or in a drum. 23 . the brothers Auguste and Louis Lumière perfect a commercially viable ﬁlm projector and screen movies in front of ticket-buying crowds. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. Inc. 1888 . exposure time had been reduced to less than 1/100th of a second. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners.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. Viewed in sequence. notices that an image of the sun has been projected onto the ground through a hole in the leaves. 1826 . 1895 .The idea of recording photographs on celluloid roll ﬁlm is implemented by Hannibal Goodwin. 1839 . orders an assistant in his lab. which are eternal). the rays cross to form an inverted image on the other side. He experiments and ﬁnds that the smaller the hole. you see moving pictures! 1878 . are one-of-a-kind affairs. This allows for an unlimited number of prints. All rights reserved. We mean how “motion pictures” came to be. he takes on a partner named Louis Daguerre. and della Porta is brought up on charges of sorcery. We mean the days when the technology of movies was just a gleam in Aristotle’s eye.In a banner year for shutterbugs. English scientist William Fox Talbot unveils the calotype process. calling it a heliograph. or even the days when William Faulkner created screenplays from novels by Ernest Hemingway for directors like Howard Hawks. Inc. is prohibited. standing beneath a tree during an eclipse. He then has actors perform outside the room so that their images are projected inside for spectators. 1887 .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. looking for a sequel to his phonograph. But his method requires an 8-hour exposure. to invent a movie camera. which is at the basis of the camera. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. The sensation they caused paved the way for movies..Frenchman Joseph Niépce captures the ﬁrst true photograph. which are introduced to the world in 1839. Viewers ﬂee in panic at the sight. 1802 .
The ﬁrst 3D ﬁlms debut before a paying audience.3D not only refuses to die. stretch across several screens to ﬁll viewers’ ﬁeld of vision.” 1915 . The award for best picture goes to Wings. but it never dies either. The change kills the careers of several silent movie stars.The ﬁrst Academy Awards are presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize achievement in the ﬁlm industry. 1952 . except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. 1925 .Warner Brothers. it achieves its greatest success: Bwana Devil. is prohibited. 1993 . 1967 .The Neil Simon comedy Lost in Yonkers becomes the ﬁrst movie to be edited digitally. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner.Lee De Forest develops a method called Phonoﬁlm for recording sound onto motion picture ﬁlm. through the use of multiple projectors. Their efforts ultimately result in the creation of the IMAX format. whose voices prove to be considerably less appealing than their looks. Popular response is so strong for WB’s sound-enabled pictures. He tries to market it to studio executives. Afterward. This technological step—invisible to most moviegoers— paves the way for a Lucasian time when movies will involve no ﬁlm at all.At the Montreal International Exposition. a WWI dogﬁghting drama with spectacular aerial footage. three Canadian ﬁlmmakers agree to develop a process to achieve the same effect with a single projector. and blues of life on three separate. Each negative was dyed to bring out the color and then superimposed on one emulsion to create a color-accurate print. buys a competing sound technology called Vitaphone to market as a short-term novelty. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. printer. including The Jazz Singer (1927). Skeptics shake their heads and yearn for simpler days. Producers of other action ﬂicks immediately take heart that they too might someday win “best picture. 24 . and projector all in one—was called the cinématographe and is the source of the modern term “cinema. 3D never conquers the movie business.net purpose machine—camera. Inc. —Mark Diller KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner.” 1932 . The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. a thriller about two man-eating lions in Kenya. specially treated black-and-white negatives. using light-splitting optics to simultaneously record the reds. which debuts in 1970. Inc. 1929 . but they wonder why in the world people would want to hear movies talk.Herbert Kalmus perfects the Technicolor process. The spectators wear red and green glasses that create a single image from two images photographed slightly apart. 1919 . just sound and images captured and manipulated electronically. that the silent ﬁlm era effectively ends. with nearly ﬁfty 3D movies released in three years. several pavilions display short ﬁlms that.. greens.http://KnowledgeNews. All rights reserved. a small studio struggling to expand. The ﬁlm’s popularity triggers a boom in 3D ﬁlmmaking.
like a whip.a. Inc. He applies pressure with his middle ﬁnger and thumb. The natural rotation of a right-hander’s wrist snap causes the ball to spin down and away from right-handed batters. The basic fastball is the “four-seamer. Southpaw curves spin down and in on right-handed batters. Screwballs break the opposite way. to give the ball some backspin and get the seams rotating. the blazing ball seems to rise as it burns by batters. 1. So it’s not surprising that ﬂame-throwing ﬁreballers intimidate.A. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. and curves. Forkball pitchers just hold the ball a little higher between the ﬁngers. so that it “sinks” laterally. Curveball Developed by W. To throw a curve. 2. too. he snaps his cocked wrist so that the back of his hand faces the catcher. All rights reserved. 25 . sliders. is prohibited. Some have compared the movement to a ball rolling off a table. Yet the two aren’t that different. “The art of pitching is the art of instilling fear. he can get the ball to sink as it nears home. movement. That’s called a cutter. down and in on lefties. too—in about one-sixth of a second. has been nearly replaced by Sutter’s pitch. He snaps his wrist straight down on release. but a different grip creates more.” but you’re in a pickle if you don’t know what’s so “good” about sinkers. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners.” Quite simply. The forkball. But the devious splitter dives down as it nears home plate. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. who threw it pitch after pitch and dared batters to hit it.” The pitcher puts his ﬁrst and middle ﬁngers half an inch apart across the horseshoe. Inc. Considering that it takes a ﬁfth of a second to swing a bat. Some pitchers hold the two-seam fastball a little off-center. and fast baseballs hurt more. keeping his index ﬁnger loose. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. the curveball has ended a lot of aspiring major-league hitters’ careers. down and away on lefties. batters must somehow “read” a curve early on. or wide part of the seams. it just falls less than you’d expect. He then curls his other two ﬁngers on the side and puts his thumb under the ball. the pitcher grips the ball with his middle and index ﬁngers across two seams at their widest point and cocks his wrist inward. As he throws. Most of that movement comes in the last quarter of the trip. “Candy” Cummings in 1867. Here’s a brief rundown on baseball’s best pitches. so that the palm faces the catcher after release. Fastball Southpaw great Sandy Koufax once said.) The “two-seam” fastball—a. and different. Because of the backspin. A big-league curveball can veer as much as 17 inches by the time it reaches home. splitters.KnowledgeNews Baseball’s Best Pitches Baseball announcers will tell you when a pitcher’s got his “good stuff. Split-ﬁngered fastball The split-ﬁngered fastball came to its current prominence as the money pitch of famed 1970s reliever Bruce Sutter. Here the pitcher puts his ﬁrst and middle ﬁngers running atop the two narrow seams. the sinker—also features speed.k. too. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. Think about it: a 90-mph fastball reaches home in just four-tenths of a second. It looks the same as a regular fastball when it comes out of the pitcher’s hand and travels with a lot of velocity. Some pitchers can actually throw a “reverse” curve—a screwball—by rotating their wrist inside out in a sort of corkscrew motion. baseballs hurt. Pitchers create this movement by throwing with the middle and index ﬁngers split wide. a relative of the splitter and a mainstay of 1960s relief pitching. This technique gives the ball plenty of topspin and some sidespin.. (Actually. By applying pressure to one of these. resting on the outside edge of the ball’s seams. 3.
Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. middle. maintaining the same delivery and arm speed. 5. For the circle change. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. the batter will think the pitch is a fastball. Enter the change-up. All rights reserved. And Then There’s the . the batter has little time to react—even the slight sideways movement can throw him off. Change-up Good pitchers work hard to disrupt a batter’s timing. The pitch’s name is a misnomer. so that it has little or no spin. 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. Slider The devastating slider has more movement than a fastball but travels faster than a curve. “There are only two theories on hitting the knuckleball. —Michael Himick and Shana Drehs KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner.” Spitballs and other doctored pitches achieve the same effect with less mastery. The grip is what takes heat off the ball. The pitcher holds the three-ﬁngered change with his index. Even if a pitcher can throw 95 mph. middle. unpredictable knuckleball. he’s right where the pitcher wants him—reacting rather than anticipating. he makes a circle with his thumb and index ﬁnger on the ball’s side. Even the pitcher doesn’t know which way the slow-moving ball will break. Since the pitch travels so fast and breaks so late. And if he’s not anticipating anything. veering. he’ll learn how to time it. is prohibited. Famed hitting instructor Charlie Lau once said. If he’s anticipating a fastball. With a little saliva or other slippery stuff on two ﬁngers. 26 . Inc.. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. Generally. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. To throw a slider. and ring ﬁngers. Inc. the pitcher can make the ball squirt out of his hand with little or no spin. he’ll swing well ahead of the “off-speed” pitch. In both cases. Throwing the occasional change-up keeps the batter on his toes.net 4. That lack of spin lets unpredictable air currents change the ball’s trajectory. Knuckleball Few pitchers can master the bobbing. . which is essentially a slow fastball. Result: weak pop-ups and ground balls (though a poorly thrown “hanging” slider will often end up in the seats). Such unpredictability can devastate batters. if a batter sees enough heat.http://KnowledgeNews. 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. Knuckleballers actually push the ball off the tips of their index. and ring ﬁngers atop the widest part of the seams and his pinky and thumb tucked under the ball. Unfortunately. he has to throw the pitch as if were a fastball. but the ball will veer just a little to the side when it reaches home. . The most common change-ups are the three-ﬁngered and the circle.
A few generations ago.” he said. Company brochures painted the town as a workers’ paradise. The U. Beginning June 26. child labor laws. —Michael Himick KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. . Pullman closed the plant and rebuffed all requests for arbitration. “There is nothing to arbitrate. More ominously for workers. Pullman. companies learned to use injunctions from business-friendly courts as a weapon against labor.. Example: the Pullman railway strike of 1894. in May 1894. . a former railway lawyer. Inc. without reducing rents at company houses or prices at the company store. the 5-day workweek. A few generations ago. and when we die we shall be buried in the Pullman cemetery and go to the Pullman hell. the company town was just that. One injunction threatened to arrest anyone “inducing or attempting to induce . the workers went on strike. . approved by Congress the same year as the Pullman strike. Eventually. convinced the federal courts to issue a sweeping injunction against all strike activity. ironically. but labor’s days past were no picnic.” In reality. Stymied. a federal commission called to investigate the incident blamed the government “for not adequately controlling monopoly and corporations. One worker said. the political winds began to shift. 1894. “I Owe My Soul to the Company Store” Just south of Chicago. trainmen everywhere walked off the job. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. the union called for a boycott of Pullman cars. improved working conditions. The strike collapsed. taught in the Pullman school.” A new. All rights reserved. When railway ofﬁcials ﬁred the men. Inc. run by and for the company as a moneymaking venture. railway companies. federal troops descended on Chicago to enforce the injunction. On July 4. . is prohibited.000 workers and their families sank deep into the company’s debt. people died when labor struggled. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. too) struggled just to get weekends off—let alone a long one. and for failing to reasonably protect the rights of labor. In fact. 27 . catechized in the Pullman church.” Yet even as the Pullman strike crumbled.S. fed from the Pullman shop. Railroad trafﬁc across the country ceased. “We are born in a Pullman house. Finally. switchmen refused to attach Pullman cars to trains. Some 5. to combat big business. American working men and women (and often children. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. soldiers shot into crowds trying to stop trains. victories would come: the 8-hour workday. and got it in spades. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. arguing that the strikers had formed an illegal conspiracy in restraint of trade under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.” “There Is Nothing to Arbitrate” When depression struck America in 1893. and mobs set hundreds of freight cars alight. “where all that is ugly and discordant and demoralizing is eliminated. and all that inspires to self-respect is generously provided. the town of Pullman was literally owned by George M. Progressive era was born out of labor’s pains. though.KnowledgeNews Labor’s Days Past America’s Labor Day may be summer’s last hurrah. Railway ofﬁcials turned to the federal government for help. a law passed. attorney general. manufacturer of the Pullman sleeping car used by railroads. Pullman slashed wages 25 percent. collective bargaining rights—even a national Labor Day. any person or persons to abandon the employment of . Out of “Pullman Hell” In the powder-keg atmosphere that followed.
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. Gobble .
Better for the trees to drop their leaves. Chlorophyll molecules in green plants absorb solar energy. water. ultimately. all living things ultimately depend for their sustenance on the photosynthetic conversion of light energy into chemical energy. To replace the electrons they’ve donated to these acceptors. We’re grateful for the oxygen. carbon dioxide. Take any of these four players away. we’d all starve: ﬁrst the plants. Inc. Such electron larceny breaks the nearby water apart. Other hydrogen ions and electrons join with minerals to produce amino acids and. as their productivity drops. the foliage ﬁreworks begin. the reason is simple: less sunlight means less photosynthesis. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. All rights reserved. which is just waste product to a tree.” which pass the electrons along an electron bucket brigade. less photosynthesis means less sugary-sweet food. proteins. photosynthesis in the leaves of deciduous trees slows down. Too Trees love their photosynthesis. And that’s roughly what happens every fall. Trees have more use for the hydrogen ions and free electrons. it’s more a matter of light. then the animals that eat the plants. hydrogen ions. In fact. Yet really. deciduous trees tend to lose their leaves as the summer sun gives way to the harvest moon. What’s worse. leaves are liable to freeze. Even in warmer climes. which gets scarce and less intense as long summer days shorten into crisp fall quickies. sun-sopping chlorophyll. Inc. which they combine with carbon dioxide to make carbohydrates. which excites some of their electrons. The key is a cool chemical called chlorophyll. chlorophyll molecules then steal electrons from nearby water molecules. The trees have no more reason to produce gloriously green. The Life and Liabilities of a Little Leaf The key players in the literally life-giving photosynthetic process are chlorophyll. There Goes the Sun— And the Photosynthesis. other than a few bacteria that can survive on chemical energy from inorganic compounds. 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. the chlorophyll molecules transfer electrons to nearby molecules called “electron acceptors. To return to their normal energy level (since not even a molecule is comfortable staying excited forever). And what’s not to love? Given only water and carbon dioxide. and the leaves produce less and less of the sugary-sweet food their trees need to stay healthy and keep growing. go dormant.. The trees then use the carbohydrates and other organic substances they’ve produced through photosynthesis to feed their growth—much as we. Once the trees decide to go dormant. the leaves threaten to become a serious liability for the trees. which is also the pigment that makes plants green most of the time. Since they’re thin and full of water. and a few “free” electrons. in turn. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. then the animals that eat the animals that eat the plants. and photosynthesis will cease. and wait till the springtime sun is ready to ﬁre up photosynthesis again. use the carbohydrates and other good stuff they’ve photosynthesized to feed our growth (if we remember to eat our fruits and vegetables). producing gaseous oxygen. For the trees. and sunlight. green plants can convert sunlight into chemical energy. is prohibited. If photosynthesis were to suddenly stop. As the duration and intensity of daily sunlight decreases. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. potentially damaging the ﬂesh of the trees. 29 .KnowledgeNews Why Leaves Fall Most people think leaf loss follows from colder weather.
It soon falls. and strawberries their color. as the trees go dormant. called anthocyanins. carotene pigments (like the ones that give carrots their color) become visible in the leaves. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. Inc. other pigments.. Once this “separation layer” is complete. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. the veins that carry sap to and from their leaves close off. which give cranberries. Anthocyanins. when the trees sense sunny days again. turn the leaves red or even purple. Inc. Leaves contain carotene pigments all year. the leaf is effectively severed from the ﬂesh of the tree. and wait for the springtime sun. Better for the trees to drop their leaves. cherries.net And as the trees produce less chlorophyll. but during the spring and summer months the constant creation of chlorophyll overwhelms the carotene color. 30 . go dormant. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. not to be replaced till spring. —Steve Sampson Less sunlight means less photosynthesis. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. form when sugar is still being produced in the leaves but can no longer ﬂow to the tree (usually when there’s been a series of warm and sunny days followed by cool but not freezing nights). turning them orange or yellow. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions.http://KnowledgeNews. and a layer of cells separating leaf stem from branch begins to form. is prohibited. All rights reserved. Eventually. In some trees.
Their attack had sunk ﬁve battleships and damaged three more. 11. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. 1929 When the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange rang on October 29. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. is prohibited. Not until 1954 would the Dow again touch its 1929 peak.178 wounded. Others bombed and torpedoed the 130 vessels moored in Pearl Harbor itself.S. The Dow sank to new lows in November. 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. And so did many an investor. December 7. 1941 One sunny Sunday morning in the tropical paradise of Pearl Harbor. Yet a handful of horrible days did open wounds just as grievous. Arizona. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. Consumers stopped spending. unambiguous declaration of war ever came. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ﬁnished the day down almost 12 percent. businesses stopped producing. A huge explosion broke the ship in two. and men all over the country volunteered for duty. By 1933. either in the crash or in the crush of jittery depositors demanding their cash. Tensions between the United States and Japan had run high all year. The strike gave the Japanese a huge military advantage. It also had destroyed a half-dozen light cruisers and destroyers and 188 aircraft. Inc. the Paciﬁc Fleet’s aircraft carriers were not in port and escaped the attack. 31 . The next day. But before long. Just as investors lost their shirts. The day before.000 banks had closed up shop.S. 1929—Black Tuesday—the market lay in ruins.S. that market had rounded up the bulls and regained its lost ground. 2001. and the battleship sank in nine minutes. forces almost completely off-guard. U. Hawaii. The crash poured kerosene onto an already ﬂammable ﬁnancial house.177 men. Full of fuel.KnowledgeNews 5 Dark Days in America Few days in American history have wounded the nation more deeply than September 11. which had arrived in Pearl Harbor just the day before. On October 19. Their survival would come to haunt Japanese military planners. The brief rally that followed the crash quickly proved to be what traders call a dead-cat bounce. Waves of Japanese planes conducted nearly simultaneous bombing runs. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. manufacturers produced half of what they had in 1929. poorly regulated banks went bust. more than 2. By the time it hit bottom—in 1932—the market had shed nearly 90 percent of its value. we remember 9/11 by remembering those dark days of the past—and the strength that emerged from their shadows. The end came shockingly fast for 1. Not so in 1929. In a stroke of luck for Americans. and the economy slipped into a coma. As the news spread across the United States.000 of the United States’ 25. Today. but the attack caught U. and a quarter of American workers had no job. Wall Street has seen worse days. it had bled nearly 13 percent. No formal. Inc. October 29. On the U. By 1933. people were shocked at the sneak attack and horriﬁed by the loss of life: 2. All rights reserved. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner.400 Americans died in a war they didn’t even know they were ﬁghting. Some concentrated on straﬁng the Oahu airﬁelds to destroy the aircraft parked there. sailors were deep in battle when an armor-piercing bomb weighing nearly a ton smashed into the deck and ignited the forward magazine. the Dow shed nearly 23 percent.. The two-hour attack was meticulously planned to cause maximum damage. Then it sank some more. however.403 dead and 1. President Franklin Roosevelt signed the declaration of war that Congress had passed. 1987. the Arizona burned for three days.S.
In fact. But Union general George McClellan cautiously kept his reserves in check. as it was called in the South) shifted constantly. The American economy eventually recovered—more than a decade later. even as they avenged the Americans’ torching of York (now Toronto). The bitter irony is that either side could have ended the war that day. or missing. . the Civil War dragged on for almost three more years and claimed hundreds of thousands of American lives. and cleared the way to Washington. residents of Leesburg. At times. Standard policy then was to let the economy sweat out ﬁnancial fever. August 24. Inc. . A Confederate victory would have put Lee on Lincoln’s doorstep. Scholars say that if McClellan had sent his remaining forces into the fray. staying to preside over the selection of items that would be carried away from the White House. “Liquidate labor. On an otherwise ordinary summer night in 1814. And British generals.” Yet the depression that followed the crash of 1929 was an order of magnitude worse than any previous economic crisis. DC. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. 1862. Lee might have been forced to surrender. wounded. The shots started a one-day battle that would come to symbolize the fury of the American Civil War: Antietam.http://KnowledgeNews. After repulsing several Union charges. 32 . and enterprising people will pick up the wrecks from less competent people. Values will be adjusted. is prohibited. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. All rights reserved. As British solders marched ever closer. which in turn pounded Confederate positions in the corn with artillery barrages that mowed entire ﬁelds to the ground. or Normandy. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. and ﬁght again another day. First lady Dolley Madison was one of the last to ﬂee.net Government only made the crisis worse. 1862 In the early dawn of September 17. literally off the chart. saw an opportunity to score a decisive blow. Instead. the battle’s enormous toll became clear—more than 23. gazed up at an orange-colored sky. After a truce. liquidate stocks. Treasury secretary Andrew Mellon said. in August of 1814. live a more moral life. British soldiers landed along the Patuxent River in Maryland. Confederate sharpshooters inﬂicted heavy casualties on the advancing Union army. withdraw from the ﬁeld. September 17. forces had managed few victories in their attempt to invade Canada. west of Washington. the city was a veritable ghost town. more Americans died at Antietam than died in the entire Revolutionary War. Union artillery received orders to commence ﬁring on Confederate infantry taking positions in the nearby cornﬁelds. bolstered by reinforcements from home. shifting to hands-on economic policies and programs that persist even today. the War of 1812 wasn’t going well for the American side. liquidate real estate. the ﬁghting was so intense that men had to stop shooting because they couldn’t see their targets through the heavy smoke of gunﬁre. By then. liquidate the farmers. Clearly. 1814 KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. Inc. It would be hours or even days before the panicked locals learned that Washington had been burnt to the ground by British soldiers. The tide of the battle of Antietam (or Sharpsburg. the Confederate line ﬁnally broke in the middle. So.S. on a ridge near the small town of Sharpsburg. and might have forced a truce. bloodier than Iwo Jima.. giving Confederate general Robert E. Maryland. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. By some estimates. Virginia. the battle of Antietam remains the bloodiest day in American history. . a handful of thoughtful patriots scrambled to pack up national artifacts like the Declaration of Independence. spurred by massive wartime spending—but not before government completely changed its approach. People will work harder.000 men were dead. mopped up a local militia. Pearl Harbor. Lee a chance to gather his defeated army. Disorganized U.
George Washington claimed that “there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do. Inc. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. Inc. But “if it be a wild scheme. state against state. They torched most of the city’s important buildings.net Arriving in the deserted capital.” suggesting that they may have been considered “indentured” rather than “enslaved. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. 33 . an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. A Late Summer Day.S. America’s ﬁrst slaves arrived less by design than by sad historical accident. “I had rather be mad in this way. the ideal of freedom as a founding principle against the harsh reality of slavery as a part of American life. when a Dutch ship put in at Jamestown to replenish its supplies—and delivered the ﬁrst African slaves to the American colonies. and the Treasury. By the 1660s. and use them only as tenants. . though.” he wrote.” Later records show an increasing number of free blacks in the colonies. Colleen Kelly. Steve Sampson. Ultimately. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. one of America’s busiest ports. Then they turned toward Baltimore. The founders saw the conﬂict of slavery. lifelong race-based slavery would become an evil American institution. All rights reserved. by 1640.http://KnowledgeNews. The Dutch sailors had stolen some 20 captive Africans from a Spanish slave ship. than to be thought wise in the other task. even if they did nothing. . including the White House. a court had condemned at least one African slave to “serve his master .” The French general was aware many would think the idea crazy. 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. The damage to Washington was so great that Congress considered leaving the ruins behind and starting over elsewhere. history. the Capitol. 1619 The year 1619 falls almost outside the scope of U. and they traded their ill-gotten “goods” at Jamestown for food. But the nation’s longest and darkest chapter arguably began one late summer day of that year. Records from the 1620s list the ﬁrst African-Americans as “servants.” —Michael Himick. is prohibited. Christopher Call. 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. reﬂecting a growing sense of pride that would shepherd the country through dark days yet to come.” Over the next two centuries. and Laura Kane KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. the British were so impressed by the architecture that some had second thoughts about setting the city ablaze—but decided to burn it nonetheless. for the time of his natural life. Still.. leaders decided to rebuild the city on the Potomac. 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.
Muhammad began to receive (and recite) the verses that make up the Qur’an. “Fasting is prescribed for you.” For any healthy person past puberty. Bad thoughts and deeds are verboten. Traditionally.” Fasting for Good During the month. Muslims return home to break the fast with a meal called the iftar. Finally. the moment you can tell the difference between a black thread and a white one—the fast period begins. and how little material things mean in relation to God.” the Qur’an says. and bring the believer closer to God. (Those excused temporarily have to make up the fast days later. Often the 114 chapters of the Qur’an are divided into 30 segments. All rights reserved. “Recite!” And Fast! To commemorate that angelic event. but with the heart. that you may attain God-consciousness. Ramadan comes to an end. That way. charity is a central part of the holiday.. “even as it was prescribed for those before you. 34 .) The day concludes with the night prayer. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. and one of Islam’s most important festivals begins: ’Id al-Fitr. Not surprisingly. 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.” Celebrations and gifts follow special prayers at the mosque. either. nothing should enter the mouth: no food. Once the sun comes up—by tradition. So is sexual intercourse. the consumption of groceries actually goes up during Ramadan. inspire sympathy for the poor. —Mark Diller KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. the literal words of Allah. is prohibited. called the suhur. Then a full meal follows with family and friends—a nightly celebration that goes hand in hand with the daily deprivation. Those who can’t fast for permanent health reasons can make up the duty by feeding one poor person each day.) Breakfast at Sunset When the sun goes down. Many Muslims spend this night entirely at prayer. Muslim groups sponsor food and clothing drives to help the needy.KnowledgeNews What Is Ramadan? Ramadan is the Islamic calendar’s ninth month. In fact. one of which is recited each night. it’s one of the Five Pillars of Islam. With it. Why? Because their holy book. everyone has a chance to hear the entire Qur’an during Ramadan. It’s not just about food. not even tobacco smoke or chewing gum. Muslims believe. Believers are supposed to learn what it’s like to be poor. they start with a light repast of dates and water. which deﬁne the core of the faith. Until dark. and the time of the year when Muslims worldwide fast each day from sunrise to sunset. which many attend at the mosque. 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. no water. (In some Muslim cities. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. the sawm isn’t optional. followed by the evening prayer. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. too. the “Festival of Fast-Breaking. Inc. every Muslim must observe a month-long fast (sawm) to focus the mind. Inc. With the next new moon. Muslims set their alarms early enough to eat a predawn meal. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. Devout Muslims will tell you they fast “not with the stomach. the Qur’an.
So Moses ascended the mountain again to plead for God’s forgiveness. —Michael Himick KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner.” you’re reading about the shofar. 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. For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you.KnowledgeNews What Is Yom Kippur? For Jews. this day of atonement—Yom Kippur—involved a goat: a “scapegoat. . God forgave the people. on the tenth day of the month. Let My People Atone Incensed that the people of Israel had worshipped a golden calf rather than the Lord.. you probably know most of the story. For Gentiles. These “Days of Awe” are a time to seek forgiveness for transgressions against others and to mortify yourself before God. Inc. Yom Kippur is a day of atonement. Moses cast down and broke the tablets of the Ten Commandments he had received on Mount Sinai. not Louis Armstrong with polished brass. Modern observances of Yom Kippur typically involve ten days of self-examination and repentance. an instrument made from the horn of a ram. is prohibited. as prescribed by Leviticus 16:2026. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. reinforcing not only personal introspection and repentance. 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. Think priests blowing blasts from a wild horn. . Inc. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. to cleanse you. Breaking from the workaday world. a high priest laid hands on a goat’s head and confessed the people’s sins. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. and continuing to Yom Kippur. the Jewish New Year. beginning before sunset on the eve of Yom Kippur and ending after nightfall on Yom Kippur day. the seventh Jewish month. Of course. 35 . humble before God and asking pardon for transgressions against his law. DeMille. you pretty much have to say you’re sorry—and mean it. folks spend the day at prayer in the synagogue. (Leviticus 16:29-31) Don’t Forget the Goat In early Judaism. Shofars go back to biblical times as instruments of ritual and war. It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you. that ye may be clean from all your sins before the Lord. a time to seek God’s forgiveness for the sins of the past year. . Yom Kippur services traditionally end with the sounding of the shofar. between a faithless act of idol worship and a broken covenant. beginning on Rosh Hashanah. and the nation fasted from sunrise to sunset. that the wall [of Jericho] fell down ﬂat. and God knew they would sin again. and ye shall afﬂict your souls. . The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. or other animal. by a statute for ever. either from the Bible or Cecil B. never to be seen again. On Yom Kippur itself. and do no work at all . carrying the blame for the people’s sins on its head. The fasts and prayers of Yom Kippur support this spiritual renewal. All rights reserved. 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 .” Every Yom Kippur. was then driven into the desert. people do stupid things. ye shall afﬂict your souls. Well. but also the collective atonement of the Jewish people. the community fasts for 25 hours. before the destruction of the Temple at Jerusalem. goat. and Moses came back with a second copy of the covenant—returning on the tenth day of Tishri. This goat.
the small colony faded away. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. Inc. Even after Viking power faded. Inc. A collection of intricately rhymed poems celebrating Norse gods. green place to the south. More than 100 men and 15 women came to live in Vinland. a boy named Snorri. Some historians think these stories made an impression on at least one ambitious young mariner. and to the south. All rights reserved. Amazed by the sight of green grass in winter. Yet after only a few years. is prohibited. In Vinland Veritas Five hundred years before Columbus considered sailing off the map’s edge.” KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. But both sagas tell the same basic story. with great halls. butternuts. scholars regard the stories as heavily embellished accounts of real events. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. the Vinland tale grew taller. Rumor is another. Traders might have bragged a bit as they journeyed from port to port. After discovering Helluland (Flat Slab Land) and Markland (Forest Land). The Greenlanders’ Saga describes ﬁve separate expeditions and credits Leif Eriksson with the discovery and naming of the new territory. 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. Icelandic sagas certainly have the most tantalizing account of Vinland’s discovery. something even rarer—wild grapes. Did he gather facts about lands to the west? Based on a True Story Maybe. made by the Icelandic merchant Thorﬁnn Karlsefni. Pass It On Ofﬁcial history is one thing. In 1075. Excursions turned up timber. We Discovered North America. a crew of Norse adventurers came to Canada’s northeastern coast. Europe’s rumor mill was churning out gossip about a rich country somewhere in the North Atlantic. Erik the Red’s Saga condenses all ﬁve voyages into one. For guys used to snow and seal meat. the Norse found a warm. forget everything you learned in school about Christopher Columbus—or at least the bit about him discovering America. fur. and comfortable huts. collecting grapes. streams full of salmon. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. . a forge. The sagas even record the birth of Vinland’s ﬁrst Norse citizen. the sagas were written down in the 13th and 14th centuries after being spoken aloud for centuries.. a Danish king told German historian Adam of Bremen that he’d heard of a place west of Greenland where grapes and wheat abounded. A 12th-century history of Iceland added more detail—native settlements along Vinland’s coast. and history’s ofﬁcial memory of “Vinland” faded with it. 36 . they made camp and set about exploring. As time passed. and tell of hostile encounters with the natives. and lumber for export to Greenland and Europe. grapes were a real ﬁnd. where they set up one or more camps. It’s now ofﬁcially a fact that Leif “The Lucky” Eriksson got the jump on the Genoese mariner. Modern historians combine elements of two sagas written in the early 1200s—The Greenlanders’ Saga and Erik the Red’s Saga—to get the most accurate portrait of Vinland. Scandinavian sailors probably swapped yarns about their ancestors’ accomplishments at sea.KnowledgeNews Viking Raiders Attack Columbus This Columbus Day. . and warriors. kings. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. So they built a settlement meant to last. Today. Columbus got all the glory. whom the Norse called “skraelings. wheat. Psst . and the Vikings got a football team.
Or perhaps they ﬁgured that.net Look. in 1960. History is a-changing. butternuts and wild grapes only grow as far north as New Brunswick.. Inc. historians had a good hunch that Helluland was Bafﬁn Island (in the Canadian Arctic) and that Markland was southern Labrador. the Norse quickly packed their bags and headed for home in Greenland (settled just decades earlier by Leif Eriksson’s daring dad. Excavations yielded Viking artifacts dating to around the year 1000. Dear. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. is prohibited. and timber. None proved genuine.http://KnowledgeNews. now that they knew where to look. Today. Evidence of iron-working and a forge supported the theory of a small colony. But was it Vinland? According to the sagas. the Vikings had made trips from their base camp to collect butternuts. Norwegian historian Helge Ingstad and his wife Anne found the sod foundations of Norse longhouses in Newfoundland. From the detailed topographic descriptions in the sagas. the part of Canada just above Maine. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. A 13th-century Inuit artist on Bafﬁn Island carved a man dressed European-style. Throughout the 19th and most of the 20th centuries. Unfriendly skraelings may have forced them to skedaddle. —Claire Vail KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. Columbus admirers tend to say his voyage counted most. It was a lost Viking settlement. but Viking fans have more than a hunch on their side. evidence suggests that the Norse did make trips to America long after the collapse of their colony. New Brunswick. Let’s Go Home Despite Vinland’s good vibes. The couple soon traced eight buildings that were the spitting image of Norse structures in Iceland and Greenland. the sagas’ Erik the Red). 37 . Many historians think the Newfoundland site was the gateway to Vinland. when a Danish professor published the ﬁrst translations to ﬁnd a popular audience. they could plunder grapes and timber just as easily on journeys from home. because it led to permanent colonization. grapes. a region that may have extended to the St. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. Icelandic annals record that a ship laden with timber from Markland made berth at Iceland in 1347. and the discovery of a soapstone spindle whorl suggested women weavers. Lawrence River. So Vinland was probably somewhere farther south. There’s a Viking Helmet in Our Garden Iceland’s sagas remained obscure until 1837. All rights reserved. Suddenly. America was stunned—and delighted to have found a new hobby. They came up empty. In fact. They probably stayed in Vinland for about a decade. Then. Viking artifacts were turning up in every New Englander’s backyard. Inc. and possibly even Maine. archaeologists scoured Canada’s northeastern coast for proof of a Viking presence. and the Vikings of Vinland are ﬁnally getting their due. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions.
Other girls. Hathorne and Corwin examine Cory and Nurse and send both to prison—along with Sarah Good’s 4-year-old daughter Dorcas. Good and Osborne maintain their innocence. who have also been denounced as witches. the girls accuse Tituba (a slave).. is prohibited. and Sarah Osborne (an old woman notorious for having married her servant). one of the ﬁrst three women accused.Samuel Parris is made minister of Salem Village church. In short order. Abigail Williams. October 1691 . the two magistrates send all three women to prison. and 71-yearold Rebecca Nurse of witchcraft. Betty. January 1692 . granted to him by his contract. The village doctor suggests they may be under the inﬂuence of Satan. Elizabeth’s husband. a generally respected church member. Sir William Phips. and goes insane. Putnam and the afﬂicted girls accuse Martha Cory. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. For more than 300 years. so Parris organizes prayer and fasting to combat the evil. November 1689 . Accusations. use the girls’ urine to make a “witch cake.Samuel Parris’s 9-year-old daughter. for help against the devil. With that. March 1.” Pressured to identify the demons tormenting them. By the end of April. authorized by the new governor of Massachusetts. with support from one of the community’s largest and most prominent farming families. By the end of May. 1692 . the Putnams. Mrs. John Proctor. June 2. John Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin. about 30 people have been jailed. The next month.” From the start. Few will connect the term to its harrowing history.A Court of Oyer and Terminer. February 1692 . April 1692 . All rights reserved. At the behest of a neighbor. 38 . examinations. But we will—every Halloween. Inc.KnowledgeNews Witch Hunt: What Happened in Salem? Say “witch hunt” these days. and most people will assume you’re talking politics. Parris’s Caribbean Indian slaves. the committee refuses to assess taxes that pay Parris’s salary and challenges his ownership of the parsonage. falling into epileptic-like seizures and trance-like states. The magistrates send all three to prison. who remains in heavy irons for eight months.” Parris calls it “going to the devil. During the examination.Deputy Governor Thomas Danforth and others join Hathorne and Corwin to examine Elizabeth Proctor and Sarah Cloyce.Two magistrates from Salem Town. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. full of Parris opponents. possibly under duress. May 1692 . Sarah Good (a beggar). Tituba and John Indian. wins election.Ann Putnam’s mother (also named Ann) begins having ﬁts. 1692 . vigorously defends his wife and ﬁnds himself accused. Inc. the Salem witch hunts have haunted American history. begin behaving strangely. arrive in Salem Village and examine the three accused “witches. the Putnams. the number of people imprisoned has more than doubled. and his 11-year-old niece. and imprisonments continue. including 12-year-old Ann Putnam. The winter promises to be a stressful one for the Parrises—and for their allies. confesses to witchcraft and claims that undiscovered witches walk in Salem. opens in Salem Town to “hear KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. rest of March 1692 . dies in prison in Boston. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles.Sarah Osborne.A new Salem Village Committee. and ask what demons possessed that Puritan place. We should see what happened. interspersed with bouts of incoherent babbling and blasphemous screams. they act more like inquisitors than impartial judges. Tituba. sobs uncontrollably. begin having ﬁts. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions.
net and determine” the cases against the accused.John Proctor. a feat thought to be impossible for one in league with Satan. Ann Pudeator. convicts.Having refused to enter a plea and stand trial.” “Better that ten suspected witches should escape. Alice Parker. and Abigail Hobbs. January 1693 . The jury initially acquits Rebecca Nurse. Along the way. September 9. Inc. John Willard. but word of her acquittal sends the afﬂicted girls into ﬁts. Wilmot Reed. George Jacobs. September 17. convenes to try the remaining “witches. August 19. 1692 .” the town of Andover sends for the afﬂicted girls. Martha Carrier. convicts her of witchcraft. Mary Parker.Martha Cory. and all ﬁve “witches” are condemned to die. including the governor’s wife. 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.The court tries. —Steve Sampson KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. Burroughs recites the Lord’s Prayer ﬂawlessly.Seeking to root out its own “witches. but Governor Phips reprieves them. Puritan heavyweight Increase Mather casts doubt on the use of “spectral evidence. the court acquits 49 people outright.A new Superior Court. New deputy governor William Stoughton presides as chief judge.The court sentences nine more people to death: Margaret Scott. Abigail Faulkner.” he argues. John Willard. until he can’t breathe. Mary Lacy. On the scaffold. is prohibited.The court tries. Mary Easty. May 1693 .” Court authorities tie him to the ground and slowly stack heavy stones on his chest.The court tries and convicts Sarah Good. Ann Foster. examinations.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. Opposition to the court mounts. and George Burroughs (a local minister and a known enemy of the Putnams). except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. Susannah Martin. October 1692 . Mary Parker. Elizabeth Howe. Elizabeth Howe. operating under much stricter rules of evidence. 1692 . All rights reserved.. Margaret Scott. Samuel Wardwell. Dorcas Hoar escapes execution by confessing. Ann Pudeator. and Rebecca Nurse. one of the judges appointed to the court. and sentences her to death. Mary Bradbury escapes it by escaping. Martha Carrier. and Mary Bradbury. Four of the others confess and save their necks. The court tries Bridget Bishop. and imprisonments continue. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner.” August 5. Dorcas Hoar. 39 . 1692 . It convicts three. and Rebecca Nurse are each hanged “for the horrible crime of witchcraft. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. The witch hunt ends. They subsequently vote to convict. but accusations. and Samuel Wardwell are hanged. Meanwhile. 1692 . 80-year-old Giles Cory is tortured to death by “pressing. Wilmot Reed. No more will. 1692 . The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. July 19.http://KnowledgeNews. The court spares Abigail Faulkner because she is pregnant. 1692 . 1692 . and George Burroughs are hanged. and the judges order the jurors to reconsider. convicts. 1692 .” This time. The court spares Elizabeth Proctor because she is pregnant. June 29.Governor Phips orders that all accused “witches” still awaiting trial in jail be released. September 19. June 10. George Jacobs. Sarah Wilds. Mary Easty. “than that one innocent person should be condemned. and condemns John and Elizabeth Proctor. 1692 . September 22.Sarah Good. they accuse some very prominent people.” Nathaniel Saltonstall. Before her execution.” Governor Phips issues an order forbidding further imprisonments for witchcraft and dissolves the Court of Oyer and Terminer. and condemns six more “witches”: Martha Cory. Rebecca Eames. resigns in protest. who take their show on the road. Susannah Martin. Alice Parker. Sarah Wilds. Inc.
the Salem villagers weren’t alone in their fear. Scholars say that as many as half of the people in the world still believe in witches.. hunts had been a periodic part of European culture for more than 200 years. most of whom shared one trait. afﬁliated with a faction in Salem Village that opposed the Reverend Samuel Parris and his allies. is prohibited. witch Still. In short. Inc. All rights reserved. Something strangely demonic was at work in Salem Village. theologians had come to believe that any magical event not obviously the work of God could only be the work of the Devil. The Reverend Cotton Mather. which was emerging as a mercantile hub. Witches became scapegoats for accidents and injuries. persecution of “witches” was rare in medieval Europe. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. So what more possessed the people of Salem? There was actually a good deal of method to the afﬂicted girls’ madness. insomnia. Inc. But many other New Englanders believed wholeheartedly. On one side were the Putnams and their allies. arch-accuser Ann Putnam made a formal apology to the congregation of the Salem Village church. too. Massachusetts) from Salem Town. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. Salem Village was divided into two groups. “It was a great delusion of Satan that deceived me in that sad time. almost any afﬂiction could be blamed on a witch and her maleﬁcium (“malevolent sorcery”). author of a popular book on witchcraft. The Devil was in the details. and even the premature spoiling of beer. For at least 20 years.” The magistrates Jonathan Corwin and John Hathorne treated the girls’ claims as nearly beyond reproach. mostly farmers from the village’s west side.KnowledgeNews Witch Hunt: What Possessed Salem? In 1706. From 1620 to 1725. they had been working to formally separate Salem Village (now Danvers. any claim made by the girls in a ﬁt—against defendants in their court. They were. something simultaneously fascinating and deeply disturbing. But not earlier. Basically. And by 1692. the Putnam family. something we still don’t fully understand. who was eventually accused and hanged. in one way or another. claimed that the girls’ afﬂictions “could not possibly be dissembled. 14 years after the Salem witch hunts. 56 people were convicted of witchcraft in New England and 35 were executed. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. In spirit at least. Of course. The witch craze began only in the late 15th century. being deluded by Satan. “What I did was ignorantly done. historians have tended to agree. 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. dementia.” Those executed on “Witches’ Hill” had said as much in 1692. declining livestock productivity. They began by accusing women who were highly marginalized in Salem Village society. The farmer and tavern owner John Proctor. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. New England Puritans blamed demonic forces for all sorts of maladies. Even some early New Englanders had their doubts. illnesses and deaths. suggested that the girls would “make devils of us all” and that spankings would produce a faster cure than hangings. Possessed by Possessions? KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. 40 . impotence. The Salem Village witch hunts accounted for 31 of those convictions and 19 of those executions—more than half. 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. By then. Then they began accusing less marginalized people. They even allowed the use of “spectral evidence”—basically. actual convictions for witchcraft were rare. Contrary to popular belief.” she said.
envy. Ingesting bread made from ergot-infested rye ﬂour produces symptoms ranging from hallucinations. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. In the end. most historians agree that the afﬂicted girls were not simply putting on a show. the girls’ accusations began. hatred. a few bad bread trips may have been just the spark needed to ignite Salem Village’s pious Puritan (and plainly political) powder keg. Anthony’s ﬁre. and temporary deafness. Second. Having failed in previous years to establish an independent Salem Village church (as part of their attempt to separate Salem Village from Salem Town). greed. Ignorance. under pressure from the adults around them. Possessed by LSD? Despite the method beneath the madness. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. then to the Putnams. The new committee moved against Parris in two ways. That winter—the winter when their daughters began falling prey to strange ﬁts—Parris and his supporters felt besieged. and blindness—would have been difﬁcult to fake. And when. the group ﬁnally succeeded that year and made Parris their minister. even for professional actors. convulsions. If so. Of the 32 adults who testiﬁed against them. especially rye. All rights reserved. they are all the more subtly satanic—and they are all the more frightening for being with us still. In recent years. they pointed primarily toward the men and women of the Salem Town faction. 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. Too many of their symptoms—including strange contortions of their bodies. otherwise known as ergot poisoning. seizures. is prohibited. Inc. despite a standing resolution from 1681 declaring that the parsonage should forever remain village property. especially under the terms that had been offered. They opposed separating from the town. as any good Puritan could tell you. the forces at work in Salem Village were larger and more diabolical than any rye bread high. and self-righteousness are common to every time and place—and. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. or sign-of-the-times witch hunt. community catﬁght. they refused to levy the local tax used to pay his salary. Parris’s contract stipulated a considerable annual salary and granted him the village parsonage and its lands. a new Salem Village Committee was elected. the Salem Town faction opposed Parris’s hiring. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. more severely still. dumbness.. Ergot is a fungus that grows on cereal grasses. First. Perhaps the afﬂicted girls were less bewitched than stoned. which is used to make the drug LSD.http://KnowledgeNews. On the contrary. In October 1691. Of the 14 accused witches who lived in Salem Village proper. Parris had come to Salem in 1689. Inc. 12 lived on the eastern side of the village. death. When the ﬁts came. at a time when the Putnams and their allies controlled the Salem Village Committee. and psychosis to severe burning sensations. this one controlled by the Salem Town faction. mostly from the village’s east side. —Steve Sampson KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. they called for an inquiry into the legality of Parris’s hiring in 1689. It’s also the source of lysergic acid. no less devilish than a witch’s maleﬁcium. 30 lived away from Salem Town on the village’s western side. severe gangrene. Not surprisingly. closest to Salem Town. and. they came ﬁrst to the Parrises. questioning the propriety not only of his ministry but also of his ownership of the parsonage. some historians have offered a pharmacological explanation for the girls’ behavior: St. 41 .net On the other side was a smaller but wealthier faction of farmers and merchants.
Stomach. in which muscles contract in sequence along the length of the digestive tract. Most of the food you eat. All rights reserved. and wisdom teeth—pound and mash you into a pulp. Meanwhile. bile breaks down fats. One of the most powerful acids known. That stinging sensation comes from the hydrochloric acid in the gastric juice you’re bathing in. Here It Comes Your journey lasts only a few seconds before you splash down in the stomach. you sure are now. Around the Teeth and Through the Gums Usually when they stick a fork in you. Inc. to ﬁnd out more about this important process. another gastric juice component. moving food along. it quickly kills most of the microbial life you may have brought in with you. you’re being spit on. sort of. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. A complex mix of acids. So.. If you thought the mouth was bad. You’re pushed to the back of the mouth. is prohibited. But not this time. As if that weren’t enough. OK. The front ones—incisors and canines—rip and tear you into small pieces. Coming in from the liver. though it can expand to hold as much as four (a useful talent on days like Thanksgiving). Immediately. two sets of hard enameled teeth go to work on you. It’s Thanksgiving. 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. can’t be immediately absorbed by your body. the enzyme pepsin. You’re getting soaked in saliva. molars. by way of the gallbladder. as the entrance to a wild ride is closing in: the mouth. But your digestive system keeps you alive. no matter how nutritious it is. In less than two days. try getting comfortable in here. and you better get used to it because it’s going to happen a lot. After just a few juicy chews. The stomach is a muscular compartment that holds about a liter of food. Now it’s time for the squeeze. As you arrive. It needs to be digested ﬁrst. Inc. By this time. is bile. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. starts breaking down your proteins. too. you. you’re really not looking much like your old self. and digestive enzymes start to break apart the starches inside you. you’re joined by new secretions that will digest you even more. Like the mouth. and electrolyte chemicals. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. and that’s hard work that deserves your respect—especially after a holiday feast. Well. But it has far worse secretions to drench you in than saliva. the ﬁrst of many secretions the digestive system will squirt at you. Gobble. mushy mass that medical types call a bolus. we’ll see you on the other side. we’re going to send someone down there: namely. you’re also being mixed with a variety of chemicals coming in from the KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. Look Out. nutrient-rich mass of small particles called chyme. so if you weren’t lean meat before. After the swallow comes a pattern of muscular contraction called peristalsis. the stomach rhythmically contracts to break up and mix food. and you’re going to get gobbled. and you’re not carving turkey—you are a turkey. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. In addition to bile. while the back ones—bicuspids. You quickly become softer and easier to swallow. 42 . Your journey is only beginning. lipids. your once-tough ﬂesh has been broken down into a small. where the upper muscles of the throat contract and force you down into the esophagus—you’re getting swallowed. and you’re on your way to the small intestine.KnowledgeNews Gobble. Good luck. so maybe digestion isn’t as sexy as reproduction or as thought-provoking as your brain. After stewing in the stomach for a few hours. you’re a soupy. you’re done. it’s your digestive system.
and proteins. Tougher stuff like cellulose is actually fermented in the process. 43 . One last squeeze from those digestive muscles and you’re released. —Christopher Call Your stomach can hold about a liter of food. Some even synthesize key nutrients like thiamin (vitamin B1) and vitamin K. The end result: a healthy. though it can expand to hold as much as four—a useful talent on days like Thanksgiving. Finally. Inc. Inc. water—all are absorbed. You Gotta Go After leaving the small intestine. what’s left of you is ready for the last step in digestion. which helps neutralize the acid from the stomach. carbohydrates. and it’s been waiting for you. millions of tiny ﬁngerlike projections called villi suck up your nutrients and disperse them into the body. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. fats. fats. because the large intestine is teeming with microbial life. is prohibited. only a bit of mucus to help move you along. All the while. couldn’t stomach. and it’s a bizarre place. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t quite a bit brewing in here. The small intestine itself doesn’t secrete much except water. The large intestine doesn’t secrete much. Proteins. All the good stuff in you has been broken down and is ready to go. you’re pushed along 20 feet (6 meters) of narrow. vitamins. All rights reserved. Many different species begin to attack. breaking down parts of you that the stomach. but it doesn’t have to. You don’t smell so sweet either. What’s left of you has entered the large intestine. well. things get a little less constricting. One is bicarbonate. electrolytes.http://KnowledgeNews.net pancreas. growing body for the eater and a burial at sea for you. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. After roughly a day of slow percolating.. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. you’re a mass of bacteria-infested undigested ﬁber and water. It mostly just absorbs any water and electrolytes left behind by the small intestine. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. The others are enzymes that break down starches. Over the course of about ﬁve hours. The result is gas—lots of gas. winding curves. When You Gotta Go. You quickly get the feeling you’re not alone.
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 .
fogging up your windshield. Pretty soon. But don’t worry about that. is prohibited. and it warms up. Everything in the universe has thermal energy. and your extremities are frostbitten. You’d better grab a coat and long pants. If you add thermal energy to an object. even really conductive materials like copper wire lose energy because of electrical resistance. say 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius). At even lower temperatures. and you might even want a cold drink. becoming superconductive. The temperature is dropping to 45 degrees F (7 degrees C). The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. It could be absolute zero. —Christopher Call KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. you’re starting to feel a little chill in the air. How cold can it get? We’ll use your car as our experimental chamber (hope you don’t mind). Usually. and you can see your breath in the air as the water vapor from your lungs condenses in the cold. It could be colder—a lot colder. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. But at about 133 K (-220 degrees F or -140 degrees C). and a rubber tire wouldn’t bounce on the ﬂoor—it would shatter.KnowledgeNews When Molecules Need Mittens No matter how cold it gets this winter. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. And they’re right. Time to switch to the Kelvin scale. the lowest temperature ever recorded on Earth. If you remove thermal energy. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. as vibrating molecules slow down. Even the warmest parka in the world couldn’t save you at this temperature. Inc. Now things really get strange. Except that now. Turning Off the Heat What we call temperature is just an easy way to measure thermal energy. certain metal-oxide ceramics lose their resistance. This is as cold as the universe gets. Your body is shivering. oxygen condenses. Inc. its atoms and molecules vibrate more. You only need to wear a shirt and shorts. and we’ve reached -44 degrees F (-42 degrees C). Your car’s electric system just improved. There’s just enough ambient thermal energy bouncing around to keep us from ever shedding those last three degrees. Ice. First. substances that were once pliable become brittle. and we reach 0 degrees F (-18 degrees C). A little longer.. Another moment. Your leather seat begins to crack and crumble under your weight. 45 . metals like lead and tin become superconductive. As the temperature drops further. You’ve probably never felt cold like this. Naturally. Regular thermometers don’t work anymore—their mercury has frozen solid. Then. Ice. oldtimers will say it could be worse. carbon dioxide condenses. All rights reserved. the air that once ﬁlled your car is a pool of liquid on the ﬂoor. its atoms and molecules vibrate less. and we’re at 32 degrees F (0 degrees C). 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). using muscular energy to generate heat to keep you warm. Eventually. which exists in the form of vibrations in atoms and molecules. You need a hat and gloves. We’ll start at a nice warm temperature. In the lab. Don’t worry about the heat—we’ve turned that off. You’re no longer breathing anyway. Baby A few more minutes. You’re numb. at least. forming tiny frost-like crystals. The air itself starts to condense. Your Last Drink of Air Our next stop is 184 K (-129 degrees F or -89 degrees C). And your cold drink has frozen solid (not that you’d want it now). though. with no heat at all. at around 90 K (-298 degrees F or -183 degrees C). too. and it gets colder. where it’s a balmy 231. the inside of your car reaches the temperature of the darkest parts of space: about 3 K (-454 degrees F or -270 degrees C). There is some good news.
Along with the Egyptians. in the middle. and Armenians. From the Jewish perspective. The shammash is used to light the other candles. Eventually. Beware of Greeks Bearing Altars The Syrian king. All rights reserved. that oil burned for eight days. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. Antiochus butted heads with the Romans. it quickly became the “Festival of Lights”—thanks to a miracle told in the Talmud. and repeatedly frustrated Syrian soldiers with guerrilla tactics. 46 . A special menorah—the hanukkiya—is prominently displayed for the occasion. the Talmud says. It’s also traditional to give gifts on Hanukkah. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. Hanukkah now mainly commemorates God’s miracle. who took to the hills and embarked on a three-year war against the Syrians. A Hanukkah prayer thanks God for delivering “the strong into the hands of the weak. A revolt broke out. Judas chased the Syrians out of Jerusalem and set about purifying the Temple.KnowledgeNews How Hanukkah Got Started The original Hanukkah story took place around 165 BC in the ancient region of Judea. Hanukkah’s most important ritual activity involves lights. Antiochus IV. Back then.” —Mark Diller KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. and an altar to Zeus was set up in the Temple. Judas found only enough ritually pure oil to burn for one day. He decreed that the most distinctive aspects of Jewish identity were no longer “kosher. the impure into the hands of the pure. he appointed a man named Jason. is prohibited. At ﬁrst. If Judas originally intended Hanukkah as a sort of ancient Veterans Day. Miraculously. Hammer Time That was too much to take. When Jason returned with an army and threw Menelaus out. not Judas’s military victory. He sent in his own army and tried to reshape Judea along Syrian lines. It helped that Antiochus had a knack for making enemies. led by a priest named Mattathias and his sons. At sunset on every night of Hanukkah. candles are placed in the hanukkiya from right to left. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. Parthians. The invasion of the Temple cut especially deep. Hanukkah also involves special prayers and songs—some of which celebrate resistance against political oppression. called the shammash (“servant”).” Jews weren’t allowed to worship or study their sacred texts. to inspire the gratitude that’s at the heart of the festivities. Inc. the presence of the foreign altar polluted God’s house. the many into the hands of the few. Descended from one of Alexander the Great’s generals. On ﬁrst entering the Temple. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. an annual eight-day celebration to commemorate the victory over the Syrians.a. and then lit from left to right (one for each day. but he later replaced Jason with a rival named Menelaus (reportedly because Menelaus’s bribes were bigger than Jason’s). “The Hammer”) took command. until replacement oil arrived. He dedicated a new altar and instituted a new holiday—Hanukkah (Hebrew for “dedication”). It has branches for eight candles (or pots of oil). Soon Mattathias’s son Judas Maccabeus (a. and the wicked into the hands of the righteous. the epicenter of Jewish life.. so that the lights grow with the holiday). Inc. Antiochus decided to put an end to Jerusalem’s fractious internal politics. Light My Fire Not surprisingly. plus a ninth. tried to control Judea by appointing the high priest of the Temple of Jerusalem. Judea was a pawn in a series of squabbles between Egypt and Syria. Antiochus promoted Greek culture in the territories he ruled. however.k.
47 . Constantine. All rights reserved. lawyers. Russians. where the Dutch continued to revere St. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. The teenage Nicholas heard that a neighbor had three daughters and no money to feed them—much less provide dowries.” In 1626. but it seems he was revered as a kindly fellow who helped the poor and sick. and the cult of Nicholas grew. Soon the church at Bari had become a great pilgrimage site. children. coupled with Nicholas’s celebrated kindness to children. It wasn’t long before the legend of “Santa Claus” took root in the New World. Sinterklaas For hundreds of years. he anonymously left three small bags of gold coins at the family’s house. Nick? Kids can spot Santa Claus in the twinkling of an eye. The men smashed into the sarcophagus that contained the saint’s bones and spirited them away to the town of Bari. No one would marry any of the girls. According to medieval biographers. It tells of him miraculously calming the sea with his prayers and magically replenishing wheat during a famine. called off the persecutions. Life got easier in 312. and cookie crumbs tend to give him away. Nicholas’s parents died and left him an inheritance when he was young. appears to have inspired the tradition of giving gifts on his feast day of December 6. Nicholas gave to those unmarried girls 1. During his youth. Nicholas’s popularity waned in many Protestant countries. near the heel of boot-shaped Italy. ample lap. Anti-Christian edicts made it a dangerous time for a Christian like Nicholas.KnowledgeNews Who Was the Real St. After Nicholas learned of their plight.. Nicholas simply highlights his generosity. and just about everyone else. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. The white beard.700 years ago. and many believers were martyred. He died on December 6. enhancing the saint’s reputation. Nick. Greeks. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. Historians agree that he was born around the year 280 in Asia Minor. An inﬂuential biography of St. Nicholas. who still indicate their trade by displaying three golden balls. But not in the Netherlands. Nicholas appeared in the 9th century. crimson suit. it attracted some Italians with larcenous intentions. and by the 6th century a huge church was built in his honor in Myra. Plays and paintings depicted the saint. We have no records of his years as a bishop. St. Inc. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. the church at Myra attracted pilgrims. —Colleen Kelly KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. but the facts are few. Nicholas ﬁgurehead. Inc. Nicholas became a bishop. the Roman emperor. unmarried girls. is prohibited. Nicholas’s homeland was under the control of Diocletian. barrel makers. There was talk they would have to prostitute themselves to survive. His Legend Grows Stories about the beloved local bishop were told and retold. 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. He is even the patron saint of pawnbrokers. newlyweds. The next year. But the story most told about St. when a new emperor. This tale. Before long. and was buried in the town of Myra. When Protestants condemned the practice of praying to saints. orphans. prisoners. But who knows the real St. in 1087. sometime between 343 and 353. Then. a reference to the three bags of gold St. a group of Dutch settlers traveled to America in a ship adorned with a St. Nicholas was the patron saint of—take a deep breath—sailors. pronounced “Sinterklaas. Nicholas are abundant.
he needs to build up a head of steam.. We measure gravity’s pull on that mass as weight. The interactions of weight. so is the aircraft’s weight (at least until it burns fuel—or. But if he can create lift greater than his weight. Rudolph Here’s what Santa knows. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. Simple enough. Keeping an aircraft “ﬁt and trim” just makes the job of lifting it easier. drag holds back. Santa’s sleigh can really ﬂy. counting Rudolph) get a sleigh full of toys airborne? There’s a little magic involved. (Memo from Rudolph to Santa: cut back on the Christmas cookies. a solid. before Santa can get airborne. Santa’s grounded. a ﬂying sleigh will keep ﬂying forever as long as the forces working to lift it up. we do this by forcing air around an “airfoil. weight is the easiest force to deal with. to Santa’s sleigh. So. from jet planes. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. one way to help do that is to lighten the load as much as possible from the start. What thrust pushes forward. because its effects are relatively constant and easy to measure. According to Newton’s ﬁrst law of motion (the “law of inertia”). and airplane designers try to remove all unnecessary components from their crafts. the presents absolutely. Major Tom to Pound Control When it comes to ﬂying. Unlike weight (which. positively have to be there overnight. lift is an aerodynamic force directed perpendicular to your ﬂight path. Technically. He needs thrust. pull it down. Generating it requires three key elements—a gas (or liquid). That means lift goes to work only when your wings are moving in relation to air (or vice versa). because he’s ready for takeoff. but mostly Santa and his North Pole helpers just know their physics cold—speciﬁcally the four forces that regulate all ﬂying objects. May the Forces Be with You. Hence aircraft parts are made to weigh the minimum while still safely doing their jobs. thanks to gravity. if Santa can get his sleigh airborne. But how? Just how do Santa and his eight reindeer friends (nine. and motion of the solid in relation to the gas (or vice versa). That’s called cruising. We have to create it ourselves. is always exerting itself). is prohibited. since gravity is basically constant here on Earth. 48 . thrust. Inc. Every aircraft has mass. All rights reserved. Getting an aircraft airborne is basically a matter of generating enough lift to overcome its weight. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. keeping it that way requires no more than getting the four forces to cancel each other out.KnowledgeNews How Santa Flies High When Christmas Eve comes. Santa must orchestrate these four forces— which is no simple matter since they pull in different directions. unloads toys). lift. Fortunately. Like all aeronauts. and. Inc. the big guy has to deal with his weight problem.” like a wing. and drag determine whether any aircraft soars to new heights or crashes and burns. but easier said than done. lift isn’t exactly self-motivating. to unwanted fruitcakes on Christmas morning. and hold it back all balance. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner.) The Gift of Lift As long as weight is greater than lift. then he can put his tray table up and his seat back in the full upright position. Generally. Of course. That which lift would elevate. weight pulls down. in Santa’s case. But before Santa can cruise. The good thing is. push it forward. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions.
http://KnowledgeNews. Aircraft create thrust in different ways. All rights reserved. the faster it propels air backward—and backward blowing leads to equal forward thrusting. and all that gas backwardness generates equal and opposite forward thrusting. Inc. Newton’s third law of motion (“for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”) is key. drag is a stopper. But we’re guessing Santa would seek help from FedEx before asking his elves to build a supersonic sleigh. Propeller-based aircraft use internal combustion engines to rapidly spin blades that behave like rotating airfoils. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. Jets and rockets use explosive chemical reactions to blast gases backward. is prohibited. but for non-Santa aircraft. turbulent ﬂow. like parachutes or reindeer. when “wave drag” kicks in and sound waves themselves impede progress. Inc. the more energy the sliding objects lose. The more friction. 49 . Turbulence costs Santa something.net Thrust or Bust Thrust is a mechanical force that propels objects forward. Non-aerodynamic shapes. —Christopher Call Santa and his North Pole helpers know their physics cold. streamlined movement of air called laminar ﬂow. Honestly. Drag gets even worse when aircraft get supersonic. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. which siphons off kinetic energy (motion) and converts it into heat. and the more they slow down. backward. and that increases drag. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. an aircraft’s engines generate the thrust that pushes the craft forward.. And when any two objects slide past each other. Drag is the aerodynamic force that opposes an aircraft’s motion through the air. Why should air resist a speeding sleigh? Because air is something and not nothing after all. It’s the air’s own resistance to being turned and thrust about. cause chaotic. too. By propelling gases. It’s caused by the disturbance of air as it ﬂows around an object. Aerodynamic shapes produce less disturbance. The faster a propeller spins. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. they generate friction. Why Bumpy Flights Are a Drag If weight is a downer. we’re not sure how reindeer-based systems work. such as plain old air. creating a smooth. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners.
as he put it. not a mere department of the government hailing Congress from some isolated island of jealous power.” In the midst of the Civil War. but there’s no rule. . . except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. Precedents for Presidents In 1790.085 words. Jefferson submitted his message in writing—saving Congress from “the bloody conﬂict which the making an answer would have committed them. Woodrow Wilson decided to follow Washington’s lead and not Jefferson’s. “information” needn’t be speeches. and delivered a courteous reply promising its cooperation. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. He gave a speech to both houses of Congress—reestablishing. “The ﬁery trial through which we pass. . is prohibited. . The following year saw the ﬁrst televised opposition response immediately following the address.” Finally. The ﬁrst president to take full advantage of the power of prime-time TV was Lyndon Johnson. . Inc. So such speeches went until 1801. by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain. Congress debated. Abraham Lincoln used his message to propose emancipation of the slaves. Washington’s address is among the shortest ever. And. . —Steve Sampson KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. 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. of course.. The fourth is freedom from fear. around when Congress convenes. in 1965. Memorable Moments In 1823. in 1913. “will light us down in honor or dishonor to the latest generation. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners.” The next 24 presidents followed Jefferson’s lead rather than Washington’s. Constitution requires presidents to give “information on the state of the union” to the Congress “from time to time. when Thomas Jefferson became president. .” Generally. Jefferson thought the Congress had better things to do than debate replies to presidential speeches. In giving freedom to the slave we assure freedom to the free—honorable alike in what we give and what we preserve. which declared that “the American continents. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way. presidents have ﬁgured “from time to time” means once a year. Rather than speaking. are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers. So much for carefully debated replies.S.” Media Darlings Ten years after Wilson’s speech. that “the President of the United States is a person. At 1. After hearing the president’s proposals. Jefferson thought Washington’s approach reeked of royalty.”) What’s more. (In fact. Calvin Coolidge delivered the ﬁrst State of the Union address to be broadcast by radio. in 1862. Inc. of the U.” he wrote. All rights reserved.” President Harry Truman delivered the ﬁrst televised State of the Union speech in 1947. but he didn’t do it in prime time. 50 . who in 1941 famously looked forward to a future founded on four freedoms: “The ﬁrst is freedom of speech and expression. . 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). delivering written “information” instead of speeches. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. But most agree that the master of the radio address was Franklin Roosevelt. section 3. James Monroe used his written message to Congress to lay out the Monroe Doctrine. drafted.KnowledgeNews Stating the Union Article II. The third is freedom from want. .
and ready to ﬁght. who dominated Italy before Rome’s rise. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. and abused mercilessly against your will. Depending on the show. slaves—had no choice in the matter. A new gladiator would be sent to school. superfast. in fact. good with a sword. after all. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. in peak physical condition. Gladiators were. In the morning. such people could be killed for virtually any reason. Lions. We Who Are About to Die The majority of gladiators—condemned criminals. Rome fell sword-over-shields in love with the martial display. By law. however. You just had to swear an oath agreeing to be branded. or they might be forced to ﬁght one another until only one man stood. in the entertainment business. gladiators commanded more and more attention. In 264 BC. The rest of the time. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. and a welltrained gladiator not only provided a better show. prisoners of war. but was also more likely to live to wow them another day. Inc. There is. and for the next ﬁve centuries. or “sword”—is well documented. Cue the “Rocky” Music Gladiators were.KnowledgeNews Roman Super Sport Come this year’s Super Bowl. and nearly anything else would be paraded through the arena—and then killed by men or animals. you trained (not unlike boxers today). chained. Yet many free Romans chose to become gladiators.. The second act began around lunch. Inc. By the time you made it into the arena. or compelled to give up their lives for sport. too. you’d be well nourished. when condemned criminals were executed. 51 . On the other hand. As a gladiator. as aristocratic women were rumored to relieve their boredom by testing famous gladiators’ prowess. But there’s a super difference: the Roman gladiator frequently paid for defeat with his life. no archaeological evidence that the Etruscans did any such thing. you could expect to ﬁght two or three times per year. you may hear TV announcers talk about “gridiron gladiators. First Blood The Romans believed they inherited the idea of gladiatorial contests from the Etruscans. Someone Call PETA Gladiatorial games typically consisted of three acts. Rome was a militaristic society in which death and violence were always near at hand. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. the sons of Junius Brutus Pera honored their father at his funeral by holding a contest featuring three pairs of gladiators. No doubt many fought simply because they liked it. superrich athletes who struggle in the Super Bowl do look a little gladiatorial. and military skill at the heart of Rome’s rule. No one knows whether the poor sap who survived won his freedom or merely delayed his fate. ostriches. The displays involved so many animals that some species simply disappeared from the empire. Why gladiate yourself like that? Maybe for the money (the winning gladiator often got a cash prize) or for the food (three square meals could be hard to scrounge). except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. strength.” Maybe the supersized. featuring fabulous and fearsome beasts from throughout the land. stabbed. the Roman origin of the gladiator— from the Latin gladius. you could see a “hunt” (venatio). Gladiators embodied the courage. they might be tied to posts and savaged by animals starved for food. tigers. elephants. bears. Or maybe for the girls. where he (or she— female gladiators were a rare but popular attraction) would be carefully trained in the arts of war. is prohibited. All rights reserved.
and the laquearii who tried to lasso their opponents. Different types of gladiator. including the andabatae who fought blindfolded. When a ﬁghter knew he had been beaten. with a helmet. die hard. Few lived long enough to retire.net Speed vs. There were many other gladiator types. and shield. the hoplomachi who fought in full battle gear. who would then be forced to ﬁght in their native style. the essedarii who fought from chariots. might face off against the murmillo.” signaling whether the victor should ﬁnish his opponent off (perhaps using the modern thumbs up/thumbs down.” who wore a small. but most gladiators fought in deadly earnest. the average gladiator’s career spanned just ten matches. Inc. their bodies dumped in a pit and their arms and armor handed down to the gladiators who took their place. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. The lightly armed retiarius (“net man”).http://KnowledgeNews. Constantine. Yet eventually. Most were killed. he would hold up his hand to signal surrender. round buckler and carried a curved dagger. Christianity won Rome over. but their glory days were gone for good. distinguished by their armor and weapons. he might be allowed to live. Inc. All rights reserved. matched up against other types. By one estimate. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. Not Very Christian Gladiatorial contests initially took off in Rome because they were politically expedient. The aristocrat presiding at the festivities would then—taking his cues from the crowd—“give the thumb. he found. but gladiators. who wore no armor and fought with just a net and trident. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. The Mercy of the Mob Some ﬁghts were purely for show. But this hope depended on the mercy of a howling mob. sword. It took 80 years (and another emperor: Honorius) before gladiatorial contests were ﬁnally prohibited in 404. tried to abolish the contests in 325. Roman senators and emperors could win popular backing by entertaining the masses with fascinating and bloody attractions. If the loser had fought well. New types arose as Rome expanded into new territories and brought home new kinds of prisoners of war. 52 . while the “Thracian. the ﬁrst emperor to embrace Christianity. Power Afternoon and evening brought the main event: gladiators.. but no one knows for sure). an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. —Mark Diller KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. might match his speed against the slower but more thoroughly armed secutor (“pursuer”). is prohibited. and the gladiator came under increasing attack. Gladiators may have continued to ﬁght unofﬁcially for another century or so.
Inc. Octavian. In 40 BC. and diddle the nights away. and lovely foreigner Aspasia takes up with Athens’s democratic leader Pericles. gossip rages that Aspasia started it because Sparta’s allies stole the prettiest girls from her brothel. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. is living openly with his new lover. He even asks her opinion on political and philosophical matters. Pericles shocks everyone by treating Aspasia with respect. Boy Meets Girl. Rather than be dragged behind a chariot through Alexandria’s streets. Only a few years ago. Inc. Cleo has messengers announce her sudden death. Boy Tries to Rule the World— Napoleon & Josephine It’s just after the French Revolution. poisonous snakes. Girl Loses Country— Antony & Cleopatra After her lover. she commits suicide by holding a deadly asp to her breast. We’ve got ﬁerce battles. So. Dressed to conquer. touching scene. This time. their many enemies conspire. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. Octavian grants her ﬁnal wish to be buried with Antony. 53 . Cleopatra. In a ﬁnal. they drink. Cleo sails a royal barge up the Cydnus River to see Antony. The Roman Senate declares war on Cleo and Antony and defeats their forces at the naval battle of Actium in 31 BC. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. Aspasia ﬁnally earns some grudging respect when Socrates admits she’s one of Athens’s brightest minds. That sets malicious tongues a-wagging—not least because Aspasia is evidently a high-class courtesan. the Athenian assembly at last acknowledges its debt to the city’s greatest statesman by granting his son full citizenship. he even marries her—and insults all of Rome in the process. Julius Caesar. sons of non-Athenian women can’t be citizens. The lovestruck Antony falls on his sword. Cleo tries to switch gears and seduce Octavian. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. is assassinated in 44 BC. and Josephine de Beauharnais is moving comfortably in the highest circles of Parisian society. Compounding the scandal. Boy Meets Girl. or “hetaira. All we need now is Steven Spielberg’s email. but she soon bears him a son who will one day become a great general. is prohibited.” Pericles never marries Aspasia.. now in his ﬁfties. Rumors abound that Antony might soon ﬁll Caesar’s shoes. but he’s soon back with Cleo.” the divorced Pericles. we’re pitching three steamy story ideas featuring legendary power couples—puissant pairs from history’s PG-13 pages. educated. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner.KnowledgeNews 3 Powerful Love Stories Like Henry Kissinger said. in an age when women are generally kept out of sight. who surrenders on the spot. cools her heels in Alexandria—but has her eye on Rome’s rising star. Before you can say “Helen of Troy. her lover for more than 11 years. who dies in 429 BC after trying to legitimize his son. isn’t exactly robust. dance. for Valentine’s Day. Egypt’s striking young queen. by a law Pericles himself introduced. Antony sucks up to Octavian by marrying his sister. and jealous enemies. power is the ultimate aphrodisiac. Girl Meets Boys. Yet war and plague turn the city against Pericles. particularly as Caesar’s young heir. All rights reserved. Ironically. but she knows the jig is up. When Athens goes to war with Sparta. After 20 years with Pericles. Meanwhile. For the next several years. Desperate to unload Antony. Boy Loses City— Pericles & Aspasia Sparks ﬂy in 445 BC when the witty. dashing general Mark Antony.
is prohibited. 54 . All rights reserved. Josephine swears everlasting ﬁdelity to him and keeps her promise. Josephine retires to her private mansion..http://KnowledgeNews. All we need now is Steven Spielberg’s email. the army . This time. and ambitious Corsican with a certain je ne sais quoi. Inc. blunt. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. he refuses to see anyone for days. who generally prefers making war to love. and she was thrown in jail. In 1795. Napoleon still loves her. a short. Napoleon crowns himself emperor in 1804. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. she meets Napoleon Bonaparte.” —Claire Vail We’ve got ﬁerce battles. When she dies in 1814. But while he’s on campaign in Egypt. but he’s still willing. and Josephine rushes to renew their vows with full religious rites. he threatens divorce. With a broken heart. but she knows a meal ticket when she sees one. she carries on with another man at home (despite smutty letters from Nappy). too. and jealous enemies. Josephine is repelled by his manners. . Napoleon. She sweet-talks him out of it—and into paying all her creditors. his ﬁnal words are “France. On his own deathbed in 1821. 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. . an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. Josephine. but she’s put all that behind her. When Napoleon ﬁnds out what she’s been up to. Now Empress Josephine can relax and spend all the money she wants—but she can’t seem to give Napoleon a son. Six years later. After Napoleon assumes control of France in 1799.net her handsome husband was guillotined. except by qualiﬁed educational institutions. is swept away. Josephine reluctantly agrees to marry him in a civil ceremony in 1796. poisonous snakes. Napoleon isn’t so keen on the idea.
But when the story is enriched uranium or birds with a deadly ﬂu. Here is the knowledge you need to be a man—or a woman—for all seasons. a little history can help you understand. Americana From the president. SciencePhiles When there’s news in the Middle East or Washington. to the Congress.KnowledgeNews Ebooks World Tour Every single day. you need to know some science. Here is the historical knowledge you need to really understand world news. to the courts. The seasonal stories ﬁll up the paper. the news takes you to a faraway place and reports on some event that could literally change the world. what happens in Washington affects the world. DC. But do you ever learn why? You can. But does anyone ever explain why the American system works the way it does? We do. You ﬁnd out what happened. We have the scientiﬁc knowledge you need to make sense of today’s top news. Almanac Some news is as predictable as the calendar on the wall—because certain days on the calendar always make news. . Here are 40 things you should absolutely know about the USA. You hear the news. too. Don’t worry. But do they feed your brain? Ours do.
where he and a team of history. the ﬁrm that practically invented e-newsletters. publisher and editor-in-chief Michael Himick heads up KnowledgeNews. improve your health. . and more. He used to be vice president and executive producer at e-newsletter giant LifeMinders. Steve taught writing at George Washington University and worked at the famed Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington.KnowledgeNews Editors Michael Himick. provide weather updates. Steve Sampson. bring your family closer together. He’s produced email newsletters to track daily news. Michael used to be managing editor at Britannica. He produced the ofﬁcial e-newsletter of the Sydney Olympic Games. He used to teach writing. he has the best job around—interacting with learners all over the world and discovering something new every day. DC. Now. edit history and humanities books. and write on business and ﬁnance.com. working on location to send daily features to fans in 150 countries. Before all that? Serious academic research. science. managing editor Steve Sampson has written more articles for KnowledgeNews than anyone—and produced a host of world-class email newsletters. and culture editors invented online features for the world-famous Encyclopaedia Britannica.
Email: info@knowledgenews.Contact Us Send us inquiries or suggestions anytime. IL 61820 .net c/o Every Learner. Inc.net Phone: 877-99-LEARN Mail: KnowledgeNews. One East Main Street #423 Champaign. We read every note and answer as many as possible.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.