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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Constitution. Inc. who was coming off a winning streak and seemed to be a direct threat to Great Britain. this rare national harmony unravels when taxpayers argue over who’s to blame for the government’s grip on income. Opponents soon challenged the very heart of the law: that the rate of taxation should increase as income rises. Excise. Inc. After hearing the tax characterized as “communistic. taxpayers demanded that all records be destroyed. —Colleen Kelly Apparently. At first. you paid a 5 percent tax. the states had ratified the 16th Amendment to the U. Today. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. Some accuse Congress.KnowledgeNews Who’s to Blame for U. those with less wealth generally applauded it. raising revenue via excise taxes and import duties instead. In just two years. Income Tax? Every April. By 1940. Uncle Sam borrows the rest.250 in 1864. Yet the idea that the wealthy should pay proportionately more tax than the poor had continued appeal for that era’s progressive politicians. President Woodrow Wilson signed a new tax law that year. Still others rage against the IRS.000 had jumped to 10 percent. Above $10. 49 percent of federal revenues come from income taxes. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. KnowledgeNews offers a scapegoat that should appeal to all Americans: Napoleon. Lincoln himself seems to have had some difficulty with the paperwork. 70 percent. just after his last term. the British government levied a personal income tax of 10 percent to raise money to finance the war against Napoleon. for instance. the Little Corporal is indirectly responsible for “subtract line 56 from line 46.” the Court ruled. (American lawmakers overlooked the fact that the income tax was so hated in Great Britain that when it was repealed in 1816. War Is Expensive Yes. But in 1894. 13 . In 1909.) So. gift.000 exempted by the law. Abraham Lincoln signed the Tax Act of 1862. except by qualified educational institutions. British law and government policies greatly influenced 19th-century American leaders. By 1895. Because the tax fell on the rich. Medicare.000.S. Congress began an end run around the Supreme Court by submitting a constitutional amendment to the states. All rights reserved. five justices to four. it accounted for 20 percent. however. estate. Sadly. Social security. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. unemployment taxes. and other retirement taxes account for 32 percent.S.. when the Union needed money to fight the Civil War. personal and corporate. On annual income between $600 and $10. millions of Americans find themselves united in one pursuit: complaining about federal income tax. 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. that parts of the income tax law were unconstitutional. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. By 1970. In an effort to preserve a more perfect union. a lawsuit had made its way to the Supreme Court. is prohibited. including Republican president Teddy Roosevelt. you paid a 3 percent tax. The top tax official publicly carried out the order to burn the records—while secretly retaining copies. customs. the taxman struck again.000. One Arkansan. income tax accounted for less than 5 percent of federal revenues. Others point the finger at big corporations. By 1913. Peace Is Expensive Too The government phased out income tax after the war.” In 1799. the tax rate for income over $10. and other taxes bring in 6 percent. who observed that citizens found income tax more palatable if the money went for war. when provisions in the Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act created the first peacetime income tax. He overpaid $1.

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

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

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

Summer Why Summer Simmers So Monsoon Season Fireworks for the Fourth How’d Those Swimsuits Get So Skimpy? Thank Aristotle for Summer Movies Baseball’s Best Pitches Labor’s Days Past .

It heats up because that hemisphere receives the sun’s solar energy at a more direct angle. Why the La-Z-Boy position? Scientists think that sometime early on. as much as 40 times more. except by qualified educational institutions. Sure. That collision knocked Earth into a tilted rotational axis. the northern end of the Earth’s tilted axis more or less points toward the same place in space throughout the year—at Polaris. or at the equator—sunlight effectively tunnels straight into our air. it has to slug through far more atmosphere. On the winter solstice (around December 21). Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. The pool-party hemisphere doesn’t heat up because it’s closer to the sun. So the reason we get scorched is not because we’ve cozied up to the celestial furnace. and for at least three months a year. is Earth’s Even Steven. Earth’s north pole leans 23. we’re closest to the sun in January and farthest from it in July. A bit warmer.) You get a more intense bake in the summer. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. You’ll want to stay poolside. Think of summer as a sort of seasonal high noon. even if you pull the lamp back a bit. the south pole leans toward the sun and the north pole leans away. Actually. which affects both the duration and intensity of your daily bake. Half Baked by the Sun’s Rays The hemisphere leaning into the sun gets a whole lot of daylight every day. It must be a lot closer to us in the summer than in the winter. the north pole gets 24 hours of daylight every summer day. Not much heat in that oval patch of light. In fact. —Michael Himick and Jay Ferrari KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. the sun. In fact. No tilt. 18 . is prohibited. At the poles. too. or in the winter. the summer sun points right at you.KnowledgeNews Why Summer Simmers So The basic player in summer heat is. you guessed it. rotating on its axis at an incline. But let’s be clear here. no seasons. the aptly named North Star. summer comes from the tilt of the Earth. Because of this tilt. Earth’s a little off-kilter. Inc. right? Not true.. With the sun more directly overhead—like at noontime.5 degrees toward the sun on the summer solstice (around June 21). because of the Earth’s tilt. Inc. while its pasty counterpart gets less tanning time and more starry sky. noontime sun. Like the hot. directly overhead. it gets to the same place eventually. of 23. Whichever hemisphere leans toward the sun gets pool parties and picnics. is there? Now point it straight at the wall. Earth got absolutely clobbered by a Mars-sized protoplanet in a spectacular collision of worlds. on the other hand.5 degrees away. Bottom line: summer happens because Earth is a cockeyed place. you get a lot of light aimed right at you and concentrated through a thin atmosphere. while the south pole sits the season out in darkness. Earth stays in this 23.5 degrees. It’s the same if you angle your reading lamp at the wall. But knock the world a little off-center. while the south pole leans 23. in summer. but at the expense of a lot of energy. during the morning or evening. (The equator. which affects the intensity and duration of sunlight we get hit with throughout the year. The other hemisphere hauls out parkas. No.5-degree tilt no matter where it is in its annual orbit around the sun. All rights reserved. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. We Live in a Cockeyed Place Astronomically. with 12 hours of daylight every day of the year. with the Earth’s elliptical orbit. or tilt. And that means more intense solar energy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

sailors were deep in battle when an armor-piercing bomb weighing nearly a ton smashed into the deck and ignited the forward magazine. Others bombed and torpedoed the 130 vessels moored in Pearl Harbor itself. As the news spread across the United States. The brief rally that followed the crash quickly proved to be what traders call a dead-cat bounce. Their attack had sunk five battleships and damaged three more. poorly regulated banks went bust. the Dow shed nearly 23 percent. The day before. 1941 One sunny Sunday morning in the tropical paradise of Pearl Harbor. however. Tensions between the United States and Japan had run high all year. Then it sank some more. manufacturers produced half of what they had in 1929. Consumers stopped spending.177 men. Inc. 2001. The two-hour attack was meticulously planned to cause maximum damage. Their survival would come to haunt Japanese military planners. On the U. 1929 When the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange rang on October 29. we remember 9/11 by remembering those dark days of the past—and the strength that emerged from their shadows. the Arizona burned for three days. By the time it hit bottom—in 1932—the market had shed nearly 90 percent of its value. 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. Arizona. Not until 1954 would the Dow again touch its 1929 peak. and a quarter of American workers had no job. But before long. On October 19. and the economy slipped into a coma. It also had destroyed a half-dozen light cruisers and destroyers and 188 aircraft.403 dead and 1. Today. Copyright © 2006 Every Learner. And so did many an investor. No formal. 31 . The next day. it had bled nearly 13 percent. 11. Wall Street has seen worse days. Full of fuel. Inc. and men all over the country volunteered for duty. more than 2. is prohibited.. The crash poured kerosene onto an already flammable financial house. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the day down almost 12 percent.400 Americans died in a war they didn’t even know they were fighting. forces almost completely off-guard. By 1933. the Pacific Fleet’s aircraft carriers were not in port and escaped the attack. In a stroke of luck for Americans. either in the crash or in the crush of jittery depositors demanding their cash. A huge explosion broke the ship in two. December 7.S. October 29. except by qualified educational institutions.000 of the United States’ 25. Yet a handful of horrible days did open wounds just as grievous. people were shocked at the sneak attack and horrified by the loss of life: 2.KnowledgeNews 5 Dark Days in America Few days in American history have wounded the nation more deeply than September 11. All rights reserved.S. Waves of Japanese planes conducted nearly simultaneous bombing runs. businesses stopped producing.S.000 banks had closed up shop. U. By 1933. Hawaii. 1987. that market had rounded up the bulls and regained its lost ground. The Dow sank to new lows in November. 1929—Black Tuesday—the market lay in ruins. KnowledgeNews is brought to you by Every Learner. Just as investors lost their shirts. Some concentrated on strafing the Oahu airfields to destroy the aircraft parked there. The strike gave the Japanese a huge military advantage. and the battleship sank in nine minutes.178 wounded.S. The reprinting or redistribution of these articles. which had arrived in Pearl Harbor just the day before. unambiguous declaration of war ever came. an independent small business dedicated to supporting lifelong learners. but the attack caught U. Not so in 1929. The end came shockingly fast for 1. President Franklin Roosevelt signed the declaration of war that Congress had passed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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