Marie Besnard Charged with Multiple Murders (1949)

Between 1927 and 1947, 13 of Besnard’s family members and friends died under mysterious circumstances, and she became a wealthy woman by inheriting their fortunes. She gave bizarre explanations for some of the deaths, such as claiming that two people had eaten lye they mistook for a dessert. Her second husband remarked that he thought she was poisoning him, prompting the police to investigate his death. When they exhumed his body, they found arsenic. Why was Besnard acquitted of murder charges? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Louise Blanchard Bethune (1856)

Bethune was the first professional woman architect in the US and the first woman elected to the American Institute of Architects. After high school, she became an apprentice at a Buffalo, New York, architectural firm where she met her future husband, architect Robert Bethune. They married in 1881 and opened their own firm, which designed several hundred buildings throughout New York in the Romanesque revival style popular in the late 19th century. What building is considered her masterpiece? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a condition marked by an excessive preoccupation with an imaginary or minor defect in a facial feature or localized part of the body. Those who suffer from BDD experience psychological distress that impairs their social, occupational, or educational functioning. Though the earliest known case of BDD in medical literature dates to 1886, the disorder was only formally defined a century later. Onset of symptoms generally occurs during adolescence and includes what? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Transylvanian Noble György Dózsa Roasted and Eaten as Punishment (1514)

Known for his wartime valor, Dózsa was tasked with leading an army for Pope Leo X’s crusade in 1514. Though he assembled some 100,000 peasants, plans for the crusade were suddenly suspended. The peasants refused to disband, deciding instead to avenge mistreatment by their landlords. Rebellion quickly became full-scale revolution, with Dózsa’s troops murdering nobles and burning castles. When the peasants were finally stopped at Temesvár, he was tortured in what bizarre way before being eaten? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Colombia Independence Day

On the day they celebrate their independence from Spain, Colombians in the capital city of Bogotá often visit a historic place known as La Casa del Florero (The House of the Flowerpot). It was here that a Colombian storekeeper refused to lend a large flowerpot to the Spaniards. A riot ensued—the beginning of the revolt against Spain. There are Independence Day parades throughout the country on July 20. Schoolchildren march in their uniforms, and dancers perform in the costumes of their region. In the afternoon, people watch athletic games and listen to singing groups perform folk songs. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Sir Edmund Percival Hillary (1919)

Hillary was a New Zealand mountaineer who, with Tenzing Norgay of Nepal, became the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest in 1953. Following the expedition, Hillary founded the Himalayan Trust, which built many schools and hospitals for the Sherpa people of Nepal. He continued climbing, later participated in the first crossing of Antarctica by vehicle, and even searched for the legendary abominable snowman in 1960. What unusual profession did Hillary have when not mountaineering? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine, a psychostimulant that was first synthesized in 1893, was widely used by German soldiers during WWII. Physicians prescribe it as a treatment for hyperactivity, narcolepsy, and obesity, but it is often used illegally because it produces euphoria and suppresses appetite. However, a number of negative side effects may also result from its use, including the development of obsessions with repetitive tasks, skin picking compulsions, and amphetamine psychosis. What is “meth mouth”? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary