Battle of Clontarf (1014)

The Battle of Clontarf was a decisive battle fought between Irish forces under the high king of Ireland, Brian Boru, and a Viking army formed by Sitric, king of the Dublin Norse. Brian’s forces defeated the Vikings at Clontarf, near Dublin, but he was killed shortly thereafter by fleeing Norsemen. Brian’s victory broke Viking power in Ireland, but, without a king, the country split into small, separate kingdoms that then fought one another. What was Wolf the Quarrelsome’s role in the battle? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Conch Republic Independence Celebration

In 1982 the United States Border Patrol set up a roadblock on U.S. Highway 1, just north of the Florida Keys, which threatened the region’s tourist industry and angered residents. On April 23, 1982, the residents of the Florida Keys seceded from the United States as the Conch Republic; though it didn’t last, the stunt succeeded in lifting the roadblocks. Each year, residents celebrate the short-lived independence of the Conch Republic. The festival features conch-blowing contests, a reenactment of the secession, mock naval battles, numerous public parties, and more. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Kirlian Photography

Kirlian photography is a technique in which a high-voltage current is passed over a subject in contact with photographic film or paper. This produces an image surrounded by a luminous aura, which some claim is a bioenergetic field that can reveal information about a subject’s physical health and emotional state. The technique is named after Russian scientist Semyon Kirlian, who discovered the electric effect on which it is based. What type of subjects will produce images in Kirlian photography? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Paasmaandag

Easter Monday, or Paasmaandag, is celebrated in the Netherlands with games played with Easter eggs. Eierrapen, or hunting for eggs, is a favorite pastime among younger children. Eiertikken, or hitting hard-boiled eggs together, is a sport for children of all ages. In rural areas, the eggs are packed in baskets and carried to an open field for the eiertikken contest. At a given signal, the children line up and try to break the shell of an opposing team member’s egg by knocking them together. The winner keeps the opponent’s egg, and the child who collects the most eggs wins. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Nickelodeons

In the early days of motion pictures, screenings were part of vaudeville shows and arcades. However, in 1902, a California shop that showed only moving pictures had great success. Soon, “movie houses” were springing up nationwide. The first movie theater, complete with luxurious accessories and a piano, was built in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1905. A nickel was charged for admission, and the theater was called the nickelodeon. In general, how long were the films screened at nickelodeons? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Salzburg Easter Festival

Salzburg’s Easter Festival was founded by the famous conductor Herbert von Karajan (1908-1989) in 1967 to honor the works of Richard Wagner (1813-1883), and it remains one of Europe’s most elite and elegant music festivals. The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra is the festival’s resident ensemble, and the chorus of the Vienna State Opera performs the choral works. A full-scale opera is performed twice during each nine-day festival in the Gro├čes Festspielhaus (large festival hall), which is known for its unique acoustics and seats more than 2,000. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Avalanches

Avalanches are sudden falls or slides of large masses of material down the side of a mountain and are classified by their content, such as snow, ice, soil, rock, or a mixture of these materials. They can reach speeds of more than 200 mph (320 km/h), pushing destructive air masses, known as avalanche winds, ahead of the falling debris. The actual impact of avalanche material, meanwhile, can also cause major devastation. What can trigger an avalanche, and what measures might help prevent one? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary