Mothman Festival

In 1966, the first sightings of a creature that came to be known as Mothman were first reported in the small town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia. Since 2001, the Mothman Museum of Point Pleasant has sponsored the Mothman Festival. Those interested in the Mothman phenomena and in such paranormal topics as ghosts and UFOs gather in the town. Merchandise booths are set up along the town’s main streets, and posters, books, T-shirts, and a host of other products are available. Music concerts are also held along the river. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Mauthausen-Gusen

A complex of Nazi concentration camps in northern Austria, Mauthausen-Gusen was the scene of terrible atrocities during World War II. Originally affiliated with the Dachau camp, it acquired dozens of its own satellite camps by the end of the war. Though the death toll at Mauthausen-Gusen is unknown, it is estimated that more than 100,000 died there. Many prisoners were used for slave labor in local industries. One quarry was home to the “Stairs of Death,” where prisoners were forced to do what? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Samuel Johnson Commemoration

Samuel Johnson, the English lexicographer, writer, critic, and conversationalist, was born on this day in 1709. His hometown of Lichfield commemorates its most famous citizen by laying a laurel wreath at the foot of his statue, after which the cathedral choir sings religious songs and intones Dr. Johnson’s final prayer on the steps of his birth house. In the evening, there is a candlelight supper based on Dr. Johnson’s favorite meal: steak-and-kidney pudding with mushrooms or mutton. The guests are served ale and hot punch by people dressed in costumes of the 18th century. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

The Golden Poison Frog

Despite its diminutive size, the golden poison frog is one of the deadliest creatures in the world. Native to Columbia, the poisonous—but not venomous—frog contains enough of the rare neurotoxin batrachotoxin to kill 10 humans. Indigenous peoples use the toxin on the tips of poison darts and arrows. The intelligent frogs are seemingly unafraid of potential predators. They do not produce the toxin themselves, and lose their toxicity in captivity. Where, then, do they acquire the toxin? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Warsaw Autumn Festival

Officially called the International Festival of Contemporary Music, the Warsaw Autumn Festival‘s offerings in its early years were more conservative than the name would seem to indicate. Today more experimental music and world premieres are performed along with classical standbys of the 20th century. It was established in 1956 by a group of Polish composers who wanted to bring other East European as well as West European countries together. The concerts are held in the National Philharmonic building, the Royal Castle, and other venues around the city. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

The Electromagnetic Bomb

In 2003, it was reported that US forces used an electromagnetic bomb to disrupt Iraqi TV transmissions. The so-called E-bomb is a weapon designed to disable electronics with an electromagnetic pulse. Though relatively non-lethal, it can cripple critical technology, making it a valuable tool in modern warfare. It is believed that older devices containing vacuum tubes may be more resistant to damage from these bombs than newer, transistor-based technology. How can sensitive devices be protected? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Visvakarma Puja

Dedicated to Visvakarma, the patron god of all Hindu artisans, the Festival of Tools is a workers’ holiday in India dedicated to each individual’s most important tool or instrument. A pitcher representing the god is set in a place of honor in every home and shop, and before it the people lay their most important tool. Sometimes incense is burned or scented water is sprinkled over the tool. Workers give thanks for their tools and implore Visvakarma’s help in plying their trade. After this ceremony is over, people gather in parks or public places and spend the rest of the day with games and feasting. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary