Monthly Archives: February 2015

Raid on the Branch Davidian Compound (1993)

After investigating charges of child abuse and the illegal stockpiling of weapons at the Texas ranch of the Branch Davidian religious sect, US federal law enforcement agents raided the compound. The confrontation turned violent, and 10 people were killed in the firefight. A siege of the compound ended 51 days later, when the complex was engulfed in flames. At least 76 people, including Davidian leader David Koresh, died in the incident. How did the Davidians receive advance warning of the raid? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Kalevala Day

The Kalevala is Finland’s national epic poem, researched and transcribed by Dr. Elias Lönnrot. Lönnrot and his assistants traveled throughout the country, asking people to tell them whatever they could remember about the folklore surrounding Kalevala, the “Land of Heroes.” On February 28, 1835, after years of research, Lönnrot signed the preface to the first edition of the poem. This event marked a turning point in Finnish literature; up to this point, little had been written in the Finnish language. Lönnrot is honored with parades and concerts on this day. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Mario Andretti (1940)

Mario Andretti is the only racecar driver to have won the Indianapolis 500, the Daytona 500, and the international Formula One championship. He retired from Indy-car racing in 1994 with 52 victories but continued his attempts to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans sports-car endurance race until the age of 60. The Italian-American legend has been called the “Driver of the Century.” How many members of the Andretti family have followed in Mario’s footsteps and become racecar drivers? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Seaplanes

Seaplanes are designed to take off from and land on water. The two most common types are the floatplane, whose fuselage is supported by struts attached to two or more pontoon floats, and the flying boat, whose boat-hull fuselage is constructed with the buoyancy and strength necessary to land and float on water. Seaplanes are often used by rescue organizations due to their efficiency and ability to spot and rescue survivors. The first practical seaplane was constructed and flown in what year? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Dominican Republic Gains Independence from Haiti (1844)

Occurring in the midst of the Dominican Republic’s turbulent 19th-century history, the 1844 revolt that overthrew French-Haitian rule established an independent republic with a presidency that was, in turns, held by Pedro Santana and Buenaventura Báez. Each president at one point tried to bring stability to the country through foreign rule—the former through Spain and the latter through the US. During what period did the US occupy the island nation and establish a military government there? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Fisher Poets Gathering

The Fisher Poets Gathering annually brings together poets, musicians, and story-tellers with an interest in fishing, particularly the lives of commercial fishers. Performances and meetings take place in various venues in the historic coastal town of Astoria, Oregon. The centerpieces of the Gathering are poetry and prose readings, story telling, and open microphone sessions in the evenings. Attendees can also enjoy live music, panels and lectures on fishing-industry issues, and art exhibits. Participants’ literary contributions range from poignant personal memoirs to bawdy songs. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

David H. Hubel (1926)

In 1981, neurobiologist David Hubel and his research partner, Torsten Wiesel, received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their research in the area of visual perception and their discoveries concerning information processing in the visual system. Their observations of the various nerve impulses and nerve cells responsible for different types of visual stimuli opened the door for the understanding and treatment of what ailments? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Château Mouton Rothschild

Château Mouton Rothschild is an estate in southwestern France that is regarded as one of the producers of the world’s greatest wines. In the mid-20th century, Baron Rothschild decided to have each year’s label designed by a famous artist of the day, and since then the wine’s labels have become collectibles. Twice in the history of the special labels, two designs have been used in the same year. The first time, the Baron liked two submissions equally and used both. What happened the second time? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary