Monthly Archives: August 2016

Death of Diana, Princess of Wales (1997)

Diana’s beauty and unprecedented popularity as a member of the royal family attracted intense press attention, and she became one of the most photographed women in the world. After her divorce from Prince Charles in 1996, she remained highly visible and continued her activities on behalf of numerous charities. In 1997, she was killed in a car crash in Paris, along with her companion, Dodi al-Fayed, and their driver. Who was blamed for the accident in subsequent investigations? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Moldovan Language Day (Limba Noastra)

Limba Noastra, or Our Language Day, is a public holiday in Moldova. On August 31, 1989, Moldova became the first Soviet republic to pass a law declaring its language, Moldovan, to be the official language of the republic. The law also formally proclaimed that Moldovan and Romanian were the same. Second in importance only to Moldova Independence Day on August 27, Language Day is celebrated with ceremonies at the burial sites of individuals linked to the struggle for cultural rights of Romanians, especially Romanian poets and writers. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Hermann von Helmholtz (1821)

Helmholtz was one of the greatest scientists of the 19th century. He made fundamental contributions to physiology, optics, electrodynamics, mathematics, acoustics, and meteorology, but he is best known for formulating the mathematical law of conservation of energy. His approach was strongly empirical at a time when many scientists embraced deductions from mental concepts. He described body heat and energy, nerve conduction, and the physiology of the eye. What medical instruments did he invent? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Parahumans

Once solely a concept of science-fiction, the parahuman, or human-animal hybrid, has recently entered the realm of reality. Efforts to combine genes from different species for medical and industrial purposes are now fairly common. Though such research could prove useful for the production of drugs and transplant-ready organs, it has raised numerous ethical, moral, and legal issues. Have scientists created human-animal hybrid embryos? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

The Battle of Tannenberg Ends (1914)

The Battle of Tannenberg was a decisive engagement between Russian and German forces in WWI. After invading German East Prussia, the Russian First and Second armies became separated. German forces then attacked one of the isolated armies and forced its retreat, killing and capturing tens of thousands in the process. Though disastrous for Russia, the battle forced Germany to divert troops from the Western Front during the first critical weeks of the war. Why was the battle named after Tannenberg? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Santa Rosa de Lima

St. Rose was the first canonized saint of the Americas, born in Lima, Peru, in 1586. She is the patron saint of Central and South America and the Philippines. She died in 1617 and was canonized in 1671. On her feast day, a candlelight procession takes place from her shrine in the church of Santo Domingo to the cathedral. Adults wear purple robes, while children wear white ones. People sing religious hymns as they accompany the rose-covered image to the cathedral. St. Rose’s Day is a public holiday throughout Peru. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Nancy Wake (1912)

Wake, who lived to the age of 98, was one of World War II’s most decorated servicewomen. A New Zealand native, she left home at 16 and eventually settled in Paris. When the Germans occupied France, Wake joined the resistance. Pursued by the Gestapo, she fled to Britain, where she joined the Special Operations Executive. In 1944, she parachuted back into France to help establish communications between the British military and French Resistance. What nickname did the Gestapo have for her? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary