Monthly Archives: May 2018

Titanic's Last Survivor Dies (2009)

More than 1,500 lives were lost when the Titanic sank on its maiden voyage in 1912. However, several hundred of the ship’s 2,200 passengers managed to survive. Among them was Millvina Dean, who, at just three months of age, was the ship’s youngest passenger. Though she escaped with her mother and brother, her father did not survive. Eventually, she became the disaster’s last living survivor. Who helped pay for her healthcare costs toward the end of her life? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Marie-René-Auguste-Aléxis, Saint-Léger Léger (1887)

Known in literary circles by his nom de plume, Saint-John Perse, Léger was a French poet and diplomat. He was one of Europe’s foremost diplomats prior to World War II, but he opposed appeasement of the Nazis and was dismissed by the collaborationist Vichy government in 1940. He then fled to the US, where he remained for nearly two decades. During that time, his reputation as a poet grew, and in 1960, “the soaring flight and evocative imagery of his poetry” earned him what literary award? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Boggarts

Boggarts are malevolent household spirits of British folklore that latch on to unfortunate families and cause trouble for them by making things disappear, making milk go sour, and even stripping the linens off of beds in which people are sleeping. Superstitions about boggarts vary but often include the beliefs that the creatures should never be named and that hanging a horseshoe on the door of a house will keep them away. The features of what Uranian moon are named after mischievous spirits? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Short-Lived Republic of Biafra Proclaimed (1967)

Biafra was composed of several Nigerian states heavily populated by the Igbo people—tens of thousands of whom has been massacred in Nigeria months earlier. After its secession, the breakaway state was attacked by air, land, and sea and gradually lost the territory under its control, including its crucial oil fields. More than one million civilians are thought to have died of starvation by the time Biafra surrendered in 1970. The nation took its name from the Bight of Biafra, which is what? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Elly Beinhorn-Rosemeyer (1907)

A contemporary of American aviatrix Amelia Earhart, German airwoman Elly Beinhorn-Rosemeyer began her flying career as a stunt pilot. She went on to make several daring solo flights and was awarded the Hindenburg Cup for her achievements. In 1936, she married racecar driver Bernd Rosemeyer, and the couple, allegedly with some reluctance, became darlings of the Nazi regime. Bernd was killed in a speed record attempt two years later. How had Elly survived a crash in the Sahara in 1931? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

A Strange Loop

Proposed by cognitive scholar Douglas Hofstadter, the concept of a “strange loop” involves a paradox that arises when, by moving up or down through a hierarchical system, one finds oneself back at the initial starting point. Examples of such feedback loops in various media include the well known M. C. Escher lithograph Drawing Hands and the novelty song “I’m My Own Grandpa.” Another conceptual example is the liar paradox, which is what? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary