Monthly Archives: July 2018

K2 Is Summited for the First Time (1954)

Rising 28,251 ft (8,611 m) between China and Pakistan, K2 is the second-highest peak in the world after Mount Everest. Severe storms make K2 more dangerous to climb, however, and it has never been summited in winter. Measured in 1856, it was not summited until nearly 100 years later. In 1954, Italians Achille Compagnoni and Lino Lacedelli reached the top with the help of crew members who carried oxygen to above 26,245 feet (8,000 m). What thwarted an American attempt just one year earlier? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Merengue Festival

The merengue is a lively Caribbean dance that originated in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The world’s most famous merengue festival takes place in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic’s capital city, where outdoor stages are set up along the city’s waterfront, and top bands play merengue music while couples swirl and shake to the fast-paced, pulsating rhythms. In addition to watching the performances and competitions among merengue dancers, festivalgoers can enjoy the music of DJs and bands on the street, imbibe rum and beer, and eat the signature pork sandwiches, chimichurris. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy (1396)

A man of shifting alliances, Philip the Good ruled Burgundy at the height of its prestige and presided over one of Europe’s most lavish courts. After his father was murdered during a meeting with the dauphin of France—the future King Charles VII—Philip formed an alliance with England but then broke it to recognize Charles as king and gain French favor. Phillip soon turned on Charles, however, sheltering his rebellious son, the eventual King Louis XI. Who was captured by Phillip’s troops in 1430? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Knucklebones

Now known as the game of jacks, knucklebones is an ancient pastime played with five small objects—originally the knucklebones of a sheep—which are thrown into the air and caught in various ways. To win, one must complete a prescribed series of throws and catches—many of which have distinctive names like “riding the elephant”—while also carrying out tasks like picking up stones from a surface. The origin of knucklebones is closely connected to that of what other game? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

USS Indianapolis Sunk by Japanese, Hundreds Die Awaiting Rescue (1945)

After delivering parts for the first atomic bomb to a US base in the Pacific, the USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. It sank in 12 minutes. Roughly 300 sailors were killed in the initial attack, and the remaining 900 faced exposure, dehydration, and shark attacks while awaiting rescue. The US Navy only learned of the sinking four days later, when survivors were spotted by a pilot on patrol. In the end, only 316 survived. Why was the ship’s captain court-martialed? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Henry Ford (1863)

Ford was a prominent American industrialist and innovator of mass production via the assembly line. His introduction of the Model T automobile revolutionized transportation and made car ownership affordable to many. Though controversial, Ford was undeniably one of the most influential men of the 20th century. He instituted an eight-hour workday in his factories and paid his workers relatively well but also strenuously opposed labor unions. Whom did he employ to intimidate union organizers? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Tick Paralysis

The only tick-borne disease not caused by an infectious organism, tick paralysis is a rare, progressive disorder caused by several species of ticks that secrete a potentially lethal neurotoxin. Symptoms, including weakness, incoordination, and paralysis, appear only after the tick—frequently hidden in scalp hair—has fed on the host for several days, and the resulting paralysis can cause death. However, the removal of the tick leads to rapid recovery. What precautions can be taken to avoid ticks? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary