Monthly Archives: September 2018

Vioxx Withdrawn from Market Because of Cardiovascular Concerns (2004)

Merck’s COX-2 selective nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug Vioxx (rofecoxib) was approved for use in the US in 1999 and remained on the market for just five years before being pulled due to concerns that it could raise the risk of heart attack and stroke. By that time, some 80 million people worldwide had taken the drug, primarily to treat osteoarthritis, acute pain, and dysmenorrhea. Before long, the drugmaker found itself facing thousands of lawsuits. How much did it earmark for settlements? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Héctor Lavoe (1946)

Lavoe was a Puerto Rican salsa singer. He moved to New York City at age 17 and found fame performing with acts like Orquesta New York and Willie Colón’s band. Lavoe recorded many hits, including “Mi Gente,” but with success came drug addiction and tragedy. After the deaths of his father, son, and mother-in-law and an HIV diagnosis, Lavoe jumped off a hotel balcony, likely in a suicide attempt. He survived and died of AIDS-related complications in 1993. Why were his remains later exhumed? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

The Indian Mutiny of 1857

In 1857, Indian troops, or sepoys, in the service of the British East India Company revolted after being issued new rifle cartridges thought to have been lubricated with a combination of cow and pig fat, rendering them religiously impure to both Hindus and Muslims. Though the mutiny began among the sepoys, it grew into a widespread uprising against British rule in India. Delhi was even seized by the rebels before they were ultimately defeated. What happened in the aftermath of the rebellion? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Émile Zola Dies of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning (1902)

Zola had an ardent zeal for social reform. His part in the Dreyfus Affair, notably his 1898 article “J’accuse,” was his most conspicuous public action and earned him the animosity of the anti-Dreyfus party. Prosecuted for libel, he escaped to England, where he remained until an amnesty enabled his return to France. A couple of years later, he died suddenly under suspicious circumstances, overcome by carbon-monoxide fumes in his sleep. Was it just a tragic accident or something more sinister? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Mayberry Days

This annual event celebrates “The Andy Griffith Show,” a television comedy about the adventures of a small-town sheriff in a fictional town called Mayberry. The festival was first held in 1990 in actor Andy Griffith’s home town of Mount Airy, North Carolina. Highlights of the festival include concerts by the Doug Dillard Band, a “Sheriff’s Choice” golf tournament, and Colonel Tim’s Talent Time. There is also a parade, a Mayberry trivia contest, and a silent auction. Actors associated with the show are often special guests, and watching reruns is a favorite activity. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Pompey the Great (106 BCE)

Pompey was a Roman general and the rival of Julius Caesar. Along with Caesar and Crassus, he was a member of the First Triumvirate established in 61 BCE. After the death of Pompey’s wife, Caesar’s daughter Julia, Pompey and Caesar became enemies. When Pompey received the sole consulship as the leader of the senatorial party, Caesar broke with the senate and crossed the Rubicon, and a civil war began. Pompey was defeated at Pharsalus and fled to Egypt, where he was assassinated while doing what? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

The History of Big Hair

Today, the term “big hair” generally evokes images of an eye-catching, untidy, voluminous hairstyle worn by conformist women in the 1970s and nonconformists of all sexes into the 1990s. However, the trend of exaggerating the volume of one’s hair with wigs, tools, and hair products actually began centuries ago. In the 17th century, for example, long, curly wigs became fashionable among the French aristocracy in imitation of King Louis XIV. Who are some icons of big hair? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary