Monthly Archives: March 2019

Wardenclyffe Tower

The Wardenclyffe Tower was an early telecommunications aerial tower intended for commercial wireless transatlantic telephony and broadcasting and to demonstrate the transmission of power without interconnecting wires. Designed by inventor Nikola Tesla and funded by financier J.P. Morgan and others, the tower was planned to be built in Long Island, New York. Construction began in 1901, but as funds dwindled, work was halted. Why did the US government have the incomplete facility blown up in 1917? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Californium First Synthesized (1950)

The sixth transuranium element to be synthesized, californium is an artificially produced, radioactive metallic chemical element. A member of the actinide series of elements, it has isotopes with half-lives ranging from about 40 seconds to 900 years. One isotope, californium-252, is used as a neutron source in nuclear reactors. More than 50 years after it was first produced by researchers at the University of California at Berkeley, californium was used to create what superheavy element? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

St. Patrick's Day

The patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick was born about 390 in Roman Britain and died around 461. After being consecrated a bishop, he came to Ireland around 432 as a missionary. The Feast of St. Patrick is celebrated by Roman Catholics, the Anglican Communion, and Lutherans on March 17. The day is also popularly celebrated, particularly in the U.S., by “the wearing of the green.” The St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City, which dates back to 1762, is the largest in the United States and a major event for Irish Americans. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

The Umbrella

In ancient times, small canopies were used to protect against the sun and denote rank in places like China and Egypt. In ancient Greece and, later, in Rome, the parasol came to be seen as an indispensable part of a fashionable lady’s garb. The umbrella all but disappeared in Europe during the Middle Ages and did not reemerge until the late 16th century, when it was introduced as the parapluie—French for “against the rain.” Slang terms for umbrella include brolly, gamp, and what else? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

The Absent-Minded Professor

The absent-minded professor is a stock character in popular fiction, usually portrayed as an intelligent but bumbling academic whose focus on scientific matters causes him or her to lose track of the everyday world. Isaac Newton, Adam Smith, and Archimedes were all considered absent-minded professors by their contemporaries. What philosopher is said to have fallen down a well because he had his eyes focused on the heavens instead of the ground in front of him while walking at night? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Andrew Jackson's Birthday

Andrew Jackson (1767-1845), the seventh president of the United States (1829-37), became a national hero during the War of 1812 when he successfully fought the British at New Orleans. The anniversary of his birth is a special observance in Tennessee, and the president of the United States usually brings or sends a wreath to be placed on Jackson’s grave in the garden at his home, near Nashville. Other tributes paid to Jackson during this week include radio speeches and newspaper editorials, school essay contests, and Jackson Day dinners sponsored by the Democratic party. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

The Kremlin

A kreml, in Russian, is a citadel or walled city center. Several Russian cities have such structures, but the most famous one is in Moscow and is known simply as “the Kremlin.” It was the residence Russia’s czars until 1712, and in 1918, it became the Soviet Union’s political and administrative center. Triangular and surrounded by crenellated walls, it occupies 90 acres (36.4 hectares) in the historic core of Moscow, a site that has been continuously inhabited since what century BCE? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary