Monthly Archives: March 2020

Methuselah

In the Bible, the patriarch Methuselah is the grandfather of Noah and is said to have lived to the age of 969. As such, his name has become synonymous with longevity. Since the very oldest modern-day humans reach an age only approximately one eighth of Methuselah’s, numerous theories have arisen to explain why he is said to have lived so long. One postulates that an ancient mistranslation resulted in the accidental inflation of his age when what two words were mixed up? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

The Crimean War

As the once-mighty Ottoman Empire declined, major European powers began to compete for control of its territories. Eventually, the conflict escalated into a full-scale war, with Russia on one side and Great Britain, France, Sardinia, and the Ottoman Empire on the other. It was commanded poorly by both sides, and in the end, nothing was definitively settled. It was one of the first wars to be documented photographically. What caused many of the hundreds of thousands of casualties on both sides? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Jennifer Marie Capriati (1976)

Capriati’s family moved to Florida when she was four years old so she could pursue a tennis career, and by 1990, the 14-year-old had earned over $6 million in endorsements. She became the youngest women’s tennis player to win a match at Wimbledon, to reach the semifinals in a Grand Slam event, and to rank in the top ten players. Personal problems—including an arrest—sidelined her as a teen, but she made a successful comeback in her 20s before injuries ended her career. What was she arrested for? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Ovid's Metamorphoses

Completed in 8 CE, Metamorphoses is a 15-book narrative poem that describes the history of the world from its creation to the deification of Julius Caesar. A collection of myths and legends in which transformation plays a role, it relates the stories of Daphne, a nymph who metamorphosed into a laurel tree to escape from Apollo, and Arachne, who was turned into a spider for challenging the goddess Athena to a weaving contest. What other transformations are detailed in Metamorphoses? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Thomas Dunn English

Though he was an accomplished writer and politician, English is best known for his bitter feud with Edgar Allen Poe that turned physical at least once. They had once been friends, but in the early 1840s, their relationship deteriorated. Each began to publish thinly-veiled, mocking satires of the other. Poe included references to English in the revenge tale, The Cask of Amontillado, and English ridiculed Poe as a drunk. Eventually, Poe sued for libel and won. What led to their falling out? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Lost-Wax Casting

The lost-wax method of casting metal sculptures was developed thousands of years ago and is still used by metalworkers today. In this labor-intensive process, a clay or plaster model is coated with wax and then covered with a perforated plaster or clay mold. When the cast dries, the wax is melted and drained and replaced with molten metal. Archeological evidence suggests that metalworkers in India and Mesopotamia were using this method as early as 3500 BCE to make what sorts of objects? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary