All posts by Ian Grieve

Rara

In Haiti, Carnival is known as Rara for the groups of people who come down from the hills to dance in processions throughout Lent and particularly during Easter Week. It begins by calling on Legba, who appears as Carrefour, the guardian of thresholds and crossroads. Each Rara band consists of a musical group, a band chief, a queen with attendants, a women’s choir, and vendors selling food. The group’s leader often dresses like a jester and twirls a long baton known as a jonc. Rara has deep ties with Voodoo and its resemblance to other Carnival celebrations is largely superficial. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

The Mary Rose

The Mary Rose was an English warship that sank mysteriously—and probably accidentally—during a battle in 1545. The ship was leading an attack on an invading French fleet when, quite suddenly, it heeled over to one side and sank with about 400 crew members on board. It was rediscovered in 1971. When it was raised in 1982, there were still 92 complete skeletons inside. Maritime researchers believe that it probably sank because the sailors failed to do what? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

The Arab Revolt

By the time it aligned with the Central Powers during WWI, the Ottoman Empire had ruled much of the Middle East—and beyond—for centuries. In the war’s aftermath, the British sought to weaken the powerful empire, and did so by aiding the long-simmering Arab sovereignty movement. Led by Sherif Hussein of Mecca and advised by British officer T. E. Lawrence, the revolt succeeded against the empire, though the goal of establishing a unified Arab kingdom was not realized. What did the British gain? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Great Falls Ski Club Mannequin Jump

In the zany sport of mannequin jumping, contestants build a mannequin—which could represent anything from SpongeBob SquarePants to a Ninja Turtle—and send it flying off a 15-foot ski jump. Hundreds of spectators come to watch the mannequins fly—and often self-destruct on the way down. The Great Falls Ski Club Mannequin Jump is held on the first Saturday in April at the Showdown Ski Area in Montana. In addition to the main event, the day’s activities feature a wide variety of winter sports, including downhill skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Titian

Born around 1490, Titian was a leading Venetian Renaissance painter whose technique, particularly his brushwork, composition, and use of color, influenced generations of artists after him. He is known for his psychologically penetrating portraits as well as his depictions of religious and mythological scenes. What politician’s staff member once altered Titian’s Wikipedia page in a misguided attempt to hide the fact that the politician may have been mistaken about the painter’s age at death? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary