All posts by Ian Grieve

The Station Nightclub Fire (2003)

Moments after the band Great White took the stage at the Station nightclub in Rhode Island, sparks from one of the group’s pyrotechnic devices—of which the nightclub was unaware—ignited the highly flammable sound insulation around the stage. The nightclub, which had no sprinklers, was engulfed in minutes, trapping many inside. One hundred people were killed, making it one of the deadliest nightclub fires in US history. How many people faced criminal charges in the aftermath of the tragedy? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

First week of Lent

It wasn’t until the ninth century that the Lenten season, called the Great Lent in the East to differentiate it from the Advent fast called Little Lent, was fixed at 40 days (with Sundays omitted). For centuries the Lenten season has been observed with certain periods of strict fasting, as well as giving up something—a favorite food or other worldly pleasure—for the 40 days of Lent. Celebrations such as Carnival and Mardi Gras offered Christians their last opportunities to indulge before the rigorous Lenten restrictions. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Tony Wilson (1950)

Beginning in the late 1970s, the English city of Manchester became the epicenter of a vibrant music scene that produced such seminal bands as Joy Division, Happy Mondays, and the Stone Roses. One of the key people behind the Manchester scene was Wilson, a record label owner, club manager, and journalist. The 2002 film 24 Hour Party People is based on his life. Despite his widespread influence, he made little money from his work and was unable to pay for what expensive medical treatment? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

The Invention of the Potter's Wheel

It is not known when the potter’s wheel first came into use, but experts suggest it was developed between about 6,000 BCE and 2,400 BCE. Many modern scholars suggest that it was first developed in Mesopotamia, although Egypt and China are also possible places of origin. The device enables potters to utilize the energy stored in the wheel and direct it specifically to the point of contact between the clay and hands. What term is used to refer to the forming of a vessel on a potter’s wheel? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Former US Vice President Aaron Burr Arrested for Treason (1807)

Nearly three years after killing Alexander Hamilton in a duel, former US Vice President Aaron Burr was arrested on unrelated charges of treason. Though the exact details of his plan were a mystery even then, he was accused of plotting to establish an independent country of his own, possibly in the American Southwest. He was treated well while imprisoned at Fort Stoddert and was eventually acquitted, but his political career was destroyed. Which of his co-conspirators turned on him? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Shivaji (1630)

A devout Hindu, Shivaji grew up hating the Mughal Empire that controlled most of his native India. Around 1655, he began making guerrilla attacks on the Muslim kingdom of Bijapur, gradually carving out his own domain. He lured the Bijapur army to its destruction, becoming a formidable warlord overnight by taking the army’s equipment. He then established the Maratha Empire, which was noted for its religious tolerance. How did he once make a daring escape from the Mughal emperor’s palace? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary