Category Archives: Article of the Day

Ganzfeld Experiments

A ganzfeld experiment is a technique used in the field of parapsychology to test individuals for extrasensory perception (ESP). It uses homogeneous and unpatterned sensory stimulation, achieved through the use of translucent, monochromatic goggles that create a uniform visual field and headphones that play white noise, to produce an effect similar to sensory deprivation, which is thought to help people reach a state of consciousness conducive to ESP. What have experiments shown about ESP? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Deindustrialization

Deindustrialization is a process of social and economic change brought about by the reduction or removal of industrial production. It represents an economic shift that usually occurs in mature economies, such as that of the US. Although it can be beneficial to some sectors, deindustrialization can cause widespread joblessness and poverty in industrial cities like Detroit, Michigan, the onetime “automobile capital of the world.” What percent of the city’s population lives below the poverty line? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

The Business Plot

In 1933, retired US Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler claimed that business tycoons were plotting to use a veterans’ organization to overthrow President Franklin D Roosevelt and install a fascist dictator. The media ridiculed the claim, but a congressional committee concluded that his allegations were credible. Although historians question whether a coup was close to execution, most agree that a political conspiracy was at least contemplated. What businessmen were implicated in the plot? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough

Sarah Churchill was one of the most influential women in British history. A childhood friend of Queen Anne, she served as a lady of the bedchamber after Anne’s marriage, and when Anne acceded to the throne in 1702, Sarah enjoyed great favor at court along with her husband, the duke of Marlborough. She was a strong-willed woman and her influence grew until her Whig sympathies alienated Anne, who dismissed her in 1711. Who are a few of her famous descendents? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

The Achaemenid Empire

At its height, the Achaemenid Empire reached from Macedonia to northern India and from the Caucasus Mountains to the Persian Gulf. It derives its name from Achaemenes, who is thought to have lived in the early 7th century BCE. Its greatest rulers were Cyrus II, who established the Persian Empire and from whose reign it is dated; Darius I, who secured the borders from external threats; and Xerxes I, who completed many of Darius’s public works. What event brought an end to the empire? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Codices

A codex is a manuscript book, especially of Scripture, early literature, or ancient mythological or historical annals. The oldest extant Greek codex is a biblical manuscript from the 4th century BCE. Codices were developed separately by pre-Columbian Mesoamericans after 1000 CE. The earliest type of manuscript in the form of a modern book—a collection of pages stitched together along one side—the codex replaced earlier rolls of papyrus and wax tablets. What advantages did it provide over them? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

The Blue Angels

In 1946, the US Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron, popularly known as the Blue Angels, performed for the first time. Intended to enhance Navy recruiting and to represent American armed forces as international ambassadors of good will, the Blue Angels perform aerial demonstrations involving highly precise maneuvers while flying in formation. During the stunts, the jets can sometimes come within 18 inches of each other. Why is it that pilots in the Blue Angels squadron do not wear G-suits? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Yoruba Twins

While the birth rate of monozygotic—identical—twins is relatively constant worldwide, the rate for dizygotic—fraternal—twins varies widely. Fraternal twins are most common among persons of African ancestry, and the highest incidence of fraternal twins is among the Yoruba peoples of Nigeria, with a frequency of more than 40 per 1,000 births. This has made twins an important part of Yoruba culture, in which twins are said to share one soul. What traditions do the Yoruba follow regarding twins? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

King Oedipus

In Greek mythology, Oedipus was a king of Thebes who unwittingly killed his father and married his mother. In the most familiar version of the story, Laius, king of Thebes, was warned by an oracle that his son would kill him. He abandoned the infant Oedipus on a mountain, but the baby was saved by a shepherd and adopted by the king of Corinth. When Oedipus learned from the Delphic oracle that he would kill his father and marry his mother, he fled Corinth to escape this fate. What happened next? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Friendship

The Greek philosopher Aristotle once said that “friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies.” He divided friendships into three types: the useful, friendship as a common enterprise; the pleasant, friendship as entertaining companionship; and the good or virtuous, friendship as mutual esteem. Modern studies have linked friendships with personal wellbeing, yet studies indicate that, at least in the US, friendships are on the decline. How many confidants does the average US citizen have? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary