Tollund Man

Tollund Man is the naturally mummified corpse of a man who lived around the 4th century BCE. He was found in 1950 in a peat bog on the Jutland Peninsula in Denmark. His head and face were so well-preserved by the bog that he was mistaken at the time of the discovery for a recent murder victim. He wore a sheepskin cap, his hair was cropped very short, and stubble on his chin and upper lip indicated that he had not shaved on the day of his death. How did this man end up dead in the bog? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

National Hollerin' Contest

Many years ago, the residents of Spivey’s Corner, North Carolina, communicated with each other by calling out their greetings, warnings, and cries of distress. They also hollered for their cows, pigs, and dogs to come in. After modern technology supplanted this primitive mode of communication, a local citizen named Ermon Godwin Jr. decided to revive the custom of hollering by holding a day-long competition each year. In addition to the hollering contests, the event includes a pole climb, fox horn-blowing contests, and a watermelon carry. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

The 51st State

In American politics, the phrase “51st state” is used to refer to a territory that might be considered for inclusion in the US. With about 600,000 residents, the District of Columbia is regarded as a potential candidate, as is Puerto Rico, which is currently a self-governing commonwealth of the US. The term is also sometimes used to disparage a country that is perceived to be under American influence or to be too Americanized. Which US state has the right to divide itself into multiple states? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Jane Austen Festival

Along with being famous for its ancient Roman ruins, the town of Bath, England, is also known as the home of renowned English novelist Jane Austen (1775–1817). Since 2001, Austen aficionados have converged on Bath for over a week to celebrate with music, walking tours, films, and the famous Regency Promenade, in which a large group in period costume parades the Georgian terraces of Bath. Other well-attended events are workshops, lectures, and readings, which often reference Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, two Austen novels mainly set in Bath. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

The Radium Girls

The Radium Girls were a group of female factory workers who contracted radiation poisoning from painting watch dials with glow-in-the-dark paint at a New Jersey factory in 1917. The women, who had been told the paint was harmless, ingested deadly amounts of radium by licking their paintbrushes to sharpen them. Some even painted their fingernails with the glowing substance. After the risks were exposed, five of the women sued their employer in a case that led to the establishment of what right? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Bera Festival (Bera Utsav)

Wherever there is a large body of water in Bengal, agricultural communities are likely to celebrate the Bera Festival. Holy men known as fakirs supervise the preparation of ornately decorated floats (bera means “raft” or “float” in Hindi), which are constructed in honor of Khaja Khizir, the patron saint of the waters. The centerpiece of the festival, the raft, is made out of local banana trunks that are lashed together to make a square platform. The float is then decorated with flags, flowers, and other trappings, and finally is pushed into the water to be received by Khaja Khizir. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

The Second Great Awakening

The Second Great Awakening was an early 19th-century US religious evangelical revivalist movement. Founded on the belief that every person could, through a determined struggle with sin, achieve salvation, it drew millions of new members to a variety of denominations, including new ones like Adventism and Mormonism. In upstate New York, so few were left unconverted that the area came to be called the “burned-over district.” How did revivalists’ religious beliefs encourage wider social reform? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary