The "Miracle on Ice" (1980)

Voted the greatest sports moment of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated magazine, the unlikely victory of the US men’s hockey team over its Soviet counterpart during the 1980 Olympic Winter Games has been called the “Miracle on Ice.” The Soviet team was considered the world’s best international hockey team, while the US team was made up of amateur and collegiate players. Who scored the decisive goal in the game, allowing the US to go on to the gold-medal game against Finland? Discuss

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788)

An unhappy and solitary man, Schopenhauer was a German philosopher whose works earned him the title “the philosopher of pessimism.” The bias of his own temperament and experience was crucial to the development of his celebrated philosophy—reflections on the theory of knowledge and the philosophy of nature, aesthetics, and ethics—which he presented with such clarity and skill as to gain eventual recognition as one of the great philosophers. Schopenhauer was heavily influenced by what Hindu texts? Discuss

Anarchist Catalonia

Anarchism, a political theory that favors the abolition of all forms of government, started a profound libertarian revolution throughout Spain. During the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s, Catalonia was established as an anarchist stronghold and much of the region’s economy was put under worker control: factories were run through worker committees, agrarian areas became collectivized, and even hotels and restaurants were managed by their workers. When did Catalonia fall to Spain’s nationalists? Discuss

German Socialist Kurt Eisner Is Assassinated (1919)

Eisner was a German journalist and politician. From 1898, he was editor of Vorwärts, the official Social Democratic Party newspaper. He joined the Independent Social Democratic Party in 1917, later becoming its leader. In November 1918, he organized a Socialist revolution that overthrew the monarchy in Bavaria, and he became the first prime minister and minister of foreign affairs of the new Bavarian republic. In February 1919, Eisner was assassinated while on his way to do what? Discuss

Lemon Festival (La Fête du Citron)

Since the 1930s the town of Menton, France, has celebrated its annual Lemon Festival. Festival organizers expect about 300,000 people to visit the town during the festival in order to enjoy the parades—featuring larger-than-life-sized figurines made entirely of citrus fruit, a specialty of the region—and other activities. Performances of local folk music and dance also take place during the festival. In addition, visitors may stroll by scenes from famous stories reconstructed out of citrus fruits and displayed in one of the city’s parks. Discuss

Andrés Segovia (1893)

Segovia was a Spanish guitarist whose transcriptions of early contrapuntal music, along with his concerts and recordings, were largely responsible for the 20th-century resurgence of interest in the guitar and its possibilities as a concert instrument. Almost entirely self-taught, he made his debut in Grenada in 1909 and by the 1920s was touring internationally. He continued to perform into his 90s. Which composers wrote works just for Segovia? Discuss


Though the US Environmental Protection Agency labeled perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) a likely carcinogen in 2006, it continues to be widely used in food packaging and in the processing of Teflon non-stick coatings. Traces of PFOA-family chemicals can now be found in the blood of most Americans and in the environment worldwide. Of particular concern is the grease resistant fluorotelomer coating used in the production of microwave popcorn packages. How does the PFOA from popcorn bags get ingested? Discuss