National Reconciliation Week

Australia sets aside the week between May 27 and June 3 to honor the culture and history of its Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, and to promote reconciliation and forgiveness for the treatment that these indigenous peoples have suffered at the hands of white Australians. Since it was first held in 1996, National Reconciliation Week has featured various activities designed to promote understanding between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians, such as the People’s Walk for Reconciliation across the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 2000. Discuss

The Bar Kokhba Revolt

Initially, the reign of Roman emperor Hadrian was judicious. In Palestine, however, he proved himself ruthless. Around 130 CE, he began enforcing Romanizing policies among the Jews under his rule. With circumcision banned, Jews barred from Jerusalem, and a Roman temple being erected on the ruins of the Jewish one, the Jews revolted. Under the leadership of Simon Bar Kokhba, hailed by some as the Messiah, the Jews rebelled and established a sovereign state. How long did it survive? Discuss

Siraitia grosvenorii: Longevity Fruit

While empirical studies have yet to show that the fruit of the Siraitia grosvenorii vine extends life, anecdotal evidence—the sheer number of centenarians living in Guangxi, China, where the plant is primarily cultivated—has led some to draw this conclusion. Used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine to treat things like heat stroke and sore throats, the fruit only recently caught the attention of Western scientists. What have studies of its medicinal properties shown thus far? Discuss