The Battle of Britain was the first major German failure in World War II. The Royal Air Force (RAF), outgunned and outmanned, nevertheless defeated the German Luftwaffe and thwarted Hitler’s plan for an amphibious invasion, which he had hoped would end the war quickly. The event was not only a testament to the courage of British pilots, but it also marked the first time a major battle was fought entirely in the air and featured the first use of radar in battle. Who were the “rows of idiots”? Discuss
This is another name for Halloween among children in the Swansea area of Wales. The traditional game of “Apple and Candle” is played by suspending a stick from the ceiling with an apple fastened to one end and a lit candle to the other. The object is to eat the apple without using hands and without getting burned by the swinging candle. To make the game more challenging, players are sometimes blindfolded and the stick is twirled around before the game begins. Discuss
After the Qing dynasty was overthrown and a republic established in China, Chiang joined the Kuomintang (KMT)—the Nationalist Party—and rose through the ranks to become commander in chief of the revolutionary army and eventual successor to leader Sun Yat-sen. Under Chiang’s direction, the KMT broke with its former allies, the Communists, and began a protracted civil war. Despite some initial success, Chiang ultimately failed, and his government was driven from mainland China to where? Discuss
A love letter. Watch the video
These small black-and-white mammals are best known for the foul-smelling oily liquid they expel when threatened. Skunks do not make use of this weapon unless severely provoked and then only after raising their tails in a warning display. Most animals quickly learn to avoid skunks because the odor of skunk spray is so strong. In addition to stinking, the spray causes choking and tearing of the eyes. What do researchers believe is essential to successfully neutralizing the skunk smell? Discuss
Definition: (noun) A poem similar to a rondeau, having 13 or 14 lines with two rhymes throughout. The first and second lines reappear in the middle and at the end, although sometimes only the first line appears at the end.
Usage: Her poetry club issued a new challenge every week; last week, everyone had to write a funny rondel about chewing gum.
The “Rumble in the Jungle” pitted boxer Muhammad Ali against heavyweight champion George Foreman in Zaire—now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The match is remembered for Ali’s incredible performance in regaining the heavyweight title. Surrounded by spellbound fans, he used a strategy later dubbed the “rope-a-dope” to tire Foreman before winning in the eighth round. This fight was Don King’s first major venture as a professional boxing promoter. What musical acts were booked for the event? Discuss
Also known as the American Royal, or simply the Royal, this is the oldest, and one of the largest, livestock shows and rodeos in the United States, dating back to the period just after the Civil War. The main events occur in October and November. The American Royal Rodeo is the final rodeo of the season on the professional circuit, featuring over 700 professional riders and offering more than $100,000 in prize money. There are also livestock auctions, horse and livestock shows, country music concerts, barbecue competitions, and a parade through downtown Kansas City. Discuss
A scrawny youth, Angelo Siciliano, better known as “Charles Atlas,” built up his physique using a system of exercises he developed that worked muscles against each other and in 1922 was dubbed “The World’s Most Perfectly Developed Man.” Under the Atlas pseudonym, he launched a highly successful mail-order bodybuilding course, advertising his “dynamic tension” system with the now-iconic image of the “97-pound weakling” who loses his girl to a bully at the beach. How does the weakling’s story end? Discuss
A strong and often immobilizing type of embrace. Watch the video