Raid on the Branch Davidian Compound (1993)

After investigating charges of child abuse and the illegal stockpiling of weapons at the Texas ranch of the Branch Davidian religious sect, US federal law enforcement agents raided the compound. The confrontation turned violent, and 10 people were killed in the firefight. A siege of the compound ended 51 days later, when the complex was engulfed in flames. At least 76 people, including Davidian leader David Koresh, died in the incident. How did the Davidians receive advance warning of the raid? Discuss

Mario Andretti (1940)

Mario Andretti is the only racecar driver to have won the Indianapolis 500, the Daytona 500, and the international Formula One championship. He retired from Indy-car racing in 1994 with 52 victories but continued his attempts to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans sports-car endurance race until the age of 60. The Italian-American legend has been called the “Driver of the Century.” How many members of the Andretti family have followed in Mario’s footsteps and become racecar drivers? Discuss

Château Mouton Rothschild

Château Mouton Rothschild is an estate in southwestern France that is regarded as one of the producers of the world’s greatest wines. In the mid-20th century, Baron Rothschild decided to have each year’s label designed by a famous artist of the day, and since then the wine’s labels have become collectibles. Twice in the history of the special labels, two designs have been used in the same year. The first time, the Baron liked two submissions equally and used both. What happened the second time? Discuss

David H. Hubel (1926)

In 1981, neurobiologist David Hubel and his research partner, Torsten Wiesel, received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their research in the area of visual perception and their discoveries concerning information processing in the visual system. Their observations of the various nerve impulses and nerve cells responsible for different types of visual stimuli opened the door for the understanding and treatment of what ailments? Discuss


Papiamento is a Spanish-based creole language with Portuguese, Dutch, and English influences that is now primarily used in the Caribbean islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao. It developed in the Netherlands’ possessions in the West Indies and possibly arrived there with African slaves, who used it to communicate with Portuguese slave traders. Its name is thought to come from papear, the Portuguese word for “chatter.” Approximately how many people speak Papiamento today? Discuss

Radar Is Demonstrated (1935)

Radar is a means for detecting the position, movement, and nature of a remote object through radio waves reflected from its surface. During the 1930s, several countries independently developed the technology for military use, exploiting radar’s capacity to detect aircrafts and ships. One of the earliest practical radar systems was devised by Sir Robert Watson-Watt, a Scottish physicist and descendent of the inventor of the steam engine, James Watt. What was the “Battle of the Beams”? Discuss