Terror bombing is a military strategy that involves deliberately bombing civilian targets in order to damage enemy morale and elicit panic. During World War II, the legality of area bombardment—the bombing of general regions rather than specific targets—rested on the language of treaties drafted in a time before aerial mass bombardment was possible. Despite […]
The right of return is a principle in international law which asserts that members of an ethnic or national group have a right to immigrate to and become naturalized citizens of a country that they, the destination country, or both consider to be that group's homeland, independent of prior personal citizenship there. This belief is sometimes reflected i […]
An ancient relative of the armadillo, the Glyptodon was a large, armored, herbivorous mammal that that lived during the Pleistocene epoch and became extinct just 10,000 years ago. Covered by a protective shell composed of more than 1,000 one-inch-thick bony plates, the Glyptodon also possessed a bony cap on its skull and a ring of bones on its tail for prote […]
On the night of March 21, 1952, more than 20,000 fans tried to pack into the Cleveland Arena, which had an actual capacity of about half that number. Consequently, authorities shut down that evening's concert, the Moondog Coronation Ball, just minutes into the opening act, Paul Williams and his Hucklebuckers. The show is considered to have been the firs […]
Though it was originally developed as an anticancer drug in 1964, azidothymidine (AZT) was never approved for that purpose. Two decades later, however, it was discovered to be effective in fighting HIV. At the time, thousands of people were dying of AIDS, and no other treatment was forthcoming. For humanitarian reasons, the drug was approved by the US Food a […]
Though unregulated gambling had been common in early Nevada mining towns, it was outlawed in 1909, and for many years, the state's economy was carried by mining. However, with the mining industry in decline amid the Great Depression, state lawmakers agreed to re-legalize gambling in order to strengthen the state's finances. Today, the state economy […]
The son of a German pastor, Richter initially planned to follow in his father's footsteps, but after studying theology at university, he found a new passion in writing. He published two poorly received satirical works before suffering a spiritual crisis that profoundly altered his outlook and writing style. His next book, Die unsichtbare Loge, The Invis […]
Forgoing his early goal of being a writer, Skinner earned his doctorate in psychology at Harvard, where he later spent much of his teaching career. A leading exponent of the behavioral approach to psychology, Skinner maintained that learning occurs as a result of an organism responding to, or operating on, its environment, a phenomenon he called operant cond […]
Burton lived a life of adventure and scandal as an explorer, translator, fencer, ethnologist, poet, and spy. He spoke at least 25 languages and put these skills to use translating works like the Arabian Nights and Kama Sutra into English. His linguistic skills also helped him pass himself off as a Muslim so that he could visit the forbidden holy cities of Me […]
Chichén Itzá, located on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula, is one of the country's biggest and best preserved Mayan ruins. Every year on the Vernal Equinox, the angle of the sunlight hitting the enormous El Castillo pyramid creates a shadow that gives the illusion of a snake slithering down its side. The Mayans believed that this was Kukulcán, the feathe […]
The first day of spring (nowruz means "new day") is celebrated by all religious groups in Iran and Afghanistan. In Iran, Nowruz is an event lasting 13 days, during which people wear new clothes, give gifts, and visit friends and relatives. Banquet tables traditionally hold seven foods starting with the letter S. Plates with sprouting wheat symboliz […]
In Valencia, Spain, the feast of the foster-father of Jesus is a week-long festival called Fallas de San Jose (Bonfires of St. Joseph). On St. Joseph's Eve, March 18, fallas—huge floats of intricate scenes made of wood and papier-mâché, satirizing everything from the high cost of living to political personalities—parade through the streets. At midnight […]
Definition: (adjective) (Used of persons or behavior) characterized by or indicative of lack of generosity. Synonyms: mingy, tight, mean. Usage: The necessity of disbursing passage money for all his tribe seemed to disturb him in a manner that was the more striking because otherwise he gave no signs of a miserly disposition. Discuss
Definition: (adjective) Denoting or deriving from or distinctive of the ways of living built up by a group of people. Synonyms: cultural. Usage: In my family, holidays are celebrated with lavish meals featuring ethnic foods that remind us of our ancestors' Eastern European roots.
Babies think logically before they are able to speak, according to a new study which calls into question whether we need language in order to reason. Infants are able to reason using “disjunctive syllogism”, better known as the process of elimination ... Discuss
Neanderthals, Denisovans and our ancestors were mixing and mingling a long time ago -- and some of our genetics can be traced back to these archaic humans. In Asians, as much as 3% of an individual's DNA may be Neanderthal. For Europeans, it's as ...
Only male birds sing. For years that was the assumption, among birdwatchers and professional ornithologists alike. After all, male birds are “the obvious ones,” says Lauryn Benedict, a biologist at the University of Northern Colorado. “They're out ...