Now to the Brocken the witches ride; the stubble is gold and the corn is green; There is the carnival crew to be seen, And Squire Urianus will come to preside. So over the valleys our company floats, with witches a-farting on stinking old goats.
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust
Exactly six months before Halloween, the Germans and Scandinavians celebrate Walpurgis Night, May-Eve, Beltane, or Hexennacht, aka Witches’ Night.
According …Read more
Today’s International Dance Day, which is celebrated on April 29, believe it or not, because of this guy.
Stuffy as he looks, Jean-Georges Noverre could apparently cut a rug in his day. He began dancing professionally at age 16 and wrote his first ballet at 20. He danced in Paris, London, Vienna and Strasbourg, and was head of the Paris Opera Ballet until his boss, Marie Antoinette, lost her own head. Noverre was …Read more
Today is Freedom Day in South Africa, a country that doesn’t take freedom for granted. Freedom Day celebrates South Africa’s first democratic elections, held on this day in 1994.
Voting began on April 26, for the elderly, the ill, and pregnant women. The general election was held from April 27 to April 29, and was open to all South Africans 18 and older, regardless of race. Prior to the election, non-whites had limited …Read more
“Spring comes early in the Gulf States, and April 26 has been made Confederate Memorial Day by Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Georgia.
“North and South Carolina have selected May 10.
“In Tennessee, the second Friday in May has been made Confederate Day.
“Virginia keeps Confederate Memorial Day on May 30.
“So that as the spring advances, there are several observances of memorial day, beginning with the lower South, and following on, in the …Read more
Statistically, you’re more likely to be struck by lightning, crushed by a vending machine, or flattened by falling airplane parts than to be killed by a shark.
In terms of deadliest animals, sharks barely make the top ten and are superseded by the vicious jellyfish (100 human deaths per year) and hippopotami (200 DPY).
Clocking in at #7 are lions (250) #6 Bees (400) #5 Elephants (600) #4 Crocodiles (2000) #3 Scorpians (5000) #2 Snakes (100,000)
Last month the nation of Turkey remembered Victory of Canakkale, the World War I campaign that unified the Turkish spirt and brought together disparate elements that would form the Turkish nation.
But for every victor there’s the vanquished.
The Allies of World War I, including the French, British, Indian, Australian and New Zealanders, suffered a quarter million casualties in the Dardanelles (Canakkale) campaign. At the forefront of the battle, the soldiers of …Read more
“If a man is killed in Paris, it is a murder; fifty thousand throats are cut in the East and it is a question.” –Victor Hugo
Hugo died 30 years before the Armenian Genocide of 1915, but his quote could be applied to it—just multiply by thirty.
The Armenian Genocide has been called the first genocide of the twentieth century.
In November 1914, the Ottoman Empire entered World …Read more