Just a few months before Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made their historic landing on the moon, three NASA astronauts circled the moon as part of the Apollo 10 mission. They were Commander Thomas Stafford, Command Module Pilot John Young, and Lunar Module Pilot Eugene Cernan.
As part of the mission, their job was to test the technology that allowed the spacecraft’s lunar lander module to detach and re-attach to the command module. It was a dress rehearsal to the Apollo 11 moon landing mission later and as far as most people knew, it went smoothly without any hiccups.
Except that, it wasn’t that smooth. …
‘Gagarin is dead!’
Sergei Kravchinsky, a young engineer at that time recalls the furor it caused across the Soviet Union.
“We heard a scream in the corridor: ‘Guys, Gagarin is dead!’. It was a shock, all the women were crying,”
Yuri Gagarin became a legend when he became the first person to blast into space on April 12, 1961. With his infectious humor, movie star looks, and impressive charisma he quickly captured the imagination of an entire generation. He became an undisputed rock star for the Soviets in an era where ‘stardom’ was dominated by the Americans.
Immediately after his glorious success, the Soviets sent him on a tour to over 30 countries. He lunched with the queen of England, explored the pyramids with the president of Egypt, and danced with the Cuban President Fidel Castro. Gagarin charmed the world with his gregarious personality and enjoyed meeting various heads of state, royals, and actors who were all amazed by his journey. …
I am sure every history buff worth his/her salt would remember the Second Punic war fought between Rome and Carthage.
It was a war that is completely overshadowed by the great Carthaginian general Hannibal who invaded Italy scored emphatic victories at Lake Trasimene and Cannae before his eventual defeat at the hands of the Roman general Scipio Africanus in 202 B.C.
That said, an often-overlooked battle that nearly frustrated Rome for two years was the Siege of Syracuse, from 213–212 BC. This battle was a special one. This was a battle between military might and the brilliance of science. The brute Roman military strength was led by the great general Marcus Claudius Marcellus and his massive army was opposed by the brilliance of one man, Archimedes whose superior technological inventions stopped the Romans dead in their tracks. …
There was a popular misogynistic proverb in China that tries to justify why men need multiple women but women are expected to adjust only with just one man.
“One teapot is usually accompanied by four cups. But have you ever seen one cup with four teapots?”
That said, concubinage was a complex practice in imperial China and for most of the women a necessary evil to be adopted simply because women at that time had only four options to survive; be a wife, work as a maid, be a concubine, or work as a prostitute.
And out of the options available, being a concubine was one of the easiest ways available for a poor woman to earn social security and financial status if she can’t find a husband. Concubinage was also considered far safer than prostitution as there will be only one male partner and chances of getting sexual diseases were less. …
The French philosopher and writer Voltaire was a complex character in many ways.
· He was the charismatic and rebellious youngest son of an upper-middle-class French family.
· He was imprisoned in the Bastille.
· Many of his most famous works were banned
· He was also a spy for the French government
· And the biggest, he was a notorious lottery scammer.
Yes, Voltaire was a lottery scammer. Not many know that Voltaire was a pragmatist at heart. In his Mémoires (1759), Voltaire talks about how in his youth he had come across so many writers who were “penniless and held in contempt” that “he had long since decided not to add to their number.” …
Shiv Khera, the famous motivational speaker rightly said.
“Good parenting gives headaches but bad parenting gives heartaches.”
And heartaches are rather putting it mildly. Bad parenting can also create gruesome kidnappers and murderers. And the story of the killer sisters Seema Gavit and Renuka Shinde is a classic example of how parenting can grossly go wrong.
And it all started with their mother, Anjana Bai, who had built a notorious career for herself in pickpocketing and snatching jewelry in crowded places. …
Life as a soldier in the Roman legion is always assumed to be thrilling, death-defying, and constantly on the move with participating in massive military campaigns for subduing people throughout Europe and the Near East.
While this is true but not always. Roman soldiers did have a lot of free time in their hands and they utilized this free time either playing board games like Ludus Latrunculorum(a Roman game of strategy and direct battle) or drawing penis art on the walls. Yes, you read it right, penises. The Romans had an obscene obsession with penises.
And even when they are working on crucial installations like the Hadrian’s Wall, a defensive fortification in Roman Britannia to strengthen frontier borders, archaeologists have found more than 57 etchings of male genitalia scattered across the length of the Hadrian’s Wall. As Mike Collins, the inspector of ancient monuments for Hadrian’s Wall tells us. …
“Native Americans and the settlers were best friends.”
The above statement came straight out of the notebook of my 6th-grade daughter who was told to write a short essay about Thanksgiving.
That set me thinking. At school, all of us are fed a beautiful picture of Thanksgiving. The story is simple; the settlers and Native Americans came together to give thanks. It culminated in a three-day feast in which the settlers had invited the local Wampanoag people as a celebration of the harvest. …
I suppose most of us would have heard about Atlantis. Atlantis was a mysterious island described by the Greek philosopher Plato that was home to an advanced civilization. Then one day as the story goes, the island sank beneath the sea without a trace.
That said, there is another strange, disappearing island from ancient times that supposedly sits in the North Atlantic Ocean about 321 km (200 miles) off the coast and can be seen on multiple maps spanning between 1325 right up to the 19th century. It was called Hy-Brasil and is Ireland’s equivalent of Atlantis.
Yes, the name is confusing and looks eerily similar to the South American country of Brazil. But rest assured, the ancient mariners did not make the mistake of assuming that South America’s Brazil was a small island off the Irish coast. In fact, the name ‘Brazil’ is a variation of the old Celtic word, ‘Breasal’ which means the ‘High King’. …
What is the worst way to die?
There can be many answers to this question. Getting eaten alive by a shark, being burned at the stake, drowning, beheading, or if you are adventurous, crucifixion. The possibilities are endless.
Ok, how about getting your blood boiled, brains turned into tough glass due to intense heat, ‘heat-shocked’ into a sort of instant rigor mortis, and slowly getting ‘baked’ and asphyxiated by volcanic ash and toxic fumes for a period of time. And all of this happening simultaneously on your body.
Gruesome? isn’t it?
That is what happened to the residents of Pompeii on August 24, 79 AD, one day after the Roman holiday of Volcanalia, dedicated to the god of fire. At noon Mount Vesuvius erupted, spewing ash hundreds of feet into the air for 18 hours straight. …