Alexander III of Russia (1845) Alexander III was tsar of Russia from 1881 until his death in 1894. As ruler, he sought to counteract what he considered the excessive liberalism of his father's reign and pursued a reactionary policy that promoted Russification and the persecution of religious minorities. Still, economic policy during Alexander's rule enabled rapid industrial development and allowed Russia to begin building the Trans-Siberian Railroad. To which of Alexander's relatives was his wife, Dagmar, originally engaged? Discuss
Yuri Gagarin (1934) Gagarin was a Russian cosmonaut who, in 1961, became the first human being to successfully travel into space. Gagarin circled the Earth once during his 1-hour-and-48-minute flight aboard the Vostok 1. His success is believed to have ushered in the modern era of man in space, and Gagarin toured widely to promote the Soviet achievement. Ironically, he died in a plane crash seven years later. What factors did Soviet officials consider when choosing Gagarin for the historic space flight?
Tapio Rautavaara (1915) Finland's multitalented Tapio Rautavaara was a successful athlete, singer, and actor. He won Olympic gold for javelin throwing and was also a top archer. He acted in numerous Finnish films and recorded more than 300 songs before his death in 1979, the result of a brain injury caused by a slip-and-fall accident. His death might have been averted had medical officials correctly identified the symptoms of a fatal cerebral hemorrhage instead of dismissing them as indicators of what?
Energy Drinks and Teens If your teen frequently consumes energy drinks, this could be a red flag that he or she engages in other risky behaviors. A Canadian study found that high school students who reported a higher frequency of energy drink use were more likely to also feel depressed, engage in risk-taking behaviors, drink alcohol, and use drugs. Energy drinks' marketing campaigns may be somewhat to blame for the association, as they are designed make the products seem extreme and exciting. This likely increases their appeal to young people, especially those already prone to sensation seeking. Discuss
Food Security Threatened by Globalized Diets Traditional crops and diets around the globe are falling victim to globalization. Over the past five decades, diets have become 36 percent more similar. At the same time, farmers are increasingly giving up traditional crops, like cassava, sorghum, and millet, in favor of things like wheat, rice, soybeans, and sunflowers. This trend of cultivating less diverse food crops poses a threat to food security, as a single pest or disease has the potential to wipe out crops on a mass scale. Furthermore, though these staple crops have played a major role in combating hunger, they are also contributing to the rapid rise of obesity.