Lucrezia Borgia (1480) Lucrezia was an Italian noblewoman and daughter of the future Pope Alexander VI. Her family came to epitomize the ruthless Machiavellian politics and sexual corruption allegedly characteristic of the Renaissance papacy, but rumors of her participation in her family's poison plots and of incestuous relations with her father and brother have not been proved. Nevertheless, Lucrezia is often viewed as a femme fatale and has been portrayed as such in many works of art. What are a few examples? Discuss
Nikita Khrushchev (1894) In the power struggle that followed Joseph Stalin's death, Nikita Khrushchev emerged as leader of the USSR. He became First Secretary of the Communist Party in 1953 and the Soviet premier five years later. He was highly critical of Stalin's rule and oversaw many reforms. Jovial in manner and often deliberately uncouth, he had a brash, extraverted style of diplomacy that became his trademark. Before his removal from office, the Communist Party accused him of mishandling what event in 1962?
Charlie Chaplin (1889) Chaplin was one of the most creative personalities in the silent film era: he acted in, directed, scripted, produced, and eventually scored his own films. Merging physical grace and disrespect for authority, he created a signature character, the Little Tramp, who wore a gentlemen's derby, carried a cane, and sported a toothbrush mustache. The Little Tramp's baggy trousers and oversized shoes contributed to his unique, bow-legged dance-walk. How did Chaplin's political leanings affect his career?
Hundreds Still Missing in South Korea Ferry Disaster Hundreds of people, many of them high school students on a field trip, are still missing after a South Korean ferry traveling from the northwestern port of Incheon to the southern resort island of Jejucapsized on Wednesday morning. There have been about 20 confirmed casualties so far, and at least 179 people have been rescued; still, more than half of the ferry's 475 passengers and crew remain unaccounted for. Rescue divers have attempted to enter the now-submerged floors of the five-story vessel, where they believe many of the missing may be trapped—and possibly alive in air pockets—but difficult conditions have prevented them from reaching those areas. Discuss
Club Drug Lifts Depression The horse tranquilizer ketamine, which has become popular on the club scene, shows significant promise in the treatment of depression. In recent small trials, low doses of the drug were able to lift depression symptoms in a number of patients, and effects persisted in some for days and in others for months. While ketamine will not be replacing Prozac and similar traditional antidepressants anytime soon—it poses a risk of serious side-effects and must be intravenously administered—it opens up a new area of research in the pharmacological treatment of depression.