Despite its ethnic and religious diversity, Switzerland has maintained one of the world’s oldest democracies for more than 700 years. Concerned about the encroaching Habsburg Empire, the three mountain communes of Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden formed a defensive league in 1291, laying the foundations of the Swiss Confederation. Today, Switzerland is well known for its neutrality and reluctance to join the European Union. In 2002, it became one of the last nations to do what? Discuss
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On August 1, 1960, Benin declared its independence from France, ending 70 years as a French colony. Independence Day is a national holiday observed throughout the country, especially in the capital city of Porto Novo. Discuss
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The nephew of Tiberius, Claudius became the Roman emperor unexpectedly, after Caligula was murdered. Sickly, unattractive, and scholarly, he tended to disfavor the upper classes and cater to the freedmen. He expanded the frontiers, invading Britain in 43 CE. He spent lavishly on public works and extended Roman citizenship throughout the empire. Having executed his scheming third wife, he married his niece, who then likely poisoned him. What modern diagnoses might explain his lifelong ill health? Discuss
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A blowgun is a hollow tube out of which a dart or an arrow is blown. The projectile is usually tipped with a poison, like curare, to stun or kill prey. Usually used for hunting and rarely in warfare, blowguns vary in length from 18 in (45 cm) to over 23 ft (7 m) and are often crafted from cane or bamboo. The arrows, made to fit snugly in the gun’s tube, are fashioned from palm leaf midribs or bamboo splinters. Blowguns were widely used by prehistoric peoples and are still used in what locations? Discuss
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Definition: (adjective) In utter disorder.
Synonyms: hugger-mugger, jumbled, topsy-turvy, disorderly.
Usage: My mother ordered me to straighten up my room and get rid of the higgledy-piggledy piles of clothing littering my floor. Continue reading “higgledy-piggledy”