History: Battle of Britain

During 1940s(near beginning of WW2), Nazi Germany had been Successfully expanding there influence and power. By this time The Axis Powers had near complete grip on Europe because of their very direct, strategic and powerful invasion strategists. After the Nazis had invaded the neutral countries of Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg, Italy had declared war on France and the UK. France was defeated 6 weeks after Italy had declared war, leaveing the UK as the only one left separating the West from Nazi Germany. The Germans originally planned to invade the UK the same way they were able to defeat other countries; however the UK was ready to defend themselves. On July 10(the beginning of the battle), the Germans sent their airforce(the Luftwaffe) to lead a large scale attack on UK by causing an air and sea blockade. Germany was mainly targeting coastal-shipping convoys, ports and shipping centers in an attempt to convince the UK to agree to a kind of peace settlement or ceasefire. While the battle for the air was happening, the Royal Navy was preparing for Germany to attack from the sea. On July 16, Operation Sea Lion had begun(Hitlers plan to attack from both the air and sea). During the night both sides would send planes to bomb each other’s ships and planes. During the battle the Royal Air Force and military had to protect civilian populated cities from Germany’s Blitz bombing attacks. On the 31 of October, Nazi Germany faced their first real defeat at the hands of the allies because only a year later both Russia(was betrayed by Germany and joint the allies in June 1941) and the US(declared war on Germany and officially joined the war in December 1941 after a German U boat sunk a civilian ship) join the war on the side of the allies. This caused Germany to have to fight two major countries on two fronts, which was a main cause for Germany’s defeat in WW2. (Learn more.)

History: Poltergeists

A poltergeist is defined as a spirit/entity that is responsible for physical disturbances: knocking/banging, pushing/tripping, loud noises, thrown objects, possibly attacks, scratches, biting, hitting or moving objects. The word “poltergeist” originated from the German word “Poltern”(to make sound or noise/to rumble or knock) and “Geist”(ghost/spirit). Poltergeists have been present all throughout history dating as far back as the 1st century(the phenomena only becoming popular in the 1600s) in what is now the USA and most countries in Europe and Asia. Unlike what movies often imply poltergeists are not “evil”, but are very angry/violent entity that follows people dealing with problems or have negative thing surrounding them. Poltergeists absorb/feed on the emotions of an unhappy person which can help them to interact with the physical world, for the better or worse of the individual. Unlike ghosts, poltergeists are the manifestation of psychic disturbances that is surrounding an unhappy person. This makes their visibility different from a spirit because spirits are often deceased humans unable to leave due to unfinished business with the living and usually can chose to appear to someone; however poltergeists make their presence known by lashing out violently which could easily harm a person.

Did You Know #10

Did you know that the word vampire was thought to be originated in Serbia? The word “vampire” is a reanimated corpse that leaves its grave at night to drink the blood of the living by biting their necks with long canine like teeth. There are many encounters with vampire like creatures through out many different mythologies and belief systems but the origin of the name has been a topic for debate. Many theories have been created and the most common theory is that it came from the 1600s Slavic word “vampir”. However many people believe that “vampir” came from the Old Russian word “upir” or “Upir Lichy” meaning Wicked Vampire. In the 19th century(1800s – 1900s), Franz Miklosich(Slovene philologist) stated that “Upir” came from the Turkish word “uber” meaning Witch. On the other hand many believe it had different origins such as: Serbo-Croatian word “pirati”(to below), the Greek word ” vrykolakas”(an undead creature), the Slavic word “pij” (to drink), the Russian word “netopyr” (bat) and the Romanian creature “strigoi”(a troubled spirit). The origin of the word is still unknown but it has been agreed that it is of Slavic origin. (Learn More)

History: H.P. Lovecraft

Howard Phillips Lovecraft was an American author/writer that didn’t receive much acknowledgement for his writing during his lifetime, but now is considered one of the most significant authors of the 20th-century. He is most famous for writing “The Call of Cthulhu”, “Cool Air” and is responsible for creating the Lovecraftian Horror genre. Howard was born August 20, 1890 to Winfield Lovecraft and Sarah Lovecraft in Rhode Island, Providence. When Howard was 3 his father suffered a psychotic episode, and died 5 years later in a psych-hospital due to general paresis and syphilis. After his father’s death his mother was stated to have been “permanently stricken with grief”, so he left to live with his two Aunts and Grandparents. Howard’s grandfather became like a father figure to Howard and helped him become proficient reader and writer. In 1896, his family faced another tragedy when his grandmother died, to which they never fully recovered from. This caused a 5 year old Howard to be terrified while at the funeral and had started to have recurring nightmares that would later influence his writing. Howard was in and out of school and was often home school or read the books in their library. Even though he missed many years of school do to mental and physical health problems he still graduated high school in 1908(however he is a college dropout). Throughout his life he suffered from mental breakdown, anxiety, depression and multiple health problems that his family both supported and helped him cope with. After his Mother died in 1921 Howard was stated to be “emotionally and physically crippled” and became extremely depressed to the point he question his value in the world. Years after he got married and moved out of Providence to Brooklyn with his wife. He was said to have been a good husband but eventually moved back to Providence because of a few problems. In his final years he had learned that his friend had committed suicide, was diagnosed with small intestinal cancer and suffered from malnutrition because of his financial decline. Howard Lovecraft died March 15, 1937 because of his cancer and now is resting in Swan Point Cemetery. 

History: The Russo-Japanese War

The Russo-Japanese war was a fight between the Russian empire and the Empire of Japan that lasted from 1904 to 1905. It started as a rivalry for dominance in Korea and Manchuria. The Russians wanted to extend the Trans-Siberian Railroad into a warmer area for strategic purposes and pressured China into letting them lease a port on the Liaodong Peninsula. However, when the Trans-Siberian Railroad was built it lacked proper transportation facilities and had limited how many troops and supplies were in Manchuria(it was unsecured). The Japanese were worried about the growing Russian influence in the region. Since the Russian army had a history of military aggression the Japanese originally wanted to make a deal with Russia. The Japanese offered to cease control of Manchuria to Russia as long as they could still maintained control over Korea. The Russians didn’t agree, wanting Korea North to be a neutral area. When negotiating failed the Japanese launch a surprise attack on Russia at the newly made navy port, Port Arthur, starting the war with the Battle of Port Arthur(February 8, 1904). The Russians were reluctant to leave the harbor because of the recent death of Admiral Stepan Osipovich Makarov who died on the Petropavlovsk in an attempt to break pass a blockade. The Japanese then attempted to launch another attack against Russia but it only resulted in many Japanese casualties. At the Battle of Liaoyang, the Japanese were able to push the Russian army back to Port Arthur from the sea, causing the Russians to send more troops to defend the area. Over the next year there were many battles and casualties, but by 1904 the Japanese navy had nearly sunk all the ships in the Russian’s navy fleet. In early 1905 a Russian commander of the Port Arthur’s garrison had surrendered, believing the port was no longer worth defending since they faced so many losses. Then the remaining Russian fleet were defeated at the Battle of Yellow Sea causing the Russian Empire to mobilize the Baltic Fleet. On May 27, 1905, the Battle of Tsushima Strait began when a Russian fleet attempted to sneak past a Japanese barracked at night, but were spotted. The war ended with the Treaty of Portsmouth, were Russia agreed to recognize Korea as part of the Japanese sphere of influence and withdrew their troops from Fort Arthur and Manchuria. The war however left a negative impact on both countries; leaving Japan nearly bankrupt and becoming one of the causes of the Russian Revolution. (Article) (Learn more)

History: Pavlova Cake

The Pavlova cake is a meringue like cake that has a crispy crust, soft inside and is usually topped with fruit and cream. The cake was thought to have been created in honor of a Russian dancer while on tour during the 1920s, in New Zealand and Australia. People often argue the nationality of the dessert. Professor Helen Leach believed it was created in New Zealand and published the book “The Pavlova Story: A Slice of New Zealand’s Culinary History” to reflect this. However, Andrew Wood and Annabelle Utrecht later suggested the idea that it was U.S. dessert that was based on an Austrian dish. People have even traced it back to Germany. Either way, the Pavlova cake is very popular dessert and is often served at many different celebrations in New Zealand and Australia.

Recipe for the Pavlova cake:

  • First set your over to 225 degrees
  • Then you need to beat 6 egg whites till they are very stiff while gradually add 1.5 cups of sugar(After you should be left with this big white thick/fluffy cream like substance)
  • Then you can add 2 tsp of corn flour, 1/2 tbsp of lemon juice(or vinegar), and 1/2 tbsp of vanilla extract; then mix.
  • After everything is well mixed, slow bake it for 1 hour and 15 min. After let it sit in the still warm oven for 30 min.
  • Now transfer the cake to a counter or plate and let it cool.
  • While you wait for it to cool you can make the frosting by beat/whipping cream and sugar together for 2 and half min.
  • Now you can top the cake with the frosting and cut fruit of your choosing.

Random Facts #12

  • Since a black hole’s gravitational pull is so strong that even light can’t escape, black holes would technically be invisible to people
  • Bone is five times stronger than mild steel
  • In 2012 over 1.3 billion people lived in China making it the country with the largest population
  • In China, if your grandparents are over 60, you have to by law, visit them
  • There are 54 countries in Africa
  • BMW is a German car company
  • The largest number in the world is a Googleplexian(1 followed by 100 zeros)
  • There are 9 different time zones in Russia
  • The first satellite was launch by the Soviet Union during the Cold War in 1957
  • The Cold War lasted from 1947-1991(44 years), but there was never any direct military conflict between the Soviet Union and the U.S.A.
  • Caffeine is considered a drug since it stimulates your body and gives you an energy boost
  • Sleep deprivation can cause a person to experience mood swings and memory lost
  • The creators of the Angry Birds app are from Finland
  • Canada is rich in zinc, nickel, lead and gold
  • Pesäpallo is the national sport of Finland
  • The country of Czechoslovakia split in 1993, becoming the countries of Slovakia and the Czech Republic
  • French is the second most studied language in the world
  • Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Bulgaria, Greece, and Georgia share borders with Turkey
  • Troy was located in northwest coast of modern day Turkey
  • The Ukraine is the largest country in Europe(233,062 mi²)
  • Keiv is the capital city of Ukraine and around 2.8 million people made their home there

History: WW2

World War two started in 1939 and ended in 1945. WW2 was a global war involving around 57 countries. It was a fight between two major opposing alliances; The Allied Forces and the Axis Powers. The Axis powers were made up of three main powers, Italy(Benito Mussolini), Germany(Adolf Hitler) and Japan(Hirohito). The main Allies were the U.S.A(Franklin D. Roosevelt), UK(Winston Churchill), Soviet Union(Joseph Stalin) and China(Chiang Kai-shek). At first Nazi Germany started to expand it’s borders by invading nearby countries and formed a pact with the Soviet Union. Hitler and Stalin had originally planned on dividing the territories of Romania, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland between themselves. At first, the UK and France tried resolving these growing problems peacefully by low-key saying “please stop”; however, when Poland was invaded they declared war on Germany. In 1940, Germany invaded Denmark and Norway to stop the Allies from cutting off their iron ore shipments from Sweden. Due to the losses in Norway, Winston Churchill was assigned to be Prime Minister in 1940; this was the same day Germany launched an attack on France. As soon as France fell, Germany tried to use the same tactic against the UK, attempting to take over quickly. However, the resistance the UK was showing stalled Hitler’s original plan. Hitler came to the conclusion that they were waiting/hoping for the U.S.A. and Soviet Union to join the war against the Axis. Although the Soviet Union worked with Germany, they weren’t officially part of the Axis, despite Germany’s attempts to convince them. Hitler then decided to invade the Soviet Union in 1941, but it was unsuccessful. This caused the Soviet Union to join the Allies against Germany. The Japanese had also launched a surprise attack on the U.S.A.(attack on Pearl Harbor), causing them to join the war as part of the Allies. Now, Germany had a major fight on two fronts and this is where Germany is said to have started to lose the war. The Axis endured many defeats after, and in 1943, Italy surrendered. Benito Mussolini was then kicked out of his dictatorship role and Gen. Pietro Badoglio, seeking peace, took his place. Only a month later, Italy joined the Allies by declaring war on Germany. On June 6, 1944(D-day), after years of Soviet pressure, the Allies launched an attack to take back northern France from the Germans. In Italy, there were several Allied units sent to attack the southern part of France, putting stress on the German army. Eventually, the Germans stationed in France were all defeated and the Allies set their sights on Germany. While the events of D-day were happening, the Soviets planned a strategic attack on Belarus, Ukraine and Poland in order to drive the German troops out. Then they went to cut off and later defeat a considerably large amount of German troops in Romania and Bulgaria. The Allies were closing in on Germany and they made a last attempt to take back ground, but it was in vain. On May 7, 1945, Germany surrendered, but the war wasn’t over. Japan was still fighting and showing no interest in surrendering to the Allies. Japanese pilots started to purposely crash their planes into Allied ships in order to do some kind of damage. This action caused a lot of deaths on both sides. Japan knew they wouldn’t be able to win, and was hoping to hold out until a cease fire was called. The Allies repeatedly tried to get them to surrender, but Japan kept refusing. In order to end the fighting, Roosevelt agreed to send two atomic bombs to two civilian populated cities. After the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan surrendered, fearing another cities destruction. In September 2, 1945 Japan signed the Surrender documents and the war officially ended. WW2 was a very violent and bloody war that cost nearly 70-85 million people their lives(civilian and soldiers alike). As a result, the war prompted people to rise for independence and revolutions. There is a lot more to WW2 than what was mentioned here. There are also many WW2 memorial sites around the world dedicated to honoring/remembering those lost in the war.

(learn more) (how many were involved) (Some memorial sites) (more sites)

History: Edith Frank

Edith Holländer was born January 16, 1900 into a German Jewish family. Her parents were Abraham Holländer and Rosa Stern who were successful business people. The family was originally from Amsterdam, but started making there way to Germany around 1800. Edith had two older brothers and one older sister; however her sister died at 16 due to appendicitis. In 1924 she met Otto Frank and they were married in 1925; later she gave birth to two girls, Margot and Anne. When the Frank family had to movie to Amsterdam to escape the Nazis, Edith had an especially hard time adjusting. A family member said that she was German and didn’t feel at home living in the Netherlands. She didn’t learn Dutch easily and missed Germany. After the Nazis started to invade the Netherlands she went into hiding with her family. She lived 2 year with her family, the Van Pel’s, and Fritz Pfeffer(Mr. Dussel). After they were found and arrested; Edith was separated from Anne and Margot to be sent to a gas chamber. However Edith was able to escape this fate with a friend and hid in another section of the camp during Winter. Edith died of starvation in 1945, because she saved all her food for Anne and Margot. The camp was liberated 3 weeks later by the Red Army and her daughters were able to outlived her by one month.

Random Facts #7: Australia / New Zealand

  • The Pavlova cake was named after Anna Povlova, who was a famous Russian ballerina.
  • The Royal Bluebell is an Australian wildflower that grows in rainfall, sunny, semi-shaded areas and cool regions.
  • More then 1.2 million people visit the Sydney Opera house.
  • The Tasmanian Devil is only found in the wilds of Australia or zoos.
  • The Ulysses Butterfly is the largest swallow tail butterfly and has a wingspan of 10.5 cm.
  • The violin is called a fiddle in Australia.
  • Wombats short and muscular animals.
  • The Numbat’s diet almost entirely consist of termites and they eat about 20,000 per day.
  • The Oleander is poisonous and can cause nausea, vomiting, excess salivation, abdominal pain, diarrhea, or death.
  • Meat pies are popular in Australia and New Zealand.
  • The jumping spider has the best vision among spiders.
  • Iced Vovo is a type of Australian biscuit made of, Raspberry jam, coconut, and pink fondant.
  • The Fremantle Prison was built to hold convicts from Britain, but mostly held locally-sentenced prisoners.
  • The Echidna is a spiny anteater.
  • The Dingo is the largest wild canine in Australia.
  • There are 6 Micronation currently in Australia.