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1 Bethlehem probably comes from the Hebrew "bethel/house of God, enough reason for the magi to look their for the young god
2 To be underlined that Jesus never mentioned that he was a Jew, but because the translation of the New Testament, he is often called as a "rabbi."
3 F.N. The Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity puts the date of his death around the year 29, 30 or 33. Because in the year 41 Jerusalem extended its walls, enclosing Jesus' tomb, and because Hadrian built the temple of gods on the same site, the burial place was lost. Today, a six foot long tomb marks Jesus' final terrestrial stop, enclosed in the Chapel of the Holy Sepulcher.
4 Bruno Bauer (1809-1882), a German theologian and historian concluded that only Mark's Gospel was original, probably written in year 68-70, when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem. He also believed that Mark invented most of the events of Jesus to fit his Messianic concept. Parts of New Testament, especially the Gospel of John, were written in year 100, and the rest of it was written within 300 years of the crucifixion. The entire New Testament came under a lot of criticism and protests from certain Jewish groups who believe that all the persecution of the Jews was ignited during modern times by the Christians, who wanted revenge for Jesus' crucifixion.
5 It was in 1622 when the Vatican moved the beginning of the year from March 25th to January 1st. Jesus was probably born at the end of March.
6 After the fall of communism, Lenin is still in his glass coffin entombed in the same shrine, now presented as the pharaoh of communism. The reason for keeping him is far from political or historical: he is a tourist attraction and a good source of revenue.
7 "Dialectic" means to find truth through the tension between opposing elements, and to reason by discussion of conflicting ideas.
8 The legend says that one day Kant's regular walking routine was interrupted by a rain storm. The philosopher ran for shelter to a friend's house. It was a perfect moment for the friend, who did not share Kant's views, to explain to him that there is no rain, only a deceiving perception of mind. Apparently this minor accident stirred the great philosopher to more realistic views.
12 Marx accused the factory owners of sexual exploiting the female workers, yet he slept with his house maid and had an illegitimate child.
13 According to the US census of 2002, the Hispanic population is the fastest growing minority, with an increase of 9.8% in the last 2 years. The Asians come in second place, with growth of 9%, and the blacks with 3.1%. The slowest-growing population is white America, with .7%, or 232.6 million from 228.1 million of the same period.
14 Another Black Friday caused the collapse of the U.S. Stock Exchange in 1929, when the world economic depression began.
18 Salty water represents 97.2% of the earth's total water. This may be the reason why its surface of oceans and seas remain fresh and provide a healthy environment. The sweet and fresh waters represent 2.15% of total global water, and are stored in glaciers and polar ice caps; another way Mother Nature maintaining a pristine environment.
19 This is why a footrest is known as an "Ottoman."
20 Similar official policies of exalting war to the younger generation were practiced for centuries by other nations, which considered soldiery a noble profession.
21 Murphy was awarded with the Congressional Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Legion of Merit, the Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Croix de Guerre and twenty-three other military medals. After the war, he wrote To Hell and Back, describing his glorious combat experiences, and Hollywood decided to make a movie out of it. Murphy auditioned for the role to play himself, but he was turned down because he was too "unconvincing." Eventually he got the part, and the real hero turned actor playing in some forty other movies.
22 Unlike Murphy, Hartmann ended up not in Hollywood, but in a Siberian POW camp, where he spent ten years punishment for his heroism. However, he ended up admired even by the Americans, who, in 1957, made "The Blonde Knight of Germany" an Honorary Member of the U.S. 20th Tactical Fighter Wing.
23 Genghis Khan's Progressive Party scored big in free elections in Mongolia after 1990
24 Steak tartar means "raw meat," the way the Tartars eat it.
25 In the 1960's, NASA specialists studied the making of medieval armor to help build the mobile space suits used by the astronauts.
26 Recent deep underwater expeditions proved that Bismarck was scuttled by its crew in order not to experience the humiliation of capture.
27 The name of Khmelinskii continued to haunt and threaten the Jews of Russia. Stalin decided to reward his WWII heroes with the medal named after the famous Cossack he admired. Because at that time the leadership of the Red Army was heavily formed of Jewish officers, all of them refused that military reward.
28 Today it serves as a stronghold of Moscow in the Baltic region. With Lithuania and Latvia separating Kaliningrad from Russia, the geographical situation is a duplication of the "Danzig corridor" between Germany and Prussia that triggered WWII. It is a territorial accident-in-waiting for a military conflict.
29 Osman I founded the empire by using the sword and the Koran. The Westerners mispronounced his name as "Ottoman," hence the name of the empire.
30 The Golden Horde got its name from the Khan's tent, which was gilded with real gold.
31 The name "Janissaries" comes from "yeni/new" and "cheri/troops," all Christian boys recruited from the Balkan countries to serve as Sultan's bodyguard.)
33 The term guerilla/"little war" comes from Napoleon's invasion of Spain, when his troops were harassed by the local civilians, who actually made the French leave the Iberian Peninsula.
34 An interesting bit of trivia is that the pope excommunicated Napoleon from the Catholic Church, but neither Hitler, Goering, nor Himmler were excommunicated, even after the war. Hitler's German citizenship was revoked 30 years after the war ended. Adolf Eichmann, the perfect clerk of the Holocaust was put on trial in Israel in 1961.
35 Former Israeli Prime minister Menhachem Begin was wanted as a war criminal by the British for his role in the bombing of the King David Hotel, full of British military men. In the same league were many former Zionist terrorists who became Israeli leaders, including former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir. None of them ever stood on trial. However, a historical commission in 1988 cleared the Austrian President Kurt Walheim, a former Wehrmacht officer, of any war crimes.
36 Stalin was, for a while, on display next to Lenin. Now, only his native wooden hut rests under a white marble temple. The shrine was built by another mass murderer, Lavrenti Beria, Stalin's henchman, whose crimes against millions of innocents astonished even his bloody master.
37 Illustrious artists and writers of the nineteenth century such as Edouart Manet, Jules Goncourt, Alphonse Daudet, Charles Baudelaire, Alexandre Dumas, Guy de Maupassant, Dostoyevsky, James Joyce, Oscar Wille and many others died of syphilis. To its credit, the guild of prostitution donated enough money for the Cathedral of Notre Dame to finish its construction.
36 The Hebrews believe that animal blood carries the spirit of that animal, and they require the draining of blood from any meat while the animal is still alive.
37 The irony of accident was that Cabanis, who came the closest in his era to understanding the concept of a healthy mind and body, died at age 51, after Napoleon made him a senator.
38 The term "vaccine" comes from "vacca," the Latin word for cow
39 Biologists at the University of Pennsylvania have found male perspiration to have a beneficial effect of brightening women's moods. It contains natural hormones that releases tension and stimulate ovulation (New York Post, 3/15/2003).
40 Medical science discovered that after 300 million years, the "Y" chromosome came down from some 1,500 genes to only 78. Today, the "Y" male chromosome is responsible for creating male babies. Obviously, the male chromosome is losing ground and power in the face of the much better equipped female battery of chromosomes.