Japanese Embassy Hostage Crisis Ends in Lima, Peru (1997)

The Japanese ambassador to Peru was holding a party at his home in Lima on December 17, 1996, when 14 members of a revolutionary militant group stormed the compound, taking more than 400 guests hostage. Most were released in the following weeks, but 72 Japanese and Peruvian hostages were held until April, when Peruvian military forces swarmed the building and killed the militants. Only one hostage and two commandos died, and the raid was deemed a success. What had been the militants’ demands? Discuss
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Peter Kenneth Frampton (1950)

British rocker Peter Frampton performed with successful bands The Herd and Humble Pie before going solo in 1971. His breakthrough album, 1976’s Frampton Comes Alive!, remains one of the best-selling live albums of all time. It includes hits such as “Do You Feel Like We Do?” and “Show Me The Way,” which feature his signature talk box effect that makes the guitar sound like it is “talking.” Why did Frampton regret appearing on the cover of Rolling Stone at the height of his success? Discuss
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Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is a digestive disorder in which gluten—a protein found in wheat and other flours—generates an inflammatory response in the small intestine, damaging tissue and impairing nutrient absorption. A lifelong gluten-free diet is the only effective way to relieve symptoms, which include diarrhea, weight loss, and depression. Though it was observed as early as 200 CE, celiac disease’s link to wheat remained undiscovered until 1950. What natural event may have contributed to the discovery? Discuss
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John Muir (1838)

Once an aspiring industrial engineer, US conservationist John Muir devoted himself to nature after losing an eye in an 1867 factory accident. That year, he walked from Indiana to the Gulf of Mexico, a journey of about 1,000 mi (1,600 km). He then moved to California and spent much of the next 12 years traveling and writing about nature. He promoted the idea of national forest preserves and helped establish Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks. What four items did he take on his backcountry hikes? Discuss
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