The motif of harmful sensation, a recurring concept in both traditional and modern stories, involves the idea that a person can suffer physical or mental harm merely by experiencing an ordinarily benign sensation. This motif is especially apparent in Greek mythology and the tale of Medusa, a being so ugly that all who look at her turn to stone. Although the concept is largely rooted in fiction, it is not entirely fanciful. What relatively benign stimulus harmed hundreds of children in 1997?
Back in the day
Jordan's King Hussein reigned from the early 1950s to 1999, ascending the throne after his father was declared mentally unfit to rule. Hussein generally espoused a pro-Western policy that brought him into conflict with Arab leftist leaders and Palestinians in Jordan. His neutral stance during the Gulf War and a 1994 peace treaty with Israel secured his reputation as a moderating force in Middle Eastern politics. As a teen, Hussein survived an attempt on his life. What allegedly saved him?
Born on a day like today
Herzl was the founder of modern Zionism. A journalist, he was sent to Paris to report on the Dreyfus Affair and was appalled by the vicious anti-Semitism he observed. Concluding that Jewish assimilation in Europe was impossible and that the only solution to the Jewish problem was the establishment of a Jewish national state, Herzl organized the first Zionist World Congress. At the time of his death, Herzl's organization was considering establishing a Jewish homeland in what region of the world?