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Miguel de Cervantes

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The First Defenestration of Prague

In 1419, a mob of Czech Hussites stormed the town hall of Prague and killed several members of the town council by throwing them out of a window—an act known as "defenestration." Spurred by discontent at the inequality between the peasants and the Church and nobility, the First Defenestration of Prague led to the prolonged Hussite Wars, which broke out shortly afterward and continued until 1436. What was the Second Defenestration of Prague?

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Peyote

Native to the southwestern US, peyote is a spineless cactus whose active substance is mescaline, a naturally occurring hallucinogenic drug. Ritually ingested by indigenous people in Mexico and the US to produce visions, the plant is chewed, brewed for drinking, or rolled into pellets to be swallowed. Apart from its use by Native Americans in religious ceremonies, peyote is illegal in all 50 US states. Based on archaeological specimens, how long has peyote been used by Native Americans?

Born on a day like today

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Fatima Jinnah

Commonly known in Pakistan as Khatoon-e-Pakistan and Madar-e-Millat—Urdu for "Lady of Pakistan" and "Mother of the Nation," respectively—Jinnah was the sister of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, and an active figure in the movement for independence from the British Raj. She remained politically active after her brother's death and even ran for president in 1965, though she lost by a narrow margin. What was Jinnah's occupation before she became involved in politics?

Last updated on Friday, 30th July 2010

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