27th December

Johannes Kepler born (1571)

Johannes Kepler Kopie eines verlorengegangenen Originals von 1610

– I think he discovered that planets speed up as their orbit takes them closer to the sun, and slow down as they get furthest away.

Louis Pasteur born (1822)

220px-louis_pasteur2c_foto_av_fc3a9lix_nadar_crisco_edit

– most famous for inventing ‘pasteurisation’, boiling milk or wine to kill poisonous bacteria. He proved that micro-organisms do not spontaneously appear; they only grow in contaminated areas. Try this bread experiment.

The Third Day of Christmas

N. Korea Constitution Day: Up to the beginning of the 20th century, Korea always tried to stay out of the West’s way, and so was known as the ‘Hermit Kingdom’. In 1910 Japan took Korea and ruled it by force for 35 years.

After World War II, Japan surrendered to the Allies and Korea was divided between Russia and America. North Korea was, of course, the Russian side.

Russia and America withdrew and tried to allow the two sides to govern themselves again – except the country had now been artificially divided and the North thought it should rule the South and the South thought it should rule the North.

In 1950, after North Korea had repeatedly asked Russia “Can we invade yet? Can we invade yet? Can we invade yet?”, it began the Korean War with Russian and Chinese support. America, etc., supported South Korea.

In 1953, after 2 million had died, an armistice was declared, but it was not until 2007 that both sides agreed that the war was officially over. In the 1990s it had a horrible famine, during which America was actually the biggest donator of foreign aid.

Activities: The Mass Games.

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