Apr 232021

Life Changing Events in History

The Life Changing Events in History class has now concluded. This blog provides some of Andrew Leopold’s presentations to that class.

Nov 102020

Read Andrew Leopold’s presentation on Henry VIII’s decision to divorce Catherine of Aragorn (pdf – 13 slides).

Henry VIII’s decision to divorce Catherine of Aragorn was momentous for the rest of the world in two respects. First, it led to the establishment of the Church of England which, in turn, reduced the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church. Second, via Henry’s subsequent marriage to Anne Boleyn, it led to Elizabeth I, one of the longest serving and most consequential monarchs of England and Ireland.

Jun 142020

Read Andrew Leopold's presentation on the 1925 ‘monkey trial’ (pdf – 16 slides).

In 1925, Tennessee passed a law that “That it shall be unlawful for any teacher in of the Universities, Normals and all other public schools of the State which are supported in whole or part by the public school funds of State, to teach any theory that denies the Story of Divine Creation as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals.

A teacher called John Scopes was accused of breaking this law. The resulting trial was a major media event.

May 102020

Read Andrew Leopold’s presentation on evil. The material covers all aspects of evil, including:

  • Examples.
  • Questions.
  • Issues.
  • Theories.
  • Institutions.

The material is around 120 slides long, so that you should keep you going for a bit.

Apr 252020

These items of weird news come from a 2011 book entitled The Mammoth Book of Weird News. Note that the material in that book is unsourced and cannot easily be verified.

Bazenheid, Switzerland, 2010

As he was backing his car while at the local recycling plant, an unfortunate Swiss driver hit the accelerator instead of the brake and plunged 9 metres down into a bunker. Apart from cuts and bruises, he had to suffer a further punishment when the dump bosses fined him $100 for leaving an 'inappropriate item' – namely, his car – in a recycling bin.

Nigeria, 2009

Police arrested a goat on suspicion of attempted armed robbery.

Vigilantes captured the black and white goat, claiming it had been an armed robber who used black magic to change into a goat after he had failed in an attempt to steal a car.

A spokesman for the police said: “The goat is in custody. Witnesses saw some criminals attempting to rob a car. One escaped, while the other turned into a goat.

The Romanian Soccer League, 2006

Someone called Marius Cioara, who played for second division team UT Arad, was sold to fourth division Regal Hornia for 15Kg of pork sausages. Talking of the transfer, a spokesman for Regal Hornia confirmed: "We gave up the team's sausage allowance for a week to secure him, but we are confident it will be worth it". However Cioara angrily declared that, because he was fed up with the sausage taunts, he was quitting football to work on a farm in Spain. Regal Hornia asked for the return of their sausages.

Serbia, 2004

A guest celebrating a wedding in Serbia fired a gun into the air, in accordance with national custom, and accidentally shot down a light aeroplane.

Wellington, Kansas, 1992

A woman was arrested for allegedly offering two men her husband’s prized collection of baseball cards if they would kill him.

The men informed the police and handed in the 10 cards that were to be a down payment for their killing him.

A deputy sheriff commented on the unusual method of payment: “That’s about as mean that a wife can get. The only thing lower would have been if she had offered his fishing and hunting gear.

Virginia Beach, Virginia, 1981

A burglar entered a woman’s home while she was asleep.

He went to her bedroom and forcible covered her from head to foot will vanilla and chocolate cake frosting.

When she objected, he said that she should have known this would happen if she left her front door unlocked!

Nairobi, Kenya, undated

After removing a bean that was lodged inside a young girl’s ear, the physician asked for a payment of $6. When the parents were unable to pay, the physician pushed the bean back into the child’s ear.


A woman who owned a greyhound that kept finishing second took him to the vet who discovered it was short-sighted. Because it could only see as far as the animal in front, it never passed the leading dog. After it was fitted with contact lenses which enabled it to see the lure/hare, it became a winner.