Talking Points Trivia

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Why did the Hindenburg crash?

The world's largest airship crashed in Lakehurst, N.J., in 1937, killing 35 passenger and one of the ground crew, and giving life to rumors that a saboteur or maybe the Nazis blew it up. Seventy-six years later, researchers think they've solved the puzzle. They say hydrogen from the blimp leaked into a ventilation shaft where static electricity from an electrical storm ignited it. When the ground crews grabbed the ropes and grounded the ship, it exploded.

What's the world's oldest human rights declaration?

It is a 2,600-year-old clay cylinder called the Cyrus Cylinder from ancient Babylon, which is coming to the United States for the first time. It is coming to the Smithsonian's Sackler Gallery starting Saturday and will be on display through April 28. The cylinder carries an account, written in cuneiform, of how Persian King Cyrus conquered Babylon in 539 B.C. and would allow freedom of worship and abolish forced labor. The account also confirms a story from the Bible's Old Testament, describing how Cyrus released people held captive to go back to their homes, including the Jews' return to Jerusalem to build the Temple.

Who stonewalled the ban on polar bear parts?

An summit of wildlife officials from around the globe rejected an effort by the United States to ban the international trade of polar bear parts Thursday. The group was swayed by arguments from Canadian Inuits that hunting polar bears was important to maintaining their way of life. The U.S. government's most recent estimate of the number of polar bears living in the wild was between 20,000 and 25,000, a sharp increase from earlier estimates that indicated only a few thousands of the bears still survived. It isn't clear whether the early estimates were wrong or the polar bear population is growing.

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By the staff of
The Washington Examiner