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The Last Concorde Takes Flight (2003)

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The Last Concorde Takes Flight (2003)

Due to the extreme heat produced by the powerful, super-fast Concorde, the airframe was known to stretch 10 inches during flight and every part of the plane warmed up, even the inside windows! This meant that the aircraft was painted in a special, bright white paint that adapted to extreme temperatures and helped dissipate heat energy. The Concorde was known to reach speeds of 1350 mph (more than twice the speed of sound) and reached landing speeds of 185 mph. The fastest transatlantic Concorde flight recorded completing the trip from New York to London in 2 hours 52 minutes and 59 seconds, had 100 passengers and carried 2.5 tonnes of cargo. In fact, it was such a speedy mode of transportation that there is only one picture of it whilst cruising at its highest speed (taken by a fighter jet pilot). Nearly 2.5 million passengers took flights on Concorde over 50,000 trips, with an average return ticket costing around £4000. The Concorde was capable of flying so high that it was known to interrupt US spy planes, particularly the USAF SR-71 Blackbird which flew at the same height. The plane was a joint effort between England and France and ran between 1976 and 2003. Flying at supersonic speeds actually caused a booming sound that could be heard from the ground below!

Learn more about this amazing feat of engineering with our interesting activities.

Activity Ideas:

  • Get together to make some paper aeroplanes with these fun templates – here
  • Learn more about the history of planes with this podcast from our partners at History Hit – here 
  • Print out and enjoy our Oomph! Special Edition Digest all about aeroplanes – here 
  • Print out and enjoy our aeroplane-themed activity book – coming soon!

World Translation Day

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World Translation Day

World Translation Day was established by the United Nations as a tribute to those who help improve communication throughout the world with their translation and interpretation skills. Translators are vital in many areas of life, including business, politics and tourism. Many of the greatest works of literature of all time have been able to capture the hearts of readers, thanks to the tireless work of professional interpreters and many translators! They also help movie studios provide accurate subtitles so films can be distributed globally. It was decided that World Translation Day would be held annually on the 30th of September to commemorate the feast of St. Jerome, who translated the bible and is considered the patron saint of translators. St. Jerome was an Italian priest who was admired all over the world for translating The New Testament from Greek to Latin (making it more accessible for more people). Since 2005, the UN has held the St. Jerome Translation contest for professional translators and language students, rewarding the best translators in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish, as well as German.

Learn more about languages around the world with our fun activities!

Activity Ideas:

  • Brush up on your French with this vocabulary pack from our partners at Lingo Flamingo – here 
  • Learn some Spanish greetings with this Spanish language class – here
  • Get to know some Italian with this interactive session with our partners at Lingo Flamino – here
  • Learn greetings from around the world – coming soon!

World Heart Day

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World Heart Day

World Heart Day was established by the World Heart Foundation in 2012 when world leaders agreed on measures to cut global deaths from non-communicable diseases by 25%. As heart disease is responsible for nearly half of all these, it was decided that fighting heart illness should be a primary goal of the UN, UNICEF and World Heart Foundation. World Heart Day helps inform people around the globe that heart disease and stroke are the world’s leading causes of death and educate people about preventative measures they can take to keep their heart healthy. It is estimated that by establishing healthier habits, almost 80% of all heart-related illnesses could be either reversed or avoided altogether globally. The themes of 2022 are ‘Use Your Heart’ and ‘For Every Heart’, both of which have been chosen to encourage people to act in ways that not only protect their hearts but also raise awareness of healthy heart practices in the local and global communities.

Learn more about heart health with these activities!

Activity Ideas:

  • Look after your heart with this 20-minute workout from our partners at Instructor Live – here
  • Write your own love song with our Activity Pack – here
  • Get crafty with this cute paper heart mobile activity – coming soon!
  • Get moving with our romance-themed Oomph! workout with Alex – coming soon!

Good Neighbour Day

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Good Neighbour Day

The word neighbour is thought to come from the Old English word ‘neahgebur’ meaning someone who lives in your community. Good Neighbour Day was first established in the early 1970s by Becky Mattson, a resident of Lake Side, Montana who realised that despite living in the same area for most of her life, she didn’t know many of her neighbours or people in the community. In an attempt to rectify this and increase community spirit, Mattson organised community events in the local area. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter announced in Congress that he would be making the day official throughout the US and that it would be celebrated “with appropriate ceremonies and activities.” The idea of Good Neighbour Day has spread throughout the world, especially post-pandemic, with Australia launching its first social connection day in 2020, which encourages people to reach out to the people in their neighbourhoods. Recent research suggests that older people have closer and stronger relationships with their neighbours and that interacting with those around you is good for your health.

Get neighbourly with these fun activities!

Activity Ideas:

  • Make a nice gift for a neighbour with these beaded friendship bracelets – here
  • Celebrate your friendship with our friendship collage – coming soon!
  • Learn all about the superstars who have starred in the classic Australian soap opera Neighbours – coming soon!

World Tourism Day

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World Tourism Day

The very first World Tourism Day was held in 1980 as an initiative by the United Nations to reveal the great economic and cultural impact that global tourism can have on communities, especially those that rely on tourism as a key source of income. Each year, these global events are based around a particular theme, with the original being: ‘tourism’s contribution to the preservation of cultural heritage.’ In 1997, it was decided that each year World Tourism Day would be hosted by a specific country. In 2022, the event will be brought to Indonesia with the remit of ‘rethinking tourism’. It is estimated that tourism will grow by 3% every year up to the year 2030 and then grow exponentially! It is thought that this is due to decreasing travel prices and speedier public transport. It is thought that the first concerted effort to encourage tourists was during the Shulgi period in Ancient China when locals would take pains to maintain roads and pathways so that people from afar could travel to the beautiful land. The latest reports say that the most popular tourist destination for Brits is Mallorca, whilst the most popular tourist destination in the world is France, with nearly 90 million tourists yearly.

Learn more about global tourism with our activities!

Activity Ideas:

  • Do some armchair tourism with our ticket and journal templates – here
  • Print out and enjoy our Tourism Activity Book – coming soon!
  • Reminisce with the Oomph! Tourism Journal – coming soon!

Joan Of Arc Arrives In Paris (1429)

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Joan Of Arc Arrives In Paris (1429)

Joan of Arc was born in Domrémy in 1412 into extreme poverty, spending much of her childhood living on the streets, but her religious mother instilled in her a deep love and reverence for the Catholic Church. At the time, France had been torn apart by what we now refer to as The Hundred Years’ War in which Henry V, after a long battle, became the ruler of both England and France. At the age of 13, Joan believed that she was receiving direct communication from God and that she had a divine mission to lead the French army in its battle to remove Henry V. Despite her vow of chastity, her father tried to arrange a marriage between Joan and a local suitor, perhaps in an effort to elevate their status. At 16, she successfully argued in front of a court that she should not have to be wed! By May 1428, Joan had gathered a group of followers who believed her to be a fabled virgin girl who would bring peace to France. Joan promised French aristocrats that if they provided her with an army she would take Orléans back from the English. With an army in tow, she led the Seige of Orléans and successfully reoccupied the territory, making her one of the most celebrated figures in French history. In 1431, Joan of Arc was burned at the stake for heresy but was officially canonised in 1920, almost 488 years after her death.

Learn more about Joan of Arc and French culture with our activities!

Activity Ideas:

  • Test your knowledge with our Fabulous France Quiz – here 
  • Brush up on your French language with this Tour De France lesson from our partners at Lingo Flamingo – here 
  • Challenge yourself with our Famous Women In History Quiz – here 
  • Learn more about Joan Of Arc with our special edition digest – coming soon!

One Hit Wonder Day

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One Hit Wonder Day

It is thought that the origins of the phrase ‘one hit wonder’ comes from a baseball term, meaning a pitcher who stops the opposing team from scoring due to pitching so well. In the music industry, ‘one hit wonder’ refers to an artist or band who experiences huge success with one song but is unable to follow it up with another hit. It is thought that this phrase first appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press in July 1977 in reference to ABBA (although, curiously the article refers to the fact that the band were not a one-hit wonder, suggesting that the term was known beforehand). International One Hit Wonder Day was started by the music journalist Steve Rosen in 1990 as an attempt to remind readers of all the artists who had big hits but fallen into relative obscurity, a form of music conservation. It is said that the introduction of the radio (between 1956 and 1957) was instrumental in contributing to the one-hit wonder phenomena, allowing for songs to be in heavy rotation on a daily basis and saturating the culture. Famous one-hit wonder artists include The Tokens, Bobby Pickett, The Buggles,  Tommy Tutone and Modern English.

Learn more about the music industry and one-hit wonders with our activities!

Activity Ideas:

  • Add some pop music to your day with our MTV playlist – here 
  • Challenge yourself with these music quizzes including the Rock ‘n’ Roll Quiz – here The Jazz Quiz – here The Radio Quiz – here The 50s Music Quiz – here The 60s Music Quiz – here The 70s Music Quiz – here and The 80s Music Quiz – here 
  • Enjoy our one-hit-wonder matching game – coming soon!

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Birthday (1896)

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F. Scott Fitzgerald's Birthday (1896)

F. Scott Fitzgerald (Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald) was born in Minnesota to an aristocratic father and creative mother. Even as a very young child, Fitzgerald was known for having a romantic and vivid imagination, often glamorising events that others felt were relatively mundane. This made him somewhat unpopular in school, but when he began studying at Princeton University, these qualities were honed into a love of writing and reading which led him to become president of the high society group, The Triangle Club. Despite all signs pointing towards success, Fitzgerald dropped out of Princeton after an affair with Ginevra King, one of the great beauties of her generation, that left him heartbroken. In July 1919, Fitzgerald met the enigmatic Zelda Sayre and tried to convince her to marry him but she would not agree to the engagement until he had made a success of himself. This spurred Fitzgerald to work on his first novel This Side Of Paradise, which was published in 1920 and became a literary sensation. The short novel was lauded for exposing the lives of young flappers and socialites. Fitzgerald would follow this up with The Beautiful And The Damned in 1922 and The Great Gatsby in 1925. Although The Great Gatsby is seen as one of history’s most important novels, it was not initially successful which led Fitzgerald into a period of depression.

Learn more about the fascinating life of Fitzgerald and 1920s life with these activities!

Activity Ideas:

  • Have a movie night with these The Great Gatsby with these Oomph! film flashcards – here
  • Print out and enjoy our The Great Gatsby Activity Book – here 
  • Challenge yourself with this 1920s Quiz – coming soon!
  • Learn about flapper fashion with this fascinating fact sheet – coming soon!

International Sign Language Day

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International Sign Language Day

International Sign Language Day was established by the UN assembly and the World Federation Of The Deaf in 1958 and is a unique opportunity to celebrate the diversity in the deaf community and put focus on this unique linguistic expression. It is estimated that there are 300 different unique sign languages practised by 70 million people worldwide. Sign language is the fourth most spoken language in the UK with over 125,000 people regularly using British Sign Language. It is a common misconception that sign language is solely about hand movements, but it actually also involves facial and shoulder movements and it has its own grammatical system. Many deaf people have something called a ‘name sign’ which means that, rather than spelling out their name to new people, they have a sign instead – somewhat like a nickname! There are currently almost 2,500 sign interpreters in the US alone!

Learn more about this unique language with our fun and interesting activities!

Activity Ideas:

  • Learn more about the signs we see every day with this Sign Quiz – here 
  • Learn the basics of this language with these simple sign language instructions – coming soon!
  • Print off and enjoy our British Sign Language special edition digest – coming soon!

Dead Sea Scrolls Are Made Public (1991)

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Dead Sea Scrolls Are Made Public (1991)

The Dead Sea Scrolls, ancient Jewish manuscripts, were discovered in 1946 in the Qumran Caves in Palestine’s dead sea. It is not known exactly when the manuscripts were first written, but archaeologists suggest that we can estimate their origins to be between 1 BCE and 3 BCE. The manuscripts are made up of papyrus, copper and leather and are considered one of the most important archaeological discoveries in modern human history and have helped scholars reveal the relationship between early Christianity and Judaism. The Dead Sea Scrolls are mostly written in Hebrew, but some sections are also in Greek and Aramaic and are made up of nearly 950 different documents. Jewish academics break the scrolls into three separate categories: biblical, apocryphal, and sectarian. These initial documents were actually discovered by accident by Bedouin shepherds who were seeking shade whilst working (it is thought that a young shepherd was looking for a stray goat when he found the papers!). The Dead Sea Scrolls feature excerpts from the following books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Samuel, Ruth, Kings, Micah, Nehemiah, Jeremiah, Joel, Joshua, Judges, Proverbs, Numbers, Psalms, Ezekiel and Jonah.

Learn more about these ancient texts with our fun and informative activities!

Activity Ideas:

  • Challenge yourself with our World Religions Quiz – here 
  • Print out and enjoy our Dead Sea Scrolls Activity Book – coming soon!
  • Learn more about the dead sea scrolls with our Special Edition Digest – coming soon!
  • Use these top tips to celebrate religions and traditions around the world – here