This week, next week

24-30 May 2014


Vocal atheist

Academic Richard Dawkins made his operatic debut in Manchester, providing a voice-over for Mysterious 44, based on an unfinished work by Mark Twain. A video of the performance will be available for schools.


In the Open

Professional tennis players hoped Paris would not be the city of love for them as the French Open began at the Roland Garros stadium. Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams (left) are the top seeds for the singles titles.


The road to Salem

In 1647, Alse Young became the first person in the American colonies to be hanged for witchcraft, kicking off four decades of sporadic witch-hunts, which reached a peak with the Salem witch trials of 1692.


Wear it with pride

To mark the anniversary of homosexuality being decriminalised in Russia in 1993, a "Bearded Women and Men" pride parade for Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst was planned in Moscow, but banned by officials.


1D vision

Directioner fever may have broken out among your students but fear not - it's not contagious. One Direction began the UK leg of their world tour this week, with many tween fans likely to be in attendance.


Rash actions

Oak Apple Day, celebrating the restoration of the English monarchy in 1660, may be defunct. But beware history teachers punishing those not wearing a sprig of oak by thrashing them with stinging nettles.


Larger than life

If you head down to Rochester today, you may see some novel figures roaming the streets. The Kent town plays host to the annual Charles Dickens festival, where many people are expected to dress the part.

31 May - 6 June 2014


No smoke without fire

Here's an event that needs no puffing up: World No Tobacco Day is upon us. The campaign draws attention to the health problems tobacco can cause and this year is calling for higher taxes on the substance.


Kidding around

International Children's Day will be observed today. Established by the World Conference for the Well-being of Children in Switzerland in 1925, it now means gifts and days off school for many students.


Viva la Repubblica

Italy will celebrate the Festa della Repubblica (Festival of the Republic), marking the 1946 referendum that led to the end of the monarchy. The king, Umberto II, was exiled after reigning for just over a month.


Sweet talk

The science of sweets, the origins of the universe and the mathematical secrets of The Simpsons are just a few of the eclectic topics under discussion at the Cheltenham Science Festival, which begins today.


Mind your Vs and Qs

VQ Day, a national celebration of vocational qualifications for students, teachers and employers, recognises the talented and skilled people in the UK who work and study in this field.


Island life

World Environment Day takes small islands as its theme this year. The campaign will raise awareness of the challenges these islands face, often as a result of climate change, and the solutions they have found.


Line in the sand

D-Day in 1944 was a decisive turning point in the Second World War. Many events are planned in the UK and on Normandy beaches and battle sites to mark the 70th anniversary of the Allied invasion.

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