Miracle of Anesthesia II

Lead: Until 1846 the work of the medical surgeon was a gruesome, often brutal exercise in torture, but for seventy years the solution had been just a giggle away.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: With the invention of the ligature - the stitch - by a French military surgeon in the sixteenth century, the practice of surgery began to take on a certain scientific respectability. No longer was the stump of an amputee dipped in boiling tar to seal the blood vessels nor were wounds cauterized with hot irons. They were sewn up. With the ability to close a wound as well as open it, a surgical operation might actually save someone's life on occasion. However, the strongest block to successful surgery was the pain it inflicted on the patient, or better said, the victim. Yet, after 1772, the solution, even though unrecognized for years, had at last become available.

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Miracle of Anesthesia I

Lead: The practice of surgery was a brutal affair and lagged behind other sciences because people could not stand the pain.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The scientific revolution kicked into high gear during the years between 1500 and 1800. Galileo popularized the work of Copernicus the Polish scholar who insisted that the sun rather than the earth lay at the center of the solar system. William Harvey described the circulation of blood and Sir Isaac Newton, one of history’s greatest thinkers, gave the universe a philosophical order and contributed to the development of calculus and higher mathematics. Botany, biology, and chemistry also enjoyed a time of advancement and new fields related to medicine, including bacteriology and nutritional science, emerged from this period of intellectual ferment. However, the practice of surgery lagged far behind its companion sciences. There could be little regular exploration or cure of diseased living human flesh until there was invented an effective pain killer. Most people would rather bear the illness or die than endure the torment associated with a surgical cure.

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The US and the Holocaust II

Lead: The enormity of the Holocaust only became clear after the war. Yet, Allied leaders knew that to stop it, they had to destroy the Nazis.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After the beginning of World War II, the Jews remaining in Europe were unable to escape. They were caught, and many millions would soon become victims of the grim German death nightmare. It was an instrument so indomitable that even as Hitler was taking the coward’s way out in his suicide bunker, his disciples were still hard at work operating the killing machine.

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The US and the Holocaust I

Lead: During the horrific 12 years of the Third Reich, millions of Jews were murdered. Could the United States have done more to stop it?

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: It is hard to reject the judgment of Winston Churchill that the Holocaust “was probably the greatest and most terrible crime ever committed in the whole history of the world.” Faced with such gratuitous, monumental evil, one is tempted to wonder if the forces of moral decency could not have done more to prevent this genocidal slaughter.

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Narvik – II

Lead:  In the Spring of 1940 the town of Narvik on the northwest coast of Norway was the scene of one of the first naval battles of World War II.

Intro. A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The combination of geography and strategic importance conspired to prevent Norway from maintaining its neutrality in the early months of World War II. Germany needed the Swedish iron ore that was shipped through Narvik during the winter months. When it became apparent that Britain was going to intervene, Hitler ordered the invasion of Norway.

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Narvik – Part I

Lead:  High on the shoulders of the Scandinavian land mass is the small sub-arctic town of Narvik, Norway. In the early days of World War II, Narvik was a strategic target of the British and the Germans.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Until the spring of 1940, Norway had hoped to preserve its neutrality, but it was soon apparent that geography would bring that dream to grief. The coast of Norway was too important for the Germans to let it fall into allied hands. Much of German iron ore came from mines in northern Sweden. During most of the year the ore was shipped through the Gulf of Bothnia and the Baltic Sea, but in winter the Gulf froze and the ore was sent overland to the port of Narvik on the Atlantic coast of Norway and from there through the Leads, a narrow waterway between the mainland and a series of barrier island just off the coast.

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Descartes

Lead: Considered by many to be the seminal modern thinker, René Descartes remains an integral part of the philosophical canon.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Born in 1596, the year of the Declaration of Nantes with which French King Henry IV laid the foundation of religious toleration in Europe, Descartes’ work came to symbolize a philosophical break with the way in which people fundamentally organized intelligence and considered the universe.

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Copernicus and the Church II

Lead: The year was 1540. Nicolaus Copernicus’s controversial theory that the planets revolved around the sun instead of the Earth was about to become public.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1540, a student and supporter of Copernicus, Rheticus, published Naratio Prima, otherwise known as A First Account. This encouraged the aging astronomer to print his own theory. A devout Catholic, Copernicus had struggled for many years between his loyalty to the Church and his scientific theory that asserted heliocentrism, that the sun was the center of the solar system. He decided it was finally time for the world to hear his opinion of the truth. Three years later, just prior to his death, Copernicus published his treatise De revolutionibus orbium coelestium.

 

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