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In Soviet Russia, vacations were as purposeful as work. Many state workers of the era, instead of wasting time in idleness, used the holidays to spend time at a sanatorium—which is like a modern-day spa but with a strong medical component. The idea was to recover from the strains of working hard throughout the year and return refreshed and more productive. All expenses incurred during their stay Read More »
Most remember October 29th, 1929—also known as Black Tuesday—as the day when the New York stock market crashed. However, it was also the day when one of the most horrific tragedy involving human-animal conflict happened at the Brooklyn Bridge. On that awful day a trio of three circus elephants, including the star attraction—a thirteen-foot-tall African elephant named Jumbo, was to cross the Brook Read More »
Many theatrical set designers today follow the maxim of “less is more”, but in the old days when theaters had to compete with moving pictures, plays frequently featured elaborate and extravagant sets built with great attention to detail. These pictures of theatrical productions in Broadway, New York, from the early 20th century show how meticulously designers worked to create a make-believe world Read More »
At many places across South Tyrol, in northern Italy, one can see a peculiar geological formation called “earth pyramids”. They consist of tall cone-shaped pillars made of clay, with a boulder resting on top. These unusual structures started forming from moraine clay soil left behind after the last Ice Age when the glaciers melted away. In dry condition the soil is hard as stone, but as soon as Read More »
Early last month, a macabre image of a little girl posing in what appears to be a street flooded with blood-stained rainwater went viral over the internet. The picture was taken in Dhaka by Bangladeshi documentary photographer Nasif Imtiaz, after large-scale animal sacrifices conducted on Eid al-Adha, coupled with heavy rains and poor drainage turned some streets in the Bangladeshi capital into w Read More »
In the early 1970s, Russian architect Evgeny Stamo and engineer Alexander Markelov came up with plans for an unusual house in the capital city Moscow. The house was to be shaped like a ring, about 150 meters across, enclosing a large inner courtyard with playgrounds and green spaces. The building was to have over nine hundred apartments, and all the necessary services and facilities, including sh Read More »
Alexander Graham Bell is best remembered for inventing the telephone, but the great Scottish inventor’s interests weren’t limited to just one field. Aside from his priceless contributions in the field of acoustics and telegraphy, Bell is also credited with the invention of the metal detector, the audiometer (an instrument used to detect hearing problems), and a device to locate icebergs. Bell and Read More »
The region in the southeast of South Australia, near Mount Gambier, is littered with many volcanic and karst features such as volcanic craters, lakes, limestone caves, water-filled caves and sinkholes. One particular sinkhole, located just off Jubilee Highway East, is particularly worth visiting. What was once a typical limestone cave formed by the corrosion of limestone rocks by seawater, and th Read More »
In the grounds of the Castletown Estate, near the Irish town of Maynooth, is a large stone structure comprising of interlocking arches, adorned by stone pineapples and eagles, and topped by a massive obelisk pillar. The structure was supposed to mark the rear entrance to Castletown house, but in reality, it served no real purpose—it’s a folly. Its construction, however, did have a purpose. The Co Read More »
Of the many things the Romans were famous for, roads rank pretty high in the list by importance, along with bridges, viaducts and canals. Together they formed an outstanding transportation network that played a crucial role in tightening Rome’s grasp on the Mediterranean Basin. It was roads that held the Roman Empire together. One of the first and the most important long roads built by the Romans Read More »
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