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Should a museum keep artistic treasures it acquired under dubious circumstances a long time ago, or should it return them to their country of origin? This is the debate surrounding the so-called Elgin Marbles. Currently at the British Museum of London, the Elgin Marbles are some of the finest sculptures of classical Greece, originally sculpted for Athens's greatest monument, the Parthenon. Bu Read More »
Five meters below the runway of Sarajevo's airport runs a short stretch of tunnel that was dug out during the Siege of Sarajevo to bring supplies to the cut-off city. For four years this 800-meter long tunnel was the besieged city’s only connection to the outside world, and its life support. In the spring of 1992, when Serbian forces encircled the city of Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and H Read More »
Tucked away in a quiet corner of Postman's Park in central London, easily overlooked, lies a remarkable memorial. Under a wooden canopy, stands a short stretch of brick wall upon which are affixed over fifty ceramic plaques, each bearing the name of an ordinary person who performed a final, extraordinary act of bravery and self-sacrifice in their life. Some plaques bear two or more names. Alt Read More »
Lake Bokodi, in the village of Bokod, about 80 kilometers west of Budapest, Hungary, is an artificial lake created in 1961 by the Oroszlány Thermal Power Company by flooding a low-lying meadow next to the plant. The power plant draws cold water from the lake to operate its boilers, and warm water is returned back to the lake. This continues recycling of the water causes the lake to never freeze e Read More »
Far off the east coast of New Zealand, about 3,300 kilometers out in the Pacific Ocean, lies one of the geekiest junkyard in the world. It’s located in the middle of nowhere, and there is certainly no island here —just water. But four kilometers beneath the waves, the ocean floor is littered with broken fragments and debris of old satellites, space stations and spacecraft. This is the “Spacecraft Read More »
Just outside the visitor center of Jennings Randolph Lake, in Mineral County, in the US state of West Virginia, is a large piece of rock on display. On one side of the rock there appears a regular waffle-like geometric pattern of raised, darker stone that runs in almost perfectly straight lines across the rock’s surface. The lines cross themselves at various angles forming deep pockets of lighter Read More »
The Shirokorechenskoe Cemetery, located on the southwestern outskirts of Yekaterinburg, in Russia, is the final resting place of many famous locals including folk artists, scientists, and heroes of World War 2. Their graves are adorned with unusual funerary sculptures, including reliefs, gem-embedded headstones and laser engravings of the deceased on granite. In one section of the cemetery, among Read More »
The town of Ait-Ben-Haddou, located on the southern slopes of the High Atlas Mountains, is one of the most spectacular manmade sights along the valley in Morocco’s rocky desert. The town is best known for its kasbas —the tall earthen buildings that crowd together behind defensive walls, reinforced by corner towers. Such a town is known as a ksar, or a fortified town, and Ait-Ben-Haddou is said to Read More »
In the 1930s, when the Atlantic coast was being photographed from airplanes for the first time in history, a curious geological feature came to light. The coast stretching from southern New Jersey to northern Florida was littered with thousands of strange elliptical depressions like craters on the Moon. These depressions are now collectively called Carolina Bays, but they are also known by differ Read More »
Verona might be the birthplace of the most famous love story in literature, but the small village of Newbury, in the state of New Hampshire, the United States, is home to the most enduring one of recent times. Although very few have heard of the story of the chicken farmer, it is New Hampshire’s favorite legend. The story begins about thirty years ago. At that time, there was a small white house Read More »
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