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Dominating the central square in the city of Bologna is one of the world’s largest church with a unique mismatched façade that has been intriguing visitors for centuries. The upper half is made of bricks, while the lower half is made of marble with intricately sculpted scenes from both the Old and the New Testament. “They just ran out of money,” is the usual reply tourists get when they ask what Read More »
At the 6,400-acre Plum Brook Field Station complex near Sandusky, Ohio, stands five large test facilities operated by NASA to test various aspects of space flight. Most of these were built decades ago at a time when the country’s space program was of national importance. But now, these million-dollar facilities have fell into disuse and some are so rundown they would require millions of dollars m Read More »
Near the ancient city of Marib, in Yemen, lies the ruins of a great dam. Considered to be one of the biggest engineering wonders of the ancient world, the Great Dam of Marib stretched for 580 meters and was easily one of the largest dams of its era. For as long as it stood, the Great Dam turned the desert into an oasis allowing the irrigation of more than a hundred square kilometers of sandy soil Read More »
Large herbivores such as elephants often seek out natural mineral deposits such as rocks and soil to supplement their dietary intake of sodium whenever the mineral is not obtained in adequate quantities from woody plants and natural water which elephants consume. So it is not uncommon to find elephants devouring soil and licking rocks high in sodium content. In Mount Elgon National Park on the Ke Read More »
At the Saratoga National Historical Park in New York is an American Revolutionary War memorial depicting a single boot sculpted in stone. The dedication on the memorial reads: “In memory of the most brilliant soldier of the Continental Army who was desperately wounded on this spot, winning for his countrymen the decisive battle of the American Revolution and for himself the rank of Major General. Read More »
Standing inconspicuously in the middle of an empty plot behind some trees, in the small English town of Halifax, in West Yorkshire, is a fearful mediaeval instrument of torture. It’s called a gibbet, and for more than three hundred fifty years it beheaded people for crimes as minor as stealing. The Halifax Gibbet is a tall wooden structure with a sharp blade at the top, held up by a rope. The con Read More »
Located in one of the snowiest regions in Switzerland, the Furka Pass, connecting the cantons of Uri and Valais in the country’s south-central region, is considered to be one of the “most iconic, exhilarating and exciting drives” through the Swiss Alps. The scenic road with its tight switchbacks curving up the picturesque mountainside attracts countless tourists. There is the Rhone Glacier with i Read More »
The ancient Romans used a variety of horrific methods to execute those condemned to death for crimes ranging from rape and murder, to adultery, libel, and treason. One method called poena cullei, or “penalty of the sack”, involved sewing up the thoroughly beaten but still alive accused in a leather sack along with an assortment of live animal, most commonly a cock, a dog, a monkey and a serpent, Read More »
About 5 miles northwest of downtown Honolulu, is a 24-acre privately-owned park called Moanalua Gardens, best known for its annual Prince Lot Hula Festival, where locals and visitors partake in a wealth of cultural workshops, demonstrations, food booths, craft vendors, and the festival’s central attraction—hula presentations. The festival takes its name and inspiration from the fact that Prince L Read More »
Wrangel Island, in the Arctic Ocean, is one of the most remote islands in Russia. Straddling the International Date Line—the boundary where the eastern and the western hemisphere meet—this rugged volcanic island, where summer temperatures barely climb above freezing, is believed to have been the last place on earth where the wooly mammoth survived, six thousand years after their cousins on the ma Read More »
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