The mystery of Brown Mountain Lights

Near the town of Morganton, North Carolina, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains lies the so-called Brown Mountain. Interestingly, as far back as the early 1900’s, people have observed a ghostly phenomenon in the skies around the mountain that has become known, not coincidentally, as “the Brown Mountain Lights”. However, some of the earliest reports of these ghost lights came from Cherokee and Catawba Indians, but also settlers and Civil War soldiers, and thousands have witnessed the spectacle, which is ongoing to this day. Ghost hunting is a…

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#TodayInHistory – September 30

September 30 – Some important events on this day. 1520 👉🏼 Suleiman the Magnificent succeeds his father Selam I as Ottoman Sultan (rules till 1566) 1659 👉🏼 Peter Stuyvesant of New Netherlands forbids tennis playing during religious services (1st mention of tennis in US) 1791 👉🏼 Mozart’s opera “Magic Flute” premieres in Vienna 1846 👉🏼 Anesthetic ether used for 1st time by American dentist Dr William Morton who extracts a tooth 1862 👉🏼 Prussia Minister President Otto von Bismarck’s delivers his “Blood & Iron” speech 1878 👉🏼 1st Portuguese immigrants…

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Kiipsaare Lighthouse | Saaremaa | Estonia

The slender lighthouse (Kiipsaare Tuletorn in Estonian) off the coast of the Estonian island of Saaremaa, on the Harilaid peninsula, casually leans to one side, continually beaten by the tireless waves of the Baltic Sea. When the beacon was built, in 1933, it stood on solid ground, more than 25 meters in from the coast. However, over the course of the later 20th century, due erosion, the tower was literally set out to sea. So, the concrete structure has kept moving farther into the sea (or, rather, the sea has…

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#TodayInHistory – September 29

September 29 – Some important events on this day. 522 BC 👉🏼 Darius I of Persia kills Magian usurper Gaumâta, securing his hold as king of the Persian Empire 480 BC 👉🏼 Battle of Salamis: The Greek fleet under Themistocles defeats the Persian fleet under Xerxes I 61 BC 👉🏼 Pompey the Great celebrates his third triumph for victories over the pirates and the end of the Mithridatic Wars on his 45th birthday. 1567 👉🏼 War of Religion breaks out in France – Huguenots try to kidnap King Charles IX…

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Buried Alive: the creepy true legend of Julia Legare

When the golden beams of the sun’s light shine through the Spanish moss draped trees at the Edisto Island Presbyterian Church, South Carolina, it’s easy to think that a slow-moving shadow is just that:– a shadow. But maybe, it is something else. In fact, the locals tell a strange ghost story down on the island and, probably, It is one of the most horrifying and heartbreaking tales you will ever hear. The Legare family owned a plantation here, in the time before the Civil War and their family mausoleum is…

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#TodayInHistory – September 28

September 28 – Some important events on this day. 48 BC 👉🏼 Pompey the Great is assassinated on orders of King Ptolemy of Egypt after landing in Egypt. 935 👉🏼 Saint Wenceslas is murdered by his brother, Boleslaus I of Bohemia 1066 👉🏼 William the Conqueror invades England landing at Pevensey Bay, Sussex 1542 👉🏼 Explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo discovers California, at San Diego Bay, naming it San Miguel and claims it for Spain 1621 👉🏼 Battle at Chocim Dniester: King Sigismund III Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth defeats an invading Ottoman Imperial…

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The world’s cheapest electric car that costs $930 and can be mailed to your door

If you’ve been dreaming of an electric car, but can’t yet afford to buy a Tesla, you can start low. Really low. Changli is the world’s cheapest electric car, it cost $930 ($1,200 with larger batteries), it can be ordered online and delivered to your door. Designed and produced by Chinese manufacturer Changzhou Xili Car Industry, Changli, or “Changli ” is a tiny electric vehicle that has been getting a lot of attention online after being promoted as “the world’s most affordable electric car”. Calling this thing a car is…

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September 27, 1825: the first time in history that a steam locomotive carry passengers on a public railway

For the first time in history a steam locomotive carried passengers on a public railway on this day, September 27, 1825. The engine was called Locomotion No. 1 and in control was its designer, the engineer George Stephenson. The train belonged to the Stockton and Darlington Railway, which operated across the North East of England but, for the first time, apart from 36 wagons filled with sacks of coal and flour, it included a purpose-built passenger coach called, not by chance, The Experiment. Actually, shaking and springless, the carriage resembled…

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#TodayInHistory – September 27

September 27 – Some important events on this day. 1066 👉🏼 William the Conqueror’s troops set sail for England. In 1066 the course of British history changed forever when William, the Duke of Normandy, landed on the southern coast of England and seized the country from its Anglo-Saxon king Harold Godwinson. The French had a long history of claims in England, and in 1002 the English king Aethelred the Unready married the sister of Richard II, the Norman duke. The Normans weren’t the only ones keen on the English throne…

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The Stromatolites of Hamelin Pool – Australia

Located within a sheltered bay on the coast of Western Australia, theb Hamelin Pool Marine Nature Reserve appears at first glance to be a regular rock-strewn beach, though the rocks look kind of odd. Those rocks are not actually rocks. Rather, they are active colonies of one of the first life forms on our planet. They are called “stromatolites”, and they are made by a single-celled organism know as “cyanobacteria”. Previously known as blue-green algae, cyanobacteria exist since about 3500 million years ago, well before the existence of any other…

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#TodayInHistory – September 26

September 26 – Some important events on this day. 46 BC 👉🏼 Julius Caesar dedicates a temple to his mythical ancestor Venus Genetrix in accordance with a vow he made at the Battle of Pharsalus 1580 👉🏼 Frances Drake completes circumnavigation of the world, sailing into Plymouth aboard the Golden Hind 1665 👉🏼 Height of the Great Plague of London as 7,165 people die throughout the previous week. In 1665 and 1666, the last great outbreak of bubonic plague to hit England swept through the capital, London. The outbreak was…

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Edivo Vina Winery: dive for a drink at Croatia’s first and only underwater winery!

If you love wine and wandering around French vineyards or visiting California Wine Country isn’t adventurous enough for you, a trip to Croatia’s Pelješac peninsula might need to be your solution! Edivo Vina is first and only underwater winery, and if you want your very own hand-selected, barnacle-encrusted, underwater-aged bottle of vino, you’re going to have to dive for it! The unique winery, located in Drače on the Pelješac Peninsula about an hour north of Dubrovnik, is the brainchild of Edi Bajurin, who combined his two favorite hobbies to create…

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#TodayInHistory – September 25

September 25 – Some important events on this day. 303 👉🏼 On a voyage preaching the gospel, Saint Fermin of Pamplona is beheaded in Amiens, France. 1066 👉🏼 Battle of Stamford Bridge: English army under King Harold II defeat invading Norwegians led by King Harald Hardrada and Harold’s brother Tostig, who were both killed 1396 👉🏼 Battle of Nicopolis: Sultan Bajezid I defeats Crusades armies 1513 👉🏼 Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa crosses the Panama Isthmus becoming first European to see the Pacific Ocean 1555 👉🏼 Freedom of Religion…

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Popeye Village: an abandoned set from the 1980 film claimed and repurposed as a theme park by creative locals.

We are in Anchor Bay, 3 km from the village core of Mellieħa, Malta. The set from Robert Altman’s film Popeye, shot in Malta, was never fully struck and remains on the island as a sort of (misplaced) relic. The live-action film based on the popular comic strip and animation character, a spinach-loving sailor, marked the film debut of Robin Williams in the title role. The construction of the film set began in June 1979. For the occasion, over 20 wooden structures were built with the tree trunk logs imported…

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#TodayInHistory – September 24

September 24 – Some important events on this day. 1180 👉🏼 Manuel I Komnenos, last Emperor of the Komnenian restoration dies. The Byzantine Empire slips into terminal decline. 1493 👉🏼 Christopher Columbus embarks on his 2nd expedition to the New World, setting sail with a fleet of 17 ships 1529 👉🏼 Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and his Ottoman troops arrive in Vienna, beginning of the siege 1657 👉🏼 1st autopsy and coroner’s jury verdict is recorded in Maryland 1789 👉🏼 US Federal Judiciary Act passes, creating a six-person Supreme Court…

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Point Reyes Lighthouse | Inverness | California

The Point Reyes Lighthouse was built in 1870 due the extremely high winds and dense fog that descend from the Gulf of Farallones onto Point Reyes, 31 km from the nearest town of Inverness California. It was assigned to Point Reyes in 1855, but its construction was delayed for fifteen years because of a dispute between the United States Lighthouse Board and the landowners over a fair price for the land. The 11 m tower, first lit on December 1, 1870, spends the majority of the year wrapped in a…

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#TodayInHistory – September 23

September 23 – Some importants events on this day 1122 👉🏼 Concordat of Worms agreed between Pope Calixtus II and Holy Roman Emperor Henry V 1408 👉🏼 Battle of Othée: victory of John the Fearless, duke of Burgundy over Liège. 1459 👉🏼 Battle of Blore Heath in Staffordshire, 1st major battle of the English Wars of the Roses 1821 👉🏼 Fall of Tripolitsa, Greek forces massacre 30,000 Turks during Greek War of Independence 1846 👉🏼 German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle discovers the planet Neptune at the Berlin Observatory. 1862 👉🏼…

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Mabon (?) and the Autumn Equinox

Not everyone knows that the Wheel of the Year is a set of eight seasonal celebrations spaced approximately 6-7 weeks apart through the year, which mark a combination of Solstices, Equinoxes and old British Agricultural festivals. The Autumn Equinox is one of these festivals, celebrated in the Northern Hemisphere somewhere around the 21st of September, and around March 21 below the equator. This festival is usually understood to mark a time of balance and reflection and a time when light and dark are equal in measure in the day (which…

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#TodayInHistory – September 22

September 22 – Some important events on this day. 1236 👉🏼 The Lithuanians and Semigallians defeat the Livonian Brothers of the Sword in Battle of Šiauliai. 1499 👉🏼 Switzerland becomes an independent state 1586 👉🏼 Battle at Zutphen: Dutch army, assisted by the English, against the Spanish 1692 👉🏼Last people hanged for witchcraft (8) in the US, 19 hanged overall, with six other deaths during Salem Witch Trials 1699 👉🏼 People of Rotterdam strike over high cost of butter 1735 👉🏼 Robert Walpole becomes the first British “Prime Minister” (actually…

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Francesc Canals i Ambrós: the Saint of Poblenou

Francesc Canals i Ambrós was born in Barcelona in 1877. He was a very kind young boy who always helped everyone and was consequently very beloved by neighbors and acquaintances. When he was 14 years old, he went to work in the popular Barcelonese store “El Siglo” and quickly earned his reputation as a good person by distributing his salary to the neediest several times. However, this was not the only thing that made him popular: people believed that Francesc had also some paranormal abilities such as guessing the time…

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#TodayInHistory – September 21

September 21 – Some important events on this day. 1192 👉🏼 English King Richard I the Lion hearted, captured by Leopold V, Duke of Austria 1217 👉🏼 The Estonian tribal leader Lembitu of Lehola was killed in a battle against Teutonic Knights 1348 👉🏼 Jews in Zurich, Switzerland, are accused of poisoning wells 1621 👉🏼 King James I of England gives Sir William Alexander a royal charter for colonisation of Nova Scotia 1792 👉🏼 French Revolution: The National Convention passes a proclamation announcing the formal abolition of the French monarchy…

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Catemaco: the witchcraft capital of Mexico

We are in Catemaco, in eastern Mexico. Built on the shores of the eponymous lake, the town has a long history of fishing, even though nowadays, the town’s main economic activity is tourism. In the 1970s, tourism to Catemaco spiked massively owing to the fame of Gonzalo Aguirre, a renowned sorcerer who lived and practiced in the region. During his lifetime, Aguirre performed rituals for politicians, actors, and business leaders. He also organized a witchcraft convention that brought together the country’s top shamans for a black mass. After his death,…

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#TodayInHistory – September 20

September 20 – Some important events on this day. 451 👉🏼 Roman General Flavius Aetius defeats Attila the Hun at The Battle of the Catalaunian Plains (Chalons-sur-Marne), halting Hun invasion of Roman Gaul 622 👉🏼 Islamic Prophet Muhammed/Abu Bakr arrives in Jathrib (Medina) 1066 👉🏼 Battle of Fulford, Yorkshire: Harald III Hardrada of Norway defeats Northern Saxon Earls Edwin and Morcar 1187 👉🏼 1st sultan of Egypt and Syria Saladin begins the Siege of Jerusalem. 1519 👉🏼 Spanish expedition led by Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan sets off on the 1st…

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England’s Bolton Strid: the most dangerous stretch of water in the world

The Bolton Strid, a narrow segment of the River Wharf in North England, is a picturesque stretch of river that looks like the type of place one might find fairies frolicking in the heath. However, it has a reputation that doesn’t quite suite its appearance, and just beneath the surface is a natural booby trap that has claimed a number of lives. It is informally known as the most dangerous stretch of water in the world, with an alleged fatality rate of 100% for everyone lucky enough to have fallen…

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What was the first country to grant women the vote?

Saudi Arabia, in 2011, became the most recent country in 21st century to grant women’s suffrage (and also lifted the ban on women’s driving in June 2018…). But which country first gave women voting rights? In the late nineteenth century the women’s suffrage movement was widespread throughout Northern Europe, but also in America, Britain and its colonies. However, the first self-governing country to grant all women the vote was New Zealand on this day, 19th September 1893. So, how did New Zealand manage to grant all women, including indigenous Maori…

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#TodayInHistory – September 19

September 19 – Some important events on this day. 1356 👉🏼 English forces under Edward the Black Prince defeat French at Battle of Poitiers and capture the French King during the Hundred Years’ War 1848 👉🏼 Hyperion, moon of Saturn, discovered by Bond (US) & Lassell (England) 1849 1st commercial laundry established, in Oakland, California 1870 👉🏼 Siege of Paris by Prussian Forces begins (lasts until January 28 1871) 1888 👉🏼 One of first known modern beauty contests held in Spa, Belgium 1893 👉🏼 New Zealand becomes the first country…

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Salmon ATM – frozen in Norway, vended in Singapore!

Recently, in January 2019, a new ATM was unveiled in Singapore’s Wisteria shopping mall. Nothing strange, apparently. However, instead of cash, this machine dispenses 200-gram fillets of frozen salmon from the fjords of Norway and today, dozens of salmon ATMs dot the island city-state. Manish Kumar, founder and CEO of Norwegian Salmon Pte Ltd, declared that his goal is to make his beloved salmon available and afforbable to all. So, by cutting out the cost of storefronts, staff, and distributors, he’s able to sell his fillets for S$5.90 ($4.25). In…

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#TodayInHistory – September 18

September 18 – Some important events on this day. 96 👉🏼 Nerva is proclaimed Roman Emperor after Domitian is assassinated 1454 👉🏼 In the Battle of Chojnice, the Polish army is defeated by the Teutonic army during the Thirteen Years’ War. 1793 👉🏼 US President George Washington lays the cornerstone of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. 1809 👉🏼 Royal Opera House in London opens 1811 👉🏼 British East India Company force led by Baron Minto conquers Java, part of the Dutch East Indies, Stamford Raffles appointed lieutenant governor 1812…

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Hellingly Mental Hospital: the story of an asylum

We are in the village of Hellingly, in East Sussex, England. Here, on 20 July 1903, the Hellingly Mental Hospital was inaugurated: an asylum, the best in the area because, apparently, the most innovative treatments were experimented there. It was also the refuge for patients who had to flee West Sussex due to the First World War. The main complex comprised an administrative block, central stores, kitchens, a recreation hall and the assistant medical officer’s residence. Like most large institutions of this age and type the sexes were separated into…

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#TodayInHistory – September 17

September 17 – Some important events on this day. 642 👉🏼 Arab forces under Amr ibn al-‘As conquer Alexandria 1156 👉🏼 Emperor Frederick Barbarossa issues the ‘Privilegium Minus’ decree, which elevated Austria to a duchy. 1598 👉🏼 Dutch sailors discover island of Mauritius 1683 👉🏼 Dutch scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek is the first to report the existence of bacteria 1859 👉🏼 Joshua Abraham Norton, English-born resident of San Francisco, proclaims himself his Imperial Majesty Emperor Norton I, Emperor of the United States of America 1862 👉🏼 Battle of Antietam [Battle…

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