Who was the real St. Valentine? The (many) myths behind the Inspiration for Valentine’s Day ~

In history there were multiple St. Valentines (including decapitated ones) but, apparently, was a medieval poet who first established the holiday’s romantic tradition. | READ ALSO: The Dark Origin of Valentine’s Day. On February 14, when we share chocolates, special dinners, or gift with our loved ones, we do it in the name of Saint Valentine. But who was actually this character? Search the web, and you can find plenty of stories about him (or them). For istance, one Saint Valentine was supposedly a Roman priest who performed secret weddings…

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That day when New York forbade lovers

New York, the Big Apple, is known as one of the fun capitals of the world where almost anything goes. It’s a good job, then, that the city authorities turn a blind eye to some restrictive laws that are still on the Statute Book of “the city that never sleeps”. On this day, January 8, 1902, for instance, the New York State Legislature outlawed flirting in public. The new law, (which technically still exists), prohibited men turning around on a street and “looking at a woman in that way”, with…

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6# Why do we kiss under the mistletoe?

Kissing under sprigs of mistletoe, one of the most famous symbols of Christmas, is a well-known holiday tradition. However, this little plant’s history as a symbolic herb dates back thousands of years, and many ancient cultures prized it for its healing properties. The plant’s romantic overtones most likely started with the Celtic Druids of the 1st century A.D. Because mistletoe could blossom even during the frozen winter, they came to view it as a sacred symbol of vivacity, and they administered it to humans and animals alike in the hope…

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Nell Gwyn: the temptress who enchanted a king

In history, King Charles II consorted with a long line of mistresses and had 13 children by them. Nell Gwyn, who died on this day, November 14, 1687, is the most popular and became a sort of legend, the only royal mistress in English history to be warmly regarded by the people. Charles was married in 1662 to Portugal’s Catherine of Braganza, however her pregnancies all ended in miscarriages, causing the King to look elsewhere for a supplier of children. As a result, Catherine was ostracised at Court, her retinue…

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What remains of Rosemary Farm and its lively past~

Some forty miles from New York, there is a place called Rosemary Farm (or Roland Conklin Estate), a Long Island estate of several hundred acres where beautiful things have been happening somewhere in history. There were hills and lakes and woods and sea to begin with, and on the place Mr. Roland Ray Conklin found a little preRevolutionary farm house, clinging to the highway. Born in Illinois, he operated one of the largest realty firms in Kansas City and moved the business to New York in 1893. In 1907 just…

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The mystery of WWII bomber plane that still lies in North Carolina’s Badin Lake

Apparently some North Carolina lakes of considerable depth generate as many legendary tales, expecially fish tales, but not only. Badin Lake, just outside the town of Albemarle, is not an exception. Created in 1917 by the damming of the Yadkin river, the 5300-acre lake reaches depths of over 60 meters and holds in its belly the remains of farmhouses and entire forests, as well as, according to a legend, the mysterious wreckage of a World War II B-25 Mitchell bomber. As story goes, Mary Elizabeth McDaniel hurried through an early…

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China: woman sends to her faithless boyfiend 1,000 Kilos of onions because “It’s his turn to cry”

Chinese media recently reported the bizarre case of a heartbroken young woman who took revenge on her faithless boyfriend by sending a ton of onions to his doorstep so he could cry as much as she did over his treason. Maybe you didn’t know that, for most young Chinese couples, May 20 is a very special day, the equivalent of the western Valentine’s Day, but for a heartbroken woman who recently caught her boyfriend with another, the day could become really terrible! Reportedly, Miss Zhao, a young woman from Zibo,…

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The curious grave of Florence Irene Ford in Natchez City Cemetery – Mississippi

Natchez City Cemetery sits on the banks of the Mississippi River, with white tombstones neatly arranged on the green grass of Adams County. It’s a quiet final resting place, and home to a handful of notable graves. One of these is the tomb of Rufus E. Case, a large three-tiered structure that contains both his body and his favorite rocking chair. It seems that his child, or maybe grandchild, had died before him and he wanted to be buried in his beloved rocking chair beside the child. To accommodate his…

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The curious grave of Sevilla Jones that names her murderer at New Boston Cemetery – New Hampshire

In 1756, when there were only 59 residents in New Boston, New Hampshire, a committee was appointed “to fix a proper place in or near the centre of the town for the public worship of God; and also for a public burying place, as they shall think most suitable for the whole community.” The resulted cemetery is the same still today and sits at the top of a hill, what was once the center of town. The oldest gravestone which can be found in the cemetery today is that of…

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Burgruine Gösting: the castle ruins over Graz – Austria

Sitting in a valley surrounded by rugged hills, Graz is the second largest city in Austria and has historically been an important point of passage between Western and Eastern Europe. In medieval times, the hills around the city were fortified with watch towers and castles for defensive purposes. Few of these fortifications remain today, but one of the highest peaks still boasts the eerie ruins of one Gösting Castle, as a relic of the Holy Roman Empire. Due to its good strategic location, the castle controlled the narrow Mura valley…

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The beautiful letter of 1973 from an illiterate woman to a distant husband

Being far from the people you love is one of the most difficult experiences in life, even with today’s trans-continental video-calls, skype and similar, all solutions cheap and easy. So one can only imagine how hard it was for our ancestors not so long ago, when international phone calls were luxuries for few and the only way to keep in touch was writing letters that took days, sometimes weeks, to arrive. But that’s assuming, of course, they could write! It was November 2, 1973. The man had gone on the…

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A visit at the Cimetière des Chiens, the world’s oldest Pet Cemetery

The Cimetière des Chiens et Autres Animaux Domestiques, translated as the Cemetery of the Dogs and other Domestic Animals, in Asnières-sur-Seine, just outside of Paris, is the oldest pet cemetery in Europe, and perhaps in the world, depending on its definition of a “pet cemetery.” It claims to be the first pet cemetery in the world and even if there are some more ancient than it, it is the first to be basically a smaller version of our own modern cemeteries. Shrouded in decaying grandeur, it’s probably, according to a…

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The sad story of Mieszko the Stone Bear in Warsaw – Poland

When walking past Warsaw’s Old Town and the Church of Our Lady of Grace, there is a small statue that does seem a bit out of place. It’s a bear, seemingly frozen on the church porch. This statue is said to be of Prince Mieszko, an adopted prince of Janusz I who was found in a bear’s den during a hunting trip. According to the legend he protected the bear and her cubs from being shot by putting himself between the animals and the hunters, a very brave move that…

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The macabre egyptian “Voodoo” Doll, dated back about 3rd-4th Century AD

A binding spell is a magical formula intended to “bind” or restrain a person’s will or behavior. Examples of binding spells include love spells, attempts to silence enemies, or any other magic intended to force or restrain the behavior or actions of another person. Many binding spells involve the use of knots, pins, or other symbolic restraints. In most ancient spells, it is spirits or ghosts who are symbolically “bound” until they fulfill the demands of the spell caster. The binding spell is probably one of the oldest types of…

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A Visit to the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb.

One of the most unusual museums in Croatia is the Museum of Broken Relationships (in Croatian: Muzej prekinutih veza) in Zagreb. The Museum is an ever-growing collection of items, each a memento of a relationship past, accompanied by a personal, yet anonymous story of its contributor. The collection traces its origins to a real-life breakup, between that of its co-founders, Olinka Vištica, a film producer, and Dražen Grubišić, a sculptor, two Zagreb-based artists, in 2006. After their four-year love relationship came to an end in 2003, the two joked about…

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Grandparents and Grandchildren: 18 Photographs of Correspondences between Generations

According to Bored Panda, the source of this article, our grandparents may be grey and wrinkled but once they were young, facing many life problems and experiencing its joy just like we are now. The site has collected some of the best grandchildren attempts to mimic their grandmas and grandpas: from visiting the same sights to wearing identical outfits. All we know that the concept of love for grandparents is often unconditional but rarely do we think of our ancestors during their youth. The photographic documentation of ordinary people began…

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Hasanlu’s Lovers: a kiss 2,800 years long

Teppe Hasanlu, in northwestern Iran, is a famous archaeological site of a city that was excavated in 10 seasons between 1956 and 1974 by a team from the University Museum, University of Pennsylvania and the Metropolitan Museum. Over the years many findings of great historical value have been discovered, including a couple called “The Lovers”, which symbolizes eternal love. There are some very rare cases in which burials are occupied by two people, often due to catastrophic events such as wars or natural disasters. The two skeletons of Hasanlu, in…

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The Dark Origin of Valentine’s Day.

We all know that Valentine’s Day is considered the day of lovers practically all over the world, with a consumerism that often reaches levels to say the least embarrassed. However, the origins of this festival of consumerism, false lovers, cupids and hearts are actually dark, bloody and a bit muddled. The origins are very old, certainly pagan, and are rooted in Roman times. From February 13 to 15 in fact the Romans celebrated the festival of Lupercalia, which had the function of purifying man and blessing the arrival of the…

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Mocha Cat Café. Take a break, with Japanese Cats!

Mocha Cat Cafè it’s a brand very popular in Japan. With ten branches and counting, this popular chain knows how to deliver a cat-cafe experience to every cat lover. It seems that the cat-cafè located in Akihabara (in photo) is one of the most larger. Given the neighborhood, it’s especially popular also with tourists, and staff are prepared to accommodate visitors in English (more or less). There are 28 resident cats, including a lot of very fluffy and pretty cats and exotic breeds. There are three spacious playroom areas, with…

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Hachiko, the faithful dog.

After a profound demonstration of devotion for his master, a dog becomes the symbol of loyalty for an entire nation. Eizaburo Ueno, professor in agriculture science at Tokyo University in Japan, had long wanted a purebred Japanese Akita dog. He had looked for the perfect Akita puppy for a long time, until one of his students encouraged him to adopt Hachiko, from the Odate city in the Akita prefecture of Japan. If there was one thing that Professor Ueno could count on, it was certainly the sight of his loyal…

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