Créac’h: the most powerful lighthouse in Europe

The Créac’h lighthouse, in Breton Tour-tan ar C’hreac’h (translated as Tour-tan: lighthouse and C’hreac’h: promontory) is a lighthouse in the island of Ouessant, in Brittany, France. It was built in 1863 and is 53 m high. It is located on the north western tip of the island and guides ships in the dangerous and busy stretch of the Atlantic which becomes, from that point, the English Channel. For this reason it is the most powerful in Europe and one of the most powerful in the world, visible up to a…

Read More

The ambitious Google plan to digitize 100,000 historic texts in Belgium

In September, a fleet of secure vehicles will come to a 17th-century building in Antwerp, Belgium, to receive a heavily protected cargo, and then escape with the goods to a confidential location and not revealed. The booty? Five thousand rare, centuries-old books, on their way to a real 21st-century treatment! Recently, the Hendrik Conscience Heritage Library and the Plantin-Moretus Museum, both in Antwerp, announced a partnership with Google Books aimed at digitizing more than 100,000 historic works over the next three years. For Google, this is the third initiative of…

Read More

Francesco Petrarca’s house: a modest museum in the final home of Italian poet

“In the Euganean Hills, I had a small house built, decorous and noble; here, I live out the last years of my life peacefully, recalling and embracing with constant memory my absent and deceased friends.” (Petrarch, Senili, XIII, 8, Letter to Matteo Longo, January 6 1371). Francesco Petrarca, one of the first humanists, was a founding figure in the Italian Renaissance, but also the poet who helped solidify modern Italian. He spent his final years tending vegetables in this incredibly old house, which predates even his own residence there. Years…

Read More

Some wondrous museums you can visit from your home

Random-Times projects are all about wonder and exploration and, since many of our readers are spending time at home to stay safe and healthy, we’re highlighting ways you can travel no matter where you are. While world governments and medical workers face to the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of us (including our collaborators, of course!) staying at home. Some public activities have paused their in-person programming as officials ask people to practice social distancing to limit the spread of the coronavirus. However, a growing number of institutions, including some wondrous libraries,…

Read More

Burke & Hare Murder Dolls: the mystery of the dolls in miniature coffins

William Burke and William Hare were two serial killers who lived and operated in Edinburgh, Scotland, from November 1827 to October 1828. The duo, with the complicity of their companions, lured in and murdered their lodgers in a scheme to provide fresh bodies to the local anatomy school. Here Dr. Robert Knox, a brilliant and well-known local anatomy teacher, purchased the human remains and most likely knew that something was a bit suspicious about his “supply chain”. They killed 17 people and the crimes were exposed when another lodger discovered…

Read More

The Easter Egg Museum of Sonnenbühl – Germany

If the Easter Bunny needed a place to safeguard his eggs off-season, the quaint village of Sonnenbühl in Baden-Württemberg would be ideal! With its overwhelming hospitality, Sonnenbühl is a little town nested in the Swabian Alb, located just south of Reutlingen and just about one hour’s drive from Stuttgart. You will see signage for the museum as soon as you enter the town, and find easy parking right across the street. The home to what is surely the largest collection of artistically decorated Easter eggs in Germany was opened in…

Read More

Aunt Claudia’s Dolls, a collection of unique items that includes the most diverse display of northern indigenous dolls.

After World War II, Claudia Kelsey, a longtime toy collector, moved to Juneau, Alaska with her friend Beatrice Shepard, Bea, to set up a life as an artist. She brought with her a large collection of dolls, figures, and miniatures dear to her that would, after her death, become the beloved gallery in the heart of Juneau known today as Aunt Claudia’s Dolls. Upon Claudia’s death some 60 years after the war, her friend Bea decided the collection, which had amassed more than 800 items, should be put on display…

Read More

St. Valentine’s Day Massacre Wall

On a day usually set aside for romance and sweet lovers, despite its dark origin, a trap was set that ended the crime careers of seven men and launched Al Capone straight into the spotlight, as well as directly into the crosshairs of the Feds. The snare that brought the bloody feud between two Chicago mobster titans to a head turned out to be quite simple. Step One: Invite the North Side Irish Gang out in their Valentine’s Day best. Step two: Line them up against a wall like sitting…

Read More

SkullStore Oddity Shop: here you can buy a human skull!

The Prehistoria Natural History Centre is one of a kind in Canada as they claim they are the only free conservation and natural history educational centre in Toronto. However, they’re better known as the SkullStore, one of the largest oddity shops in Canada. This curious and macabre oddities shop in Toronto sells dead people…at least, part of them! So, If you need a real human skull in Canada, there is a place to get it. Driving along Weston Road, a quiet area northwest of downtown Toronto, you’ll see so many…

Read More

Tonopah Mining Park: over a century of mining…

The story goes that prospector Jim Butler was camping around Tonopah Springs, the spring of 1900. He was angrily chasing a runaway burro (a donkey) that had wandered off during the night and sought shelter near a rock outcropping. When he discovered it the next morning, he picked up a rock to throw at the animal, found it surprisingly heavy, and realized he had stumbled upon a wealth of untapped silver ore. He had discovered the second-richest silver strike in Nevada history! He continued his journey and showed the samples…

Read More