Paronella park: a castle hand built by a Spanish dreamer in the Australian tropical jungle.

In Queensland, Australia, lies an old castle built by a Spanish immigrant that, for a while, had one problem after another. Abandoned for several years, it has now become one of the most popular tourist sites in Queensland. Its story began when a young native of Catalonia, Spain, José Paronella, moved to a nearby town and became a baker. He discovered it was much harder than he had imagined, and, when he saw an advertisement for work in Australia, he took a chance and arrived in Sydney in 1913 at…

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#April 16, 1850: Madame Tussaud’s dies on this day. Her bloody background

Anna Maria “Marie” Tussaud, the woman behind one of London’s most famous tourist attractions, died on this day, April 16 1850, at the age of 89. She had spent a lifetime creating lifelike waxworks of the famous and the infamous, from murderers to monarchs, from pop stars to politicians, from the beautiful to the odd. The seeds of her curious destiny were sewn two months before she was born at Strasbourg in 1761 when her father, a German soldier, was killed in battle. His death forced his young widow to…

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#TodayInHistory – April 16

April 16 – Some important events on this day 1457 BC 👉🏼 Battle of Megiddo: Egyptian forces of Thutmose III defeat a large Canaanite coalition under King of Kadesh. First battle recorded with a reliable account. The first detailed battle account to have ever survived, it was carved into the walls of the Temple to Amun-Re at Karnak by military scribe Tjaneni. The battle occurred in the Levant, an area controlled by the Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose III, who was facing a revolt led by the King of Kadesh. The Egyptians…

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Joe Metheny: the serial killer who made his victims into hamburgers.

Ironically known in the 90s as “Tiny”, as he was tall and overweight, Joe Metheny’ story began with the search for his runaway wife and son, but ended up on a revenge-driven killing spree and turning his victims into burgers. He held a steady job as a forklift driver and was universally described as intelligent, well-spoken, and very well-mannered, even if he murdered Cathy Ann Magaziner in 1994, a 39-year-old prostitute, and buried her body in a shallow grave on the site of the factory where he worked. The body…

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#April 15, 1912: An Iceberg sinks “unsinkable” Titanic

All we know that, on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, the passenger liner Titanic hit an iceberg and sank on this day, resulting in the world’s worst peacetime shipping disaster. Just five days earlier the toweringly impressive ship — eleven storeys high, a sixth of a mile long and weighing 46,328 gross tons — slipped her moorings at Southampton to the cheers of enthusiast crowds. She was the pride of the White Star Line, the biggest ship the world had seen, and certainly the best. For a…

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#TodayInHistory – April 15

April 15 – Some important events on this day 1450 👉🏼 French defeat English at Battle of Formigny in 100 Years’ War 1755 👉🏼 Samuel Johnson’s “A Dictionary of the English Language” published in London. He was one of the most prominent literary figures of the eighteenth century, and his greatest work was his “Dictionary of the English Language”. Commissioned by a group of publishers, the task took Johnson nine years and was eventually published on this day. Although not the first English dictionary it proved to be the most…

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Block Island Southeast Light and Mad Maggie, the ghost who hates men

Block Island Southeast Light is a lighthouse located on Mohegan Bluffs at the southeastern corner of Block Island, Rhode Island. Block Island is surrounded by submerged rocks and sandy shoals and many ships have met their end here, on what was often called the “stumbling block” of the New England coast. However, the six-mile-long island didn’t get its name from being a stumbling block, but rather by the Dutch explorer Adrian Block, who charted the area in 1614. Block Island Southeast Lighthouse is one of the most visually striking lighthouses…

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#TodayInHistory – April 14

April 14 – Some important events on this day 43 BC 👉🏼 Battle of Forum Gallorum: Mark Antony, besieging Julius Caesar’s assassin Decimus Junius Brutus in Mutina, defeats the forces of the consul Pansa, who is killed. By the time of his assassination on 15 March (the Ides of March) 44BC, Julius Caesar was at the height of his power, having recently been declared dictator perpetuo by the Roman Senate. This kind of power made many senators nervous that Caesar would overthrow the senate and establish one-man tyranny. Thus they…

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The best pictures of creepy Easter Bunnies scaring of innocent children~

Easter is a bizarre holiday with pagan origins and lot of bizzarre traditions in Europe, but not only. The dead returning to life. Bunny shaped chocolates. Painting and hiding eggs. Handing your children over to strange adults poorly dressed as humanoid and creepy rabbits. If we’re in a horror movie, I would say that none of these children were seen again after taking these photos. But did you know that the hare that later became the Easter Bunny came to be associated with churches because many believed it was a…

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#April 13, 1928: First nonstop flight from Europe to North America

German pilot Hermann Köhl, Irish aviator James Fitzmaurice and Baron Ehrenfried Günther Freiherr von Hünefeld, the expedition’s financier, completed on this day, April 13, 1928 the first Europe to North America transatlantic flight, taking off from Ireland and landing safely on a small Canadian island. The prevailing winds in the North Atlantic blowed from North America towards Europe, hastening Eastbound airplanes on their way but making headwinds a major problem for those flying West. Köhl, who had flown in the German Army Air Service in World War I, and von…

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#April 13, 1742: Handel’s “Messiah” premieres in Dublin

Nowadays, the performance of George Frideric Handel’s Messiah oratorio at Christmas time is a tradition almost as deeply entrenched as decorating trees and waiting for Santa. In churches and concert halls around the world, the most famous piece of sacred music in the English language is performed both full and abridged, with and without audience, but almost always and exclusively during the weeks leading up to the celebration of Christmas. However, it was not originally intended as a piece of Christmas music. The Messiah received its world premiere on this…

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#TodayInHistory – April 13

April 13 – Some important events on this day 837 👉🏼 Best view of Halley’s Comet in 2,000 years ☄️ 1250 👉🏼 The Seventh Crusade is defeated in Egypt, Louis IX of France captured 1560 👉🏼 Giovanni, son of Italian mathematician Girolamo Cardano is executed for poisoning his wife, despite his father’s efforts to save him. Well-known for his achievements in algebra, especially as the first mathematician to make systematic use of numbers less than zero, Girolamo Cardano was one of the fathers of probability, discovering the binomial coefficients and…

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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…

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Mämmi: traditional Easter pudding from Finland, best served untraditionally.

Easter hasn’t always been about marshmallow chicks, chocolate bunnies, and, in Finland, delicious nougat-filled eggs. Already in ancient times Christians in Finland fasted before Easter and they couldn’t eat anything sweet. There were also few raw ingredients and nature was at its stingiest at that time. However there was grain and someone came up with the idea of malting it. Thus they malted huge trays of the grain during Lent, which led to the modern Easter treat called mämmi. At its most basic, mämmi is a cooked pudding made from…

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Easter Lamb: in Sicily, Italy, it is sweet, caloric and made of almond paste!

Eggs, rabbits…we already know what these symbols mean. Also the lamb is one of the most prominent symbols of Easter. In Christianity, it symbolizes purity and sacrifice, two qualities associated with Jesus Christ, who is referred to as the “Lamb of God” in the New Testament. Sicilians prepare a traditional Easter celebration with the help of a little lamb. Locally known as “agnelli pasquali” or “pecorelle di pasqua”, this sweet figurine is molded from marzipan and often filled with pistachio paste. One distinct characteristic of the Easter sweet is the…

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Why do we have Easter bunny and Easter eggs?

All the fun things about Easter have pagan roots, and It is not a coincidence if the most widely-practiced customs on Easter Sunday are associated to the rabbit (“Easter bunny”) and the egg. Bunnies are a leftover from the pagan festival of Eostre, a great northern goddess whose symbol was a rabbit or hare, while exchange of eggs is an ancient custom, celebrated by many cultures. As we already know, a hare was a symbol associated with great northern goddess Eostre, (goddess of Spring, otherwise known as Ostara, Austra, or…

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#TodayInHistory – April 12

April 12 – Some important events on this day 467 👉🏼 Anthemius is elevated to Emperor of the Western Roman Empire 1204 👉🏼 4th Crusade occupies and plunders Constantinople 1606 👉🏼 England adopts the Union Flag, replaced in 1801 by current Union Flag the Union Jack 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 1782 👉🏼 Battle at Les Saintes: British fleet under Admiral George Rodney defeats the French fleet under Comte de Grasse off Dominica in the West Indies. Prevents a planned French and Spanish invasion of Jamaica. With a long-standing historical rivalry against the British…

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Święconka: the Polish Easter tradition artfully assembles symbolic foods, from bread to lamb-shaped butter.

The Polish people are very religious. Most of them are Roman Catholics. For centuries, during the 40 days before Easter (Lent) the Polish people fasted: they ate no meat, butter, eggs, cheese or desserts. On this day, the day before Easter, called Holy Saturday, Catholics still today assemble artful collections of symbolic foods for a traditional sacred ritual: the blessing of Easter baskets, locally know as Święconka. With roots dating back to the early history of Poland, it is also observed by expatriate and their descendants Poles in the U.S.,…

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Mignon Chocolate Egg: the chocolates inside of real eggshells

If there’s one thing Europeans always get right, it’s their undeniably delicious array of chocolates, sweets and candy. Thus, it’s no surprise that Finland proves no exception. However, should you stumble upon a Mignon Chocolate Egg, you may find yourself wondering what Finnish hens eat! These real eggshells are filled with creamy nougat and are a strong local Easter tradition. But on the outside, they’re practically identical of a hard-boiled egg. Karl Fazer introduced the seasonal delight in 1896 using a recipe he brought from Germany, and his company in…

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The ancient pagan origins of Easter

Easter: a secular culture celebrates the spring equinox, whilst religious culture celebrates the resurrection. In religious (and obvious) terms, Easter is a holiday celebrated by millions of people around the world, with more or less curious traditions, who honor the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament and occurred three days after his crucifixion at Calvary. But it is also, in different cultures, the day that children wait for the Easter bunny to arrive and a day to eat more or less delicious chocolate eggs. The…

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#TodayInHistory – April 11

April 11 – Some important events on this day 1512 👉🏼 Battle of Ravenna: French forces under Gaston de Foix defeat the Holy League in a major battle of the Italian Wars. In 1508, as the Venetian trading republic secured more influence in northern Italy, Pope Julius II created the League of Cambrai, an anti-Venetian alliance consisting of the Papal States, France, Holy Roman Empire, Spain and the Duchy of Ferrara. By 1512 however that alliance had morphed into the Holy League. Venice was now allied with the Papal States…

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Some surprising things you (probably) didn’t know about Good Friday

Have you heard of the theory that it storms on Good Friday in the afternoon between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.? The Christian belief is Christ’s crucifixion occurred on this day and, while this was happening, skies became stormy while the earth began to shake. Historians have documented this in Roman literature from that time period, and there is a belief that it has continued to storm on every Good Friday afternoon. A legend that has been carried on for generations. Some say that if it rains on Good Friday,…

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Fluff Screamer: a Pennsylvania’s delicious burger topped with Marshmallow Fluff

Deep in the heart of Pennsylvania coal country, a few miles from the smoldering, abandoned town of Centralia, you can try one of the oddest regional foods In the country. If you happen to find yourself in Girardville, be sure to stop into Tony’s Lunch, a repository of quirky but delicious contradictions. At first, it isn’t open for lunch, despite the name. But more importantly, it is the birthplace of the inexplicably delicious “Fluff Screamer” burger, one of the weirdest—and tastiest—burgers you’ll ever eat. It consists of a griddled hamburger…

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#April 10, 1633: The day bananas made their debut in England

Among scientists, Thomas Johnson is known as “the father of British field botany”. But, more confidentially, he is celebrated as the first man to sell bananas in England. Born in 1600, he established his scientific credentials in his “Herball” tome, with 2,000 pages and 2,900 illustrations listing plants, where they grew and their medicinal properties. It remained the accepted and trusted text in its field for over 200 years. Historical records show that in 1626 Johnson had established an apothecary business in central London and it was here, on this…

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#TodayInHistory – April 10

April 10 – Some important events on this day 837 👉🏼 Comet 1P/837 F1 (Halley) approaches within 0.0334 AUs of Earth 💫 1407 👉🏼 Lama Deshin Shekpa visits the Ming Dynasty capital at Nanjing and is awarded the title Great Treasure Prince of Dharma 1500 👉🏼 France captures duke Ludovico Sforza of Milan. Patron of Leonardo da Vinci and other artists, Ludovico Sforza presided over the final and most productive stage of the Milanese Renaissance. 1516 👉🏼 1st Jewish ghetto established: Venice compels Jews to live in a specific area…

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The bloody history of Staten Island’s Kreischer Mansion

Sitting just off the Staten Island’s poetically named Arthur Kill Road is Kreischer Mansion, a lovely Victorian home that is said to be one of the most haunted places in all of New York, which may actually be true if one is referring to being haunted by memories of murder and death. It was one of two mansions built by German immigrant Balthasar Kreischer for two of his three sons. The surviving house belonged to son Edward Kreischer, the other to his brother Charles. When the brickmaker Balthasar Kreischer came…

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#TodayInHistory – April 9

April 9 – Some important events on this day 1388 👉🏼 Battle of Näfels: Glarius Swiss defeat Habsburg (Austrian) army 1483 👉🏼 Edward V (aged 12) succeeds his father Edward IV as king of England. He is never crowned, and disappears presumed murdered, after incarceration in the Tower of London with his younger brother Richard (the “Princes in the Tower”) 1667 👉🏼 1st public art exhibition at the Palais-Royale in Paris 1731 👉🏼 British mariner Robert Jenkins’ ear cut off by Spanish Guarde Costa in the Caribbean, later catalyst for…

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The eternal sleep of Rosalia Lombardo

Rosalia Lombardo was born on December 13, 1918 in Palermo, in Sicily region in Southern Italy. At the tender age of 2 she died due to a bacteria pneumonia. Her father, official Mario Lombardo, destroyed by pain, decided to contact Dr. Alfredo Salafia, a noted embalmer, to undertake the task of preserving her beloved daughter. Salafia was a great expert in post-mortem conservation, and it seems that he carried out the embalming of little Rosalia free of charge. The little girl was embalmed and was one of the last corpses…

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#TodayInHistory – April 8

April 8 – Some important events on this day 217 👉🏼 Roman Emperor Caracalla is assassinated (and succeeded) by his Praetorian Guard prefect, Marcus Opellius Macrinus. 1766 👉🏼 1st fire escape patented, wicker basket on a pulley & chain 1796 👉🏼 Carl Friedrich Gauss, German mathematician, proves the quadratic reciprocity law (the ability to determine the solvability of any quadratic equation in modular arithmetic). He was one of the world’s most famous mathematicians and his achievements include his contributions to number theory, proving the fundamental theorem of algebra, independently arriving…

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Big Bay Point Lighthouse – Michigan

Big Bay Point Lighthouse stands on a rocky point halfway between Marquette and Keweenaw Portage Entry, Michigan. The Lighthouse Board recommended the establishment of a lighthouse here in 1892, as Big Bay Point occupies a position midway between Granite Island and Huron Islands, these two lights are invisible from each other and the intervening stretch is unlighted. In fact, quite a number of vessels have in past years been wrecked around the area. The Big Bay Point Lighthouse and its adjoining caretaker’s lodge were inaugurated in 1896. The first keeper…

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