Monthly Archive: February 2014

The Most Cheerful Gravestones In The World

Cemeteries are generally places that attract somber mourners, or those looking for a glimpse into lives past and into their own future. Romania’s Merry Cemetery is a little different, with colorful, intricately carved oak plaques on each grave. The carvings, originally started by a single artisan in 1935, depict the person as they were in life. Many show the deceased surrounded by children or tending their sheep (although some of the more bizarre show the deceased meeting their end).

The Strange ‘Trojan Taco’ Escape From Huntsville Prison

The Huntsville Unit is Texas’s most infamous prison, but its reputation didn’t scare Federico Carrasco. In 1974, the incarcerated drug lord and two cronies took 15 hostages and demanded an armored car. After 11 days, the convicts improvised a bizarre escape attempt with rolling chalkboards armored with hundreds of law books. As one would expect, the whole fiasco ended in a deadly gunfight.

The Difference Between Armageddon And The Apocalypse

We commonly use the terms “Armageddon” and “Apocalypse” to refer to the end of the world as we know it. More specifically, though, Armageddon is a place where the final battle for mankind will be fought, while the apocalypse is the reading of the events that lead to the end of the world. There is also both a religious apocalypse that we will be able to do nothing about, and the secular apocalypse that we might still have some control over.

Joseph Stalin Was A Film Fanatic

Without a doubt, Joseph Stalin was one of the most evil men of the 20th century, but like everybody else, the dictator had a hobby. Stalin was a cinephile and considered himself something of a movie expert. And not only did he love watching movies, he was also heavily involved in the Soviet film industry.

The Amazing Palace Built Entirely From Hand-Picked Pebbles

Ferdinand Cheval was born in France in 1836, and in 1879, he tripped over a rock. It was a life-changing experience, as he picked it up, took it home, and started building a palace. Every day for the next 34 years he would collect stones while walking his postal route, and would eventually build a massive castle from his stones and pebbles, one that eventually got the attention of artists like Pablo Picasso and now welcomes about 120,000 visitors each year.

The Secret Global Effect Of Doomsday Predictions

Back in December 2012, decades of apocalypse rumor reached fever pitch. According to an ancient Mayan calendar, this was it: the end of the world. Know how America reacted? By watching lots and lots of pornography. After the event, website Pornhub revealed that their traffic had jumped 10 percent in the run up to Armageddon, one of the most significant single-day increases they’d ever seen.

A Goethe Novel Created A Fan Fiction Craze In 1774

In 1774, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, of later Faust fame, published his young adult hit, The Sorrows of Young Werther. It was soon translated into every European language and “Werther fever” swept the continent. Many fans wrote poems and short fiction continuing the story. Even stranger, Werther’s visage could be found on everything from jewelry to bread-boxes (what was likely one of the earliest examples of tie-in advertising). The rush to cash-in was on.

The Different Types Of Depression

Major depression occurs when a person experiences depression so severe that it interferes with their daily life, while dysthymia is a mild form of this. Persistent depression lasts for several years. There are also forms of depression that come coupled with other symptoms. For example, psychotic depression comes along with a break from reality, postpartum depression happens to up to 15 percent of new mothers, and seasonal affective disorder happens when the lack of sunlight and bleary weather impact a person’s mood. Bipolar disorder is an extreme form of depression that alternates with manic periods.

The Strange Survivor Of A 12th-Century Civilization

The Ghurid dynasty was a flourishing, powerful civilization in 12th- and 13th-century Afghanistan. Little factual evidence about the civilization remains, though, and the location of the dynasty’s capital cities are largely un-excavated. One monument stands, virtually untouched, amid the city’s ruins. The Minaret of Jam is a 65-meter-tall (213 ft) tapering, cylindrical tower that’s intricately carved with Kufric inscriptions, decorated with turquoise tiles, and is amazingly intact.