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Sunday, 25 August 2013


In ancient Egypt, when merchants left the country on business trips they carried small stone models of themselves. If they died while abroad, these figures were sent back to Egypt for proxy burial.

Egyptian mummies were wrapped in about 2000 yards of bandages.

Nesperennub, a temple priest, an important advisor to the Pharaoh Sheshonq and a member of a leading family in the city of Thebes was buried in 800 BC with a winged scarab dung beetle on his chest to guard his journey into the afterlife. He also had large rings on each hand and amulets, including an eye of Horus were wrapped within his bandages. Embalmers would have spent 70 days preparing his body, removing his internal organs and brain and replacing his eyes with glass ones to allow him to see after death.

The ancient Chinese had a custom of burying the dead with pottery images of people, animals, and  possessions dear to them in life.

A Spartan only got his name on his tombstone if he died in battle.

After his crucifixion, Jesus Christ’s body was wrapped up in strips of linen together with 75 pounds of myrrh and aloes and with spices. Looking in from the outside it must have looked like a cocoon and would have retained the shape of a body, even though Jesus’ body was no longer there. This is the reason for Peter and John seeing the tomb and only upon entering did they believe in the resurrection of Jesus.

Wall mosaic of entombment of Jesus near Stone of anointing at Church of the Holy Sepulchre. By AntanO 

Ship burials were common among Germanic peoples, particularly by Viking Age Norsemen. If the ship used to carry the dead or their goods was very small, it was called a boat grave.

Until the 16th century rich bodies were buried inside churches in England and paupers outside.

In the 1500s lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom; "holding a wake."

In England, the Acts of Burial in Woollen, passed from 1666 onwards, were designed to boost the home wool industry by enforcing the use of woollen shrouds and grave-clothes. Contravention of the Acts invoked a £5 fine. Despite the attempted enforcement of woollen garments, there was a common belief that linen, the shroud of Christ, was the only proper burial material.

In the 18th century, the French navy buried their dead in the ship’s hold.

Samuel Baldwin of Lymington was buried at sea. The ceremony was performed at the deceased’s own request to disappoint his wife, who in frequent squabbles had declared her intention to dance on the grave.

General Stonewall Jackson had two separate burial sites - one for his amputated left arm (Fredericksburg, Virginia) and one for the rest of his body (Lexington, Virginia). Jackson’s left arm was shattered during the Battle of Chancellorsville by friendly fire and was amputated the next day. He died a week later on May 10, 1863.

General Jackson seven days before he was wounded at the Battle of Chancellorsville

Arlington National Cemetery was established on June 15, 1864 when 200 acres around Arlington Mansion (formerly owned by Confederate General Robert E. Lee) were officially set aside as a military cemetery by US Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton.

Gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery are marked by U.S. flags each Memorial Day.

General Robert E. Lee's coffin was a bit short for him. As a result he was buried barefoot.

In 1884 Dr. William Price attempted to cremate the body of his infant son, Jesus Christ Price, setting a legal precedent for cremation in the United Kingdom.

The only president buried in Washington, DC proper, Woodrow Wilson, was laid to rest in the National Cathedral.

Seventy-three-year-old psychology professor James Bedford became on January 12, 1967 the first person to be cryonically frozen with intent of future resuscitation.  He remains preserved at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation. In the cryonics community, the anniversary of his cryopreservation is celebrated as "Bedford Day".

Planetary scientist Eugene Shoemaker is the only human in history to have their ashes buried on the Moon.

In Britain cremation overtook burial in 1868 as the most popular means of disposal.

The difference between a casket and a coffin lies in the design. Coffins are tapered at the head and foot and are wide at the shoulders. Caskets are rectangular in shape.

Taphephobia is the fear of being buried alive.

NASA does not have an official protocol for what to do with an astronaut's body if one were to die in space.

Deceased Tibetan Buddhists are given a “sky burial” in which the body is folded in half, walked to the burial site on someone’s back, and then dismembered and fed to vultures. There is no wood for a cremation, and the ground is too hard to dig due to the high altitude they live in.

Only burial grounds adjacent to churches are ‘graveyards’.  Burial grounds not adjacent to churches are merely ‘cemeteries’ and are not deemed ‘holy ground’.

Sources Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia © 1998 The Learning Company, Inc, History World.

Burglar Alarm

Ancient Japanese temples and castles had thief proof "Nightingale" floors that chirped when walked on.

Augustus Pope was awarded a patent for the “development of an electromagnetic alarm” in 1853. He then sold his patent for US$1500 to Edwin Holmes, a manufacturer of ladies’ hoop skirts in Boston Massachusetts who was a far better publicist. Holmes installed the first burglar alarm on February 21, 1858.

By 1877, Holmes had established the first network of alarms monitored by a central station in New York and sent his son, Edwin Thomas Holmes, to copy this system in Boston.

Edwin Thomas Holmes' workshop was used by Alexander Graham Bell as the young Bell pursued his invention of the telephone. Thomas Holmes was the first person to have a home telephone.

The late Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain's body was found in his Seattle home by an electrician sent to install a burglar alarm. He was believed to have died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound three days earlier.

Only 1 per cent of car alarms go off because of an attempted theft.

Burger King

The first Burger King opened in Miami, Florida on December 4, 1954. James McLamore and David Edgerton founded the fast food restaurant chain selling burgers and milkshakes for 18 cents each.

When Burger King introduced the Whopper hamburger in 1957, it cost only 37 cents.

The Whopper sandwich, Burger King's signature product

The Whopper Jr was created by accident in 1963 by the manager of the first Burger King restaurant in Puerto Rico. The molds for the standard Whopper buns didn't arrive so he used a much smaller local bun. The result was such a success that BK adopted it worldwide and called it the Whopper Jr.

When Burger King decided to expand their franchise to Australia, they found out that there was already a food chain there called “Burger King”. This forced them to choose a different name and "Hungry Jack's" is what they came up with.
    1955–1968 Burger King logo
On April Fool's Day 1998, Burger King published an advertisement for "Left-Handed Whopper". The condiments of this whopper were supposed to be rotated 180 degrees, as to avoid spilling out toppings from the right side of the burger. It was said to be the "ultimate 'Have-it-your-way' for lefties"

The company has changed ownership five times and had more than twenty CEOs.

Burger King uses approximately 1/2 million pounds of bacon every month in its restaurants

60% of the fat and 31% of the calories in Burger King's Chicken Sandwich come from the mayonnaise alone.


Romans may have invented the burger. A recipe from the ancient Roman cookbook, Apicius, thought to have been compiled in the 1st century AD, details a dish called ‘Isicia Omentata'. It was made with minced meat, pepper, wine, pine nuts and a rich fish-based sauce called garum.

Ground beef was developed by Mongolian and Turkic tribes known as Tartars who shred low-quality beef from Asian cattle to make it more edible and digestible.

The Tartars introduced the delicacy to their German trading partners from the port of Hamburg in the 13th century. The Germans flavoured it with regional spices such as onions and either ate it raw or fry the meat. It is becoming a standard meal for poorer classes and in Hamburg its acquired the name "Hamburg steak.”  Before that, ‘Hamburg steak’ was a term used for salt beef.

Calling ground beef a 'burger’ dates from the invention of mechanical meat grinders in the 1860s.

The first recorded sighting of the word 'cheeseburger' was on December 23, 1941 over a shop in Burbank, California.

The world’s first lab-grown burger was eaten in London on August 5, 2013. Scientists took cells from a cow and turned them into strips of muscle that they combined to make a patty. Upon tasting the burger, Austrian food researcher Ms Ruetzler said: "It's close to meat, but it's not that juicy." The project is estimated to have cost £215,000.

The previous most expensive burger was the FleurBurger 5000 made of Kobe beef with foie gras and black truffles, served with a bottle of Chateau Pétrus 1990 for $5,000 at Fleur de Lys in Las Vegas.

The world record for eating a 9lb Big Daddy Cheeseburger is 27min 0sec by Sonya Thomas. Sonya Thomas also holds the record for eating seven 3/4lb ‘Thickburgers’ in 10 minutes.

A Burger King "Quad Stacker" cheeseburger, containing four patties and bacon

The world's biggest burger was served in Las Vegas, Nevada and called the Quadruple Bypass Burger. It was also noted down by the Guinness World Records as the world's most calorific burger.

As a result of a blending process that takes place after slaughter, the meat in a single fast-food burger may have come from up to 100 different cows.

Fifty billion burgers a year are eaten in the USA, which works out at an average of three a week for the average person (including all ages).

Over nine billion burgers are served at fast food outlets in the US every year.

Sources Daily Express, BBC

Sunday, 18 August 2013

John Bunyan

John Bunyan was born around November 28, 1628 at Harrowden, one mile east of Elstow near Bedford His father was a tinker (A person who makes and mends pots and kettles). Bunyan followed his father into the tinkering business. Actually the exact date of Bunyan’s birth is not known, but he was baptized on November 30, 1628 in Elstow.

Bunyan went to his village school where he only learnt to read and write. He knew thoroughly only one book-the King James Bible.

In 1644 Bunyan was conscripted into the Parliamentary army during the Civil War. The Cromwellian soldier was garrisoned in Newport Pagnell and didn't engage in battle. He was exposed to the views of many radical Christians in the roundhead ranks.  He returned home in 1646 but stored in his imagination military scenes and adventures which he would later use to such telling effect in his books.

Bunyan married his first wife in 1649 (her name is unknown). Her sole dowry was two books on Christianity which awakened his interest in religion. "We came together as poor as poor might be," Bunyan wrote, "not having so much household-stuff as a dish or spoon betwixt us both."  She died in 1656.

In appearance, Bunyan was tall, ruddy face, sparkling eyes and a mustache.

An artist's rendition of John Bunyan

Originally a High Anglican, who led a footloose and fancy free life, Bunyan’s heart was first touched whilst playing tipcat, when he heard a voice saying “Wilt thou leave thy sins and go to Heaven or have thy sins and go to Hell?” Later he noticed four old women sitting at a door in the sun talking about new birth, the work of God on their hearts and of their own righteousness as too defiled to do them good. They spoke with “such pleasantness of Scripture language” Bunyan’s heart began to shake.

Bunyan's Christian wife introduced him to two religious works, Bayley’s Practice of Piety and Dent’s Plain Man’s Pathway to Heaven, which he duly read. He describes his conversion thus: “One day as I was travelling into the country, musing on the wickedness of my heart and considering the enmity that was in me to God, the Scripture came to mind, “He hath made peace, through the blood of the Cross”. I saw that the justice of God and my sinful soul could embrace and kiss each other. I was ready to swoon, not with grief and trouble, but with joy and peace.”

Bunyan gained a popular reputation in the villages around Bedford as an eloquent and powerful speaker, but following the 1660 restoration of the monarchy, he was a number of Non-conformist preachers who were arrested. Bunyan was seized by the authorities for preaching outside a Parish Church whilst being unlicensed to preach. He spent the next 13 years in prison.

Bunyan married his second wife, Elizabeth in 1659 just before his arrest. His second wife cared for his four small children including a blind daughter, Mary, whom he especially loved.

Bunyan was appointed pastor by his congregation in 1671 despite still being in jail. He was released for a time, enabling him to take up his position as pastor but after a clamp down by the king on Non-conformism Bunyan was sent back to prison. He refused all offers of freedom as he was unable to agree to the prerequisite that he won’t preach again.

During his lengthy imprisonment Bunyan helped to support his family from prison by making long-tagged shoelaces, which he sold to hawkers.

Bunyan in prison

The county gaol where Bunyon was imprisoned between 1660 -72 was later the home of John Howard, the great prison reformer.

Bunyan wrote over 60 published works, including books, tracts and even children's poetry. Most of them were written in his last years.  Had he not spent 13 years in Bedford Prison it is unlikely Bunyan would ever have been anything but an effective and successful preacher. Prison gave him time to think, to read and to write. He read and re-read the Bible, the Prayer Book, Foxes Book of Martyrs and George Herbert's Devotional Poems.

The Pilgrim's Progress, an allegory based on Bunyan's own spiritual life was published in two parts in 1678 and 1684. The first part of it was written during Bunyan's second spell in jail.for preaching without a licence in 1675.

First edition cover

In his last years under the nickname "Bishop Bedford" Bunyan organised the Non Conformist churches between Bedford and London.

Bunyan won increasing fame in his last years as a preacher and writer and was preaching sometimes to over 1,000 people even on cold winter mornings.

Bunyan is best identified as a Particular Baptist of an open sort—one who is Calvinistic in theology, congregational in polity, and adhering to believer's baptism though not requiring immersion for church membership.

Bunyan died on August 31, 1688 in London while on a journey from Reading to settle an argument between a father and son. He was caught in a drenching rain storm and a violent fever seized him. He was buried at Bunhill, (Finsbury), London. .

Pilgrim's Progress has been translated in over 200 languages and for the next 150 years after its publication Bunyan's books, like the Bible, were found in every English home. 

Battle of Bunker Hill

The Battle of Bunker Hill was one of the first engagements between the Colonists and British during the American War of Independence. The battle was fought on June 17, 1775 outside of Boston. The Colonists inflicted heavy casualties on British forces before losing the battle.

The Battle of Bunker Hill, by Howard Pyle, 1897

Before the fighting began Col. William Prescott told his men, “Don’t fire till you see the whites of their eyes.”

Thousands of people watched the Battle of Bunker Hill take place. People in the Boston area sat on rooftops, in trees, on church steeples, and in the rigging of ships in the harbor to watch the American revolutionaries battle the British.

Salem Poor, a slave who purchased his freedom, is credited with mortally wounding British Lieutenant Colonel James Abercrombie during the battle. Poor's valor and gallantry at the Battle of Bunker Hill prompted 14 officers, including Colonel William Prescott, to cite him for heroism.

The Colonists lost the Battle of Bunker Hill when they ran out of gunpowder and had to retreat. The American Revolutionary War ended in 1781, with the British surrender after the siege of Yorktown, Virginia.

Bungee jumping

Bungee jumping started as the coming-of-age ceremony in a small village on South Pentecost Island in Vanuatu. The youths jumped from the top of a 30 meter high tree to demonstrate their courage. They tied jungle vines around their ankles so that they would not hit the ground.

Inspired by the antics of the Oxford University Dangerous Sports Club, the first commercial bungee jumping set-up was opened on Kawarau Bridge in Queenstown, New Zealand on November 12, 1988. A group of 28 people — copying Vanuatu natives who ritualistically jumped from wooden platforms with vines tied to their ankles — took the plunge on the bungee jump's opening day.

At the age of 96 years and 222 days, South African Mohr Keet achieved the record for the oldest bungee jumper. The plunging pensioner jumped 216m (708ft) off a bridge on April 10, 2010.

Bungee jumper Ron Jones successfully dunked a doughnut into a cup of coffee at the bottom of a 198 foot jump in 2013.

In 2014, Australian daredevil Beau Retallick set a record of 158 bungee jumps in 24 hours.

The highest bungee jump with hands is 59.33 metres (194 ft 7 in), achieved by Beau Retallick at Kobaebashi Bridge, in Itsukimura, Kumamoto, Japan, on July 4, 2015.

Bungee jumper Simon Berry from Sheffield, England broke the world record for the highest biscuit dunk on November 17, 2016. Berry bungee jumped 73.41 metres (240 ft 10 in)  before successfully dunking a chocolate hobnob into a mug of tea, bettering the previous record of 60.553 metres (198 ft 8 in) .


Bungalow is a Hindustani word. Meaning "from Bengal," it recalls the region in the Indian subcontinent, where this type of building was common.

During the British rule, Europeans living in the interior of India, used to reside in such one-story houses which, generally, were surrounded by a veranda. On their return home, they introduced the bungalow there, and by retaining its indigenous name, acknowledged its original site.

Britain’s first bungalow, a single-storey prefabricated home, was completed in 1869 and occupied in Westgate-On Sea, Kent.

Source Europress Encyclopedia


Queen Elizabeth I in 1592 decreed that hot cross buns could no longer be sold on any day except for Good Friday, Christmas or for burials because they were too special to be eaten on any other day. To get around this, people baked the buns in their own kitchens — although if they were caught the illegal buns were given to the poor.

The Chelsea bun is a square currant bun made in Chelsea, London, as early as the 17th century, recognizable by two very distinct characteristics. It is made from a coil of sweet dough with the currants between the coils, and its edges are white and fluffy where it has been separated from its neighbor on the baking tray.

The Bath bun is a sweet bun containing sultanas and candied peel, with blobs of crunchy melted sugar on top. It was first made in Bath, Bristol,  during the 19th century.

There's an average of 178 sesame seeds on a Big Mac bun.

Sunday, 4 August 2013


A form of bullfighting was practiced on Crete as long as 6,000 years ago.

Early Spaniards realized around 300 BC wild bulls could be incited to charge people. This was used for military purposes against the invading armies from Carthage.

Successive rulers of other nations tried in vain to ban the sport because of the danger. Spain and Portugal eventually became the center of bullfighting.  

In 1914, Juan Belmonte revolutionized bullfighting with his daring capework, practiced extremely close to the bull. Most other bullfighters soon began to copy Belmonte's dangerous but exciting style.

Pablo Picasso, like many Spaniards, was captivated by the Bullfight. The artist liked to attend bullfights at Nimes and this so called spirit, was often featured in his art.

The Canary Islands was the first Spanish autonomous community to ban bullfighting, in 1991, while the Catalonia region did so in 2012.

An excellent book about bullfighting is Ernest Hemingway's Death in the Afternoon.

Every bullring in Spain has a monument to Alexander Fleming whose discovery of penicillin is saving countless toreadors from dying of gangrene after being gored by bulls.

Traditionally in a bulfight, three matadors alternately face and kill six bulls over roughly two-and-a-half hours

The red capes used to taunt bulls in bullfights are the same shade of red as the bull's blood. That way the spectator can't tell it is covered with the bull's blood by the end of the fight. 

The matador uses their cape to manoeuvre the bull into position before stabbing it between the shoulder blades and through the heart with a sword.

The bulls used for Spanish bullfighting can fight only once; after a bull has fought, it retains the memories and its behavior changes.

Sources Daily Mail, Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia © 1998 The Learning Company, Inc.


Soldiers operated on without anesthetic used to bite bullets to help with the pain. From this comes the phrase "bite the bullet", meaning "To have to do something very unpleasant."

At the age of 20 Winston Churchill escaped death by seconds. When in Cuba as a military
observe,r a bullet smashed into the seat he had left a few moments before.

If you  were to fire a bullet from a Lee Enfield .303 rifle — the standard rifle of British military up to the mid-Fifties — directly up into the air, it would take about 55 seconds for it to land.

There is a bullet called "The Flower Shell" that can be shot into the ground by a 12 gauge shotgun to plant flowers.

The parents of Chinese dissident Lin Zhao only learnt their daughter was executed in 1968 after a Communist Party official asked them to pay the five-cent fee for the bullet used to kill her.

The intended use of Rubber Bullets is to fire at the ground so that the round bounces up and hits the target on the legs, causing pain but not injury.


The Bulldog was possibly descended from the Molossus, a Mastiff which the Phoenicians brought to Britain in the sixth century BC. 

Selective breeding in the 1800s produced a dog with the physical characteristics required for fighting and baiting bulls. It did the latter by clenching its jaws on the bull's muzzle and hanging on. 

The wrinkles on a bulldog's face were bred to keep blood out of their eyes while they were bull baiting.

The bulldog lost its original purpose when animal-baiting was made illegal in 1835, but enthusiasts bred out its more ferocious characteristics to preserve it as a domestic animal.

The concept of the plucky 'British bulldog breed' features in the work of Charles Kingsley in the mid-19C and was increasingly applied to British men rather than their dogs.

Emily Bronte had a bulldog called Keeper who was so beloved that Emily rose from her sickbed to feed him the night she died. At her funeral Keeper followed her coffin and it remained  miserable for the rest of its life.

The Bulldog was officially recognized as a breed by the British Kennel Club in 1873.

General Custer owned a white bulldog called Turk.

In 1889 Handsome Dan, a bulldog, became Yale University's mascot, the first animal to hold such a position in American sports.

The original Handsome Dan

Thanks to their stubby frame and bulbous head, French bulldogs can’t swim.

After years of inbreeding by kennel clubs, modern bulldogs' noses are so squashed they can barely breathe, and their average life expectancy is six years.

Bull Terrier

The Bull Terrier is a powerful breed of short-haired dog, with a short, usually white, coat, small eyes, and distinctive egg-shaped head., with pointed ears in a severely chiselled head.

Very powerfully built,  the Bull Terrier grows to about 40 cm/16 in tall.

The Bull Terrier was probably bred soon after 1835, when bull-baiting was banned, from the bulldog and a strain of terriers including the now extinct white English terrier. The purpose was to provide a dog more agile than the bulldog, better equipped for the sport of fighting other dogs in pits.

General George Patton owned a White Bull terrier called William the Conqueror, or Willy who went everywhere with Patton, including combat areas.

The bull terrier is the only registered breed to have triangle shaped eyes.

The Bull Terrier mix Nipper was the model for the painting His Master's Voice.

Spuds MacKenzie was a well-known bull terrier that worked as the mascot of Bud Light in the 1980s. Despite being marketed as a man’s dog, in reality, the  party hound was a female named Honey Tree Evil Eye, or “Evie” for short. Between 1987 and 1988, Bud Light sales increased by 20 percent.

Sources History World,


The world’s oldest gold treasure, dating back more than 6,000 years, was discovered in the Varna Necropolis in Bulgaria.

Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, was founded 7000 years ago. This makes it the second oldest city in Europe.

Sofia's Church of St George was built by Romans in the 4th century.

Bulgaria was founded on August 9,  681 as a Khanate on the south bank of the Danube after defeating the Byzantine armies of Emperor Constantine IV.

Bulgaria is the oldest country in Europe that hasn't changed its name since it was first established.

The Bulgarians were the first to use Cyrillic script, which is also the alphabet currently used in Russia. The Cyrillic alphabet was adopted by the first Bulgarian Empire in 681 AD.

Vasil Levski, the national hero of Bulgaria, was executed in Sofia on February 18, 1873 by Ottoman authorities for his efforts to establish an independent Bulgarian republic.


The 1876 April Uprising was  a key point in modern Bulgarian history. It lead to the Russo-Turkish War and the liberation of Bulgaria from domination as an independent part of the Ottoman Empire.

The first computer in the world was created by a Bulgarian. In the period 1937 – 1942, John Atanasoff, a scientist of Bulgarian descent, together with Clifford Berry, an American inventor working for the University of Iowa, designed and developed the first electronic digital computing device.

The left-wing uprising of September 9, 1944 led to the abolition of monarchic rule, but it was not until 1946 that a single-party socialist people's republic was established as part of the Soviet-led Eastern Bloc.

In December 1989 the ruling Communist Party allowed multi-party elections, which subsequently led to Bulgaria's transition into a democracy and a market-based economy.

Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, the last Tsar of Bulgaria between 1943 and 1946 when he was a child, was sworn in as Prime Minister of Bulgaria on July 24, 2001. He was one of the first monarchs in history to regain political power through a democratic election to a different office.

By Nadya Reid - Flickr: Simeon II of Bulgaria, Wikipedia Commons

Bulgarians express approval by shaking their heads rather than nodding.

The famous Bulgarian rose oil is used for making some of the world’s most popular and expensive perfumes. One gram rose oil is produced out of 1000 rose blossoms.

Sofia is the only big city in Europe that lies just 15 minutes away from an imposing mountain – Vitosha. Cherni Vrah (Black Peak – 2290 m) is its highest peak.

Bulgaria is one of the countries in the world suffering from negative population growth. From having 9 million inhabitants in 1988, Bulgaria has just around 7 million people today

The Bulgarian army has never lost a single flag in battle.

St George is the patron saint of Bulgaria. Bulgarians celebrate St George’s Day on May 6th when it is traditional to roast a whole lamb.

Every year on March 1st, Bulgarians exchange martenitsas. Essentially, these are small pieces of adornment made of red and white thread that symbolizes good health and happiness.

A popular dish is shopska salata - onion, tomatoes, cucumbers, raw or roasted peppers, cheese and parsley.

The nation's favourite drink is a fruit brandy, Rakia.

Bulgarian yogurt has a unique taste because the bacteria used to make it, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, is only found naturally in Bulgarian air.

Sources Daily Mail,


The Cairn of Barnenez  is a Neolithic monument located near Plouezoc'h, on the Kernéléhen peninsula in northern Finistère, Brittany (France). It dates to the early Neolithic, about 4800 BC and is considered to be the oldest building in the world.

The oldest large-scale cut stone construction still existing is the central edifice of the 4,600-year-old mastaba (a tomb for kings) built at Sakkara, Egypt. It was created to honor King Djoser, the first ruler of the Third Dynasty. Djoser's Pyramid stood 62m (203 ft) tall and was covered in polished white limestone.

Lincoln Cathedral was the tallest building in the world for two and a half centuries. It took the mantle in the early 14th century from the Great Pyramid of Giza. This lasted until 1549, when the central spire collapsed.

The tallest building in the world in 1885 was The Home Insurance Company in Chicago. It was nine stories tall.

Philadelphia City Hall was the tallest occupied building from 1901 to 1909, when New York City’s MetLife building was completed. It was actually designed to be the tallest building in the world, but both the Eiffel Tower and Washington Monument were completed before it and stood taller.

Mailing an entire building has been illegal in the US since 1916 when a man mailed a 40000-ton brick house across Utah to avoid high freight rates.

The first building to be completely covered in glass, built for the Owens-Illinois Glass Company, was completed in Toledo, Ohio in 1936.

The Pentagon is the world's largest office building. Located in Arlington, Virginia The Pentagon is about 6,500,000 sq ft (600,000 m2), of which 3,700,000 sq ft (340,000 m2) are used as offices. The headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, approximately 23,000 military and civilian employees and about 3,000 non-defense support personnel work in the building.

The Pentagon photo by David B. Gleason from Chicago, IL. Wikipedia Commons

The North Tower of the World Trade Center in Manhattan, New York was topped out at 1,368 feet (417 m) on December 23, 1970. This made it the tallest building in the world until it was surpassed by the Sears Tower in Chicago in 1973. The entire World Trade Center site was destroyed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

The twin towers of the World Trade Center (New York) at night in July 2001. By Filipe Fortes from New York, 

Construction began on the Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea in 1987, but the exterior wasn't completed until 2011. It is 330 metres (1,080 ft) tall and was intended to be world's tallest hotel but these days it is the tallest unoccupied building in the world.

The pinnacle was fitted on the roof of Taipei 101 on October 17, 2003. A 101-floor skyscraper in Taipei, Taiwan, it surpassed the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur by 56 metres (184 ft) and was officially classified as the world's tallest  building in 2004, and remained such until the completion of Burj Khalifa in Dubai

Taipei 101 in Taipei, Taiwan. By Alton Thompson - 2007, Wikipedia

The construction of the world's first building to integrate wind turbines was completed in Bahrain in 2008.

The Burj Khalifa skyscraper (see below), the world's tallest building officially opened in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on January 4, 2010. It reaches the height of 829.8 metres (2,722 ft) and has 163 floors.

The Shard in Southwark, London was inaugurated as the tallest building in the European Union on July 5, 2012, with a height of 1,016 feet (309.6 metres). It opened to the public on February 1, 2013. The Shard is a 95-storey skyscraper with 72 habitable floors, a viewing gallery and open-air observation deck on the 72nd floor, at a height of 802 ft (244.3 metres). It is also the second-tallest free-standing structure in the United Kingdom, after the concrete tower at the Emley Moor transmitting station.

The Shard By © User:Colin / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0, $3

New York's One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere at 1,776 feet (541 m), opened in 2014.

The Abraj Al Bait in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, is the most expensive building in the entire world, costing $15 billion.

NASA's Vehicle Assembly Building in Florida is the biggest one-story building in the world. It's so big; rain clouds form below the ceiling.

London, New York and Paris have fake buildings on residential streets that hide subway vents and other infrastructure. These are essentially facades with no building behind them.

Traditional Japanese buildings do not use nails or glue. Instead, timbers are connected by elaborate dovetail joints.

Some buildings in Malaysia replace the 4th floor with “3A” as the sound of four (sì) is similar to the sound of death in Chinese (sĭ ).


The word bug originally (around 1425) meant an object of terror, a hobgoblin or a scarecrow. It was only first applied to insects and similar creatures almost 200 years later

England's King George III appointed an official bug-taker to clear the Palace of lice and fleas. A certain Andrew Cook, the Kings Catcher, advertised in the Public Advertiser his eminent role in response to claims of a rival who is portrayed himself as "Bug-Destroyer to the Majesty."

The biggest bug in the world is the Goliath Beetle which can weigh up to 3.5 ounces and be 4.5 inches long.

The katydid bug hears through holes in its hind legs.

The leaf bug of ceylon (phyllum sicci folium) has legs and antennae the color and shape of leaves, has indentations on its body like the vein marks on a leaf, and hangs from branches, swaying in the breeze exactly like a leaf.

A male giant water bug carries his eggs on his back and cleans them until they hatch, one of the only insect fathers to be so attentive.

A ‘tardigrade’ is a practically invincible type of bug that was shot to space to see how it would survive. It came back totally fine.

While all true bugs have sucking mouthparts and most feed on sap, some suck body fluids.

Bugs often end up on their backs when they die because blood flow decreases and their legs deflate, making them top heavy.

According to Scientist, the average person eats about two pounds of bugs a year when they accidentally get ground up in foods like peanut butter and spaghetti sauce. They are actually full of protein.

There are 1.5 million bugs for every human on the planet.

Source Daily Express