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Eccentric England: The Headington Shark

Eccentric England: The Headington Shark Jul 22nd, 2013 at 12:07PM: Henry Flower Once again, I'm back in Oxford for my annual summer working holiday. I love this place. This quintessentially English city offers beautiful colleges, the world's coolest museum, even the chance to bump into the Queen. But all this pales in comparison to the sight of a giant shark crashing into a roof. The Oxford suburb of Headington is a bit dull, so local resident Bill Heine at...

Like Castles? Go To Slovenia

Like Castles? Go To Slovenia Jun 10th, 2013 at 10:00AM: The little nation of Slovenia is situated on a crossroads. On the southeastern edge of the Alps and on the way to the rest of the Balkans and to central Europe, it's seen more than its fair share of invading armies. No wonder, then, that this country that's slightly smaller than New Jersey has some 700 castles. Many are in ruins thanks to those invading armies, while others were dismantled...

World War II Bomb Closes Berlin Rail Station

World War II Bomb Closes Berlin Rail Station Apr 3rd, 2013 at 3:00PM: Berlin commuters got an unwelcome reminder of their city's wartime past today when a bomb from World War II was discovered near the city's main railway station. The Hauptbahnhof was closed for several hours as bomb disposal experts dealt with the device, the BBC reports. Flights to and from Tegel airport were diverted. The device was a 220-pound Soviet bomb and was discovered at a building...

Teufelsberg: A Photo Tour Inside Berlin's Secret Abandoned Spy Station

Teufelsberg: A Photo Tour Inside Berlin's Secret Abandoned Spy Station Mar 31st, 2013 at 11:00AM: Berlin is a city that harbors its share of ghosts. As Germany's premier city marches ever further into the future, shiny new government buildings and designer lofts rising on vacant lots across the capital, vestiges of Berlin's infamous role in two World Wars and a Cold War can still be found if you know where to look. A prime example of this 20th-century legacy is Teufelsberg, an...

Crypts Discovered Under Coventry Cathedral

Crypts Discovered Under Coventry Cathedral Mar 27th, 2013 at 12:00PM: Workers at Coventry Cathedral in England have discovered several well-preserved crypts underneath the ruins, the Daily Mail reports. A maintenance team has been working to repair a crack in the ruins of the 14th century St. Michael's church, which became a cathedral in 1918 and was mostly destroyed by the Luftwaffe in World War II. When the workers investigated the floor of the cathedral,...

Mussolini's Bunker Discovered In Rome, Will Become A Tourist Attraction

Mussolini's Bunker Discovered In Rome, Will Become A Tourist Attraction Mar 23rd, 2013 at 4:00PM: A bunker intended for the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini has been discovered in Rome, World Crunch reports. The bunker was found in 2011 by workers restoring the Palazzo Venezia, but its existence wasn't revealed until now. The workers found a trap door in the cellar of a 15th-century building that led to nine rooms fortified with concrete walls up to two meters (6.6 feet) thick. ...

Museum Of Modern Art Opens Bill Brandt Photography Retrospective

Museum Of Modern Art Opens Bill Brandt Photography Retrospective Mar 6th, 2013 at 2:00PM: The Museum Of Modern Art in New York City has opened an important retrospective of the work of Bill Brandt, one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century. "Bill Brandt: Shadow and Light" covers the photographer's entire career in more than 150 images. While Brandt was born in Germany in 1904, he made England his home until his death in 1983. He's best known for his intriguing...

A Vintage Submarine And Icebreaker In Tallinn's Seaplane Harbour

A Vintage Submarine And Icebreaker In Tallinn's Seaplane Harbour Feb 22nd, 2013 at 10:00AM: Tallinn has been an important port and Estonia's connection with the world since before recorded history. Because of this, the city has not one, but two museums dedicated to the sea. The Maritime Museum is housed in Fat Margaret, an old cannon tower that once protected the harbor. It has the usual assortment of old photos and gear, along with a very cool exhibit on sunken ships. The other...

Remnants Of World War II In The UK Countryside

Remnants Of World War II In The UK Countryside Sep 27th, 2012 at 2:00PM: During World War II, the British were sure they were about to be invaded. The English Channel seemed like nothing more than a narrow creek against the might of Nazi Germany. As the British army fought in North Africa and Southeast Asia, the Home Guard and teams of civilians prepared for the worst. One elderly English woman told me that when she was a teenager she helped lay electric wire...

Exhibition Examines Role Of Scientists And Doctors In Holocaust

Exhibition Examines Role Of Scientists And Doctors In Holocaust Aug 13th, 2012 at 2:00PM: This is a poster for the Nazi eugenics program. Printed in 1936, it proclaims, "We are not alone." The column on the left shows the countries that already had forced sterilization for certain "social undesirables." The columns on the bottom and right show countries considering eugenics programs. Note the American flag on the left. Various U.S. states practiced compulsory sterilization as...

Historic Battleship USS Texas Taking In Water, Leaking Oil

Jun 17th, 2012 at 10:00AM: The USS Texas is America's oldest battleship. Commissioned in 1914, it fought in both World War I and World War II. Since 1948 it's been utilized as a museum at La Porte, Texas, on the outskirts of Houston. Now the vessel is in peril. It's sprung a leak and is taking on water. So much water entered the ship that it started noticeably listing to port. The old oil tanks got flooded. While the...

Museum Month: JEATH War Museum, Kanchanaburi, Thailand

Museum Month: JEATH War Museum, Kanchanaburi, Thailand May 14th, 2012 at 1:00PM: History has never been my favorite subject, but once I began traveling in earnest, I discovered something. If I visited a destination, I usually became obsessed with its history or indigenous peoples. Unfortunately, I didn't discover this in time to save the downward trajectory of my GPA when I was a student, but it's made me sound infinitely more worldly in daily life. I found the JEATH War...

Overlooked London: The HMS Belfast

Overlooked London: The HMS Belfast Apr 30th, 2012 at 4:00PM: The United Kingdom used to have the largest navy in the world and it still packs a major punch today. One ship from the glory days is the HMS Belfast, docked on London's South Bank near London Bridge. This World War Two light cruiser also saw service in Korea and is now open to the public under the auspices of the Imperial War Museum, one of the best war museums anywhere. Clambering up and...

London Tube 'Ghost Station' May Be Brought Back From The Dead

London Tube 'Ghost Station' May Be Brought Back From The Dead Apr 16th, 2012 at 9:00AM: A London Tube station that hasn't been used for more than half a century may become the city's newest attraction, the BBC reports. Brompton Road station on the Piccadilly Line closed in 1934 because it was underused. During World War II, it served as the headquarters of the Royal Artillery's anti-aircraft operations. The station has changed little since then, with much of the wartime...

Bletchley Park: see where codebreakers listened in on the Third Reich

Bletchley Park: see where codebreakers listened in on the Third Reich Jan 10th, 2012 at 12:00PM: You'd never know by looking at the cluster of nondescript buildings that they were the scene of the single most important effort to defeat Nazi Germany. During World War Two, Bletchley Park in Milton Keynes, England, was home to thousands of code breakers listening in on and analyzing German military transmissions. The site was so secret that its existence wasn't revealed to the world until the...

Visiting a German bunker from World War Two

Visiting a German bunker from World War Two Oct 28th, 2011 at 2:00PM: Belgium had it tough in World War Two. Unlike in the First World War, when the Belgian army stubbornly held on to part of the nation and its allies rallied to beat the Germans, in the second war the Low Countries and France were quickly overrun by a German army that now enjoyed superior military technology. Occupied Belgium was soon covered with fortifications. The Germans feared an Allied...

Germany opens new military museum in Dresden

Germany opens new military museum in Dresden Oct 15th, 2011 at 2:30PM: A new military museum has opened in Dresden, Germany. The Militärhistorisches Museum der Bundeswehr opened today and is sure to court controversy. With the shadow of the Third Reich always looming over the German historical consciousness, the design of the displays was a delicate matter. The museum's director says that the focus is on individuals, both as perpetrators and victims, as well...

Witness to War: important reading this Memorial Day

Witness to War: important reading this Memorial Day May 30th, 2011 at 10:00AM: Every Memorial Day weekend we remember the soldiers who fought for the United States. For those of us who have never experienced war, however, it's hard to understand their experiences. The Witness to War program is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the wartime memories of veterans and helping to give civilians a better idea of what they went through. As their website says,...

American-Muslim group urges Palestinians to visit Holocaust Museum

American-Muslim group urges Palestinians to visit Holocaust Museum Dec 23rd, 2010 at 8:30AM: The Islamic Society of North America is defying Hamas and urging Palestinian youths to visit the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., the Jewish news service JTA reports. A group of A-students from the Gaza Strip are to visit the nation's capital on a UN-sponsored educational visit. Their tour is to include the Holocaust Museum, but Hamas, which runs the Palestinian Authority,...

Art thought destroyed by the Nazis is discovered

Art thought destroyed by the Nazis is discovered Nov 10th, 2010 at 9:30AM: The Nazis called it "Degenerate Art", works that didn't conform to their taste for Germanic propaganda. Anything too experimental, anything too avantgarde, anything too Jewish, got locked away or destroyed. Before they did that, however, they held the art up to public ridicule at a 1937 exhibition called Degenerate Art. Thousands of Germans went to this exhibition, although it's hard to say...

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