Thursday, September 29, 2011

40 Interesting Facts About Charlemagne

Charlemagne or Charles the Great is one of the most popular figures in history. Charlemagne is well remembered as the absolute sovereign ruler of the state, as well as head of the church.  

Here’s a long list of interesting things about this great leader in history.

1.) Charlemagne was born on April 2, 742 CE and his name in Latin is Carolus Magnus, Charles the Great in English and Carlo Magno in Spanish.

2.) His father is the Frankish leader – Pepin the Short, mayor of the palace under the Merovingian dynasty of Frankish kings and became king of the Franks in 751 CE.

3.) Pope Stephen II officially crowned Pepin in 754 and anointed both Charlemagne and his younger brother Carloman.

4.) Charles the Great was king of the Franks from 768 up to the time of his death in 814 CE.

5.) He was also emperor of the Romans for 14 years from 800 to 814 CE.

6.) The empire that Charlemagne built included almost all of western and central Europe.

7.) He presided over a cultural and legal revival that came to be known as the Carolingian Renaissance.

8.) Modern-day France and Germany emerged from Charlemagne’s empire, the former as West Francia and the latter as East Francia.

9.) When Pepin died, Charlemagne shared rule of the kingdom with his brother, Carloman and became sole king of the Franks after the death of the latter in 771 CE.

10.) It took 32 years before Charlemagne completely conquered the Saxons from 772 to 804 CE.

11.) He also conquered the Bavarians, Slavs and Avars and obliged them to pay him tribute.

12.) Charlemagne also defeated and ruled the Lombards of Italy in 773 and northern part of Spain in 778 CE.

13.) On December 25, 800, Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne and anointed him emperor of the Romans after crushing a rebellion in Rome.

14.) Charlemagne introduced many reforms in his empire such as judicial and legal reforms.

15.) He ordered bishops and abbots to set up schools for the training of monks and other clerics.

16.) He made Latin the standard written and spoken language in his huge empire of several languages and dialects.

17.) Charlemagne played a key role in preserving much of the literary heritage of ancient Rome.

18.) After Charlemagne’s death in 814, his sole heir, Louis I, the Pious, ruled until his death in 840.

19.) The Treaty of Verdun of 843 divided Charlemagne’s empire among his three grandsons – Charles, Lothair and Louis.

20.) Louis II, the German, received East Francia.

21.) Charles II, the Bald, received West Francia

22.) Lothair I acquired the title of emperor and an area running from the North Sea through Lotharingia (Lorraine) and Burgundy to northern Italy

23.) The warrior-king image of Charlemagne was the inspiration for all subsequent empire builders in Europe during the Middle Ages.

24.) The word for “king” in several modern Slavic languages such as Krol in Polish and Kral in Czech are based upon the German name of Charlemagne, Karl.

25.) Charles the Great died at the age of 71 in January 28, 814 CE.

26.) Charles the Great was married 4 times. His first marriage was annulled.

27.) He had 11 legitimate children; two were twins and 9 illegitimate children.

28.) Charles the Great had no children with his first wife and fourth wife.

29.) He had two children with his first relationship which is described as concubinage.

30.) Charles the Great had 5 other known concubines. The first 3 bore him a child each; the 4th gave him 2 children and the 5th bore him 4 children.

31.) Physically, Charles the Great was heavily built, sturdy, and of considerable stature.

32.) He had a round head, large and lively eyes, and a slightly larger nose than usual with white but still attractive hair.

33.) He has a bright and cheerful expression, a short and fat neck, and he enjoyed good health.

34.) Charles the Great stood 1.84 meters making him a very tall person during his time.

35.) He wore blue cloak and always carried a sword with him which is typically of a golden or silver hilt.

36.) Charles the Great wore fancy jeweled swords to banquets or ambassadorial receptions.

37.) He despised elaborated and expensive cloths and usually dressed like the common people.

38.) Charles the Great’s favorite food is roasted meat.

39.) He died of Pleurisy, also known as pleuritis, an inflammation of the pleura, the lining of the pleural cavity surrounding the lungs which is often cause by infections.

40.) Charlemagne was buried the same day he died.

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Unique Wines From Unique Sources

Wine is part of each and almost every culture in the world. Here are some of the most unique wine made from unusual source.

Pulque – Maguey Plant: Mexico

Pulque or Octli is a unique alcoholic beverage made from the fermented sap of the maguey plant. This traditional native wine of Mexico is somewhat milk-colored. It is now very rare and there are some efforts to revive the drink’s popularity through tourism.

Mbege – Bananas & Finger Millet: Tanzania

Mbege is a traditional brew from Tanzania from the Chagga tribe. This unique alcoholic beverage is from fermented figer millet and bananas. Preparation is done by cooking the banana and then left outdoors but covered for several days. The fermented result is strained through shredded grass then added to a thick porridge made from the flour of finger millet. A small amount of quinine-bark flour is then added to the mixture, which is left to sit out for another day.

Tongba – Millet: Nepal

Tongba is a unique alcoholic beverage made from millet. It is a traditional wine of the Limbu people found in the far eastern mountainous region of Nepal. It is also a traditional drink in Darjeerling and Sikkim districts of India.

Medovukha – Honey: Russia

Medovukha is a unique Russian alcoholic beverage made of honey. This drink is similar to Mead. Its popularity declined since the 20th century.

Palm Wine – Palm Tree: Philippines

Palm Wine is a sweet tasting alcoholic beverage created from the sap of various species of palm tree and is popular in the Philippines and other parts of Asia and Africa. It is locally known in the Philippines as “Tuba”. It is also called Palm Toddy or simply Toddy.

Nigori – Rice: Japan

Nigori or Nigorizake is a variety of sake, an alcoholic beverage produced from rice. It is the sweetest tasting of all sakes. A dark version is brewed in Akita Prefecture. The color is due to the addition of edible finely powdered charcoal.

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

60 Entertaining and Interesting Facts About Frank Sinatra

One of the most famous and sensational singer of the 20th century is Frank Sinatra. Here are some interesting and entertaining tidbits about him.

1.) Frank Sinatra was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, USA on February 17, 1915.

2.) Sinatra was married 4 times - Nancy Barbato, Ava Gardner, Mia Farrow and Barbara Marx. Although Sinatra did not remain faithful to his wife, he was by many accounts a devoted father.


3.) His first wife is Nancy Barbato. They have 3 children – Nancy (1940), Frank Jr. (1944) and Tina (1948).


4.) Nancy, Sinatra’s eldest daughter, is a singer, actress and writer.


5.) Frank Jr. is a singer, conductor and songwriter and Tina is a producer and actress.



6.) His daughter Nancy, at age 54 posed for Playboy in the May 1995.


7.) A certain Julie Sinatra claims to be Sinatra's daughter through an unacknowledged affair that he had with a showgirl, Dorothy Bunocelli, in the 1940s. She was born Julie Ann Maria Lyma on February 10, 1943


8.) Julie Sinatra legally changed her last name to Sinatra in 2000 and was awarded $100,000 by the Sinatra estate in 2002.


9.) In 1963, at the age of 19, his son Frank Sinatra Jr. was kidnapped and released two days later after payment of a ransom.


10.) Sinatra’s first controversial extra-marital affair was with Marilyn Maxwell, an American actress and entertainer.


11.) Sinatra should have 4 children with his wife Nancy if the latter didn’t abort it when she became pregnant in 1946.


12.) Nancy and Frank were married in 1939 and they were divorced in 1951.


13.) Sinatra married Ava Gardner in 1951 and separated in 1953 and divorced in 1957. She had an abortion too. It could have been Sinatra’s 4th child.


14.) Sinatra married the actress, Mia Farrow on July 19, 1966. She was 21 and he was 50. They divorced in 1968.


15.) He married Barbara Marx in 1976 and remained his wife until his death.


Image Source 

Nancy Sandra Sinatra – Frank Sinatra’s daughter


16.) Sinatra was also romantically involved to the legendary singer Judy Garland in 1949.

He was also romantically involved to Lauren Bacall, wife of the late Humphrey Bogart.


17.) Sinatra was also engaged to the actress Juliet Prowse and have had a 10 year relationship with Angie Dickinson.


18.) Sinatra was an Italian American singer and motion-picture actor whose career lasted for many decades.

19.) He is one of the most famous American entertainers of his generation.

20.) His complete name is Francis Albert Sinatra.

21.) Sinatra was an only child and his parents wanted him to become an engineer.

22.) He preferred athletics to academics participated in a variety of sports, including boxing.

23.) At his teens, Sinatra worked for the Jersey Observer newspaper, often writing about school sporting events in which he was also a participant.

24.) In 1938, he signed his first professional contract as a singing waiter and master of ceremonies at a club in Englewood, New Jersey.

25.) Harry James, a trumpet player, after watching Sinatra perform, James recruited Sinatra to be the lead singer in his band, the Music Makers.

Frank Sinatra Jr.

26.) Sinatra’s music is influenced by American singers Bing Crosby and Billie Holiday.

27.) In the 1940s Sinatra embarked on a solo career and became the idol of so-called bobby-soxers, teenage girls who swooned over his crooning, soft-voiced singing.

28.) He had many close relationships throughout his life. He was married four times, and had many other notable relationships before, after and during these marriages.

29.) His popularity drew the attention of Hollywood, and Sinatra appeared in such film musicals as Anchors Aweigh (1945), Till the Clouds Roll By (1947), and On the Town (1949).

30.) As an actor, he won an Academy Award for his non-singing performance in From Here to Eternity (1953).

31.) He also starred in The Manchurian Candidate (1962) and The Detective (1968).

32.) His most popular songs in the 1950s were Swing Easy (1955), In the Wee Small Hours (1955), Songs for Swingin' Lovers (1956), Come Fly with Me (1958) and Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely (1958)

33.) Sinatra’s hits in the 1960s include Nice 'N' Easy (1960), and Strangers in the Night (1966).

34.) In the 1960s he also recorded with the big bands of American jazz musicians Count Basie and Duke Ellington.

35.) After a brief retirement from 1971 to 1973, Sinatra resumed his singing career, continuing to tour and appearing frequently in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ava Gardner 

36.) In 1993 he released the album Frank Sinatra Duets, on which many of his standard songs were engineered as duets with other famous singers. Contributors to the album included American singers Barbra Streisand and Aretha Franklin, Latin American recording star Julio Iglesias, and Bono, lead singer of the Irish rock group U2.

37.) The album sequel Duets II (1994), which won Sinatra a Grammy Award, includes collaborations with country-and-western star Willie Nelson, jazz singer Lena Horne, and pop singer and songwriter Neil Diamond.

38.) Many songs recorded by him, such as “All of Me” (1952), “Come Fly with Me” (1958), “All the Way” (1957), and “I've Got You Under My Skin” (1956), are still widely performed.

39.) Sinatra’s professional awards and accolades include 9 Grammy Awards, 3 Academy Awards, a Presidential Medal of Freedom (1985), and a Congressional Gold Medal (1997).

40.) Throughout his life, Sinatra had mood swings and bouts of depression.

41.) He was an ardent supporter of Democratic Party until the early 1970s. He switches as a Republican.

42.) Sinatra supported Ronald Reagan in the 1980 Presidential Elections and donated $4 million to Reagan's campaign.

43.) Frank Sinatra died on May 14, 1998 of heart attack as a complication of heart, kidney diseases and bladder cancer. He was 82 years old.

44.) Elton John stated that Sinatra, "was simply the best – no one else even comes close".

45.) The U.S. Postal Service issued a 42-cent postage stamp in honor of Sinatra on May 13, 2008.

46.) The U.S. Congress passed a resolution on May 20, 2008 designating May 13 as Frank Sinatra Day to honor his contribution to American culture.

47.) Frank Sinatra is also known as “Ol’ Blue Eyes” and “The Chairman of the Board”.

48.) His song "My Way" is often quoted as the most covered song in history.

49.) Sinatra left high school without graduating, having attended only 47 days before being expelled because of his rowdy conduct. 

50.) He began singing professionally as a teenager in the 1930s, although he learned music by ear and never learned how to read music.

51.) Sinatra worked as a delivery boy at the Jersey Observer newspaper and as a riveter at the Tietjan and Lang shipyard.

52.) His mother, Dolly Sinatra, ran an illegal abortion business from her home and was arrested several times and convicted twice for this offense.

53. Antonino Martino Sinatra served with the Hoboken Fire Department as a Captain.

54.) He began singing for tips at the age of eight, standing on top of the bar at a local nightclub in Hoboken, New Jersey.

55.) Sinatra’s first commercial record is "From the Bottom of My Heart" which was released in July, 1939.

Mia Farrow

56.) Fewer than 8,000 copies of "From the Bottom of My Heart" were sold, making the record a very rare find that is sought after by record collectors worldwide.

57.) Sinatra did not serve in the military during World War II because he was a "neurotic" and "not acceptable material from a psychiatric standpoint".

58.) During the Second World War, active-duty servicemen and journalist William Manchester said of Sinatra, "I think Frank Sinatra was the most hated man of World War II, much more than Hitler", because Sinatra was back home making all of that money and being shown in photographs surrounded by beautiful women.

59.) Sinatra’s exemption in the World War II would resurface throughout his life and cause him grief when he had to defend himself.

60.) Sinatra was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Ronald Reagan.

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Interesting Facts About Goddess Venus | Scienceray

Interesting Facts About Goddess Venus | Scienceray

Here are some cool and interesting facts about this lovely and beautiful Roman goddess.

1.) In the Latin language, the noun form venus means “love” and “sexual desire”.
2.) Cupid, the god of desire, affection and erotic love, is her son to Mars, the god of war.
3.) Venus is also the consort of Vulcan, the god of beneficial and hindering fire.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Interesting Facts About Mercury, Messenger of The Gods and Goddesses | Scienceray

Interesting Facts About Mercury, Messenger of The Gods and Goddesses | Scienceray

Mercury is well remembered in the Roman mythology as the messenger of the gods and goddesses. He is the equivalent of the Greek’s Hermes.

Here are some quick and interesting facts about Mercury.
1.) The Latin form of Mercury is Mercurius. He is also the god of trade or commerce.
2.) Mercury is the son of the chief god Jupiter and Maia, one of the Pleiades.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Seven Lesser Known But Magnificent Wonders of The World

These awesome structures are among the most popular tourist attractions in their respective place of locations.

1.) Pena National Palace – Portugal

The Pena National Palace is a magnificent palace in Sintra, Portugal. This UNESCO World Heritage Site stands on the top of a hill above the town of Sintra, and on a clear day it can be easily seen from Lisbon, the country’s capital. This national monument is one of the “Seven Wonders of Portugal”.

2.) Saint Basil’s Cathedral – Russia

The official name of St. Basil’s Cathedral is Cathedral of the Protection of Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat. This Russian Orthodox Church is located on the Red Square in Moscow, the capital of Russia. This UNESCO World Heritage Site building's design, shaped as a flame of a bonfire rising into the sky, has no analogues in Russian architecture: "It is like no other Russian building. Nothing similar can be found in the entire millennium or Byzantium tradition from the 5th to 15th century.

3.) St. Giles’ Church – United Kingdom

The classical St Giles' Church is the parish church of Wrexham, Wales in the UK. The tower of this edifice is traditionally one of the “Seven Wonders of Wales”. Its richly-decorated tower is 135-feet high and has four striking hexagonal turrets.

4.) Kiev Pechersk Lavra – Ukraine

Kiev Pechersk Lavra or Kiev Monastery of the Caves in English is a historic Orthodox Christian monastery located in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. It was founded in 1015 and had been the center of Eastern Orthodox Christianity in Eastern Europe. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the “Seven Wonders of Ukraine”.

5.) Las Lajas Sanctuary – Colombia

Las Lajas Sanctuary is a basilica church built in the most peculiar site – inside the canyon of the Guaitara River in Ipiales, Colombia. Its construction lasted for 33 years from 1916 to 1949. There was a claim that an apparition of the Virgin Mary was seen in the area. The miraculous image on the stone is still visible today.

6.) Malbork Castle

The Malbork Castle is the largest castle in the world by area. This more than 500-year-old edifice was the largest brick Gothic castle on its completion in 1406. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.

7.) Studenica Monastery – Serbia

The Studenica monastery is a 12th-century Serbian Orthodox monastery in Serbia. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the largest and richest Serb Orthodox monasteries. The monastery is best known for its collection of 13th- and 14th century Byzantine-style fresco paintings.

*Cathedral of Saint Sava – Serbia

The Cathedral of Saint Sava is an Orthodox Church located in the capital of Serbia – the City of Belgrade. It is the largest Orthodox cathedral on the Balkans, and one of the largest Orthodox cathedrals in the world. The church bells are tuned to play "Hymn to Saint Sava", and can be heard in the entire city.

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