Unlike what history tells us medieval women were like, these "trobairitz" or female troubadors openly criticized men and even made fun of their romantic advances. They felt no need to submit or be meek simply because society expected it of them. Some of them, such as Comtessa de Dia, openly sang about sexual exploits and infidelity. On at least one occasion, a trobairitz song was written specifically from a woman’s point of view addressing another woman! Trobairitz wrote and performed in the same accepted styles of their male counterparts (the troubadours). Themes were similar of course, as was poem structure. Singing or writing about politics or other “masculine” topics was still off limits to women, so the trobairitz stuck with love and romance.
This subterranean cave city in Turkey could hold 20,000 people
The ancient city of Elengubu, known today as Derinkuyu, burrows more than 85m below the Earth's surface, encompassing 18 levels of tunnels. The largest excavated underground city in the world, it was in near-constant use for thousands of years, changing hands from the Phrygians to the Persians to the Christians of the Byzantine Era. It was finally abandoned in the 1920s by the Cappadocian Greeks when they faced defeat during the Greco-Turkish war and fled abruptly en masse to Greece. Not only do its cave-like rooms stretch on for hundreds of miles, but it's thought the more than 200 small, separate underground cities that have also been discovered in the region may be connected to these tunnels, creating a massive subterranean network.
The lights have been on at this school for a year because no one can turn them off
For nearly a year and a half, a Massachusetts high school has been lit up around the clock because the district can’t turn off the roughly 7,000 lights in the sprawling building. The lighting system was installed at Minnechaug Regional High School when it was built over a decade ago and was intended to save money and energy. But ever since the software that runs it failed on Aug. 24, 2021, the lights in the Springfield suburbs school have been on continuously, costing taxpayers a small fortune. in August 2021, staffers at the school noticed that the lights were not dimming in the daytime and burning brightly through the night. “The lighting system went into default,” said Osborne. “And the default position for the lighting system is for the lights to be on.”
What it's like to climb a giant Pacific redwood tree
The main trunk of a coast redwood can be up to twenty-five feet in diameter near its base, and in some cases it can extend upward from the ground for more than two hundred and fifty feet before the first strong branches emerge and the crown of the tree begins to flare. The crown of a tall coast redwood is typically an irregular spire that can look like the plume of a rocket taking off. Very few trees of any species today other than redwoods are more than three hundred feet tall. The tallest living coast redwoods are between three hundred and fifty and three hundred and seventy feet high - the equivalent of a thirty-five-to-thirty-seven-story building. In its first fifty years of life, a coast redwood can grow from a seed into a tree that's a hundred feet tall.
Why are a billion years of history missing from the geological record?
The longest lacuna in Earth’s history is known as the Great Unconformity. It represents a temporal gap ranging from a hundred million years to over a billion years, depending on the location. It’s visible in the Grand Canyon as the boundary between the Precambrian Vishnu Schist and the Cambrian Tapeats Sandstone, between which there is a billion years of missing time between about 1,600 and 600 million years ago. Looking at this line in the strata, it is hard to fathom all that would have conspired across that vast gulf of time, for which there is simply nothing. If it were instead to have been the last billion years that was erased, it would obliterate the entire history of complex life. No trace of a single animal having ever walked the land.
Moyenne Island, the world's smallest national park
Most people who buy their very own tropical island do so in the pursuit of luxury. Brendon Grimshaw was different. So, too, was Moyenne, the island in the Seychelles that Grimshaw bought. Grimshaw first came to the Seychelles – an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, only eight of which are permanently inhabited – on holiday in 1962. At the time, he was an editor working for some of the biggest newspapers in East Africa. As tourism in the Seychelles grew in the 1980s and the archipelago became synonymous with a tropical island paradise, investors turned their covetous gaze towards Moyenne. Grimshaw received offers of up to $50m to sell the island. He resisted every overture.