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Showing posts from June 18, 2014


Caravaca de la Cruz in Murcia,Spain is the fifth most holiest site for Catholics and is surrounded by fascinating legends.     Caravaca de la Cruz is situated just a short distance from the city of Murcia in the Province of Murcia, Spain and is a fascinating place to visit. It is a site of great importance in the Catholic Church and has a long and varied history. Caravaca de la Cruz is the fifth holiest city in the world for Catholics after Santiago de Compostela, Rome, Jerusalem and Santo Toribio de LiĆ©bana. The town celebrates an Annus Sanctus every seven years, the most recent being in 2010, a time of jubilee and when plenary, solemn and universal indulgences are granted to all those who make the pilgrimage.

Legend of the 'Vera Cruz'     There is a legend of how the town came to get its name. According to the legend, during the time of Muslim occupation of the town around 1232, an imprisoned priest was to hold a Mass in the presence of the Muslim king of the region. The prie…


History of Gum

   Since prehistoric times, people have chewed gum as evidence shows our ancestors chewed tree resin for enjoyment.  Greek cultures chewed resin from the mastic tree to freshen their breath.  The ancient Mayans chewed chicle sap from the Sapodilla tree that is the forerunner for today's modern chewing gum.
   Spruce tree resin and beeswax were popular to chew by the Native Americans and the early settlers.  In 1848, John Curtis made the State of Maine Spruce Chewing Gum using the resin from the spruce tree.  The gum was sold in lots of two hunks for a penny.  Later, paraffin wax replace spruce as a base for gum. William Semple was granted the first patent for chewing gum in 1850.

   In 1880, Santa Anna sent his friend, an inventor named Thomas Adams, some chicle sap from Mexico.  Adams and Santa Anna were trying to find a way to make money by using the chicle sap.  Adams tried mixing it with rubber to make a better tire; however, he decided the mixture was useless. …


Poveglia Island is a very small island that is located in Italy's Venetian Lagoon.  The island itself is rather "run of the mill".  It is covered with a smattering of foliage, as well as some run down buildings, a water tower and a bell tower that appears to be receding back into the foliage that surrounds it.  Poveglia Island is split in two by a small canal that runs straight through it.  The canal has walkways over it.  On one side, there are the deteriorating parts of the different buildings, on the other, nothing but greenery and grass.  However, there is a more interesting aspect of the island that one wouldn't suspect by looking at it, though some say, you can tell when you are there, and that is the island's supposedly sinister history.

 Poveglia Island was once inhabited by a small community.  However the island was abandoned around 1380, during the War of Chioggia.  Later, as the Bubonic Plague spread through Europe and inevitably into Venice, Povegli…