Month: July 2017

A Macabre Monument

by Melissa Johnson If you want to send a message to your enemy, a tower created with nearly 1,000 of their skulls is a powerful one. In the city of Niš in Serbia looms a fifteen-foot-tall stone tower embedded with human skulls. The Skull Tower, or Ćele kula, was built after the Battle of Čegar, which was fought to liberate Niš from the Ottomans, in 1809 during the First Serbian […]

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What’s in a Name?

One day, a random conversation with a friend named Joukje—pronounced “Yaaook”—led to a discussion about birth certificates. Joukje was born on February 17, 1947 in the Netherlands, exactly a day before the birth of Princess Christina of the Netherlands. To celebrate the birth of the princess, her mother, Queen Juliana, sent a congratulatory card to the parents of every girl-child born in the country that week. Joukje’s parents received one, too. […]

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