15 Things You Might Not Know About Ohio

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1. Ohio gets its name from the Iroquois word ohi-yo, meaning "great river." 

2. Ohio didn't officially become a state until 1953. It was declared a state in 1803, but didn't get the presidential stamp of approval until President Dwight Eisenhower signed off. He back-dated the declaration to the original date.

3. Ohio is known as the Buckeye State because of the buckeye trees commonly found throughout the Ohio River Valley. The plants produce small brown nuts that look like the eye of a deer; it is said that carrying one in your pocket is good luck.

4. Ohio native James Ritty invented the cash register in 1878. As a saloon owner, Ritty had a problem with his employees stealing his money. He got the idea of a machine that kept track of the money transactions while looking at machinery on a steamboat to Europe.

5. Speaking of inventors, Thomas Edison was born in Milan, Ohio.

6. The Shawshank Redemption was shot at the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield. It was later used for Air Force One and you can take tours of the facility.

7. Before the Boston Red Sox, there were the Cincinnati Red Stockings. Founded in 1869, they were the first professional baseball team.

8. Before going into television, Jerry Springer was the 56th mayor of Cincinnati. He considered running for Senate, but was concerned that his show’s negative reputation would affect his chances.

9.  Ohio is home to the “One and Only Presidential Museum.” The museum honors John Hanson, who was technically the first president of the United States; he and eight others were elected and served one year terms before the Constitution was written. Nick Pahys, Jr. DDG-CH-AdVS-A.G.E.-LDA-FIBA (yes, he really does have that many initials!) does not like the fact that textbooks glossed over this important historical figure, so he erected the museum to properly educate the masses. Visitors can enjoy artifacts, portraits, and even a personal tour from the owner himself. 

10. The state houses the world’s largest cuckoo clock. The giant, fully functional structure is appropriately located in Sugarcreek, the “Little Switzerland of Ohio.”

11. The Cuyahoga River has caught on fire at least 13 times; it’s aptly nicknamed “The River That Caught Fire.” The river was one of the most polluted rivers in the country and would catch fire after sparks from the train would fall into the water. After a highly media-covered fire in 1969, Congress was inspired to clean up pollution across the country and established the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

12. Ohio’s state rock song is “Hang on, Sloopy” by the McCoys. It was originally the unofficial Ohio State marching band anthem, so the choice made sense.

13. Seven presidents were born in Ohio, making the state known as the “Mother of Modern Presidents.” The presidents are Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William H. Taft, and Warren G. Harding. 

14. Agriculture is Ohio’s largest industry: it contributes over $93 billion to the economy annually. The state ranks number one in Swiss cheese production. 

15. Despite arguments with North Carolina, Ohio is officially the birthplace of aviation. The state is home to the airplane’s inventors Wilbur and Orville Wright, as well as 24 astronauts, and Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, was from Wapakoneta, Ohio.

7 Historic European Castles Virtually Rebuilt Before Your Very Eyes

A reconstruction of Spiš Castle in eastern Slovakia.
A reconstruction of Spiš Castle in eastern Slovakia.
Budget Direct

While some centuries-old castles are still standing tall, others haven’t withstood the ravages of time, war, or natural disaster quite as well. To give you an idea of what once was, Australia-based insurance company Budget Direct has digitally reconstructed seven of them for its blog, Simply Savvy.

Watch below as ruins across Europe transform back into the formidable forts and turreted castles they used to be, courtesy of a little modern-day magic we call GIF technology.

1. Samobor Castle // Samobor, Croatia

samobor castle
Samobor Castle in Samobor, Croatia
Budget Direct

The only remaining piece of the 13th-century castle built by Bohemia’s King Ottokar II is the base of the guard tower—the rest of the ruins are from an expansion that happened about 300 years later. It’s just a 10-minute walk from the Croatian city of Samobor, which bought the property in 1902.

2. Château Gaillard // Les Andelys, France

Château Gaillard in Les Andelys, France
Château Gaillard in Les Andelys, France
Budget Direct

King Richard I of England built Château Gaillard in just two years during the late 12th century as a fortress to protect the Duchy of Normandy, which belonged to England at the time, from French invasion. It didn’t last very long—France’s King Philip II captured it six years later.

3. Dunnottar Castle // Stonehaven, Scotland

Dunnottar Castle in Stonehaven, Scotland
Dunnottar Castle in Stonehaven, Scotland
Budget Direct

Dunnottar Castle overlooks the North Sea and is perhaps best known as the fortress that William Wallace (portrayed by Mel Gibson in 1995’s Braveheart) and Scottish forces won back from English occupation in 1297. Later, it became the place where the Scottish monarchy stored their crown jewels, which were smuggled to safety when Oliver Cromwell invaded during the 17th century.

4. Menlo Castle // Galway City, Ireland

Menlo Castle in Galway City, Ireland
Menlo Castle in Galway City, Ireland
Budget Direct

This ivy-covered Irish castle was built during the 16th century and all but destroyed in a fire in 1910. For those few centuries, it was home to the Blake family, English nobles who owned property all over the region.

5. Olsztyn Castle // Olsztyn, Poland

Olsztyn Castle in Olsztyn, Poland
Olsztyn Castle in Olsztyn, Poland
Budget Direct

The earliest known mention of Olsztyn Castle was in 1306, so we know it was constructed some time before then and expanded later that century by King Casimir III of Poland. It was severely damaged during wars with Sweden in the 17th and 18th centuries, but its highest tower—once a prison—still stands.

6. Spiš Castle // Spišské Podhradie, Slovakia

Spiš Castle in Spišské Podhradie, Slovakia
Spiš Castle in Spišské Podhradie, Slovakia
Budget Direct

Slovakia’s massive Spiš Castle was built in the 12th century to mark the boundary of the Hungarian kingdom and fell to ruin after a fire in 1780. However, 20th-century restoration efforts helped fortify the remaining rooms, and it was even used as a filming location for parts of 1996’s DragonHeart.

7. Poenari Castle // Valachia, Romania

Poenari Castle in Valachia, Romania
Poenari Castle in Valachia, Romania
Budget Direct

This 13th-century Romanian castle boasts one previous resident of some celebrity: Vlad the Impaler, or Vlad Dracula, who may have been an early influence for Bram Stoker’s vampire, Dracula. It also boasts a staggering 1480 stone steps, which you can still climb today.

[h/t Simply Savvy]

America’s 10 Most Hated Easter Candies

Peeps are all out of cluck when it comes to confectionery popularity contests.
Peeps are all out of cluck when it comes to confectionery popularity contests.
William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

Whether you celebrate Easter as a religious holiday or not, it’s an opportune time to welcome the sunny, flora-filled season of spring with a basket or two of your favorite candy. And when it comes to deciding which Easter-themed confections belong in that basket, people have pretty strong opinions.

This year, CandyStore.com surveyed more than 19,000 customers to find out which sugary treats are widely considered the worst. If you’re a traditionalist, this may come as a shock: Cadbury Creme Eggs, Peeps, and solid chocolate bunnies are the top three on the list, and generic jelly beans landed in the ninth spot. While Peeps have long been polarizing, it’s a little surprising that the other three classics have so few supporters. Based on some comments left by participants, it seems like people are just really particular about the distinctions between certain types of candy.

Generic jelly beans, for example, were deemed old and bland, but people adore gourmet jelly beans, which were the fifth most popular Easter candy. Similarly, people thought Cadbury Creme Eggs were messy and low-quality, while Cadbury Mini Eggs—which topped the list of best candies—were considered inexplicably delicious and even “addictive.” And many candy lovers prefer hollow chocolate bunnies to solid ones, which people explained were simply “too much.” One participant even likened solid bunnies to bricks.

candystore.com's worst easter candies
The pretty pastel shades of bunny corn don't seem to be fooling the large contingent of candy corn haters.
CandyStore.com

If there’s one undeniable takeaway from the list of worst candies, it’s that a large portion of the population isn’t keen on chewy marshmallow treats in general. The eighth spot went to Hot Tamales Peeps, and Brach’s Marshmallow Chicks & Rabbits—which one person christened “the zombie bunny catacomb statue candy”—sits at number six.

Take a look at the full list below, and read more enlightening (and entertaining) survey comments here.

  1. Cadbury Creme Eggs
  1. Peeps
  1. Solid chocolate bunnies
  1. Bunny Corn
  1. Marshmallow Chicks & Rabbits
  1. Chocolate crosses
  1. Twix Eggs
  1. Hot Tamales Peeps
  1. Generic jelly beans
  1. Fluffy Stuff Cotton Tails

[h/t CandyStore.com]

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