Queen Marie of Romania's Heart Will Find a New Home

George Grantham Bain collection, Library of Congress via Wikipedia // Public Domain
George Grantham Bain collection, Library of Congress via Wikipedia // Public Domain

In early November, the heart that once beat inside Queen Marie of Romania (1875-1938) will be transferred from the Bucharest National History Museum to the castle in the Carpathian mountains where she died, according to The Guardian

Queen Marie, a granddaughter of Britain's Queen Victoria, was the wife of King Ferdinand I, who ruled Romania from 1914 to 1927. Before her death, she asked that her heart be interred in a chapel in the town of Balchik near the Black Sea, where her family had a castle that was the queen's favorite summer home. However, Balchik was returned to Bulgaria in 1940, and the heart then moved to Bran Castle near Transylvania.

The organ didn't rest easy there either: Marie's descendants say the chapel at Bran Castle “was desecrated during the communist regime," which is when the heart took up its place at the National Museum of Romanian History. (It appears to have been kept in storage in the basement, and not on public display.) The family later requested that the organ be moved to a place with closer ties to the royal family, and officials decided on Pelisor castle in the Carpathian mountains, where Maria died in 1938, as the new location. The heart will be transferred during a formal procession on November 3, then placed inside a small silver casket that will rest on a pedestal behind the couch where Maria died.

Strange as it may seem, the practice of burying a person’s heart separately from the rest of them goes back to the Crusades, and it was a not-uncommon request from European royalty for centuries. Famous examples include Richard the Lionheart, Robert the Bruce, and Anne Boleyn, as well as dozens of popes (their hearts are now kept at a church in Rome). Famously, the Romantic poet Percy Shelley had his heart (or what his friends believed to be his heart) removed from the flames during his cremation on an Italian beach. The organ was given to his wife Mary Shelley, who kept it until she died.

Queen Maria’s isn't the only famous heart to have been moved recently. In 2014, scientists took the heart of Romantic composer Frédéric Chopin from its place in a crystal urn inside a pillar at the Church of the Holy Cross in Warsaw for a top-secret midnight examination. Their aim was to make sure the alcohol surrounding the heart hadn’t evaporated, although other scientists have been hoping to study the organ for insight about the composer’s cause of death. The heart was later returned to the pillar, where it still rests; meanwhile, the rest of Chopin is at Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris.

[h/t The Guardian]

Keep Your Cat Busy With a Board Game That Doubles as a Scratch Pad

Cheerble
Cheerble

No matter how much you love playing with your cat, waving a feather toy in front of its face can get monotonous after a while (for the both of you). To shake up playtime, the Cheerble three-in-one board game looks to provide your feline housemate with hours of hands-free entertainment.

Cheerble's board game, which is currently raising money on Kickstarter, is designed to keep even the most restless cats stimulated. The first component of the game is the electronic Cheerble ball, which rolls on its own when your cat touches it with their paw or nose—no remote control required. And on days when your cat is especially energetic, you can adjust the ball's settings to roll and bounce in a way that matches their stamina.

Cheerable cat toy on Kickstarter.
Cheerble

The Cheerble balls are meant to pair with the Cheerble game board, which consists of a box that has plenty of room for balls to roll around. The board is also covered on one side with a platform that has holes big enough for your cat to fit their paws through, so they can hunt the balls like a game of Whack-a-Mole. And if your cat ever loses interest in chasing the ball, the board also includes a built-in scratch pad and fluffy wand toy to slap around. A simplified version of the board game includes the scratch pad without the wand or hole maze, so you can tailor your purchase for your cat's interests.

Cheerble cat board game.
Cheerble

Since launching its campaign on Kickstarter on April 23, Cheerble has raised over $128,000, already blowing past its initial goal of $6416. You can back the Kickstarter today to claim a Cheerble product, with $32 getting you a ball and $58 getting you the board game. You can make your pledge here, with shipping estimated for July 2020.

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Bigfoot Is Selling His California Home, According to a Creative Real Estate Listing

Zillow
Zillow

When Bigfoot isn't lurking in the woods, he's apparently reading, baking, and practicing social distancing in his home in the California Redwoods. At least that's what's depicted in a new real estate listing spotted by Laughing Squid. The post also suggests that Bigfoot is looking for a change, and the cryptid's former home can be yours for just under $1 million.

The house for sale at 5649 Hillside Drive in Felton, California, has a lot to offer, with five bedrooms and three baths spread out over 1872 square feet. In case that wasn't enough to entice buyers, the sellers also held a Bigfoot photo shoot to show off the property.

The images featured in the listing show a person in a Bigfoot costume enjoying the secluded sanctuary. According to the photos, he uses the home's ample deck space to play the ukulele and read the paper with his coffee. Indoors, he can be seen reading a book about edible mushrooms, baking cookies, and doing yoga in the workout room. Bigfoot also appears to be obeying his state's social distancing guidelines, with pictures showing him chatting with a friend on a video call and wearing a face mask.

Bigfoot reading the newspaper.
Zillow

Bigfoot doing yoga.
Zillow

Bigfoot baking cookies.
Zillow

Bigfoot reading book.
Zillow

Bigfoot on the computer.
Zillow

Bigfoot wearing a face mask.
Zillow

While this particular property may not be home to a real Bigfoot, the California Redwoods are considered the Bigfoot capital of the world. The region is the site of the Bigfoot Discovery Museum, and numerous Bigfoot sightings have been reported there over the years.

If you're interested in living like a sasquatch, you can contact the house's agent through Zillow. The home is listed for an asking price of $999,000.

[h/t Laughing Squid]