Not your everyday secret entrance

At first, it looks as though the woman in this video is opening a small door leading down into a basement, but then she flips up a hidden panel in the floor that reveals steps down and around the corner is a tiny, two-storey theatre that dates back to the mid-1800s sometime. As far as I can tell, a wealthy family who lived above the theatre — which is in Ragusa, in Sicily, and is known as the Teatro Donnafugata (Theatre of the Missing Woman) — had a private entrance built that led to their private balcony. Could be related to the nearby Castello Donnafugata, a royal palace that was built by a baron and has 122 rooms.

He convinced people to drink tea instead of eating it

Sometime in his adolescence, in the 700s, Lu Yu, an aspiring writer and professional clown, had his first taste of tea soup. This probably occurred not far from Lu’s childhood home: a Buddhist monastery that overlooked a scenic lake in Central China. But Lu was unimpressed; he called the soup “ditch water.”

What bothered Lu was not the tea, but all the other ingredients. The offending brew contained scallions, ginger, jujube dates, citrus peels, Dogwood berries, and mint, all of which cooks “threshed” together to make a smooth paste. The result was a chunky soup, or even a sauce.

Lu Yu, in fact, adored tea—he’d go on to become the “tea god” and the world’s greatest tea influencer. But the tea he loved—brewed only from powdered tea leaves, without any other flavoring—was, in the grand sweep of human history, a recent invention. People in Asia, where tea trees are native, ate tea leaves for centuries, perhaps even millennia, before ever thinking to drink it. And it is Lu Yu who is chiefly responsible for making tea drinking the norm for most people around the world.

via Atlas Obscura