5 Things You Need to know about the Western Wall in Jerusalem

dome-wall.jpg1. When the Roman Emperor Titus pillaged the Holiest of Holies in 70 C.E. and had the Second Temple burnt to the ground, he gave instructions for his legions to leave part of the outer, western retaining wall intact. This was to demonstrate to posterity not only how well fortified the city of Jerusalem was, but to show the Jews, or any other citizens who thought they could challenge the Emperor's customs and laws, just how intrepid and formidable Rome's armies were.

western-wall-tunnels3-cc-ramikey.jpg2. As it's seen today, the Western Wall, as it's come to be called, stretches over 60 feet in the air, though technically it's much taller as it also extends another 40 feet down into the earth below.

3. Most of the wall is actually obscured by adjoining buildings, but the entire length of what the Romans left for posterity is actually over five football fields long. One reason the remnant has lasted as long as it has, withstanding repeated earthquakes over the centuries, is because some of the lower stones underground are over 40 feet wide and weigh over 100 tons.

4. In Hebrew, the Western Wall is called the Kotel Ma'aravi, literally "the wall west." Arabs who governed the city for hundreds of years often heard Jews crying as they recited prayers at the Kotel and therefore named it El-Mabka, or "the Place of Weeping." When the British took Jerusalem from the Turks in 1917, they anglicized El-Mabka into "The Wailing Wall," another term you'll often hear describing the Western Wall.

5. There's a really good live webcam (not that start/freeze stuff you're used to) right over here. And you can send a note to the wall! This is something people often do when they visit "“ a private prayer, something for a loved one departed, or for someone who couldn't make the trip. Now, thanks to technology, you can do it online. Check it.

Tips For Baking Perfect Cookies

Perfect cookies are within your grasp. Just grab your measuring cups and get started. Special thanks to the Institute of Culinary Education.

Netflix's Most-Binged Shows of 2017, Ranked

Netflix might know your TV habits better than you do. Recently, the entertainment company's normally tight-lipped number-crunchers looked at user data collected between November 1, 2016 and November 1, 2017 to see which series people were powering through and which ones they were digesting more slowly. By analyzing members’ average daily viewing habits, they were able to determine which programs were more likely to be “binged” (or watched for more than two hours per day) and which were more often “savored” (or watched for less than two hours per day) by viewers.

They found that the highest number of Netflix bingers glutted themselves on the true crime parody American Vandal, followed by the Brazilian sci-fi series 3%, and the drama-mystery 13 Reasons Why. Other shows that had viewers glued to the couch in 2017 included Anne with an E, the Canadian series based on L. M. Montgomery's 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables, and the live-action Archie comics-inspired Riverdale.

In contrast, TV shows that viewers enjoyed more slowly included the Emmy-winning drama The Crown, followed by Big Mouth, Neo Yokio, A Series of Unfortunate Events, GLOW, Friends from College, and Ozark.

There's a dark side to this data, though: While the company isn't around to judge your sweatpants and the chip crumbs stuck to your couch, Netflix is privy to even your most embarrassing viewing habits. The company recently used this info to publicly call out a small group of users who turned their binges into full-fledged benders:

Oh, and if you're the one person in Antarctica binging Shameless, the streaming giant just outed you, too.

Netflix broke down their full findings in the infographic below and, Big Brother vibes aside, the data is pretty fascinating. It even includes survey data on which shows prompted viewers to “Netflix cheat” on their significant others and which shows were enjoyed by the entire family.

Netflix infographic "The Year in Bingeing"


More from mental floss studios