The Water Wives of India Live Only to Fetch Water for Their Families

Men in drought-stricken Indian villages often take a second or even a third wife whose sole purpose is only to bring water to the family. They make several long trips to distant water sources every single day, carrying large vats of water on their heads.

Life is hard in dry villages, like Denganmal, 150 km from Mumbai. Husbands are busy farming and tending to the animals, while the women do house chores and raise the children. However, someone still needs to bring water from sources often several kilometers away, for about 8 months out of a year, when there is no rainfall in the area. That’s why having two or even three wives is not at all uncommon in these parts. The men only have children with their first wives, while the other’s sole purpose is to provide water for the family, in exchange for a roof over their heads and the social status of wife. They are paaniwaali bais, water wives.

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World’s Smallest Park Is No Bigger Than a Flower Pot

Mill Ends Park, in Portland, Oregon, currently holds the record for the world’s smallest park. With a diameter of just two meters, it only has room for one tree and a few tiny plants, but it’s one of the city’s most popular landmarks.

Mill Ends was originally supposed to be the site of a light pole, but for some reason, the pole never arrived and weeds began to sprout from the hole. Dick Fagan, a columnist for the Oregon Journal, whose office overlooked the tiny park, noticed the derelict patch of land and decided to do something about it. He started planting foliage there and even came up with a special column in the local paper dedicated to Mill Ends Park. He managed to create a whole story around the place, including leprechauns living there that only he could see, and tiny shamrocks growing inside the other plants.

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Men Shower Themselves with Molten Iron During Fiery Chinese Celebration

Every year, during the Lantern Festival, the Chinese village of Nuanquan hosts one of the most spectacular pyrotechnics show in the world. Called Da Shuhua (Chinese for “tree flower) the tradition involves experienced blacksmiths showering themselves with molten iron.

Da Shuhua is believed to have originated over 300 years ago, when local blacksmiths came up with a unique alternative to fireworks. The rich would always celebrate New Year with fire crackers, but poor blacksmiths could not afford them, so they had to rely on their to find a cheaper alternative. Inspired by iron striking, the blacksmiths started melting iron at temperatures of around 1,000 degrees Celsius and throwing it at a large stone wall to create an effect similar to fireworks. In contact with the cold stone, the splashed molten iron would generate beautiful iron flowers that rained down on the brave blacksmiths.

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Japan’s Bizarre Anti-Crime Orange Balls – A Unique Way to Stop Crime

If you happen to visit shops, commercial establishments, and even police stations in Japan, you might be baffled to discover bright orange baseball-sized orbs, generally placed next to the cash register. But they won’t be for sale, because believe it or not, they’re actually anti-crime devices!

The balls, locally known as bohan yu kara boru, derive their bright hue from the orange paint that fills them. In the event of a theft or robbery, store employees are supposed to fling the balls at the perpetrator. When the balls hit the thief, they will burst, marking him with orange paint and making it easy for the police to identify and apprehend him.

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Dutch Fashion Designer Creates Clothing Line That Prevents Slouching

Dutch designer Jeffrey Heiligers’ latest clothing line – ‘Posture’ – targets people who spend most of their time hunched over a computer. By preventing the wearer from slouching, the clothes help people improve their posture in the long run. The concept is simple – every time you slouch, the shirt will tighten uncomfortably around the back, forcing you to sit upright again!

“I engineered a tailor-made remedy that corrects poor posture, nowadays very common amongst the digital generation, not by constraining the muscles, but by training them,” Heiligers told Dezeen magazine. “Posture offers a solution integrated in the clothes you wear. By repositioning the seams in such a way that they start to feel uncomfortable when hunching, it stimulates you to sit up straight.”

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Artists Carve Replica of “China’s Mona Lisa” into Giant Piece of Fossilized Ebony

A group of Chinese artists recently immortalized the famous Chinese painting Along the River During the Qingming Festival by replicating it on to a giant piece of fossilized ebony. Over 800 people, 30 structures, 28 ships, a harbour, a town hall, and a market, were painstakingly carved on to the 30-tonne chunk of ebony. It took the artists a whopping 600 days to complete, and the final piece was displayed at the 11th Annual China International Cultural Industries Fair in Shenzhen.

At 27.5 meters long and 1.92 meters tall, the ebony replica is more than double the size of the original scroll. The black fossilised ebony, known as ‘wumu’, gets its unique density and colors from being buried underground for thousands of years. This particular piece of wood  is 5,000 years old: It was discovered in the riverbed of Minjiang River.

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Pakistani Company Allegedly Makes Millions Selling Fake University Diplomas

On its website, Pakistani company Axact calls itself the “World’s leading IT Company.” It claims to have ten “diverse business units” that offer over “23 world class products” to “prestigious clients worldwide.” It offers these clients services in the fields of software, application design, research, and education. But according to an investigative story by The New York Times, Axact actually makes its millions by selling fake high school diplomas and degrees!

The report suggests that Axact does sell some software as it claims to, but its main business is to “take the centuries-old scam of selling fake academic degrees and turn it into an Internet-era scheme on a global scale.” The company ostensibly designs websites for fake colleges with dubious names like ‘Barkley’, ‘Columbiana’, and ‘Mount Lincoln’, offering online ‘degrees’ in several subjects along with authentication certificates signed by Secretary of State John Kerry.

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Scientist Volunteers as All-You-Can-Eat Buffet for Bedbugs in the Name of Science

In a bid to find a remedy for bedbugs, Canadian scientist Regine Gries has spent nearly a decade studying the parasitic creatures. In fact, she is so dedicated to the project that she actually allows thousands of hungry bedbugs feast off her own blood! Thankfully, her efforts have paid off – she and her husband Gerhard have perfected a chemical that is capable of luring bedbugs away from mattresses.

Regine and Gerhard are both biologists at Simon Fraser University, just outside of Vancouver, in British Columbia. Their lab features a Plexiglass-walled colony with about 5,000 bedbug residents. The bugs live inside glass jars – about 200 to a jar – each covered with a fine mesh that’s held in place using rubber bands. And once a month for the past nine years, Regine has rolled up her sleeves, inverted the jars on to her arms, and allowed the bedbugs to reach through the mesh to bite into her skin!

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Pop-Up IKEA Cafe Serves Breakfast in Bed

IKEA has been selling food and furniture for years, but they recently managed to marry the two with a pop-up restaurant called ‘The IKEA Breakfast in Bed Cafe’. The uniquely themed eatery was furnished with luxurious beds instead of the traditional chair and table setup. Visitors were shown to their beds, from where they could order food and drinks, get expert advice from sleep specialists, and even take naps!

Located on Leonard Street in London’s hipster hub Shoreditch, the pop-up was open between 7am and 3pm, until May 20. Patrons chose between single and double beds, kicked up their heels, and relaxed, while being served by specially trained waiting staff. The menu included classic British breakfast food like salmon, toast, fresh juice, and sleep inducing teas, along with traditional Swedish breakfast options.

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Australian Town Completely Covered in Cobwebs after Millions of Spiders Rain from the Sky

Earlier this month, the residents of Goulburn – a small town in Australia’s Southern Tablelands – were spooked to discover their properties blanketed by millions of tiny spiders and mounds of their silky threads. The spiders had apparently rained down from the sky, silken thread and all, a phenomenon known as “Angel Rain”.

“Anyone else experiencing this Angel Hair or maybe aka millions of spiders falling from the sky right now?” wrote resident Ian Watson on the Goulburn Community Forum Facebook page. “I’m 10 minutes out of town, and you can clearly see hundreds of little spiders floating along with their webs and my home is covered in them. Someone call a scientist!”

That sounds positively frightful, but experts say that arachnid rains are actually a natural phenomenon, and not as uncommon as you’d think. It is referred to as ‘spider rain’ or ‘angel hair’ in scientific circles, and is actually a form of spider transportation called ‘ballooning’.

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The Shorter the Skirt the Cheaper the Meal at This Chinese Restaurant

In a bid to improve sales, a Chinese restaurant recently ran a special promotion – they offered discounts to female customers based on the length of their skirts. The shorter the skirt, the heavier the discount! The amount of skin-show upwards of the knee was measured upon arrival, and the discount percentage was determined accordingly.

The promotion, which ran all of last week at Yang Jia Hot Pot restaurant in Jinan, was a huge success. Hordes of women lined up outside the establishment, waiting to have their skirts measured. The highest hemline recorded was 13 inches above the knee, attracting a huge 90-percent discount. The lowest was at three inches, earning a 20 percent saving.

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Canadian Scientist Uses Small Iron Fish to Save Lives in Cambodia

When Canadian scientist Christopher Charles discovered six years ago how badly Cambodians were suffering from anemia, he decided to try and solve the problem. Unfortunately, tried-and-tested methods such as iron supplements and iron-rich diets didn’t work because they weren’t affordable. So he came up with the novel idea of using a small iron fish as a cooking ingredient!

The people Charles was working with were the poorest of the poor, and couldn’t afford red meat or expensive iron pills. The women couldn’t even switch to iron pots because they were too heavy and costly. “Some nights I wondered what I had got myself into; here I was in a village with no running water, no electricity and no way to use my computer — it was like a (research) baptism by fire,” Charles recalled.

But inspiration struck eventually, and he decided that the best way cure anemia was to literally add iron to the food. “We knew some random piece of ugly metal wouldn’t work . . . so we had to come up with an attractive idea,” Charles said. Along with his research team, he came up with small, circular chunk of iron, but the women were hesitant to add it to their pots. They changed the prototype to a lotus shape, but the women didn’t like that either. So Charles dug deeper into Cambodian history and culture, and decided upon a piece of iron shaped like a fish – a symbol of good luck in Cambodia. And it worked! Women were more than happy to add it to their cooking pots and follow Charles’ instructions.

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Russian “Rich Brat” Offers People Money to Humiliate Themselves in Public

Grigory Mamurin, grandson of Russian multi-millionaire Igor Neklyudov, is making waves for his bizarre display of wealth. The 16-year-old made a video of himself asking people to perform humiliating tasks like stripping in public and drinking his urine in exchange for huge sums of money. Most people walked away while some accepted the challenge, but one man was so angered by the suggestion that he punched the rich kid in the face.

The short video, shot in Moscow’s Gorky Park, has gone viral with over one million views on YouTube. It starts with Grigory sitting in his expensive Mercedes limousine, talking to his audience. “Today we have come to Gorky Park in order to find out how much humiliation people are ready to experience for the sake of money,” he says.

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Anty Gin – World’s First Gin Made Using Ants

True to its name, ‘Anty Gin’ is literally made from red wood ants. British distiller Will Lowe collects thousands of ants from the forests of Kent and prepares the gin at his lab-style distillery in Cambridge. The bizarre concoction is the world’s first gin to be made from insects, so naturally, it doesn’t come cheap. Each 70cl bottle costs £200 ($313), and contains the essence of 62 ants.

The idea for Anty Gin came about when Danish organisation Nordic Food Lab contacted Lowe, who makes custom gins for a living. “We were approached by a company from Copenhagen called Nordic Food Lab who explore the culinary qualities of insects and argue for the eating of them in western cuisine. They asked us to come up with a gin where the typical citrus flavor came not from lemon or lime peel, but from ants.” Lowe said.

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Japan’s Macho Cafe Is Like Hooters for Women

Women in Tokyo, Japan, recently got the opportunity to enjoy a visual treat at their very own Hooters-style café. The pop-up venue, called Macho Café, featured muscled men clad in tight vests, serving food to visibly flustered female customers.

According to Macho Café’s official website, the owners asked themselves a very puzzling question” “why are there cafes that offer coffee from carefully selected beans, but no cafes that offer carefully selected macho men?” So they decided to rectify the situation by offering “finest quality premium roast” handpicked bodybuilders to their female clientele.

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