Doctor Claims Rare Condition Allows Him to Feel Patient’s’ Physical Pain

People often use the phrase “I feel you pain” when trying to comfort somebody, but usually it has a figurative meaning. That’s not the case with Joel Salinas, a doctor suffering from a rare condition called mirror-touch synesthesia which actually allows him to feel the physical pain of his patients.

Salinas, a neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, says that he has had the condition since childhood. Whenever he would observe other people hugging, for instance, he would feel hugged as well. And when he saw people get hit, he felt the discomfort too. “When I see people, I have the sensation of whatever touches their body on my own body, and it’s kind of reflected as a mirror,” he explained.

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Belgian Man Shuns Civilization to Live as a Hunter-Gatherer in Slovenia

Angelo Valkenborg had it all – a good job, a marriage, and a nice home, but at one point in his life, he realised that none of that made him truly happy. So the 31-year-old Belgian left his old life behind and moved to a forest in Slovenia to live like a hunter-gatherer.

Angelo had always been fascinated by the great outdoors and started getting into survival techniques in the wild. But his work and family life didn’t exactly go hand in hand with his favorite pastime. It was after returning from a three week expedition in the wilderness of Northern Sweden that he learned his marriage had failed. His “intense passion for the outdoors” was apparently too much for his wife to handle. “Who can blame her?” he wrote on his blog. “I went fr’om a salesperson who cared a lot about going out and having a good time to a always dressed in outdoor gear geek.

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It’s Late Summer but This Everlasting Pile of Snow in Buffalo Still Hasn’t Melted

The residents of Buffalo, New York, are baffled by a 12-ft pile of snow that hasn’t melted in eight months. The giant pile, located near Central Terminal on the Queen City’s east side, has been around since the ‘Snowvember’ storm last year, and seems unaffected by the summer heat.

According to New York state climatologist Mark Wysocki, the “original problem started back in November.” After the storm, city workers had no place to put all the excess snow so they decided to dump it in a vacant lot. Then they used bulldozers to flatten and compact the pile. By doing that, they created insulation, effectively producing a very slowly melting snow pile.

“It’s not unprecedented, but it’s weird when you think about it,” said Storm Team 2 meteorologist Patrick Hammer. “That pile of snow is like a glacier. It’s very dense and it’s covered in dirt and garbage, which acts to insulate the snow from the sun’s rays. That’s what melts the snow, not just the heat but the sun’s rays, and it’s protected.”

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Staffless Pay-What-You-Will Bookstore in China Actually Works

A peculiar outdoor bookstore recently opened in Nanjing, China. There is no cashier desk and no working staff to keep an eye on the books. Instead, visitors are invited to peruse the reading material on offer and pay whatever they want for books by dropping the money in a lock-box.

Organizers say the aptly named Honesty Bookstore is a social experiment meant to raise awareness of honesty and integrity. Believe it or not, so far, people have been doing the right thing. With no staff around, there is absolutely nothing stopping people from just taking the books they like and leaving without paying anything for them. Well, nothing but their conscience, that is. According to several news reports from China, people have actually been dropping money inside the box of their own free will, and Honesty Bookstore organizers claim that the raised money is enough to cover costs.

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MC1R – The World’s First Magazine for and About Redheads

Over the years, redheads have borne the brunt of many jokes, enjoying very little appreciation in the fashion world. Changing all that is MC1R – the first and only magazine dedicated to gingers.

In scientific lingo, MC1R is a protein that regulates skin and hair color in mammals. A mutated MC1R protein is believed to cause red hair. So it happens to be a befitting title for the magazine, which exclusively caters to people with red hair. It features content on a wide range of topics, including contemporary art and fashion editorials, interviews with musicians and designers, and current events. Every story is related to red hair.

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Company Brews Beer with Lobsters and Sea Salt

The Oxbow Brewery in Newcastle, Maine, has come up with a brand new brew that combines two of the state’s summertime favorites – beer and lobster. The offbeat lager, called ‘Saison dell’Aragosta’, is made by cooking live lobsters in unfermented beer.

‘Aragosta’ is Italian for lobster or crayfish. The name was chosen to honor Giovanni Campari, the brewmaster of one of Italy’s finest breweries, Birrificio del Ducato. According to Tim Adams, co-owner of Oxbow, Giovanni travelled all the way to Maine last summer to work with him. The duo initially wanted to brew an “esoteric German beer that was low in alcohol and used wheat along with barley.” They wanted a tart and acidic flavor profile, with salt playing an important role. But the evening before they set to work on the new brew, they happened to eat lobster rolls for dinner. That, instead, proved to be their inspiration.

“Giovanni turns to me and says, ‘We gotta put some lobster in the beer we’re brewing,’” Adams said. “I was slightly taken aback and hesitant, but I couldn’t say no to him. The guy traveled all the way from Parma to Maine.”

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Jaws on the Water – The Scariest Way to Watch Shark Horror Flicks

Horror and gore fans are never going to tire of the timeless classic Jaws. And to enhance the experience, they’re coming up with bigger, scarier ways to watch Steven Spelberg’s blockbuster. The latest idea is to have the audience watch it on a giant screen while sited on rubber rings floating on a lake, at night. It’s all fun and games until someone yells “Shark!”, then panic ensues.

The event, aptly dubbed ‘Jaws on the Water’, is being hosted by Alamo Drafthouse, a theater in Austin, Texas. They actually first hosted the special screening over a decade ago,and to celebrate the film’s 40th anniversary they’re bringing it back at the beginning of August.

“It’s one of the most talked about events we’ve ever produced: back in 2002, we invited the brave people of Austin to join us for a special screening of JAWS where we would point our giant outdoor Rolling Roadshow screen toward the water, and the audience would all watch while floating on inner tubes,” the cinema chain wrote on their website. “It’s still one of the most talked about events we’ve ever produced, and so after years of hearing those stories whispered, we decided it was FINALLY time to bring the event back, and to bring it back in a BIG way!”

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Fowling, a Quirky Sport That Combines Football and Bowling

A new sport that combines football and bowling is taking Michigan by storm. Fowling is the brainchild of entrepreneur Chris Hutt who’s so confident the hybrid sport is going to be huge that  he  has converted a 34,000-square-foot industrial site into what he calls the Fowling Warehouse.

Hutt said that he invented the game years ago along with a few buddies, while tailgating at the Indianapolis 500. It started off as an accident, when a couple of guys were playing catch with a football and someone made a bad pass. The ball rolled and knocked over a few bowling pins that were lying around. Inspiration struck right at that magical moment, and fowling (pronounced foal-ing) was born. Hutt and his friends quickly set up a few spare pins at the end of the lane and knocked them out with the football all day, making up the rules as they went along. And by the end of the day, they had the entire sport fleshed out.

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Moss Viewing – A Strange Yet Increasingly Popular Japanese Pastime

A lot of people walk by moss all the time, without even giving the time of day, but in Japan, they actually have this thing call moss viewing that involves going on trips to damp places and staring at moss for hours, as a means of relaxation.

According to Takeshi Ueno, a plant ecology expert at Tsuru University, the activity is particularly popular among women, because “they are rich in emotions”. “They can innocently enjoy changes in the shapes and colors of leaves, for example, so they are well-suited to moss viewing,” Ueno, who usually leads the moss viewing trips near Lake Shirakoma, added.

It all started in 2013, when Hoshino Resorts Oirase Keiryu Hotel in Aomori Prefecture introduced a one-night program that included an observation tour of the moss colonies in a riverside forest. It was an unsuspected success, and after the Bryological Society of Japan named the area around Lake Shirakoma a ‘precious moss-covered forest’, moss-viewing became a regular affair. The event has become so popular among female travelers that it is held about eight times a year.

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India’s Medicine Baba Takes Prescription Medicine from the Rich, Gives It to the Poor

Omkarnath, a retired blood-bank technician from New Delhi, is a modern-day medical Robin Hood. For the past three years, the 79-year-old has been collecting unused prescription drugs from the wealthy and distributing them among the less fortunate. His efforts have earned him the nickname ‘Medicine Baba’.

‘Baba’ is a term used in India to describe a wise, elderly man. New Delhi’s very own Medicine Baba walks over seven kilometers each day, combing the city and stopping at almost every door, asking for unused medicines. He’s also set up dozens of collection boxes in private clinics around the city, where people can make donations. According to Omkarnath, “Every bungalow in Delhi has extra medicines, but they are throwing them in their dustbins.” But the best neighborhoods, he insists, are the middle-class and lower middle-class ones. “One morning, I got a strip of anti-cancer medication worth 35,000 rupees ($545),” he recalled.

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Irish Town Holds Sheep Dung Spitting Competition

Visitors at the 37th annual Lady of the Lake Festival in Irvinestown, Northern Ireland’s Fermanagh county, were in for a stinky surprise – a sheep dung spitting competition that literally left participants with a bad taste in their mouth.

The bizarre contest, organised by local hotelier Joe Mahon, had participants take mouthfuls of sheep dung and spit it out with gusto to see who could spit the farthest. For some reason, Mahon appeared top be the most excited of the lot, even allowing sheep to poop on his face. Ugh!

Mahon is apparently well known in the town for his quirky event ideas during the festival. This year, inspired by an emu dung-spitting competition from Africa, he decided to replicate it with sheep. Festival organisers took to Facebook to find volunteers to take part in the bizarre contest. The winner was promised £100($155). 44 people finally signed up, joining Mahon on a dung spitting spree.

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Walter’s Coffee Roastery – A Breaking Bad-Themed Cafe in Istanbul

If Breaking Bad’s Walter White ever decided to go into the coffee business and open his own cafe, it would probably look a lot like the awesome ‘Walter’s Coffee Roastery’, in Istanbul.

Inspired by the popular TV show Breaking Bad, Deniz Kosan, a young Turkish entrepreneur, has opened the “world’s first Coffee Super Lab.” Everything inside this unique cafe, right from the roasting equipment to the beaker-like espresso cups or the giant periodic table covering one of the walls reminds you of Walter White and his meth lab. The staff often don yellow hazardous materials suits and the menu features plenty of Breaking bad references, like pancakes with Walter White’s face powdered on them or Blue Sky-decorated cupcakes.

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Japanese Anti-Suicide Crusader Has Saved over 500 People in the Last 11 Years

Yukio Shige, a retired police officer from Japan, has devoted the past decade of his life to preventing suicides. After foiling hundreds of suicide attempts in little over a decade, the 70-year-old has come to be known as ‘chotto matte man’. In Japanese, ‘chotto matte’ translates to ‘hold on, wait!’

In the last 11 years, Yukio Shigehas has managed to save over 500 lives – a significant number even in Japan, a country with one of the highest suicide rates in the world. He patrols the Tojinbo cliffs, in Fukui Prefecture – a popular tourist site that is also notorious for suicides. He goes there every single day, with three other volunteers. Together they use binoculars to spot people who might be contemplating suicide, and try to talk them out of it.

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Italian Artist Turns His Palm into Mind-boggling Optical Illusions

These highly realistic three-dimensional paintings are the handiwork of Italian artist Luca Luce. He’s a makeup artist by profession, but he uses his extensive knowledge of colors and shading to create surreal optical illusions on his own palm.

Luca is an ace at clever shadow placement and photorealistic drawing. He brings these two aspects into every artwork in his unique palm painting series, creating astonishing images that will make you to a double take. For example, he painted a jigsaw piece taken out of his palm, with a gaping hole left underneath. The whole image is so realistic, it really does look like a piece of his palm has been lifted and placed aside.

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Donutopia – A $100 Donut That Takes 5 Hours to Make

Paying $100 for a donut seems crazy, but Donutopia is no ordinary confectionery, it’s a culinary masterpiece covered in 24-karat gold flakes and edible sugar diamonds. These treats are made with the finest ingredients, including $39 Bling H2O water.

“Each one takes three to five hours to make,” says Jeanne Kaminski, co-owner of Dolicious Donuts in West Kelowna, Canada, where the delectable donuts were invented. They were inspired by a loyal customer who wanted to use one of their creations to propose to his girlfriend. He asked for a cream-filled Bismarck donut to act as a pillow for the engagement ring, but they decided to make him something truly impressive. The first Donutopia got such positive feedback that they decided to include it on the menu.

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