Guy Makes a Living Storing Students’ Mobile Phones in His Van while They Attend School

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When New Yorker Jhonn de La Puente realized that many high school students aren’t allowed to bring their personal cell phones to school, he hit upon a simple yet brilliant business model – a cell phone storage van.

The 42-year-old now runs a company called ‘Safe ‘n’ Secure Cellutions LLC’ – it consists of a modified Ford E250 parked outside Brooklyn’s Prospect Heights High School complex, which houses four different public high schools. Right before they enter school, students queue up outside the van to deposit their phones through a small mail-slot on the side. They are handed colored tickets that they can use to retrieve the phones as they leave school at the end of the day. The service costs them anywhere between $3 and $5 per week.

Puente, a Crown Heights resident, has put a lot of thought and effort into creating the van – he said that he designed and customised it himself, adding security cameras, storage racks and a cash lock box. “I even did research on the average height of high school students to get a median height to put this window at,” he revealed. “It was really important to me that it was the right level so they could see my face and so that I could interact with the customers.”

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Seth Cohen Is on a Mission to Meet Every Other Seth Cohen in the World

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New York resident Seth Cohen is on an epic quest to track down and meet every single one of his namesakes in the world. The project, he says, isn’t so much about meeting his namesakes as it is about the road less traveled, living in the world, not just on it, connecting with people he would never otherwise connect with, visiting places he would never otherwise visit and experiencing things he would never otherwise experience.

“I am on a mission to meet every Seth Cohen in the world, live life to its fullest and inspire others to do the same,” the globetrotter wrote on his website. “I don’t know what I will find, but I’m excited to find out…” The name ‘Seth Cohen’ is apparently quite common, a fact that Seth realized a couple of months ago. “My last birthday was in September,” he explained. “Everyone started posting on my [Facebook] wall, and this one woman that I barely knew said, ‘Seth, my favorite person in the world, have an amazing birthday.’ I was flattered, but I thought there is no way I am this woman’s most favorite person.”

So Seth snooped around and figured out that the woman, and four other friends, were connected with Seth Cohens on Facebook that weren’t him. He was so intrigued by this that he spent weeks trying to find out just how many Seth Cohens were out there. He spent time combing Google, social media websites, and online White Pages, and the results were mind-boggling – he found that there are at least 300 other Seth Cohens in the United States alone!

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Man Does a Good Deed Every Day for a Year

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26-year-old Luke Cameron has performed a good deed every day for an entire year, and he says that the exercise has completely transformed his life. The Cheltenham resident made the vow when a close friend died from cancer last year, and since then, he has been doing at least one nice thing every single day. He estimates that he has spent close to £3,000 ($4,700) on good deeds in the past year.

“In a world of taking selfies with your besties and Instagramming pictures of your new handbag and Rolex watch, we forget to think about anyone else but ourselves,” he said. “Our generation has forgotten to care about others, because we are too self-obsessed to even care what others are going through.”

Luke runs a website called TheGoodDeedDiary.com, on which he documents every single good deed or kind gesture – ranging from taking the trash out for his elderly neighbor, or baking cakes for his family and friends. He has also purchased meals for several people at McDonald’s, and even paid for a stranger’s petrol just because they stood next to him in the line. Luke now has over 12,000 followers on his corresponding Facebook page, and more than 6,000 followers on Twitter.

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Hundreds of Indians Fast to Death Every Year in Ancient Santhara Ritual

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Fasting is a common religious practice in several cultures across the world, but few are as hardcore as ‘Santhara’. The exacting ritual is a part of Jainism, one of the oldest religions in the world, and it involves participants making an oath to stop eating until they literally die of starvation. According to the Jains, this is a surefire way to purge oneself of bad karma and achieve ‘Moksha’ – liberation from the worldly cycle of death and reincarnation.

Every year, hundreds of Jains across India take up the onerous oath – some are monks, others are ordinary people. Interestingly, over 60 percent of the participants are female, and it is believed that women are more strong-willed than men. The practice is more popular with Jains who are ill or dying, but healthy people are also known to participate.

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The World’s Longest Burning Light-Bulb Has Been On for 113 Years

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With most of us having to replace light-bulbs every few months, it’s amazing that the Centennial Light-Bulb at Fire Station No. 6 in Livermore, California, has been burning continuously ever since 1901.

The exact date the centennial bulb was turned on is unknown, although its birthday is usually celebrated on June 18. However, we do know that it has been alight 24 hours a day since then, shining a dim light over the fire engines. Apart from the few power outages it has faced in the last 113 years, the unbreakable light-bulb has only had two breaks – one in 1976, when it was moved from one fire station and installed in another, and one in 2013, when it was off for 9 3.4 hours. When the bulb was moved, almost 40 years ago, people were so cautious not to break it that they severed the cord, instead of unscrewing it, and transferred it with a full police and fire truck escort. The whole business lasted just 22 minutes, after which it was back to business as usual.

The impressive light-bulb is apparently an improved hand-blown incandescent lamp with carbon filament. Debora Katz, a physicist at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., has conducted extensive research on the centennial light-bulb and what makes it so special, using a vintage light bulb from Shelby Electric Co. that is a near replica of the Livermore lamp. “The Livermore light bulb differs from a contemporary incandescent bulb in two ways,” says Katz. “First its filament is about eight times thicker than a contemporary bulb. Second, the filament is a semiconductor, most likely made of carbon. When a conductor gets hotter, its ability to conduct electricity goes down. When the Shelby bulb gets hotter, it becomes a better conductor of electricity.”

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Indian Hindu Leaders Launch Beauty Products Made with Cow Dung

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The Visha Hindu Parishad (VHP), a right-wing non-governmental organization in India, has recently launched a line of beauty products containing two very special ingredients – cow dung and gau mutra.

“The use of gau mutra in medicines and beauty products will help farmers and prevent them from selling cows. Ayurveda talks about use of cow dung to prevent pimples. But people are reluctant to use dung, which is why we are making beauty products out of it,” VHP leader Venkatesh Abdeo said. Just to be clear, gau mutra is not some miracle plant but plain old cow urine, which has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries.

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This Afghan Bruce Lee Doppelganger Will Blow Your Mind

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Abulfazl Abbas Shakoory not only bears an uncanny resemblance to legendary martial arts master Bruce Lee, but he can also perform his incredible moves almost to perfection. Shakoory has become an internet celebrity of sorts, after putting up videos of his stunts on social media websites.

The 20-year-old Kabul resident, who calls himself “Bruce Hazara” has been practicing various types of martial arts ever since he was a child. He had always considered Bruce Lee his hero, and describes the ability of mastering his famous moves as his “only dream”. To accomplish his goal, Shakoory has also started practicing Wushu, a full-contact sport derived from Chinese martial arts. As fate would have it, his face resembles that of the great Chinese actor as well, and adopting his famous bowl haircut made “Bruce Hazara” an almost perfect doppelganger.

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Meet the Evangelicals Who Believe They Can Raise the Dead

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Dead Raising Team (DRT) is a team of evangelical Christians who boast that they can raise people from the dead with their prayers. Tyler Johnson, the group’s charismatic leader, claims to be responsible for bringing 13 corpses back to life!

The DRT story was covered in the 2013 documentary film Deadraiser. It depicts various miracle stories where DRT members pray for dead people and witness them come alive. Some of the people who allegedly came back from the dead claimed to have seen hell and the demons who were torturing them. But they were ultimately saved and pulled back to earth.

Mark DeDio, for instance, used to be a troubled drug user who actually claims to have died in 2006 as a result of an overdose. The next thing he knew, “there was screeching, torment, screams. The smell was just like vomit, sulphur.” But he was eventually saved by DRT member TJ Aderholdt, who happened to pass by the ambulance in which Mark’s corpse lay.

Although the man had no pulse, TJ began speaking in tongues as soon as he spotted Mark. Within minutes, Mark’s eyes popped open, he stood up and started telling everybody how he went to hell and was pulled back. “It was like a grab on my collar,” he recalled. “Jesus pulled me out.”

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Rare Disorder Leaves 28-Year-Old Woman Looking Like a Grandmother

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Hu Juan, a 28-year-old mother of two from Hunan, China, suffers from a rare condition known as Cutis laxa which has caused the skin on her face and neck to age at an accelerated rate, leaving her looking like a woman in her 60s or 70s.

The young woman’s nightmare began 11 years ago, right after she gave birth to her eldest son. She started noticing that her appearance was changing fast and just six months after giving birth, her youthful looks had deteriorated drastically to the point where she could hardly recognize herself in the mirror. Hu Juan was diagnosed with Cutis laxa, an extremely rare connective tissue disorder that causes the skin to become loose, saggy and wrinkled at a very rapid speed due to loss of elasticity. It has only affected her face and neck, and several medical checkups over the years revealed that she is otherwise  in good health. Hu Juan is the only known Cutis laxa sufferer in China and one of ten worldwide.

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Scottish University Creates Fabric That Always Smells Like Whisky

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Johnnie Walker Whisky and Harris Tweed Hebrides, two of Scotland’s most iconic brands, teamed up with Heriot Watt University to create a new smart fabric that permanently smells like whisky. Because who doesn’t want their clothes smelling like booze all the time, right?

Recently launched in Berlin, the smelly fabric is said to have key notes of malt, vanilla, red fruits and dark chocolate tones, which closely resemble the aroma of Johnnie Walker Black Label.  “The unique scent, inspired by the nose of our liquid, echoes the masterful whisky production process. The key notes of rich malt, golden vanilla, red fruit and the trademark dark chocolate tones have been layered onto the fabric to achieve the unique final nose and finish of the Johnnie Walker Fabric of Flavour”, the famous spirit maker declared in a press release.  The colors of the fabric match the colors of the Johnnie Walker label (that is, black, gold, and off-white).

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The Seemingly Normal Dutch Village Where Everyone Suffers from Dementia

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The isolated Dutch village of Hogewey, located on the outskirts of the town of Weesp, has only 152 inhabitants who seem to be living a normal life – they eat, sleep, walk around the village and visit shops and restaurants. But in reality, every single one of them is being constantly watched. That’s because Hogewey is actually an elder care facility, and all of its residents suffer from dementia.

‘Dementia Village’ takes care to maintain the illusion that life is normal for the residents. The 152 patients have no idea that their home is a mental institution, nor that their living quarters are constantly monitored. Within the village, residents do not live in wards and there are no long hallways or corridors. Instead, they live in groups of six or seven to a house, with one or two caretakers. The homes are furnished according to the time period when the residents’ short-term memories stopped functioning properly – the 1950s, 1970s, and the 2000s, all accurate down to the tablecloths.

The residents are allowed to freely roam the grounds and admire its landscaped trees and fountains, or rest on the benches. Caretakers are stationed all over the village; 250 full and part time nurses and geriatric specialists wander the town as cashiers, grocery-store attendees, post-office clerks and more. Finances have simply been taken out of the equation, as everything is included in the family’s payment plan.

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Man Voluntarily Becomes Human Punching Bag to Save Son’s Life

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In order to raise money for the treatment of his leukemia-stricken son, a man in China turned himself into a human punching bag, offering passers-by in Beijing the chance to hit him in exchange for 10 yuan ($1.6).

The young father was first spotted on the streets of Beijing on November 27, wearing a t-shirt that read ” human punching bag, 10 yuan per punch”. In front of him there was a donation box covered with hospital diagnosis certificates that proved his son was suffering from leukemia, so that people could that this crazy way of raising money was for a good cause, and not just a stupid prank.

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Meet the 9-Year-Old Supermodel Dubbed “Most Beautiful Girl in the World”

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At age nine, Russian-born supermodel Kristina Pimenova has achieved what many women in their 20s and 30s long for – she has been named the most beautiful in the world by a reputed fashion magazine. She is undoubtedly a pretty child, but her popularity among adults is stirring up controversies. People are taking offence over her sexualization by ‘fans’ and the idea of referring to her as a ‘woman’.

Born to former footballer Rusian Pimenov and supermodel Gilkeriya Shirokova, Kristina has been modelling since the age of three. The little girl has an impressive portfolio of clients like Vogue, Armani and Dolce & Gabbana. According to her Facebook page, Kristina got into modelling while accompanying her mom on shoots. “Anywhere her mom would go, people would tell her how adorable Kristina was and tell her to try modelling. Her mom decided to try it out and Kristie soon realised how much fun it was, especially catwalk and fashion shows. She’s been having a blast ever since and is loving every minute of it!”

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French Author Rewrites the Bible as a Novel

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In a bid to deliver the tales of the Bible to all the cultures and religions of the world, French author Philippe Lechermeier has given the ancient text a makeover – he’s rewritten it as a fictional novel! He describes the book as a ‘spirit of cultural transmission without a religious message of faith or prayer’.

“For me this text stands for the common good,” the 46-year-old said. “Its sphere of influence could go well beyond religious boundaries. Its impact on our language, our psychology, our aesthetic, our morality is still very powerful.” He revealed that he grew up listening to his grandmother’s personalised versions of Biblical narratives, and this inspired him to transform stories in his own way.

Philippe, who happens to be an atheist, described the Old Testament as a ‘poorly written text from a literary point of view’. “When my children were small, I was trying to read them passages from the Bible. But it bothered them, especially because there are redundancies and inconsistencies.” So he wanted to make the Holy Book more accessible through good writing and elegant style that emphasize the depth of the characters.

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Australian Dad Lights Up Canberra with World’s Largest Christmas Lights Display

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When Australian lawyer David Richards started decorating his family home for Christmas four years ago, little did he know that the simple pastime would snowball into a huge passion. The father-of-three is now a self-proclaimed ‘crazy Christmas lights guy’.

Impressed with the display of lights at his home last year, Richards was invited to transform Petrie Plaza in Canberra’s Central Business District into an epic Christmas spectacle this year. And Richards has not disappointed – this year’s display consists of a whopping 120 kilometers of lights and over one million light bulbs. Petrie Plaza now features a 3-D image constructed of lights, covering more than 41,000 square feet, in the shape of three large Christmas presents.

The spectacular display has won Richards a place in the Guinness Book for the third time. He won the record last year when he decorated his home with 502,165 lights, and once before in 2011. “Christmas lights really get people into the festive spirit,” Richards told Guinness. “We decorated our home for years, and people came from everywhere to see our lights. This year, who knows how many people will come along?”

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