The Sisters of the Valley – California’s Famous Pot-Growing Nuns

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The Sisters of the Valley is a highly unusual ‘order’ of cannabis-growing nuns, made up of only two members – Sister Kate and Sister Darcy. Their ‘abbey’ is a three-bedroom house on the outskirts of Merced, California, where they actually cultivate weed in a garage.

Although they aren’t members of any religious order, Sister Kate and Sister Darcy call themselves nuns. They dress modestly – in long denim skirts, white collared shirts, and nun’s habits – and for the past one year, their self-determined spiritual quest has been to heal illnesses with the help of marijuana. Using cannabinoids (CBD, the medicinal component of weed that is not psychoactive), they have been making tinctures and salves in their kitchen and selling the products through their Etsy store.

“We make CBD oil which takes away seizures, and a million other things,” said Sister Kate, who originally set up the business and later took on Sister Darcy as an apprentice. “And we make a salve, that’s a multipurpose salve… and we found out that it cures migraines, hangovers, earaches, diaper rash, toothaches. We spend no time on bended knee, but when we make our medicine it’s a prayerful environment, it’s a prayerful time.”

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Smell Dating Service Matches People Based on Solely on Their Odor

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Smell undoubtedly contributes to a person’s attractiveness, but could it be the sole deciding factor in choosing a partner? Well, the creators of this New York matchmaking service decided to find out. At ‘Smell Dating’, the world’s “first mail odor dating service”, single people are paired up based on their reaction to each other’s body odor.

Created by Tega Brain, artist and teacher at New York’s School for Poetic Computation, and Sam Lavigne, an editor and researcher at New York University, Smell Dating is described more as an art project than a business. They based the project on the science behind pheromones, which are chemical signals that different species send out to attract mates. “Unlike sight and sound, smell is interpreted first in terms of memory and emotion before being mapped to language,” the project website reads. “When it comes to long-term romantic partnership, it may actually be riskier to ignore the powerful signal of scent than to rely on it.”

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‘Blackout’ Tattoo Trend Has People Blacking Out Large Areas of Their Bodies

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A bizarre new tattooing trend has people covering large patches of their skin with solid black ink. These ‘blackout tattoos’ are all the rage in Singapore, with an increasing number of youngsters getting their arms, legs, and even portions of their torso, inked black.

Chester Lee, a tattoo artist at Oracle Tattoo studio in Singapore, is apparently an expert of sorts in blackout tattoos. His Instagram page features several photographs of completed works, earning him thousands of likes. Some of them are entirely black, while others consist of intricate black drawings of everyday objects or Gothic symbols on the negative space between black patches.

The arm pieces usually have a large portion of the skin blacked out, fading away at the edges. While some people have had a portion of their legs covered in black, others have gone all out with the ‘legging’ effect. A few have inked their entire bodies, with only slim lines of natural skin color showing through.

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Doctor with No Legs Wears Out 24 Wooden Stools in 15 Years of Making House Calls

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Despite having had her legs amputated at a very young age, Li Juhong somehow managed to fulfill her dream of becoming a doctor. The 37-year-old has been treating patients for the past 15 years in her hometown of Wadian village, in southwest China’s Chongqing province.

Li was only four years old when she was involved in a tragic accident – a truck ran over her and her legs were crushed under its tires. The only way to save her life was to amputate them. But Li, an incredibly resilient child, didn’t lose hope. She was determined to stay mobile and by age eight, she taught herself to move using her hands and two wooden benches for support.

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Tough 9-Year-Old Girl Completes 24-Hour Obstacle Course Designed by US Navy SEALs

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She’s probably not done shedding her baby teeth, but 9-year-old Milla Bizzotto is tougher than most adults. The four-foot-tall, 53-pound third grader from South Florida recently shocked the world with her incredible physical fitness, becoming the youngest person in the world to complete the 24-hour Battlefrog Xtreme race, an outdoor fitness event designed by Navy SEALs.  

“I don’t want to play video games,” she explained in an interview with The Miami Herald. “I don’t want to hoverboard. I don’t want to do things to make life easier. I want to be comfortable being uncomfortable. I have one body and it’s all I want and all I love.”

“I’m fearless,” she added. “And knowing I’m inspiring people makes me more fearless. It is hard, but that doesn’t stop me.”

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Father of 35 Wants to Reach 100 Children to Secure Place in Heaven

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Jan Mohammad, a doctor from Pakistan, is on a mission to produce 100 offspring, an achievement that he believes will earn him a place in heaven. The 43-year-old already has 35 children from three wives, and is now ready to marry a fourth woman to speed up the process. 

“I want to have 100 children, as the prophet had said that those who increase the number of followers (of Islam) will never go to hell,” he said, speaking to Pakistan newspaper DAWN, from his hometown of Quetta, in Pakistan. “With the grace of God, my children will help me go to heaven.”

Mohammad’s current wives – Bibi Naz Gul, 32, Noor Bibi, 28, and Hayat Bibi, 25 – have borne him a total of 14 boys and 21 girls so far. Two of the baby girls were born only a few weeks ago to two of his wives, but the doctor has already made plans marry again. “The bigger the family, the better,” he explained. “I hope to find a fourth wife I can marry soon.”

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Beirut’s Stinking River of Trash

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From afar it might look like a pathway of white pebbles snaking its way through the cosmopolitan capital of Lebanon, but it’s actually just a landfill overflowing with stinking garbage bags. Nicknamed ‘river of garbage’, this urban monstrosity stretches hundreds of meters through the Jdeideh municipality in the city’s suburbs.

The problem apparently began in July last year, when authorities closed down the main landfill site that collected the city’s garbage. Since they did not provide an alternate garbage dumping site, rising mounds of garbage started appearing on the streets of Beirut. In Jdeideh, a makeshift dumpyard was created four months ago near a few residential buildings, where people tossed all their garbage. It has grown in size since then, resulting in the unsightly ‘trash river’ that now stands testament to the city’s garbage crisis and the nation’s dysfunctional politics. “This used to be such a beautiful place, but look at it now. We can’t even walk by it,” one local told reporters, in February.

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Pay to Pray – Guy Makes Over $7 Million Charging People for Prayers Online

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Between 2011 and 2015, Seattle “businessman” Benjamin Rogovy made millions of dollars by taking advantage of people’s religious beliefs. Through his website, ChristianPrayerCenter.com, he led people to believe that ministers and religious leaders would pray for them if they paid between $9 and $35 for the service. He managed to convince hundreds of thousands of people to participate in the scam, becoming the sole recipient of all their donations.

To make the internet scam seem genuine, Rogovy posed as Pastor John Carlson, a fictitious character with a professional-looking LinkedIn profile. He created other fake profiles for ministers who could provide private consultations and perform religious ceremonies through ChristianPrayerCenter.com and its Spanish version, OracionCristiana.org. Both websites contained fake testimonials of people who, with the help of his prayers, had been able to avoid home foreclosures, win the lottery, have healthy babies, and even be cured of HIV.  The scheme worked perfectly for four very profitable years, and at the height of its popularity, Rogovy’s pay-to-pray service had a whopping 1,289,120 likes on Facebook. People posted all their prayers online and sent money in hopes that it would lead to small miracles.

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Compassionate Store Manager Offers Shoplifter a Job Instead of Calling Police

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After catching a shoplifter trying to steal from a Tesco hypermarket in Malaysia, the store manager chose not to turn the man in to the police, but actually offer him a job at the very same store!

It turns out that the shoplifter, a 31-year-old father of three, had stolen food worth RM27 (about $7) out of sheer desperation, to feed his hungry children. “I had quit my job as a contract worker after my wife fell into a coma during a birth complication last week,” he told the local media. “She is still warded at the Bukit Mertajam hospital.”

The man, who is currently living with his relatives in the city, said he was walking back home after visiting his wife in the hospital, when he happened to pass by the Tesco hypermarket. His two-year-old son was hungry and tired, so they decided to go inside. “After walking for more than an hour, we went to the food section and I grabbed the pears, apples, and a few bottles of drinks.” Unfortunately, he was caught while leaving the store, and later interrogated by general manager Radzuan Ma’asan.

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Law Graduate Sues Former School after Failing to Find Job as a Lawyer

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Despite having graduated from Thomas Jefferson School of Law, in the top tier of her class, in 2008, Anna Alaburda still hasn’t been able to find work as a lawyer. The disgruntled 37-year-old is now blaming her alma mater for the unfortunate situation, claiming that the school manipulated the employment statistics of its graduates in a bid to lure students. She’s suing them, hoping to recover the $170,000 she still owes in student loans.

In an ideal situation, working as a lawyer would have more than made up for the cost of Alaburda’s law degree. But since her graduation in 2008, she claims that she’s only served part-time positions and temp jobs reviewing documents for law firms. In her lawsuit she mentions that if she’d known what was in store for her after graduation, she would have never attended the school. Anna also pointed out that the average student debt at Thomas Jefferson was about $137,000 in 2008, but the school’s bar passage rate has been consistently lower than 50 percent.

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Seeded Massage Bar Is Causing Plants to Grow in Users’ Showers

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This seeded soap bar from UK-based cosmetic company Lush is as organic as it gets – some of its the ingredients are so natural, they can actually sprout plants in your shower!

The ‘Wiccy Magic Muscles’ massage bar produced by the company contains several aduki beans, which are obviously still alive and able to germinate. So when customers use the bar, and some of the beans fall away from it, they sometimes get lodged in nooks and crannies of the shower where they get enough water to start sprouting little shoots.

Lots of users have been tweeting about finding tiny plants growing in their shower ever since they started using the soap. “One of the coffee beans from my Lush massage bar fell into the sink and a PLANT GREW FROM IT,” one woman tweeted.

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Greek Man Provides Free Wi-Fi to Thousands of Refugees Near His Home

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Thousands of refugees set up in a camp near the Greek village of Idomeni now have free access to Wi-Fi, thanks to an enterprising electrical engineer named Ilias Papadopoulos. Concerned that these people had no means of communicating with their loved ones either at home or waiting for them in other countries, he built a Wi-Fi station inside an old trailer, in September last year.

Papadopoulos got the idea for providing the refugee camp with free Wi-Fi when he first visited Idomeni in August to see if he could be of any help. The village is an hour’s drive away from the city of Thessaloniki, where Papadopoulos lives. When he arrived at the camp, he realised that most refugees had smartphones, but none of them had access to SIM cards or an internet connection. He realised that communication was very critical for the refugees, so he set about building a Wi-Fi station from scratch.

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Nike Unveils Self-Lacing Sneakers Inspired by Back to the Future

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In 1989, when shoe designer Tinker Hatfield created the futuristic, self-lacing Nike Air Mag for Back to the Future II, he probably didn’t think they would become a reality during his lifetime. But 15 years after the film’s release, they’re finally here! 

The hype began on Back to the Future Day, in October 2015, when Nike teamed up with Michael J. Fox to release a teaser of the self-lacing Mags. Fans still weren’t sure of what to expect, but at the Nike Innovation Summit last week, the company finally announced that they will indeed be mass producing shoes featuring real-life adaptive lacing. They will be called the Nike HyperAdapt 1.0.

The shoes, which automatically tighten once you out them on, were developed over several years by Nike senior innovator Tiffany Beers and her team. She began by meeting with Hatfield, who first dreamed of making adaptive lacing a reality, and he told her to figure out the technology from scratch instead of trying to replicate his Back to the Future idea. So Beers brainstormed with a group of engineers, testing out a wide range of theories before coming up with the technology for HyperAdapt.

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Brazilian Company Launches Maternity Clothing Imbued with Mosquito Repellent to Combat Zika Virus Scare

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Megadose, a Brazilian company that designs maternity clothes, has released a new line of anti-Zika apparel. These clothes are made of a special fabric that is infused with a natural mosquito repellent called citronella and are designed to help pregnant women avoid contracting the dreaded Zika virus.

Ever since the Zika outbreak spread across the Pacific to the Americas and reached pandemic levels in 2015, people in these are being regions are being asked to cover up well and use mosquito repellents at all times. There is no vaccine or medication to prevent getting infected, so the only way to stay safe for now is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.  

While Zika fever itself has mild symptoms and is treated by rest, it can cause birth defects to the fetus if contracted by pregnant women. In fact, the governments of some countries like Colombia, Ecuador, and El Salvador have recommended that women postpone getting pregnant until more discoveries are made about the risks. But for those who are already pregnant, Megadose is trying to provide a viable solution.

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Grieving Mother Dedicates Her Life to Planting Millions of Trees in Memory of Her Son

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Meet Yi Jiefeng, a Shanghai woman who has helped plant millions of saplings in Inner Mongolia, over the past 12 years. Her goal is to reforest the arid Alashan Desert while keeping alive the memory of her son who passed away 16 years ago.

In the year 2000, Yi’s only son, Yang Ruizhe, was killed in a road accident in Japan, and the tragic incident left her a shattered woman. But she eventually found a way to deal with the grief by devoting her own life to fulfilling her son’s dream. Ruizhe had told her about his plans to plant trees in northern China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous region in order to stop the advancing desert, so Yi decided to fulfill his dream herself. “He was fond of nature since he was a little boy,” she said. “He was concerned about natural things such as wind, rain, plants, and animals.”

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