Czech Reality Show Recreates Life Under Nazi Rule, Sparks Controversy

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A Czech TV show is making waves for its controversial format, depicting the brutal lives of ordinary people under Nazi rule. The reality show, titled ‘Holiday in the Protectorate’, features a modern family living in recreated conditions of the German occupation during the WWII. A prize money of 1 million Czech Krunas (over $40,000) awaits the family if they manage to survive the two-month ordeal.

The three-generation family was selected after rigorous auditions in which 200 other families participated. The show was recorded in the summer of 2014, and the 8 hour-long episodes will be airing from May 23 to June 13. Although the family participated in normal tasks typical of that time period, like harvesting crops or milking cows, they also went through wartime struggles like food rationing, frequent hunger, simulated air raids, intimidation by Nazi informants, and interrogations by the Gestapo.

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This Man Has Been Taking Selfies Every Day for the Last 16 Years

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Long before selfies became a way of life, this Alaska man began to take pictures of himself every day. Now, 16 years later, Jonathan Keller has released an extraordinary time-lapse video consisting of a whopping 5,840 pictures of his face! The three-and-a-half minute video shows his transformation from a 22-year-old young adult to his current 39-year-old self.

Keller’s project, titled ‘Living My Life Faster’, began on October 1, 1998. Ever since, he’s been taking one picture of himself every single day, wearing the same emotionless expression. His goal, it seems, is to show that the daily changes to his appearance are almost insignificant when viewed in chronological order. But the ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures show that he has indeed aged visibly.



Artist Overcomes Her 100 Biggest Fears in Inspirational Project

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In a bid to live her life to the fullest, artist Michelle Poler has decided to face 100 biggest fears. She’s calling the project ‘100 Days Without Fear’ and her goal is to do one thing that scares her, every day for 100 days.

Originally from Venezuela, Michelle recently moved to New York to get a Master’s Degree in Branding at the School of Visual Arts. She revealed that the experience of living in the city inspired her to take on the project. “Trying to control New York has been a nightmare,” she said. “But what has really pushed me to pursue this project was not the controlled lifestyle I left behind, it is the frustration of not enjoying this city and life in general to the fullest.”



11-Year-Old Homeschooled Boy Graduates from College with 3 Different Degrees

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11-year-old child prodigy Tanishq Abraham is in the news for graduating from college with not one, not two, but three different degrees. The talented kid from California made headlines last year as well, for completing high school at the age of ten and earning a congratulatory letter from President Barack Obama. And now, just a year later, he’s finished college with three associate degrees.

Last week’s graduation ceremony at the American River College in Sacramento was attended by Tanishq’s parents – his mother Taji, a vet, and his father Bijou, a software engineer. His sister Tiara, also a child prodigy, was present as well. They cheered for Tanishq as he was awarded associate degrees in math and physical sciences, general science, and language studies. He wore a rainbow colored scarf that his grandmother had knit specially for the occasion, and a cap with his favorite Toy Story-quote: ‘To Infinity and Beyond.”



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

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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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Pakistani Company Allegedly Makes Millions Selling Fake University Diplomas

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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.



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

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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!



Pop-Up IKEA Cafe Serves Breakfast in Bed

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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.



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

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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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Canadian Scientist Uses Small Iron Fish to Save Lives in Cambodia

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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.



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

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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.


Anty Gin – World’s First Gin Made Using Ants

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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.



Californians Are Painting Their Lawns Green to Save Water During Record Drought

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California residents have come up with an innovative solution to brighten up their dry lawns, in the midst of their fourth year of drought: they’re painting their lawns green! The extreme measure became popular after statewide water restrictions were announced for the first time in history, in order to combat one of the region’s most devastating droughts.

The restriction leave average Californians with virtually no water for their lawns, but that hasn’t stopped them from wanting to keep their front and back yards looking green. Lots of them are now turning to lawn painting, which is a whole lot cheaper than artificial turf, at 25 cents per square foot. The service was once limited to athletic fields and golf courses, but is now being sought out homeowners, hoteliers, and wedding planners, among others.

The green dye is apparently plant based and completely harmless to humans and animals. It’s also water resistant, although no one would mind if a little rain were to wash it away. The effect lasts for about three months, after which the lawn has to be spray painted again.

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Man Invents Toilet Seats That Glow to Help You Go in the Dark

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When American man Dave Reynolds hurt himself in the bathroom one night, he decided that no one should ever have to go through the same ordeal. So he invented the world’s first glow-in-the-dark toilet seat that can be spotted and used safely in the dark. Thanks to his creation, you don’t need to worry about fumbling with the light switch or tripping in the dark anymore.

“It eliminates the problem of not knowing where you are or where you’re going,” said Reynolds, a former employee of Virgin Records. “This could help anyone from a grandparent to children.”

He first got the idea for the unique product when he suffered a bathroom mishap shortly after moving to Lebanon, Pennsylvania, in the fall of 2012. “I went to the bathroom one night and literally fell off the toilet in the dark,” he recalled. “On my way down, I felt something was wrong. I bounced off the toilet, fell to the ground and halfway into the bathtub. The next morning I was all banged and bruised and I told my family what had happened and, of course, they all laughed at me.”

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Obsessed Fan of “Friends” Lives His Life According to the Popular Sitcom

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A man in Beijing, China, is so obsessed with Friends that he’s transformed his entire life to mirror the iconic ’90s sitcom. He legally changed his name to Gunther, married a woman named Rachel (yay!), and named his son Joey. His apartment is decorated just like Joey and Chandler’s, he owns a real-life Central Perk cafe and even has a pet named Smelly Cat!

Beijing-based Gunther said that he first discovered Friends while going through a rough break-up. “My first love had left me,” he said. “Every day I was almost crying. One of my friends told me, ‘You have to watch Friends.’” So he ended up binge-watching the episodes, and it helped him get past the difficult time.

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