Van Girls – London’s All-Female Moving Company

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The Van Girls are London’s first and only all-female packing and moving service – mostly hired by women, but sometimes men as well. “Guys who hire us kind of think it’s quite novel… and are really surprised by how strong we are,” said founder Emma Lanman.

Lanman started Van Girls in 2011, when she quit her job at the fire brigade and decided to start a business of her own. She’d seen people get excited about female firefighters, and realised it was something of a novelty for a woman to be seen doing a ‘man’s job’. She also figured that lots of women might feel safer hiring an all-female moving service.

“I thought it might actually be a valuable service,” she said. And Lanman was right – it turns out that plenty of women who live alone or don’t live with men are a lot more comfortable hiring the Van Girls – not just for safety reasons but for that feminine touch! Like 68-year-old Jean Hewitson, who moved down the street with her daughter and granddaughter last year. “We’re an all-female household,” she explained. “I thought, yes I want women packing up my house. I thought they’d be more sympathetic to my belongings really, and I’d get on with them better.”

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Swiss Football Fan Travels to Italy for Game, Stays for 11 Years Living on the Streets

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Meet Rolf Bantle, a Swiss football fan who lived on the streets of Milan, Italy, for over a decade just because he lost his way after a match! 

As it turns out, Bantle used to be a resident of an alcoholics’ rehabilitation center in Läufelfingen in the canton of Basel-Country. He had been on a day trip to the San Siro stadium in Milan, on August 24, 2004, to watch his home team FC Basel play Inter Milan, in a Champions League match. But by the end of the match, he was reported missing, as he failed to show up at the bus that had transported him and his fellow Swiss football fans to the stadium. They left home without him.

Bantle, 71, recently told  a Swiss newspaper his version of events – he had visited the toilet at the stadium that fateful day, where he became disoriented and could not locate his friends. “I was suddenly in a different sector,” he said. “I had about 20 euros in my pocket and no phone so I wandered into Milan. People gave me food and cigarettes, and one student offered me a sleeping bag.” 

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Man Claims to Not Have Taken a Single Sip of Water or Other Liquids Since 2012

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We all know we need to drink water to survive, but one man claims he drank his last sip of water, or any kind of liquids for that matter, over three years ago. And, yes, he’s till very much alive.

Peter Filak, a former registered nurse and current webcam model, says he had his last sip of water on May 5th, 2012. He has had a few slips in the early days of his liquid-free lifestyle – some sodas and chocolate milks – but after managing to control his urges, he has relied solely on fruits and vegetables for his nutrition and hydration needs. “Especially as I went into a raw fruit and vegetable diet, I’d be waking up two to three times a night to pee. So it just didn’t make sense to me. I didn’t understand why I had to be drinking all that water,” Filak wrote on his website, More Apples a Day.

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People Are Hiring This Creepy Clown to Scare Misbehaving Children and Prank Their Friends

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Parents in Naples, Florida, can no rely on a new tool to teach their misbehaving children a lesson – a creepy 65-year-old clown called Wrinkles.

Sporting a scary clown mask, a polka dot onesie and black rubber gloves, Wrinkles is definitely an unnerving sight, which is exactly what he is going for and what makes him so popular. In the few years since he adopted this creepy persona, the 65-year-old man hiding behind the gloomy mask has carved out a niche for himself, either attending birthdays, bar mitzvahs, funerals or whatever kind of events that require the presence of a spooky clown with hollowed out black eyes. And business is good, as Wrinkles told local reporters that he is booked through January.

One of Wrinkles’ latest endeavors involves scaring misbehaving children out of their minds.  He was recently hired by a mother to teach her trouble-making 12-year-old son a lesson. “He was scared of clowns and I showed up across the street from him at the bus stop and he just started crying in front of his friends and ran home,” the creepy-looking character said. “His mother called back a few days later and said ‘Thank you!’ Now when he acts bad, she just has to ask him: ‘Do you want Wrinkles to come back?’ ”

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One-Year-Old Brazilian Boy Bites Venomous Pit Viper to Death

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Vipers are usually the ones who do the biting, but a one-year-old boy from Brazil gave the venomous snake a taste of its own medicine, biting it on the head and killing it.

17-month-old Lorenzo was playing with the family dog in the garden of his home, in the town of Mostardas, Brazil’s Rio Grande do Sul state, when he apparently came face to face with a pit viper. His mother Jaine Ferreira Figueira, who was doing some work inside the house, heard some noises and turned around to go check on the boy, only to see him in the room with a snake in his mouth and blood on his clothes. She instinctively shouted for her husband Lucier. They quickly got in their car and took Lorenzo to the Sao Luiz hospital, some 175 km from Porto Alegre, but not before putting the snake in a jar, so doctors could identify it and administer the right anti-venom.

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New Company Lets You Test Drive a Tattoo Design Before Having It Permanently Inked

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Why should ‘test drives’ be limited to cars? Momentary Ink, a Philadelphia-based startup has introduced the concept to tattoos as well – they provide highly realistic temporary tattoos that look and feel like real ink, so people can be sure they like them before making a permanent decision.

According to Momentary Ink founder Jordan Denny, the business is a response to people’s growing desire to get tattoos that are meaningful and symbolic. “People are getting rid of these cookie-cutter tattoos and really getting into more meaningful, complex, often custom design,” he told Mashable. “It really calls for a thoughtful decision, and requires a lot more of a flexible tattoo process.”

“We want to make it easier to visualize something much more powerful and meaningful to people before they get it done,” he added. “When it comes to the type of tattoos that people are getting today, it’s a lot harder to visualize and get on the paper exactly what you’re thinking. We allow them to really visualize what this thing is going to look like as an exact replica before they get it done.”

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Hardcore Gamer Completes Popular Video Game ‘The Legend of Zelda’ Blindfolded

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Drew Wissler, a.k.a Runnerguy2489, is the new superstar of the gaming world for his impressive feat of completing an entire video game (with all its levels and challenges) blindfolded. After 103 hours of sightless gameplay, he finally defeated the classic game The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on October 14. Thousands of fans who watched the live stream were overcome with emotion after the monumental finish. Wissler himself reported that he “couldn’t stop shaking”.

Wissler, a speedrunning champion, was always obsessed with how quickly he could zip through video games. “I’m a runner in real life so I always compare it with that. How fast I can go,” the young civil engineer told The Daily Dot. It wasn’t until 2007, when he came across a blind player looking for help to complete Ocarina of Time that he got interested in blindfolded play. “It seemed a neat challenge and I thought I could help him out,” he said.

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The Guerrilla Grafting Movement – Secretly Grafting Fruit-Bearing Branches onto Ornamental City Trees

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There is a group of fruit lovers in San Francisco that practice something known as “guerrilla grafting” –  they graft fruit bearing branches onto fruitless, ornamental trees across the Bay Area city. Having access to free fruit sounds like a wonderful idea, considering the number of homeless people who can rarely afford a decent meal, but guerrilla grafting is actually illegal.

In many metropolitan areas, urban foresters make sure that flowering fruit trees don’t bear any fruit, in order to keep fallen fruit from making a mess on sidewalks and attracting vermin. Most public trees are fruitless, a fact that the Guerilla Grafters obviously don’t like. While authorities see urban fruit-bearing trees as a nuisance, these agricultural rebels see them as an opportunity to provide fresh, healthy produce for free to anyone who walks by.

According to their Facebook page, “Guerrilla Grafters is a grassroots group that sees a missed opportunity for cities to provide a peach or a pear to anyone strolling by. Their objective is to restore sterile city trees into fruit-bearers by grafting branches from fertile trees. The project may not resolve food scarcity, but it helps foster a habitat that sustains us.” Their mission, they say is to make delicious, nutritious fruit available to urban residents through these grafts.

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Man Sells House and Company to Bond with His Daughter While Traveling Around the World

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In a bid to spend more time with his daughter and get to know her better, a Shanghai dad sold his two million yuan ($300,000) house and his share of the company that he co-founded. He is now using the money to travel the world for five years, along with his two-year-old girl.

“If I don’t keep her company now, I will lose the chance after she grows up,” Zhu Chunxiao said. According to news reports, Zhu, who is of Korean descent, lived and worked in Shanghai for the past 10 years. As a successful entrepreneur he lived a comfortable life, but he decided to give it all up to give his daughter a taste of the real world. So after three months of careful planning, he sold all his assets and decided to take off for the next five years.

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Man Claims He Made $15 Million Fortune by Retrieving Lost Golf Balls

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14 years ago, out-of-work thief Glenn Berger was struck by a crazy idea that would turn out to make him a millionaire. He decided to dive in lakes across the golf-course rich state of Florida, looking for lost golf balls. He now fishes out about 1.3 to 1.7 million balls a year, and claims to have amassed a fortune of about $15 million so far!

“I was partially unemployed and I was stealing golf balls out of a golf course lake where I lived and I realised that wasn’t the way to make money,” he said. So he started to sell the balls at a minimum of $1 each – a decision that has paid off handsomely over the years.

One of the reasons the balls fetch so much money is the risk that scouring golf course ponds involves. Berger faces loads of underwater dangers and challenges on a daily basis – he’s encountered tables, golf carts, lawn mowers, snakes, and the worst of all, alligators. He always makes sure to look carefully before leaping into a water hazard, but he still bumps into alligators sometimes. “One time I felt my arm in an alligator’s mouth,” he says. “I couldn’t see anything, but I almost flew out of the water. There was no blood, so I think the gator just mouthed me without biting down.”

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The Birdman of Chennai – Indian Man Feeds 4,000 Parakeets Every Single Day

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62-year-old Sekar has earned himself the nickname ‘Birdman of Chennai’ for his remarkable generosity towards thousands of parakeets. Every day, he hosts a grand feast for 4,000 of the exotic birds at his home in Chennai, India.

Sekar’s unusual interaction with the birds began after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. He had noticed a pair of displaced parrots near his back porch, and proceeded to feed them some rice from his kitchen. This continued for a few days and the birds nested nearby, eventually multiplying to thousands.

Sekar, a camera repairman by profession, now spends about 40% of his income feeding the birds. He rises early every day to cook giant pots of rice, which he then spreads on special wooden planks laid in neat rows on the roof of his house. 

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Bizarre “Death Experience” School Helps Depressed Koreans Appreciate Life by Locking Them in Coffins

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A new treatment for suicidal patients in South Korea involves locking them up in wooden coffins.  The fake “death experience” apparently helps students appreciate life better after confronting a simulated version of their last moments. 

The rate of suicide in Korea is on the rise, with about 40 people killing themselves every day. Experts believe that the nation’s super-competitive atmosphere is responsible for so many cases of depression and suicide. And according to the Seoul Hyowon Healing Center, the solution to this crisis lies in their ‘death experience’ therapy. 

Participants at the centre come from all walks of life, including teenagers who struggle with pressure at school, older parents experiencing isolation, and the elderly who are afraid of becoming a financial burden on their families. They all don white robes and get into coffins arranged in rows. Beside each coffin is a small desk with pens and paper. Students sit inside the coffins and listen to a short talk by Jeong Yong-mun, a former funeral worker who is now the head of the healing centre. He explains to them that they should accept their problems as a part of life and try to find joy in the most difficult situations.

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Marathon Runner-Up Faces Fraud Charges for Only Running Half a Mile of 26 Mile Race

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In a bizarre turn of events, the second place winner at the Nairobi International Marathon last Sunday was arrested for blatant cheating. Julius Njogu apparently stayed hidden among the crowd for most of the 26-mile race before joining the other runners for about half a mile, on the last stretch and laying claim to the $7,000 prize money.  

Unfortunately for him, race officials caught on rather quickly – they noticed that he showed no signs of fatigue or sweat as he breezed passed the other runners to the finish line, despite having supposedly run 42 miles. The 28-year-old was spotted jogging effortlessly as he crossed fellow runner Shadrack Kiptoo to come in second. When they investigated the issue, they realised that he hadn’t run the race at all.

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Indian Cook Can Dip Hands in Boiling Oil without Pain or Injury

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Prem Kumar, from New Delhi, India, regularly shocks people with his high tolerance to heat – the man can fry fish with his bare hands, dipping them into and out of a wok of boiling oil. The 65-year-old runs a street food stall in Karol Bagh, where he serves fried fish to thousands of customers each day. Most of them come just to watch him perform the rare feat of nonchalantly plunging his fingers into hot oil.

Kumar sells about 150 kilograms of deep-fried fish every day, along with other north-Indian delicacies like seekh kabab, mutton tikka, paneer tikka, and tandoori aloo. But a trip to his eatery is incomplete without witnessing Kumar prepare fish with his now-famous heat proof fingers. “I do not fry fish with hands all the time, it’s only when customers ask me for it,” he said. “I normally use kitchen utensils like tongs, but with people coming from all across India and requesting me to do hand frying, I cannot say no.”

Kumar claims to have inherited his special skill from his father, who opened the roadside eatery in 1960. Miraculously, the father-son duo have never suffered a single burn or blister during all these years of business. But Kumar says there’s no magic involved and attributes it to years of practice. “This is no miracle or gift of God,” he insisted. “As a child, I saw my father doing it and got curious how he could pull off that feat. I started with dipping my one finger in the boiling oil, then two, and so on. I realised that it did not cause any burns or injury whatsoever. Over the years, I built up confidence and now it as is easy for me as breathing.”

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This Amazing Seattle Preschool Also Doubles as an Elderly Nursing Home

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A facility in Seattle has come up with an innovative way of caterung to both the very young and the old.  They’ve paired up a preschool with an elderly nursing home, so that the children and the 400-odd residents at the home have an amazing time with each other.

The preschool, called the Intergenerational Learning Center, is located within Providence Mount St. Vincent senior care center in West Seattle. For five days a week, the kids interact with the residents in fun activities like dancing, art, music, lunch, storytelling, or sometimes just visiting.

According to Evan Briggs, a filmmaker and adjunct professor at Seattle University, who is planning to make a film about the unique center, the elders undergo a “complete transformation in the presence of the children.” She noticed that just moments before the kids came in, some of them seemed half alive. “It was a depressing scene. As soon as the kids walked in for art or music or making sandwiches for the homeless or whatever the project that day was, the residents came alive.”

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