The Mysterious “Binary Bandits” of Philadelphia

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In what has been described as one of the most bizarre strings of petty crimes ever recorded, dozens of people in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood have been reporting the theft of their house numbers. Interestingly, in all cases, only the “1” and “0” have been taken, which has earned the yet-to-be-identified thieves the nickname “binary bandits”.

You might not notice what’s missing from dozens of houses in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia, but for those living there, it has been the main topic of discussion for the past two weeks. Someone is stealing the “1” and “0” from people’s house numbers and nobody seems to know why. There has been speculation about artists planing to use the numbers as part of an installation, or someone trying to send a message, but as for actual explanations, everyone, including the police, is drawing a blank.

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Chinese Couple Have Been Living in a Cave for the Past 54 Years

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Unable to afford a proper home after getting married, a Chinese couple moved into a mountain cave near the city Nanchong, and have been living there for the past 54 years.

81-year-old Liang Zifu and 77-year-old Li Suying found the cave three years after their wedding, and since they couldn’t afford to buy a real house, decided to make it their home and start a family there. In the beginning, they shared the unusual abode with three other families, who have since moved out, as have the couple’s four children, but the two elderly cave-dwellers won’t even consider leaving. After their story went viral in Chinese media, local authorities tried to persuade them to move out and even offered to provide them with a more comfortable house, but they flat-out refused.

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English Engineer Performs Surgery on Himself After Being Put on Waiting List

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Graham Smith, an engineer from Lancashire, England, was recently in the news for performing surgery on himself to remove eight millimeters of stitches left by surgeons inside his body years ago, after operations to correct it were cancelled twice.

Smith had underwent bowel surgery 15 years ago, and was left with stitches protruding through the skin on his abdomen. He first brought up the issue with the hospital where he had the original surgery in 2011, but he was put on a waiting list and an operation to fix the problem was cancelled twice. Rather than waiting for his turn and risk of dying of septicaemia, the crafty engineer decided to operate on himself, using modified titanium instruments he sourced from a dentist friend.

“I tried to do it through the normal channels… but I had septicaemia,” Mr. Smith told the BBC. “I didn’t make the decision lightly – I was desperate, but I had to take control of it and I was not prepared to sit and die on a waiting list.”

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Tiny Device Claims to Heat Your Room for 10 Cents a Day

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Egloo is a clever little terracotta heater that harnesses the power of tealights to heat spaces up to 20 square feet for as little as 10 cents a day, without using any electricity.

Developed by Marco Zagaria, a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome, Egloo is both cheap to use and eco-friendly. Made up of two small terracotta domes and a metal tray, the device takes advantage of the natural heating ability of these materials, drawing heat from just four tealights placed inside it and releasing it in your living space. As the candles burn inside, the distinct dome shape of the innovative heater allows it to gradually heat up and radiate the heat, while the small hole on top keeps combustion going and and also releases some of the heat, allowing it to spread throughout the room.

“Egloo is conceived for contrasting continuous waste of electricity used for warming domestic rooms, offering, as an option, a candle-powered way that provides a cheaper and more ecological energy,” the product’s website states. “It takes advantage of features of terracotta that stores the heat and slowly and gradually releases it by radiation, even after it blows out.”

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Meet the Japanese Cheerleader Troupe with an Average Age of 70

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Japan Pom Pom is a unique cheerleading troupe made up of 28 vivacious members whose ages range from 55 to late 80’s. These energetic grandmas have been engaging in their glamorous hobby for the last two decades and show no sign of stopping anytime soon.

84-year-old Fumie Tanako is the founder of Japan Pom Pom and an active member of the group. She says that she would not have had the confidence to pick up cheerleading in her youth, but became emboldened by major life changes that occurred during middle age. When she was 53, Fumie decided to travel to Texas to study. It was against her dying mother’s wishes, but her children supported her decision. Then, in her early 60’s, her relationship with her husband began to fall apart, and ultimately ended. It was around this time that she found her calling in life – cheerleading. Mesmerized by the impressive array of moves performed by professional American cheerleaders, she immediately rounded up five elderly girlfriends and started practicing. Two decades later, their troupe is still going strong.

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Norwegian Rocker Forced to Serve on Local Council after Accidentally Winning Election

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Gylve Nagell, a member of a Norwegian rock band, only agreed to run for local councilor in his hometown of Kolbotn only as a backup, thinking it would help boost voter turnout. He never wanted to win, and to make sure he didn’t, Nagell’s campaign posters showed him holding his pet cat, with the caption “Please Don’t Vote for Me”. It didn’t work the way he had planned.

Gylve, better known as Fenriz, half of Norwegian heavy metal band Darkthrone, will be required to attend important council meetings and listen to his constituents’ complaints, after winning a seat on the Kolbotn local council. The news came as a huge surprise to the young musician, as he claims he only agreed to run after officials in Kolbotn asked him to do it in an effort to boost voter numbers. “Basically, they called and asked if I wanted to be on the list [of backup representatives]. I said yeah, thinking I would be like 18th on the list and I wouldn’t really have to do anything,” he told music site Clrvynt.

He never made any effort to win, but as the actual election approached, Fenriz says he started to get a feeling that he might actually end up a councilor against his will. So he tried to very openly sabotage his own campaign by using a photo of himself holding his pet cat with the caption “Please Don’t Vote for Me” as a poster. But his hometown was apparently so impressed by his lack of interest for the official position that they voted for him overwhelmingly. “People just went nuts,” as he puts it.

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Teen Sues Parents for Posting Embarrassing Childhood Photos of Her on Facebook

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An 18-year-old girl from Austria is taking her parents to court for posting over 500 photos of her on Facebook since 2009, without her permission.

The unnamed girl from Austria’s Carinthia state has apparently become fed up with her parents refusal to take down intimate and embarrassing photos of her dating back to when she was a toddler, and is now seeking justice in court. She told Ganze Woche magazine that even though she was 11 years old when her parents started sharing photos of her with several hundreds of Facebook friends, they went as far as to post pics of her as a toddler, without ever asking if it was alright with her. “They knew no shame and no limit – and didn’t care whether it was a picture of me sitting on the toilet or lying naked in my cot – every stage was photographed and then made public,” the young plaintiff said.

Referred to as Anna Meier (name changed by magazine editors under Austrian privacy laws), the girl added that she was only able to see the photos posted on Facebook by her parents when she was 14, after setting up her own account on the world’s most popular social network. Angry and upset, Anna asked her mother and father to remove the over 500 photos of her immediately, but they refused. She kept asking them over the years, but faced with constant refusal, she felt that she had no other way to coerce them than taking them to court. Which she did as soon as she turned 18, this year. “I’m tired of not being taken seriously by my parents,” she said.

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Chinese Schools Crack Down on Trendy Haircuts with Barbers at the Gates

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Faced with the adoption of trendy foreign hairstyles by a growing number of students, Chinese schools are coming up with desperate measures to enforce their strict haircut policies. The latest of these measures involves posting barbers at the school gates to trim long or dyed hair on the spot.

Chinese students returning from their summer break with new haircuts to show off to their colleagues were greeted with a really nasty surprise right at the school entrance – a barber ready to trim any hairdos that didn’t comply with regulations. Photos posted by students of the Qinhan Secondary School, in Xi’an, China’s Shaanxi province, show kids walking by piles of freshly cut hair and a scissors-wielding barber working his magic on an offender.

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The People Walker of Los Angeles

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A young Los Angeles actor in need of a second job to pay his bills has come with a brilliant way to supplement his income – people walking.

Chuck McCarthy originally considered becoming a dog walker to earn some extra cash, but soon realized that the job required more than walking canines on a leash. “I didn’t want to pick up dog poop, and that’s kind of what you’really being paid for, for dog walking,” he said. But people don’t usually poop when they’return out on walks, so after taking dogs and leashes out of the equation, Chuck realized there was money to be made waking people around Los Angeles instead.

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People Are Paying to Get into This Indian Jail and Live Like a Prisoner for a Day

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The colonial-era District Central Jail in Sangareddy, India, is giving people the chance to live like an inmate for a day, in exchange for a small fee.

“Feel the Jail” is an innovative initiative created by the the Prisons Department of Telangana district that allows people to experience the feeling of being under detention for a period of 24 hours. During their stay, voluntary inmates are provided with prison uniforms, steel meal plate and glass, soap as well as other facilities according to the prison manual, and are expected to follow the day-to-day routines of regular prisoners, including spending time in their cells and eating prison food.

Although there is no official work schedule for visiting inmates, they have to earn their keep during their stay, so when they are allowed to leave their grated cells, they are required to clean the barracks and plant saplings.

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The Eye – A Mysterious Rotating Island in Argentina

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Located near the northeastern edge of Argentina, in the swampy marshes of Parana Delta, is an enigmatic floating island that allegedly rotates on its own axis. Nicknamed “The Eye”, the nearly perfect circular island has become the subject of an upcoming documentary that will try to unravel the mystery of its existence.

The Eye was discovered six months ago by Argentine film director & producer Sergio Neuspillerm, who was looking for filming locations for a film about paranormal occurrences, like ghost and alien sightings, in the area. After spotting the unusually round island surrounded by an equally round body of water on Google Earth, Neuspillerm and his crew knew they had stumbled upon something truly special, so they abandoned their original film project and decided to focus on this mystery instead.

“When locating this reference in the map we discovered something unexpected that left the film project in the background, we call it ‘The Eye’,” Neuspillerm said in a video. “The Eye is a circle of land surrounded by a thin channel of water with a diameter of 130 yards. Both circles [the water and land] are so perfect that it is hard to believe that this is a natural formation.”

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This Fidget Cube Is the Perfect Toy for Your Restless Fingers

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Whether it’s clicking pens, flipping paper clips or just playing with our fingers, most of love to fidget. It’s not the most productive habit, but at least now we’ll be able to do it in style, with an ingenious little toy called the Fidget Cube.

The Fidget Cube is a pocket-size desk toy created by brothers  Matthew and Mark McLachlan as a way to change how fidgeting is perceived in society. “It’s not uncommon to hear fidgeting being spoken about negatively. It’s often labeled as unprofessional and deemed as anti-intellectual behavior.But in reality, the exact opposite has been suggested to be the case,” the two wrote on their product’s Kickstarter page. “We believe that the way we look at fidgeting needs to change. This behavior isn’t one that should continue to be stigmatized and mocked as unbecoming or inappropriate. We are passionate about the idea that fidgeting is a process that, with the right tools and outlet, can have positive and real-life applications.”

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Man Gets 40 Years in Jail after Rejecting Plea That Would Have Set Him Free Immediately

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Raymond Lindsey Jr, of Montgomery County, Texas, was recently sentenced to 40 years in prison after rejecting a plea bargain that would have allowed him to go free.

Lindsey had been charged with assault on a public servant and retaliation, following an incident that occurred on January 5, 2015. Houston Police Department officers were dispatched to an apartment in Southeast Montgomery County for a possible domestic disturbance, where they encountered an aggressive Lindsey and his scared girlfriend. While they waited for the woman to pack up her belongings and leave the premises, the officers claimed that the defendant individually claimed to kill them. He then proceeded to destroy various items in the apartment, including a bird cage with a live bird inside, and when the police attempted to arrest him he assaulted one of the officers by slamming the door on his arm multiple times.

Lindsey had spent the 19 months since the domestic violence incident in jail, before appearing in front of jurors in the 9th District Court of Judge Phil Grant, two weeks ago. His defense attorney had explained to him that if he accepted to plead guilty to the charges he would be released on the spot, with time served. But the man simply wouldn’t hear of it, believing that he was innocent and that everybody had conspired against him.

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This Man Would Rather Be in Jail Than at Home with His Wife

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A 70-year-old man recently tried to rob a Kansas City bank to allegedly get himself arrested, because being in jail beats living with his wife.

Lawrence John Ripple walked into the Bank of Labor at 756 Minnesota Ave., in Kansas City, and passed a note to the teller, which read “I have a gun, give me money.” According to court documents, the teller complied, but instead of making a quick escape, Ripple simply took the money and sat down in the bank lobby. When a security guard approached him, the quirky bank robber simply said he was “the guy he was looking”. After relieving Ripple of the stolen $3,000, the guard notified the police, who arrived on the scene shortly, considering their headquarters are located on the same block.

During questioning, investigators learned that Ripple had argued with his wife and he “no longer wanted to be in that situation.” In the affidavit filed in support of the robbery charge, and FBI agent wrote that “Ripple wrote out his demand note in front of his wife … and told her he’d rather be in jail than at home.”

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Student Earns Whole Class a Perfect Score on Chemistry with Epic Paper Ball Toss

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An Ohio State University student became the most popular kid in school last week after winning his whole class a perfect score on their first chemistry quiz with an amazing paper ball toss.

Every year, Dr. Christopher Callam, an organic chemistry professor at Ohio State University, gives his whole class a chance to ace their first quiz without even studying. He’s apparently a very hands on kind of guy who likes to demonstrate how chemistry works. To help his students better understand acid base chemistry and proton donors and acceptors, he throws a paper ball in to the crowd and if the person who catches it can toss it all across the class and into the trash can, he gives everyone a perfect score on the quiz.

This year, the hopes of dozens of nervous students rested on the shoulders of Vinny Forte, from Richmond Heights, and he more than lived up to their expectations. A phone-recorded video shot by fellow student Rachel Brown shows Forte making the one-in-a-million shot and throwing the entire class into a frenzy.

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