Legally Blind Amateur Astronomer Can See the Night Sky Better Than You

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Despite being born with congenital cataracts and having just 10 percent of a normal person’s vision during the day, when the night comes amateur astronomer Tim Doucette can see things most of us cannot.

When he was just a teenager, Doucette underwent an operation that removed the lenses from his eyes, and widened his pupils, in order to improve his weak sight. A normal person’s pupils automatically adjusts according to the amount of light coming in, but Tim’s are always open, letting in a lot  of light. During the day, everything he sees is extremely bright and overexposed, even when wearing glasses to protect his eyes from the light. His vision is about 10 percent that of the average person. However, at night time, everything changes…

The first time he noticed the special side-effect of his operation was when he first took off the bandages from his eyes. “I just had the bandage removed from one of my eyes, and looking up at the Milky Way and it was like a curtain had been lifted, it was just amazing,” Doucette remembers. At first, he actually thought he had a detached retina, as he was seeing millions of bright spots, but soon realized he was looking at the stars of our galaxy. 12 years ago, Tim’s wife, Amanda, who is also visually impaired, bought him a telescope and he took up astronomical observing as a hobby.

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Chinese Man Shocked to Learn His Pregnant Bride Was Actually a Guy

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In the span of just one year, a young Chinese conman reportedly managed to fool 11 other men into thinking that he was their dream girl before disappearing with large sums of money. Believe it or not, the guy even managed to trick one of them into a wedding after telling him that “she” was pregnant.

A man surnamed Wang, from China’s Huaiyang county, recently got the shock of his life after police told him that his “pregnant” runaway bride was actually a guy cross-dressing as a woman. Last October, Wang was overjoyed when his girlfriend, who he had met online, told him she was expecting a baby. The man’s family shared their happiness and immediately started planning a big wedding and grand feast. The joyous event went off without a hitch, but three days later, the bride simply vanished, taking with her gifts and valuables worth tens of thousands of Chinese yuan. He was probably to embarrassed to report his wife missing just days from the wedding, and his family thought they probably had a fight, so they didn’t alert the authorities either.

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Two Average Guys from Boston Just Found the Black Box of a Plane That Crashed in Bolivia 31 Years Ago

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Dan Futrell and Isaac Stoner, two average guys from Boston, recently set out on an expedition to find the black box of Eastern Flight 980, which crashed into the Andes Mountains killing everyone on board, 31 years ago. Believe it or not, they actually did it!

A year ago, while researching the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, Dan Futrell discovered a fact he found very intriguing – since 1965, crash investigators have failed to recover flight data and cockpit voice recorders from almost 20 flights, including the two planes that crashed into the World Trade Center buildings on September 11, 2001. But it was another flight that really caught his attention – Eastern Air Lines Flight 980, which took off from Paraguay for Miami, on January 1, 1985. It crashed into the side of Illimani Mountain and its black box was never recovered. Crash investigators have long suspected that the recording device had landed in an area that was nearly inaccessible, but this was something Futrell simply could not accept. “How is it that there is a place on this Earth that we can’t reach?” the young man wrote on his blog.

He and his friend Isaac Stoner spent the following year planning an expedition to the Andes Mountains, in Bolivia, with the sole purpose of searching for the missing black box of Eastern Air Lines Flight 980. “Dan and I are both remarkably average dudes: average height, average weight, average athletic ability, average lookin’…I would venture to say neither of us is beyond 2 standard deviations from average intelligence either. And yet here we are, about to try to do something pretty non-average,” Isaac wrote on their blog before flying off to Bolivia. “This is not exactly the trip that most people would book for their summer vacation. If we fail in finding the black box, I hope that this trip will at least inspire some other average folks to get off the couch and do something un-ordinary (if not extraordinary) themselves.”

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Hungarian Gravediggers Compete in National Grave Digging Competition

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In an attempt to increase respect for grave digging and attract more people to the job, three dozens of the best gravediggers in Hungary competed in a unique grave digging competition, last Friday.

The bizarre competition took place at a graveyard in the city of Debrecen. 18 two-man teams were assigned their plots arbitrarily by pulling numbers out of a hat, and supplied with regulation-size shovels, rakes, axes and pickaxes to use in digging the best grave in the shortest amount of time. Contestants were judged on speed, grave neatness and whether they complied with the regulation size: 200 cm long, 80 cm wide and 160 cm deep (7 feet by 2 feet 7 inches by 5 feet). Enjoying the home advantage, the local team came out victorious, digging their grave in less than half an hour. That’s pretty impressive considering some of the other teams took almost an hour to complete theirs.

Each team had their own technique. Some preferred to dig simultaneously and clean up after the hole was finished, while others had one man digging and the other arranging the dirt into neat piles around the grave site. They all agreed that the conditions were just right on the big day, with the earth being “quite soft and humid.”

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Thai “Drug Robin Hood” Accidentally Brings Down Meth Black Market Prices

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A man from the Thai province of Ayutthaya was arrested last month and charged with possession of drugs and intent to distribute, after he allegedly gave away over 200,000 methamphetamine pills to friends who were down on their luck. But this isn’t your average drug dealer news story…

Police in Ayutthaya started an investigation last month, after the of meth on the black marketed plummeted from $8 to $3 a pill in a very short amount of time. There was no logical explanation for the sudden price drop until they heard about a local man giving away large quantities of pills totally free of charge. It was an unlikely story, but the tips checked out and when they finally apprehended 41-year old Prachaub Kanpecth, he admitted to being in possession of over 500,000 meth pills known as “ya ba” or “crazy drug”, which police estimate are worth around $6 million.

That’s the kind of stash you expect to find when busting a drug lord, but Kanpecth was a simple forager making a living by digging through trash and collecting forest honey. He told officers that he came into possession of the drugs by accident, after seeing a group of men getting out of a pickup truck and leaving a big package in the shrubbery on the side of a road. So he just took it and then started giving the pills away for free to his cash-strapped friends. They started selling it at abnormally low prices either to make some pocket money or pay off debts and accidentally brought down black market prices.

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Male Rapunzel with 62-Feet-Long Hair Eyes Guinness Record

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Seen from a far, Savjibhai Rathwa looks like he is carrying a long black rope wrapped around his right arm, but that is actually a thick dreadlock made from his still-growing 19-meter-long hair.

The 60-year-old man from Vadorara, India’s Gujarat state, has been growing his hair for decades, always treating it with great care. He spends three hours washing it every two days and dries it by walking around his farm and having his grandchildren spread out his locks while he smokes his water pipe in the shade of a tree.

To keep his hair strong and healthy, Rathwa relies on a vegetarian home-cooked diet and tries to avoid spicy food as much as possible. “When out on work, I survive on fruits only. I never ever take outside food,” Savjibhai Rathwa said. If he gets hungry, he simply eats a banana.

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Spiderman Got a Job as a College Professor in Mexico

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When he’s not too busy fighting crime and battling super-villains in New York, Spiderman teaches computer science at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, in Ciudad de Mexico.

It all started in 2002, when the blockbuster movie Spider-Man, featuring Tobey Maguire, started screening in Mexico. 12-year-old Moises Vazquez Reyes instantly fell in love with the Marvel superhero and even started working on his own Spiderman outfit, after failing to find one that fit his high standards. He used online tutorials as inspiration, but it wasn’t an easy job for a young boy. Moises finally finished his dream Spiderman costume in 2014, the same year he started reading more comics about his favorite character. One day he stumbled upon the Amazing Spider – Man # 661 in which the popular superhero offers to be a substitute teacher at the Avengers Academy. He thought to himself “not a bad idea, wouldn’t it be great if Spiderman gave classes in computer science?” 

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Russian Man Sues Ex-Girlfriend for Expenses Incurred During Their Relationship

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When 29-year-old Nina Zgurskaya, from Krasnoyarsk, Russia, started dating the charming director of a law firm, she thought she had finally met the man of her dreams. Little did she know he would one day take her to court for all the expenses incurred during their relationship.

Nina met 38-year-old lawyer at a ski resort and the two of them instantly hit it off. She remembers that the businessman seemed perfect in every way – he was attentive, courteous and calm, offered her flowers and picked her up from work. As their relationship evolved, the man confessed he had been married twice, so when he asked Nina to go on a romantic vacation, she thought he was going to propose.

She dreamed of traveling to a popular tourist destination abroad, but her boyfriend insisted on Feodosia, Crimea. As long as it involved romantic walks on the beach under the moonlight and an unforgettable marriage proposal, she didn’t mind the destination too much. But time passed and her dream guy didn’t seem to have any intention of popping the big question, so after losing her patience, Nina threw a tantrum and the pair got into a fight. The next day, her perfect gentleman threw her out of the hotel room, claiming he had paid for everything. The woman had to call her parents and ask for money for a return ticket, just so she could get back home.

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Company Creates World’s First Functional Meteorite Handguns

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American company Cabot Guns has recently unveiled a pair of “extra-terrestrial pistols” made almost entirely from a piece of Gibeon meteorite that crashed on Earth approximately 4.5 billion years ago and was discovered in Namibia, in the 1830’s.

“It hasn’t been done before and that’s the kind of thing that drives me,” Rob Bianchin, founder of Cabot Guns, said last year, when the company first announced its intention to forge twin 1911 handguns out of Gibeon. “Meteor is rare, more so than terrestrial precious metals and I wanted to create a set of guns that were formed from a material that had intrinsic value,” he added.

For the last five months, the expert gun makers at the respected company that many refer to as the “Rolls Royce of firearms” have been hard at work, trying to cut as many necessary pieces from the expensive lump of meteorite. It was a tougher job than most people realize, or as Bianchin puts it “we were sweating bullets. That first cut, when we sliced the meteorite chunk in two, was really scary.” Luckily, the team had some experience after using Gibeon to craft meteorite grips for one their standard 1911 handguns. That first success inspired them to push the envelope and create the world’s first meteorite firearms.

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Grandfather Very Sorry for Picking Up Wrong Grandson from School

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A grandfather from Orangeburg County, Columbia, recently made the news after going to school to pick up his young grandson and coming home with a totally different child. It sounds like the plot of a 90’s comedy, but this happened in real life.

On May 19th, 65-year-old Joseph Fuller went to Edisto Primary School in order to pick up his six-year-old grandchild early. According to a police report, when he arrived at the school, Fuller saw a group of students leaving the school gym, one of which he thought was his grandson. He got out of his car, approached the boy, gave him a hug and told him he was there to pick him up early. When he asked him if he was ready to go, the kid said “yes”. A teacher’s assistant later told deputies that when he asked the boy “Was this your grandfather?” he also answered “yes”. So the two of them then went to the front office so the boy could be signed out, and since the grandpa was on the list of approved people to pick up kids, everything went smoothly. If you think this is weird, hold on tight, because it’s about to get weirder.

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Scientist Creates Possible Cure to All Viruses, Needs It to Go Viral

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When MIT-trained engineer Todd Rider revealed his revolutionary idea for killing virtually any virus, everyone from fellow scientists to The White House praised him for his results, with some going as far as to call his discovery the most important medical breakthrough since antibiotics. Yet four years later, Rider is struggling to find funds for his research and has to turn to online crowdfunding for something that could save the lives of millions.

The story of Todd Rider’s quest to rid the world of viruses began over 15 years ago, when, while in the shower, he came up with a radical idea in his head – what if there was some way to kill viruses by flipping their biologic suicide switches leaving the patient healthy and infection free? For the next decade, he and his colleagues worked on the concept of Broad-Spectrum Antiviral Therapeutics, which proposed a whole new approach to tackling viruses. Instead of containing and preventing viral infections, their method actually killed virus-infected cells, without harming normal cells.

In early tests, this new weapon dubbed Double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) Activated Caspase Oligomerizer (DRACO), eliminated 15 pathogens, from the common cold to H1N1 influenza to hemorrhagic fevers like the dengue virus. It proved effective across 11 human cell types, including heart, kidneys and liver, and mice infected with lethal doses of influenza virus were cured with DRACO treatments.

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Meet Jana Jihad – Palestine’s Youngest Amateur Reporter

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While most 10-year-olds are busy playing games, learning the ropes at school and enjoying their childhood, Janna Jihad risks her life reporting on the Palestinian – Israeli conflict in the occupied West Bank, in an effort to raise awareness to the plight of her people.

A resident of Nabi Saleh, a small Palestinian village north of the West Bank city of Ramallah, Janna has been a witness to the tragedies of war from a very young age. Her mother, Nawal, says she was traumatized after one of her friends was shot dead by the Israeli army. “He was older than her but used to always be friendly and nice to her so that she became attached to him. When she saw his blood on the ground, she became frantic.”  She used to pen her feelings and frustrations in a locked journal every night, but the deaths of two of her relatives – her cousin, Mustafa Tamimi, and another uncle, Rushdie Tamimi – inspired her to get involved and reveal the injustice the people in her village are being subjected to.

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Japanese Boy Missing for Three Days After Parents Left Him in Woods as Punishment

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Rescue teams have been scouring the thick woods of northern Hokkaido, Japan, for the past three days in search of a young boy who had been abandoned there by his parents, as punishment for being naughty.

7-year-old Yamato Tano-oka was first reported missing on Saturday, when his parents alerted the police saying that he had become separated while they were out walking through the forest, looking for wild vegetables. However, a day later, during questioning, one of the parents admitted that Yamato had been left alone in the bear-infested woods on purpose, as a form of punishment for misbehaving. Although the police has yet to confirm the exact reasons for this punishment, local media reports that he had been throwing rocks at passing cars and people.

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World’s Proudest Grandma Plasters Grandchildren’s Photos on Virtually Everything

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Grandmas are usually proud of you even if you so much as sneeze, but this North Carolina woman has taken granny-love to a whole new level. 66-year-old retiree Carmen Baugh is so enamoured with her grandkids that she’s converted her living room into a shrine of sorts, with their photographs plastered across the wallpaper, curtains, and even cushions.

Carmen got the idea to do up her home with her grandchildren’s faces when she moved from Charlotte to Raleigh. She looked at lots of different wallpaper and curtain samples before deciding to design her own. “My grandson and granddaughter are my pride and joy so why not decorate my home with their faces on?” she asked herself.

So instead of just using framed photos of her grandkids, she decided to have a specially-made wallpaper featuring over 30 different photographs of theirs. And she liked it so much that she went on to design a similar fabric for her curtains and cushions, and then used it to make herself a top as well! 

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Amazing Human Being Has Laid Over 550 Unclaimed Bodies to Rest in the Last 60 Years

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Mithalal Sindhi, from the Indian city of Ahmedabad, is not a rich man, by any means. He has been living on the streets for the last six decades, earning a modest living by selling Bajra (pearl millet) from his pedal rickshaw. Most of what he makes, Mithalal spends on performing the last rites for unclaimed dead bodies that no one else takes responsibility for. He is without a doubt one of the most kindhearted people we have ever written about.

During the partition of the British Indian Empire, 15-year-old Mithalal moved from Pakistan to Bombay, with his family. He did a number of odd jobs to make ends meet and survive in the big city, but in 1957, he moved to Ahmedabad where he started a small fruit selling business using what little savings he had. It was during this time that he met Nyaldas Sindhi, a vegetable vendor, with whom he became very close friends. They would eat lunch together and even sleep next to each other on the footpath, at night. Their friendship came to an abrupt ending in just two years, after Mithalal tried waking his friend one morning, but he didn’t respond.

Devastated by Nyaldas’ death, the young fruit vendor realized his friend had no close families or relatives to take care of the last rites. Mithalal asked the Mukhya (Leader of Vegetable Market) for help, but he refused, telling him it was not his concern. No one was willing to take responsibility for his friend, so he stepped up and had his body cremated near Callico Mill. It was this experience that made him realize that there were so many people dying every day in Ahmedabad that had no one to perform their last rites. He decided he was going to be the person to do it.

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