Mummified Buddhist Monk Gets Covered in Gold and Turned into a Statue

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In accordance with his wishes, revered Buddhist monk Fu Hou was mummified upon his death in 2012. But his companions at Chongfu Temple, in southeastern China, felt the need to do something more in order to commemorate his devotion to Buddhism. So they made the decision to cover his body in gold, an honor reserved for the holiest of men.

Born in 1919, Fu Hou began practicing Buddhism at the age of 13 and devoted his whole life to it, until his death at age 94. His peers and disciples remember him as a quiet, compassionate person who meticulously practiced his beliefs until the very end. Shortly before his death, he had expressed the desire for his body to be preserved. And after his passing, two mummification experts were brought in to wash, treat, and place his body in a sitting position inside a large pottery jar. Preservatives like Crushed charcoal and sandalwood were stuffed into the jar before being sealed shut.  

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Parents Choose to Break Daughter’s Leg Three Times a Day for Four Months to Avoid Amputation

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Parenting is tough at the best of times, but it has been nothing short of harrowing for Jackie and Matt Moravek, from Kalamazoo, Michigan. The young couple had to make the awful decision to have their four-year-old’s leg broken a total of 300 times over four months – that’s three times a day – just to save her from amputation.

Little Elsie Moravek was born with a rare disability known as proximal femoral focal deficiency (PFFD), which caused her left leg to be deformed and much shorter than her right leg. The two treatment options presented to the Moraveks were amputation and prosthesis, but they managed to find a third way that could potentially lengthen Elsie’s leg by just over four inches. Sadly, the gruesome procedure involved breaking her leg three times a day for four months.

“A few local doctors suggested amputation, and we considered it because the leg lengthening process is so difficult to endure,” said Jackie. “We asked ourselves if we were being cruel to put our daughter through this and whether it was worth it. But we knew it was the right decision. We wanted Elsie to have the best life possible.”

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Australian Brewery Makes Beer from Belly Button Lint

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Inspired by a brewery in Oregon that used yeast harvested from a man’s beard, an Australian company is launching its own bizarre brew made using the navel fluff of employees. 7 Cent Brewery, in Gisborne South, Victoria is all set to reveal their unique beer at the 2016 Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular (GABS) festival this month.

“We are really interested to see if the idea of drinking something that originated from a brewer’s belly button is too much for even the most hardened beer geek,” the company’s blog states. “Some say why? We say why not?”

To isolate the yeast strain, co-founders Doug Bremner, Brendan Baker, and Matthew Boustead swabbed their own belly buttons and streaked the collected samples out on agar plates. They allowed the plates to incubate and then “found all sorts of interesting things growing, including what appeared to be colonies of yeast.” Bremner said that the yeast strains were tested to ensure they were sterile. So the beverage might sound disgusting, but is completely safe to consume.

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French Man Sues Former Employer Because His Job Was So Boring It Made Him Depressed

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While most employees complain of being overburdened at work, one Frenchman is suing his former employer for not giving him enough to do. According to Frederic Desnard, his job as a manager at perfume company ‘Interparfums’ had him suffer a “bore out” between the years of 2010 and 2014. He is now seeking €360,000 (approx. $400,000) in compensation and damages.

Desnard told Agence France-Presse that during his stint with the company he was given tasks that had nothing to do with his original responsibilities, leaving him “destroyed” with “serious depression.” He claimed that the lack of stimulation at work even triggered an epileptic fit one time, while he was driving. He was then signed off work for seven months, and the company later used his “prolonged absence” that “disturbed the smooth working” as an excuse to fire him in September 2014.

“I went into depression,” he said. “I was ashamed to be paid to do nothing. The worse part of it was denying this suffering.”

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Fatal Familial Insomnia – A Mysterious Condition That Prevents Sufferers from Ever Sleeping Again

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Can you imagine never being able to sleep, thus denying your body and brain the chance to rejuvenate? It’s a scary thought, but sadly it’s what sufferers of a rare condition known as Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI) have to go through until it eventually kills them. This mysterious genetic disease affects less than one in 10 million people worldwide and has no treatment or cure.

According to a BBC report, Fatal Familial Insomina is almost unheard of because most families who carry the gene have chosen to remain silent about it. It makes sense, given that most people might not want their children to know about the cruel fate that awaits them. There’s no way to predict when or which family members FFI will strike, and since there’s no cure, they tend to avoid talking about it for fear of tempting fate.

In recent times, however, a few families have chosen to open up about the illness that has plagued their genealogical tree. Like that of Silvano, a Venetian man who lost his father and two sisters to the fatal illness and succumbed to it himself in the 1980s, at age 53. But he left his brain to science in the hope that doctors might discover more about the condition. The family’s story became the subject of the book The Family Who Couldn’t Sleep, written by DT Max, who managed to trace the disease back to a Venetian doctor in the late 18th century.

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For the Past 7 Years, 100% of Seniors at This School Have Been Admitted to College

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Urban Prep Academy, an all-male charter high school in Chicago, has set the bar really high for learning institutions in the US. Despite getting most of its students from the Windy City’s lowest income neighborhoods, it has managed to achieve and maintain a 100 percent graduation rate for nearly a decade. But even more impressive is the fact that every senior in the past seven years has gone on to attended college on a scholarship.

Most recently, the entire class of 2016 celebrated ‘College Signing Day’, with each student announcing the college or university he has chosen to attend. The class has collectively received over 1,500 college admissions, with over $15 million in scholarships and grants. “It’s a great day,” said senior Rudolph Long, speaking to CBS Chicago. “I feel great. We all made it. We all come from good environments so to see us all going to college is nice.”

The all-African-American, all-male charter high school’s unprecedented success has been attributed to its unique mission – to elevate the students’ self esteem while focusing on test scores as well. While most successful schools have stringent admission criteria, Urban Prep makes no distinction between applicants. Any Chicago resident is welcome to apply. A lottery selects 450 students out of approximately 1,500 applications each year, to attend Urban Prep’s three campuses in Englewood, West, and Bronzeville.

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Twin Sisters Sleep with Plush Toys, Sell Them on Instagram for $333 a Piece

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A pair of identical twin sisters from Los Angeles have come up with a bizarre way to make money – they’re ‘sleeping’ with superhero figurines and then selling each one for a whopping $333. In a bid to boost sales, they’re also posting highly suggestive photographs on Instagram of each night spent with a figurine.

Allie and Lexie Kaplan, 22, are working in collaboration with ‘The Most Famous Artist’ Matty Mo, who rose to fame after making $50,000 in one weekend by selling cash on Instagram. The figurine collection, named ‘The Boys Toys’, features seven fictional characters – Batman, Mario, Pikachu, Yoda, Chewbacca, The Hulk, and Darth Vader. The sisters revealed that they purchased the figurines for a total of $130 from LA’s Toy District and are selling each one for $333. According to The Most Famous Artist online shop, they are all sold out.

“Each ‘Boy Toy’ is signed on the tag and includes a signed Certificate of Authenticity sealed with kisses and a framed picture of us with the ‘Boy Toy’. And yes they smell like us,” the twins wrote on Instagram. “We are taking over @themostfamousartist this week to launch our new project ‘Boy Toys’. We slept with each one of them and have the pictures to prove it. This week we are going to tell you all about each ones dirty little secrets.”

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Chinese Shepard Has Been Living by Himself in Abandoned Village for the Last 10 Years

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Living by yourself can be scary and daunting, but this Chinese man has managed to survive in complete isolation for 10 long years. Liu Shengjia was recently discovered living all by himself in the completely abandoned village of Xuenshanshe, in northwest China’s Gansu Province, after his mother and brother’s death over a decade ago.

Xuenshanshe village was once home to about 20 families, but was slowly abandoned by its residents as resources became scarce. Families ended up moving away to towns and cities in search of work, and those left behind eventually passed away. By 2006, he was left alone to take care of his bedridden mother and younger brother, both of whom died within a year, making him the only inhabitant of the village. Anyone else in his position might have left for better prospects, if only for fear of losing their mind to loneliness, but Liu stayed behind and made a life for himslef.  “In the beginning, I wasn’t able to sleep at night while listening to the howling of wild dogs,” he admitted, speaking to the People’s Daily. “But after I started to tend a few sheep and they’ve become my companions, I slowly got used to living alone.”

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Japanese Home Gardening Pod Lets You Grow Vegetables Indoor

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Many of us living in tiny apartments can only dream about growing vegetables in our own backyards, but thanks to Foop, an ingenious home gardening pod developed by Japanese company C’estec, we can now grow veggies in the comfort of our own home.

Foop (a combination of the words ‘food’ and ‘people’) is a small-size hydroponic agriculture kit that allows users to grow plants in water instead of soil. Its designers claim that you can use Foop to grow small crops of popular vegetables, including lettuce, arugula, basil, parsley or shiso, all of which can be raised from seeds and will develop faster than non-hydroponic plants.

The elegantly-designed wooden frame of the Foop is is produced by craftsmen from Hida, in Gifu Prefecture, one of Japan’s most famous woodworking regions, but the device also comes with a clear acrylic cover that lets you check the progress of your crops. There are no buttons or switches visible on the Foop, because all the settings – temperature, humidity, light, water levels, etc. – are done via a smartphone app. The Foop will also regularly send notifications regarding the state of your indoor garden and alert you when the crops are ready to be harvested.

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Drink or Fail – Chinese Students Forced to Down Hard Liquor to Pass Exam

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A college professor in China has been suspended after giving his students a rather controversial test during their final exam. In a bid to prepare them for real life, he asked his students to gulp down glasses of baijiu, a Chinese liquor, grading them based on how much they were able consume.

“You’re all going to do sales jobs after graduation, drinking baijiu is the thing you must learn!” Gu Ming told the students of his Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) class at Guizhou Anshun Vocational Institute. He had poured the alcohol into dozens of plastic cups and laid them out on the desk in his office, asking his students to drink up.

“Those who ‘ganbeied’ (finished) a full glass of liquor get a full 100 mark for their exam, half glass gets 90 marks, and a sip gets 60,” one of Gu Ming’s students later posted on Chinese social media website Weibo. “Those who do not drink at all will fail.”

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Afghan Teacher Turns His Bicycle into a Mobile Library to Give Isolated Children a Chance to Read

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In a nation ravaged by war, where children have little to no access to quality literature, a school teacher is trying his best to make a difference. Saber Hosseini, who teaches children in the city of Bamiyan, central Afghanistan, has converted his bicycle into a mobile library which he rides to remote villages.

“I came up with the idea for this project six months ago. I talked about it to friends in literary circles, who donated money and got some of their friends abroad to donate as well. I started alone with 200 storybooks for kids, and started riding to remote villages throughout Bamiyan province. Soon, I recruited more volunteers – now there are 20 of us, and we have a collection of about 6,000 books.” Most of these books are imported from Iran.

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Unique ‘Pay as You Trash’ System Helps South Korea Cut Food Waste

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In a bid to control the nation’s growing problem with food wastage, the South Korean government has started a unique initiative – ‘Pay as You Trash’. Residents are required to separate their food waste from the rest of their trash and dump it separately in a centralised bin. And in order to access the bin, they actually need to pay by the kilo!

As of now, the South Korean government has three methods in place to charge citizens for the food thrown away. One is through an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) card – when users tap this card – embedded with their personal tag – over a specially designed food waste bin, the lid will open, allowing them to dump their waste. This waste is automatically weighed and recorded in the user’s account. The user needs to settle this bill on a monthly basis. Each RFID bin costs 1.7 million won ($1,500) and can cater to 60 households.

The second billing method is through pre-paid garbage bags. These specially designed bags are priced based on volume. For instance, in Seoul, a 10-liter garbage bag costs around 190 won (less than $1). There’s also a bar code management system in place, in which residents deposit food waste directly into composting bins and pay for it by purchasing bar code stickers attached to the bin.

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Meet the Time Traveler Running for U.S. President

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Adding to the madness of the 2016 US presidential election is American lawyer Andrew Basiago. He claims to have traveled through time nearly all his life, and is pretty sure that he’s going to become “either president or vice president” between 2016 and 2028. Polling data is obviously of little use to this guy.

Basiago, a Washington-based attorney, first started talking about his experience with time travel in 2004, with Project Pegasus – a top secret organisation studying the effects of time travel and teleportation on children. So between 1968 and 1972, when Basiago was a young boy of seven, he claims to have participated in several experiments that transported him through time, space, and even parallel universes. His mission, supposedly, was to provide the US President at the time with important information about past and future events.

Now, Basiago is using the ‘knowledge’ gained over years of time travel to further his political ambitions – he’s running for president this year as an independent candidate, and is fairly confident he’s going to win. “I have prior knowledge that not only will I run for president, but that during one of the elections – which would have to be between 2016 and 2028, because I’m not running past that – I’m either elected president or vice president,” he explained, confidently.

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German Town Installs Ground Traffic Lights for People Looking at Their Smartphones

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While zombies thankfully still remain a figment of our imagination, ‘smombies’ – people walking while staring at their smartphones – are very real and a growing cause for concern. Fed up of having to constantly alert both locals an tourists to pay more attention to their surroundings to avoid serious accidents, authorities in a small German town have come up with a more proactive solution – embedding traffic lights in the pavement to make them visible to people constantly looking down at their phones.

The seemingly ridiculous safety measure was put in place after two pedestrians in the town of Augsburg were recently hit by quiet electric street trains as they crossed the street without looking up from their phones. They both escaped with only slight injuries, but a 15-year-old girl engrossed in her smartphone on a street in nearby Munich wasn’t so lucky. She was hit by a tram and dragged along for several feet before she died. So authorities in Augsburg decided to act, installing ground level traffic lights at two tram stops last Tuesday. The lights flash red every time a tram is approaching, or when the regular traffic light turns red.

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Meet the Incredible Jake Olson – A Completely Blind College Football Player

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After years of cheering for his favorite college football team, University of Southern California student Jake Olson has achieved the impossible dream – despite being completely blind, he is now a part of the team, playing as long snapper for the USC Trojans, approaching the game based on feel rather than sight.

Born with retinoblastoma, a rare cancer of the retina, Jake lost his left eye when he was only eight months old. “When the doctors found my cancer, it was completely taking over my left eye,” he said. “The greatest fear is the cancer spreading through the optic nerve to the brain.” So the eye had to be removed entirely, followed by several rounds of chemotherapy and laser treatment to prevent the cancer from spreading to the right eye. Sadly, it kept coming back.  At age 12, Jake received news that he would have to lose his right eye as well. “Realizing what I was going to be confronting… a life without sight, it was difficult. I didn’t feel completely hopeless, but there was this sense of ‘I don’t know how I’m gonna do anything anymore.’”

Being a lifelong Trojan fan, one of Jake’s last wishes before he lost his eye was to watch them play at Notre Dame and also to witness a practice session the night before the surgery. “There were nights of crying and stressful times when I couldn’t get the thought of going blind out of my psyche,” he said, speaking to the LA Times. “But every time I was up at USC or talking to one of the players or just being around, it was just pure fun. And truthfully, peace.”

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