Being Stung by the Gympie Gympie Tree Is the Worst Kind of Pain You Can Imagine

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‘Gympie-Gympie’ is hardly the name you’d expect for a stinging-tree. It looks quite harmless too, but in reality, the Gympie-Gympie is one of the most venomous plants in the world. Commonly found in the rainforest areas of north-eastern Australia, the Moluccas and Indonesia, it is known to grow up to one to two meters in height.

In fact, the Gympie-Gympie sting is so dangerous that it has been known to kill dogs, horses and humans alike. If you’re lucky enough to survive, you  only feel excruciating pain that can last several months and reoccur for years. Even a dry specimen can inflict pain, almost a hundred years after being picked!

With the exception of its roots, every single part of the deadly tree – its heart shaped leaves, its stem and its pink/purple fruit – is covered with tiny stinging hairs shaped like hypodermic needles. You only need to lightly touch the plant to get stung, after which the hair penetrates the body and releases a painful toxin called moroidin. Sometimes, merely being in the presence of the plant and breathing the hair that it sheds into the air can cause itching, rashes, sneezing and terrible nosebleeds.

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Swiss Company Will Find a Truly Unique Name for Your Baby for Just $32,000

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It’s hard to find an original, one-of-a-kind name for a baby in this day and age – a fact that a Swiss company is cashing in on. For a hefty fee of $32,000, they promise to have their team of experts come up with a name that your baby wouldn’t share with anyone else in the world.

The company, called Erflogswelle, is actually in the business of creating names for brands and products, but director Marc Hauser came up with the idea for this new service after he helped a friend name her child. “The choice was causing tension between the couple, so I thought I could help,” he explained.

His friend loved the name that he picked out and that’s when he realized the potential of extending the service to parents all over the world. So he put together a special team of his best people, who employ their tried and tested techniques to find unique names for babies.
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Female Face Shaving – A Growing Trend among Japanese Women Looking for Perfectly Smooth Skin

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Japanese women are blessed with beautiful skin, which is mainly attributed to their fresh diet and great genes. While those might be legit reasons, it turns out they also have a little known beauty secret – shaving their faces! The trend was pioneered by beauty salons in Japan, and many women now believe that it is the real reason for younger-looking skin.

While men generally shave the areas of the face with the thickest hair growth, Japanese women get rid of their facial fuzz all over. This supposedly creates a silky smooth, porcelain texture that’s highly desirable among the Japanese. The beauty treatment has become so popular that almost all salons offer a shave as a part of their regular services. Some women do it once every season along with a common facial, others once a month, and there are even those who shave at home every day with their own blades. Some prefer to shave their entire bodies, and some go as far as shaving off their eyebrows because they feel that real hair is an unrefined feature of the face.

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Chinese Woman Who Has Adopted 39 Handicapped Children Gets Punished by Government

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Kindness is not always rewarded, as proven by Chinese officials who are punishing a 65-year-old woman for taking in abandoned children with physical and mental disabilities.

Kong Zhenian, from the rural village of Jiu Jiu in northern China’s Shanxi Province, has been caring for physically and mentally-challenged children for the past 40 years. “I found the first one on the side of the road,” she said. “She had just been left there and I felt so sorry for her I just had to do something.” So she took the child into her care and hasn’t stopped helping children since then.

“I have now raised 39 children,” she added. “All of them are regarded as having problems, either physically or mentally. But in fact, many of them were simply suffering from neglect. It costs a lot of money to care for them but we have managed.”

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Artist Will Tattoo Anyone’s Name on Her Body for $10

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A Los Angeles artist is on a mission to cover her entire body with tattoos. She’s offering herself up as a human billboard by tattooing people’s names and designs all over her body, for as low as $10.

Illma Gore, 22, said that the initiative is a part of her ‘absurd and beautiful’ project called A Hundred Tiny Stories. She was actually trying to raise $6,000 through a Kickstarter campaign, in order to cover the cost of 60 hours worth of tattooing. She actually managed to raise a whopping $11,000, until the campaign got suspended.

“It’s art,” she explained. “It will annoy people or make them happy or make them smile. Either way, that’s what art’s supposed to do.”

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Professional Beggar Takes Credit Card Donations, Makes a Killing

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Damien Preston-Booth is probably the smartest, most resourceful beggar in the world. Every week, the 37-year-old from Lancashire travels all the way to London’s Mayfair to accept donations from wealthy tourists – via credit card! He actually carries around a card reader to make sure he doesn’t miss out on contributions from rich people who don’t have cash on them.

Every Wednesday for the past five years, Booth has journeyed from his £300 a month rented apartment in Preston to London, where he pretends to be homeless, spending three days and nights sleeping rough and begging. He walks up to potential donors and tries appealing to their generosity. If they’re ready to contribute, he quickly whips out his mobile card reader that transfers all payments to his PayPal account. The reader is linked via Bluetooth to his smartphone, and the donor receives a receipt for his donation.

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Former Khmer Rouge Child Soldier Has Spent the Last Two Decades Cleaning Cambodia of Mines, Alone and without Protection

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Modern Cambodian hero Aki Ra has made it his life’s mission to rid his nation of land mines. The one-man army spends most of his day chopping vegetation in fields and delicately prodding the areas that set off his metal detector. More often than not, he uncovers hockey-puck sized antipersonnel land mines, and destroys them with a controlled explosion. “I want to make my country safe for my people,” he said.

There was a time when Cambodia was plagued by over six million land mines buried underground in paddy fields and lush jungles, ready to indiscriminately murder soldiers and innocent children alike. The devices were once used by the nation’s warring factions, including the notorious Khmer Rouge, to finish their enemies.

Aki Ra, who used to be a child soldier for Khmer Rouge, has spent over 22 years of his life single-handedly removing land mines that were left behind unexploded. Between 1992 and 2007, he was able to rid his homeland of a whopping 50,000 mines, armed with nothing but a pocket knife, pliers, a stick, and his bare hands.

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At This Chinese Restaurant Good-Looking People Eat for Free

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Who needs money when you have a pretty face, right?. At Jeju Island, a Korean eatery in Zhengzhou city, China, people are allowed to dine at no charge if they happen to be among the five most beautiful patrons of the day. Hanging outside the establishment last Saturday was a bold sign that stated: “Free Meal for Goodlooking”.

If you think the practice is bizarre, wait till you hear who the judges are – a panel of local plastic surgeons! All those hoping to earn a free meal are taken to a ‘beauty identification area’, where they are photographed. The doctors then evaluate the potential diners on the quality of their faces, eyes, noses, and mouths.

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Meet Philly Jesus – The Former Drug Addict Who Became a “Walking Billboard for the King of Kings”

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Once a heroin addict, young Michael Grant managed to turn his life around and become Philly Jesus, one of Philadelphia’s most iconic characters. Since April last year, the 28-year-old has been hanging out at LOVE park, in Center City, dressed as Jesus Christ. “I’m not the real Jesus,” he admits upfront. “I’m just a huge fan. I’m doing it as a walking billboard for the King of Kings.”

Every day, Grant walks seven miles to LOVE Park, carrying with him a 12-foot wooden cross with wheels at the bottom that he made himself. “This is my way of letting my light shine, by carrying a cross in the ‘hood’,” he explained. “This is my way of sharing Jesus without preaching a blow horn and condemning people. It’s like making a statement. When they look at me, I don’t want them to see Michael, I want them to see Jesus.”

Grant, who was raised in a Catholic family, is the older of two brothers. His mother says that he was always a creative child, did theater and loved drawing. He even went to a clown school, where he learned to juggle knives and torches. “He liked people’s reactions, so he always liked reaching people that way,” she said.

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Guy Quits Office Job to Become Professional Zombie

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When 26-year-old Alex Noble realied that his job in finance was taking the life out of him, he decided to quit and pursue a career with the undead. The horror fan from Cardiff now works as a professional zombie – in case you’re wondering, that is a real job.

Alex explained that he has always been interested in zombies. For five years, he worked as a zombie extra in films, TV, and games. He mostly worked for free, but the experience finally paid off when he was offered a position at Slingshot, the company that runs the zombie chase game ‘2.8 Hours Later’.

“People started noticing me, because I was doing things differently,” he said. “I had a niche look and I was doing the movements and noises differently.”

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At China’s Most Hardcore High-School Teachers Employ Army-Style Tactics to Best Educate Students

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Tucked away in the mountains of China’s Anhui province, in the sleepy little town of Mao Tan Chang, is one of the world’s most intense educational institutions. Over 20,000 students (that’s four times the local population) at Mao Tan Chang High School study day and night with very little rest to prepare for the gaokao, a highly competitive national college entrance exam.

Most of these students come from rural areas as their parents know that acing the dreaded gaokao could open up a host of opportunities, allowing them to escape a farmer’s life. Mao Tan Chang helps them achieve their goals by creating an environment that encourages serious study, and little else. The school’s strategy is simple – everything that isn’t related to academics is banned.

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Indian Man Finally Gets Fired after Skipping Work for 24 Years

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An employee of India’s Central Public Works Department (CPWD) has been found guilty of ‘wilful absence of duty’ – believe it or not – for the past 24 years! Assistant executive engineer A.K. Verma went off sick from work one morning in 1990, and he simply never returned.

“He went on seeking extension of leave, which was not sanctioned, and defied directions to report to work,” the department told the media last Thursday. Verma is said to have joined the CPWD in 1980, and risen to the rank of executive engineer in 1990.

Although he came under investigation in 1992, he was only fired this month. Formal proceedings to dismiss him did not start until 2007, and it took seven more years for the department to actually reach a decision to sack him. Ultimately, Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu ordered his dismissal, in order to ‘streamline the functioning of the CPWD and to ensure accountability’.

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Whiz Kids Use Imaginary Abacus to Solve Complex Math Calculations

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In a highly impressive display of mental prowess, young South Asian children are able to solve complex math calculations within seconds simply by flicking their fingers through thin air. Their secret tool –  an imaginary abacus.

News reports on the Mind Mathlon 2014 program held at the Robotics Lab of the Karachi Institute of Technology and Entrepreneurship in March described young children raising and flicking their fingers to keep track of long series of numbers and solve calculations with mind-blowing accuracy.  They were apparently taught to use their hands as the beads of an abacus – an ancient calculating tool – to add and subtract at the speed of a calculator.

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Homeless Bodybuilder Uses the Streets of Paris as His Gym

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50-year-old Sayagh Jacques has a rather unusual hobby for a homeless man – bodybuilding. Although he’s been living on the streets of Paris for years, he hasn’t let his homeless status stop him from training harder than most people, and maintaining his six pack abs. I suppose it goes to show that if you’re really passionate about something, you can make it happen under any circumstances.

Jacques has no qualms about working out right in the middle of the street. When people give him money, he doesn’t use it to smoke or drink. Instead, he tries to eat specific foods that will help him gain muscle. He’s also managed to procure a few pieces of makeshift equipment – a cable and a few ropes – that he ties to lamp poles and park fences. He uses these to do basic bodyweight exercises like pull ups, push ups, pullovers and rows.

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Child Spas Make Girls as Young as 7 Look Even Younger

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Only a generation ago, little girls had to beg their moms just to put on make-up for a special occasion. But things have changed quite drastically since then. Moms these days are actually pampering their daughters at kiddy spas with custom-made packages to suit their needs. And believe it or not, some of these girls are as young as seven!

Whoever heard of a seven-year-old needing a massage, right? But the demand is apparently so great that the spa industry has really begun to target children in a big way. Adult spas are adding separate menus of services for little girls, and most major cities in the US have day spas that are meant exclusively for children. Manicures, pedicures, hairdos, makeup, oil rubs and even custom-sized robes are made available to clients, who are often too young to have had their first pimple.

According to the International Spa Association, industry trends indicate that 25 percent of the approximately 20,000 spas in the US now offer services that are specifically meant for the under-13 set. They offer kid-friendly music, banana-scented facials, and age-appropriate vocabulary – customers are ‘princesses’ and toes are referred to as ‘pigglies’.

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