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These Photos Aren’t Censored, That’s Just an Object Painted with the World’s Blackest Black

People are freaking out over a series of photos of people holding something censored by what looks like a photoshopped black circle. Only that’s really just an object painted with Vantablack, the world’s blackest black.

Developed by UK-based Surrey NanoSystems three years ago, Vantablack has been fascinating both scientists and artists ever since. This amazing pigment is composed of a series of microscopic vertical tubes that deflect light between them, essentially trapping it. Vantablack apparently absorbs 99.96 percent of light that hits it, making any three-dimensional object coated with it look like a black two-dimensional flat surface. So the object in these photos could literally be anything and you could never tell unless looking it from an angle that reveals its texture and depth.

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The Anarchists Illegally Fixing the Streets of Portland

Sick of waiting for the local authorities to fix the streets and roads of their pothole-riddled city, a group of self-described anarchists decided to patch the pesky holes themselves, even if it means breaking the law.

The Portland Anarchist Road Care (PARC) was founded by a small circle of friends in response to the deteriorating road conditions in the Oregon city, which they believed made driving or cycling more costly and dangerous for citizens. They grew tired of waiting for the city to fix this pesky problem, and decided to do it themselves, using a well-known technique called cold patching. The anonymous anarchist have fixed potholes on three Portland blocks so far, but are constantly on the lookout for new crevices to fill.

“The roads in Portland were getting worse and worse, and like everyone else, we were just waiting for someone else to fix it,” a member of PARC told The Huffington Post. “We sort of reflected on the situation, and asked ourselves the questions made famous by John Lewis: ‘If not us, then who? If not now, then when?’ Two days later we were patching holes.”

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Young Woman Lands Dream Job Testing Sofas for 10 Hours a Day

26-year-old Anna Cherdantseva, from the city of Ufa, in Russia’s Bashkortostan Republic is a full-time sofa tester, spending up to 10 hours every day trying out new sofas for comfort and safety.

Last month, Russian furniture giant MZ5 Group announced that it was taking application for a new position – full-time sofa tester. Although all new products are tested in a specialized laboratory, management decided that in order to better meet the needs of consumers it needed some feedback on real-life use of its sofas. In just a few days, MZ5 received over 5,000 job applications from people eager to spend most of their time sitting and lying on sofas.

“We were selected candidates in several stages,” MZ5 Group spokesperson Anastasia Russkih said. “Initially we checked their CVS, and then we let them tell us why they wanted the job.” Eventually, the furniture company shortlisted just 7 candidates, out of which Anna Cherdantseva, a 26-year-old marketing expert, proved to be the most suitable for the job.

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New Taipei Restaurant Uses Bikini-Clad Waitresses to Attract Customers

A hot-pot restaurant in Taipei, Taiwan, recently got a lot of attention online after photos of young bikini-clad waitresses serving and interacting with customers went viral.

The hot-pot restaurant business in Taiwan and mainland China is very competitive, and it’s very hard for newcomers to get an edge by relying solely on the quality of the food and impeccable service. So the owners of ‘Fresh Feast’, a new restaurant that opened in the Songshan district of Taipei, decided that they needed some extreme marketing in order to get the word out about their eatery and attract customers. For the grand opening, they hired five good-looking models and had them serve customers dressed only in skimpy bikinis.

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In Switzerland Onion Skins Are More Expensive Than Actual Onions

With Easter just around the corner, Christians around the world are stocking up on eggs and dyes for the traditional egg dyeing. But while most of us have grown used to chemical dyes, some still prefer the natural approach, like boiling white eggs with onion skins. This is apparently very popular in Switzerland, where people actually pay for bags of onion peels selected specifically for egg dyeing.

Dyeing Easter eggs with onion skins is not a Swiss tradition. In fact, I remember my mother used to do it when I was little, taking differed plant leaves, and placing them on the eggs before wrapping them in a large onion skin, putting them in a sock and boiling them in a pot of water with more skins thrown in for a more intense coloring effect. But she used orange skins saved up for weeks in advance, instead of buying them from the supermarket, like some Swiss do nowadays.

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This Drip-Proof Wine Bottle May Be the Greatest Scientific Breakthrough of Our Time

If you’ve ever poured wine out of a glass bottle, you’re already familiar with that annoying yet inevitable stream of spillage on the side of the bottle. It’s been a bane of wine aficionados for centuries, but no more, thanks to this drip-proof wine bottle created by a biophysicist.

Humanity has come a long way in the last two centuries. We’ve found cures to deadly diseases, sent people into outer space and connected the world through the internet, but we still had to put up with the frustration of pouring wine. There’s no way to avoid spilling that delicious liquid when pouring it out of a classic glass bottle. Sommeliers know this and wrap a napkin around the neck of the bottle when they pour. But that just wasn’t a good enough solution for Daniel Perlman, a wine lover and biophysicist at Brandeis University. So he set out to find a cheap and effective fix to this centuries-old problem.

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Grocery Store Owner Has Been Offering Free Bread to the Needy for the Last 8 Years

For the last 8 year, about 200 residents of Strunino, a small town in Russia’s Vladimir Oblast region have not had to worry about buying bread, thanks to the generosity of a local grocery store owner who has been giving it away for free.

Mamoud Shavershyan came to Russia, from Armenia, 25 years ago. He worked as an engineer, before setting up his own business, a small grocery store no different than other such stores in Strunino. But everything changed one day, 8 years ago when, sitting behind the counter, Mamoud saw an old lady counting dozens of coins to pay for a couple of loaves of bread. He found it humiliating for the pensioner and ended up giving her the bread for free. That day, he made the decision to print coupons that pensioners in Strunino could exchange for white or black bread at his store. To make sure that people knew about his offer he advertised it a local paper.

But that was only the beginning. Soon, Mamoud extended his generous offer to people with disabilities, large families with low income, and the generally poor. News spread like wildfire, and soon poor people from neighboring villages started coming by his shop to receive coupons. Today, the “Eric” grocery store in Strunino gives away around 2,000 loaves of white bread and 1,000 loaves of black bread, every month. They also regularly donate gingerbread to local kindergartens, and to coupon holders during holidays. And for their kindness, Mamoud and his family are “rewarded” with insults, racial slurs and accusations of theft…

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This Infrared Heat Lamp Keeps Your Hands Warm as You Type

Cold hands are apparently a big problem for professional gamers and office workers, so a couple of young Danish entrepreneurs set out to find an efficient hand-warming solution. This ingenious keyboard heat lamp is the result of their work and research.

One night in May 2016, Emil Frølund and Mats Sørensen were playing Counter Strike in Emil’s basement. They were getting “owned” by their opponents, and like any real gamer, they had all sorts of excuses – bad teammates, slow internet connection, cold hands. And while they couldn’t do very much about the first two, that last one was definitely not out of their hands. That night, in a small basement, in Aarhus, Denmark, the Heatbuff keyboard lamp was born.

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Vietnamese Man Hasn’t Clipped His Fingernails in Over 35 Years

Luu Cong Huyen, a 58-year-old man from Yen Giao, in Vietnam’s Nam Dinh province, has been growing his fingernails for over three and a half decades, and takes great care to avoid any activity that might cause him to accidentally break on of his keratinous treasures, even bathing.

If you’re hoping to find a good reason for why anybody would want to grow their fingernails for over 35 years, you’re not going to find one here. For Mr. Huyen it simply started out as a hobby that he never really got over. “Others like raising birds, planting trees or collecting old vehicles… I just like growing long nails,” he says. “Raising nails is more difficult than parenting. I must be very careful in every move to keep my nails.”

Huyen is not exaggerating one bit. His fingernails, the longest of which measures about 55 centimeters, may look thick and sturdy, but he claims they can break very easily, especially when wet. Which is why he avoids even touching water as much as he can, and rarely bathes. When it rains outside, he covers his hands with plastic bags, so that the water doesn’t reach his precious nails.

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South-African Teacher Uses Hip-Hop to Make Math Fun for Students

Kurt Minnaar, a 33-year-old math teacher at Cape Town’s Eben Dönges High School uses hip hop beats and rhymes to make math lessons more enjoyable for his students.

Singing or listening to music during math class is usually frowned upon, but in Kurt Minnaar’s classroom, it’s actually a pre-requisite. The former choreographer and hip-hop artist is using his musical background to make the process of learning math a lot easier and less boring for his students. Minaar says that most kids today are into music and beats, and he’s basically taking the traditional math curriculum and fusing it with what they love to make it easier to learn and remember.

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Coffee Shops with Bikini-Clad Staff Spark Controversy

Bikini Beans Espresso is a coffee shop chain with branches in Arizona and Washington where patrons can have their favorite coffee prepared and served by beautiful women wearing bikinis, g-strings or just three strategically-placed stickers.

Thanks to its attractive dress code, Bikini Beans Espresso has become hugely popular, especially among its male clientele. Apparently, a simple visit to one of these coffee shops has a way of brightening up a man’s day, and it’s definitely not just the coffee. But despite encouraging sales, impressive 5-star ratings on Yelp and thousands of followers on social media, Bikini Beans Espresso has its fare share of critics, most of which claim that the mandatory dress code of the staff is degrading for women.

That’s definitely not how the owners of Bikini Beans Espresso shops see it, though. They claim that the girl’s skimpy “uniforms” actually empower women, helping them feel comfortable in their own skin.

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Amazing Mother Carries Her 30-Year-Old Disabled Daughter on Her Back Whenever They Go Out

69-year-old Julieta Lorenzo, a frail old lady in the Philippines, has recently melted the hearts of thousands around the archipelago after photos of her carrying her 30-year-old disabled daughter to the bank to collect her pension went viral online.

The heartwarming photos were snapped by Facebook user Gilbred Cargason Alsagon Jr, who was at a branch of the Development Bank in the city of Roxas when Julieta and her daughter walked in. The sight of a small 69-year-old woman hunched over with a full grown woman on her back made a big impression on everyone present, Alsagon reported, but even though many offered to help them, the woman politely declined, saying that her daughter, Mary Jane, didn’t trust anyone else to carry her.

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14-Year-Old Boy Designs His Own Prosthetic Hand for Just $100

Unable to find a prosthetic hand that fit him him properly, Leonardo Viscarra, a 14-year-old boy from Bolivia, decided to build one himself, using 3D-printing technology.

Leonardo was born with an undeveloped left hand. As a fetus in his mother’s womb, the boy’s right hand was caught in the placenta and unable to develop properly. He was diagnosed with amniotic band syndrome at birth, and could never use his left hand for basic tasks like picking up or grabbing objects. However, an incident during his childhood sparked an interest in assembling and building things, which ultimately helped him achieve his goal of one day gaining almost full use of his undeveloped hand.

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Man Named Saddam Hussain Struggles to Find Work in India

Saddam Hussain, a marine engineer from Jamshedpur, India, claims that having the same name as the notorious former dictator of Iraq has made it impossible for him to secure a job in the field he has trained so hard in.

When Saddam’s grandfather chose his name, 25 years ago, he had no idea that it would one day become a huge burden. After all, the name is very popular among Indian Muslims, but due to his career choice it is proving an insurmountable hurdle.

Two years after graduating from Tamil Nadu’s Noorul Islam University as a marine engineer, Saddam Hussain is still struggling to find work, despite ranking second in his batch of 2014. All of his former colleagues have secured jobs with companies around the world, but he keeps getting rejected. He has showed up for interviews with multinational shipping companies some 40-odd times, but they all ended in rejection.

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Belgian Church Turns into Beer Bar after Every Sunday Mass

In Brielen, a small Belgian village of only 700 inhabitants, it was customary for church goers to meet up for a beer after every Sunday mass. That became a problem after the last bar in the village closed down, but the local priest was more than happy to keep the tradition going by turning the church into a bar after Sunday mass.

Some say alcohol is the devil’s drink, but a Protestant church in Brielen, Belgium, is using it to keep parishioners happy and bring more people closer to God. After the last  bar in town closed, church goers who used to get together every Sunday after mass for a cold glass of beer were forced to either abandon their tradition or travel to neighboring villages. It was a sad end to a very popular custom, but the local priest saw it as an opportunity to do something good for his flock and attract more people to church.

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