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Goodbye, Potholes! “Thirsty” Concrete Sucks Up Hundreds of Gallons of Water in Mere Seconds

Topmix Permeable is a new type of super-absorbent concrete designed to soak up nearly 900 gallons of water in only one minute! Streets paved with this special, ‘thirsty’ concrete will not flood during storms, and they’ll also remain free of puddles and potholes.

Lafarge Tarmac, the company that developed the technology, uses relatively large pebbles to make a permeable top layer of concrete. Water that hits the surface will seep through the matrix into a loose base of rubble underneath. Drainage channels are worked into the rubble, to help increase the amount of water absorbed.

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Self-Taught Ethiopian Aviation Enthusiast Builds His Own Airplane

In a bid to fulfil his childhood dream of flying a plane, an Ethiopian man has taught himself how to build one mainly by reading aviation books and watching YouTube tutorials!

Public Health Officer and Ethiopian Airlines Aviation Academy reject Asmelash Zerefu set about learning to build his own aircraft over a decade ago. It was a daunting challenge, but he has managed to achieve the unthinkable – he single-handedly constructed Ethiopia’s first ever home-built aircraft from scratch.

“I call it the K-570A,” he said. “K representing my mother’s initial of her name, Kiros, and 570 signifying the number of days it took me to complete my aircraft. And A is for Aircraft.”

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Australian Couple Experience Life with Almost No Money for a Year

In this day and age, living without money sounds almost impossible, but that’s exactly what this Australian couple has been doing for almost a year. It’s been anything but easy, but they’ve somehow made it work.

Rachel Newby, 24, and Liam Culbertson, 26, have come up with innovative ways of making it through the year without any cash. They built themselves a new home on a friend’s plot in West Gippsland, a rural region in Victoria. The house is made entirely out of scrap timber and recycled materials. They grow their own food, and at times, don’t hesitate to dive into dumpsters for leftovers. They also help out local farmers in exchange for fresh produce and yarn.

“We enjoy the feeling of being able to choose what we do regardless of money,” said Rachel. “We don’t have to worry about rent or plane tickets or food or fancy clothes. Effectively, all of our time is free time because we get to decide how we spend it.”

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Stressed Japanese Women Can Now Rent Handsome Men to Wipe Away Their Tears at the Office

A cool new service in Japan is meant to help busy career women cope with the stress of their hectic lifestyles. For about 7,900 yen ($65), they can hire ‘Ikemeso’ – cute men – to wipe away their tears, quite literally!

Here’s how it works: You call the company and pick one of seven Ikemeso, who will then arrive at your workplace to help you release stress through crying. If you’re in tears already, the licensed “crying therapist” will simply wipe your tears away with the softest handkerchief and comfort you with kind words. If work-related stress hasn’t pushed you to tears yet,  the Ikemeso will play an emotional film meant to induce crying. After the video is over, he’ll wipe your tears away.

There are different types of guys you can choose from, depending on your taste – the little brother, the intellectual, the bad boy, the slightly older hot guy, and more. The service is all set to launch on September 24.

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Chinese Man Cycles to Africa to Cool Off After Argument with Girlfriend

This Chinese couple have a cool relationship hack that’s gotten them through the worst of arguments. Every time He Ganhui and his girlfriend fight, he works out his emotions with super long biking trips. The farthest Ganhui’s ever cycled is all the way to Africa!

It all started in 2012, when Ganhui was working as a fencing coach in Foshan, China’s Guangdong province. He had a huge row with his girlfriend one day, and was completely pissed off. Not knowing how to deal with the negativity, he simply got on his bike and rode all the way to Beijing – about 2,200 km away.

“I borrowed a bike from a friend,” Ganhui recalled. “I was on impulse and set off for Beijing. I was such a rookie at the time. I even did not know how to deal with a flat tyre.”

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“Black Widow of Kyoto” Arrested Again after Death of 8th Male Partner

Although she looks harmless, 68-year-old Chisako Kakehi is probably one of the most dangerous women in the world. Nicknamed ‘The Black Widow of Kyoto’ by the media, she is believed to be responsible for the deaths of eight men who were romantically involved with her at some point in time.

Kyoto-based Kakehi is currently in police custody, for the fourth time in her life. According to Kyoto police, Kakehi has been in relationships with over 10 men, eight of whom eventually ended up dead. So far, she has been charged with the murder of a former husband in Kyoto and a boyfriend in Osaka, as well as the attempted murder of a man in Kobe.

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Russian Powerlifter Climbs Mount Elbrus with 75 Kilogram Barbell on His Back

Lots of mountain climbers have scaled Mount Elbrus – Europe’s highest peak (5642 m) – but no one has quite managed to do it like Russian powerlifter Andrey Rodichev. He recently became the first person in the world the climb the mountain while carrying a 75-kg barbell on his back!

That’s a decent load for most people to lift even at the gym, but Rodichev managed it in the most grueling of conditions. What he’s essentially done is combine two very different sports – trekking, which requires amazing endurance, and powerlifting, which requires short bursts of pure muscle power. While the former requires lighter body weight, the latter demands that athletes bulk up. By fusing the two, Rodichev managed to set a new athletic standard.  

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Meet Baddie Winkle, the Internet’s Coolest-Dressing Octogenarian

Lots of people believe in dressing for their age, but Tennessee-based Helen Van Winkle does not subscribe to such hogwash. The 87-year-old sports outrageously loud outfits with peculiar prints and posts photographs of herself on her Instagram account – ‘Baddie Winkle’. With over 1.5 million Instagram followers, she has become the internet’s most popular grandma. Her account is followed by celebs like Miley Cyrus, Nicole Richie, Beyoncé, Drake, and Rihanna. She was even photographed with Cyrus at the MTV Video Music Awards a few weeks ago.

“I don’t feel old,” she told online magazine Refinery29. “I have never felt old. I think you can dress any way you want to.” At age 87, it looks like she’s got more spunk in her than most kids one quarter her age!

But believe it or not, the spirited Winkle was a mess a few years ago, after the deaths of her husband and her son. “You don’t know what’s going to happen to you,” she said of her loss. “I blamed God forever. I cried all the time because I couldn’t come to terms with it.”

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Guy Quits Job to Train for Breaking World Record for Most Selfies in an Hour

When 24-year-old Bhanu Prakash, from Hyderabad, India, realised that his job was eating into his precious selfie-time, he decided to quit working altogether. He now spends all his time taking pictures of himself, and training to break the world record for most selfies in an hour. The record currently belongs to American football player Patrick Peterson, who managed to click himself 1,449 times!

Bhanu, who studied pharmacy in college, was working as a research assistant at a hospital in Hyderabad. He was already into the selfie trend big time, ever since his brother got him a smartphone with a front-facing camera, three years ago. “Almost the first thing I did when I got the phone in my hands was click a picture,” he recalled.

But his obsession reached new heights in May this year, when he overheard a conversation between a few kids on a bus – they were talking about Dwayne Johnson’s feat of clicking 105 selfies in three minutes. “It immediately struck me that it was a guy who did this,” Bhanu said. “I mean, people keep saying selfie is a very girly thing, but here Dwayne Johnson was doing it. And I knew I was up for it now.”

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Believe It or Not, the Last Audio Cassette Factory in the US Is Doing Better Than Ever

I haven’t seen audio cassettes in use in over a decade, so it’s pretty shocking that a company is still making a profit manufacturing them. In fact, National Audio Company (NAC) – the last audio cassette maker in America – has had its best year since it opened in 1969!

The tapes are apparently high on nostalgic value, and that’s why they’re still flying off the shelves. And NAC’s stubbornness in not quitting when the other manufacturers did has finally payed off. “You can characterise our operating business model as stubbornness and stupidity,” NAC president Steve Stepp said. “We were too stubborn to quit.”

“Probably the thing that really enlarged our business at a faster pace than anything is the retro movement,” he added. “There’s the nostalgia of holding the audio cassette in your hand.”

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Chiara Vigo – The World’s Last “Sea Silk” Seamstress

The ancient Italian art of spinning ‘sea silk’ is all but lost, save for one woman who still knows how to produce the incredibly rare, almost magical fabric. While modern silk is spun from silkworms, Chiara Vigo can harvest the saliva of a rare variety of clam and spin it into a shiny, gold-like material called byssus.

Legend has it that byssus was the cloth that God instructed Moses to lay on the first altar. It is believed to be the finest fabric known to Egypt, Greece, and Rome. If treated properly with lemon juice and spices, the remarkable material shines when exposed to the sun. It is also incredibly light, so much so that the wearer cannot even feel it touching the skin. It is said to be as thin as a spider web, resistant to water, acids, and alcohols.

Vigo gathers the raw material required to weave the cloth every spring – she goes out diving early in the morning to cut the solidified saliva of a large clam, the Pinna Nobilis, an endangered fan-shaped species of mollusc that is native to the Mediterranean Sea bed. Vigo has mastered a special cutting technique that allows her to take the secreted material without killing the rare creature. 300 to 400 dives later, she is able to gather about 200 grams of material. 

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No Man’s Land – Kenya’s Women-Only Village

Umoja is literally a no man’s land in Kenya – a matriarchal refuge where men are not allowed. The village, founded 25 years ago by Rebecca Lolosoli, is meant to be a safe haven for women and girls who want to escape abuse in the otherwise patriarchal society of the Samburu people, in northern Kenya.

Rebecca, a member of the Samburu tribe, now serves as the chief matriarch of ‘Umoja Usau Women’s Village’. Having witnessed occasional violence as a child, she slowly came to the conclusion that some of the traditional Samburu practices were inherently abusive towards women. So she began to speak out against these practices, in favour of widows, orphans, and victims of rape, female genital cutting, and forced marriage.

Rebecca’s outspoken attitude was met with a lot of resistance. Things got out of hand when she spoke up for a few women who were raped by British soldiers training nearby. Men in her village beat her up, and her husband did not protest on her behalf. So in 1990, she led a female exodus and started her own village.

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Chinese Primary School Replaces Nap Time With Meditation Session

Most people will agree that nap time is one of the best things about kindergarten – which is why a Chinese primary school was severely criticized for trying to replace afternoon naps with meditation. The pilot meditation program at Shishan Shuben Primary School, in China’s Guangdong Province, ran for only two days before it was scrapped following a backlash. Parents apparently hated the idea, and the media reacted negatively to it as well.

According to news reports, notices were sent to parents before the new semester, informing them that the school was going to do away with mid-day naps and introduce guided meditation instead. When school started, the students were each given a piece of newspaper to sit on. They were then made to watch tutorial videos on how to meditate, featuring the school’s headmaster, Mr. Wu. Unfortunately, Wu’s directions did not have the intended effect – most of the students slept anyway. “He just keeps talking all the time and some of them have been falling asleep,” one little kid said.

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Scientist Hasn’t Bathed in 12 Years, Uses Bacteria Spray to Keep Clean

In a bid to prove that showering is overrated, an American scientist hasn’t had a bath in 12 years. Instead, he sprays his skin with a mist containing live bacteria, which he claims has kept him clean all these years!

Dave Whitlock, a chemical engineer and MIT graduate, says that there is no basis for assuming that bathing is a healthy practice. “No one did clinical trials on people taking showers every day,” he said. “I have not taken a shower in 12 years.” In fact, he says that the chemicals in our soaps and shampoos have destroyed all the friendly bacteria that once inhabited our skin and kept us clean.

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Strange Condition Causes 30-Year-Old Man to Look Decades Older

Although he’s only 30, Yuan Taiping from Chongqing in southwest China, looks like an 80-year-old man. He suffers from a bizarre medical condition that’s caused his skin to age prematurely. He’s visited numerous doctors, but no one has been able to find him a cure so far.

Yuan, who works as a manager at a construction company, looked normal until the age of 20. But then he noticed changes on his face and body – he developed oedemas on his arms and legs and deep lines on his face. At first he thought it was due to stress, but when wrinkles appeared on his forehead, he realised that something wasn’t right. So he decided to get medical help, but in spite of visiting countless hospitals and taking lots of medication in the past decade, nothing has worked.

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