14-Year-Old’s Simple Idea Could Save US Government $400 Million on Official Documents

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Suvir Mirchandani, a 14-year-old student from Pittsburg, has figured out a way to do something that financial experts have been struggling with for decades – substantially reduce Government spending. And we’re not taking about a few dollars here and there, we’re talking millions. $400 million, to be precise. To save all that money, Suvir suggested that the US government simply switch fonts from Times New Roman to Garamond when printing official documents. Because each character is printed lighter and thinner in Garamond, it uses 25 percent less ink, saving a lot of money in the process.

Suvir came up with the brilliant idea while working on a science fair project at his school – Dorseyville Middle School. He was looking for a way to use computer science to promote environmental sustainability. After a lot of research, he decided to figure out if there was a way minimize the use of paper and ink. “Ink is two times more expensive than French perfume by volume,” the whiz-kid pointed out. So he collected random samples of teachers’ handouts at his school and studied the most commonly used letters: ‘e, t, a, o and r’.

The study included four different typefaces: Garamond, Century Gothic, Times New Roman and Comic Sans. Suvir measured how often the letters were used in each of these fonts. Then he used a commercial tool called APFill Ink Coverage Software to figure out how much ink was used for each letter. He printed out enlarged versions of the letters, cut them out on cardstock paper and weighed them to verify the data. He performed three trials per letter and graphed the ink usage for each font. The results of the analysis were astounding – he found out that Garamond’s thinner strokes could help his school district reduce ink consumption by 24 percent, saving about $21,000 a year.



Norwegian Teen Tattoos McDonald’s Receipt on His Arm as a Dare

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When 18-year-old Stian Ytterdahl’s friends dared him to get a tattoo, they gave him only two options to choose from – Barbie on his buttocks or a McDonald’s receipt on his arm. They’re both terrible, but I suppose you can’t blame Stian for choosing the latter.

“Some of my mates thought I had been a bit too active on the ladies front recently and wanted to punish me,” he said. “When we were in the restaurant on Monday, they said I had to tattoo a Barbie doll on my bum, or the receipt on my arm.” Incidentally, this is the teenager’s first tattoo ever, covering most of his lower right arm. There’s a large McDonalds logo at the top, followed by a list of items he ordered off the menu – a cheeseburger and four added toppings.

Stian, from Lørenskog in Southwest Norway, also said that his parents were not at all pleased with the turn of events. “I got an email from my dad that wasn’t entirely positive, saying: ‘What on earth have you done?! Do you think you are coming home with that!? Your mother has had a break down.’” Stian’s parents got to know about the tattoo from a report in the local newspaper and they were devastated.

Lørenskog: Stian tatoerte McDonaldskvittering på armen.


Indian Student Jumps into Zoo Enclosure to Challenge Full-Grown Tigers, Walks Away Unscathed

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College students are known to do the stupidest things at times, but this one just takes the cake. Yashonandan Kaushik, a 23-year-old student of Engineering from Madhya Pradesh, India, actually jumped into a tiger’s enclosure at Gwalior Zoo. The bizarre incident that took place around 5pm on Monday stunned spectators and zoo staff alike. Kaushik completely ignored their cries to come out. He took off his shirt, challenged the tigers to a fight and tried to chase one of the beasts into its cave. Surprisingly, he made it out of the enclosure unharmed.

Someone caught the whole thing on video – the clip shows Kaushik trying to provoke Luv and Kush, the two tigers in the enclosure. But the tigers just look plain scared and run in the opposite direction. Kaushik continues to dance and behave irrationally (for about 45 minutes, according to news reports). When one of the tigers runs into its cave, he follows it and appears to call for it to come out and fight. At one point he can even be seen sitting in a yoga posture while the tigers stand merely feet away. Lucky for him, security staff arrived and locked the tigers away, before escorting Kaushik to safety.



Japanese Man Spends $150,000 on Plastic Surgery to Look Like Michelangelo’s David

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Alan, a 20-year-old kid from Japan, spent $150,000 on plastic surgery in a span of just one year. After being teased throughout school for his effeminate looks, he wanted to permanently change his face. And he chose to model it after Michelangelo’s masterpiece Renaissance sculpture, David. Alan wanted to make himself look ‘foreign’ and have an ‘ageless face’ so he felt like ‘the ideal is the Statue of David’.

I’m not sure how much Alan resembles the chiseled face of David, but he certainly looks nothing like his former self. He was on a Japanese TV show recently, where he spoke about his various surgeries – two on the nose, one on the eyes, four lift-and-tucks to remove and prevent wrinkles, and injections to alter the shape of his chin. Alan left home and moved to Tokyo at the age of 16. There, he got involved with at least five older women who have sponsored all his beauty treatments.

But he was quick to point out that he didn’t share sexual relationships with any of these women. He said: “If I do that once, the money flow will stop as that companion will be satisfied.” It appears that Alan’s income from his lady-friends is quite regular – he visits his plastic surgeon every morning to get a special IV (worth $3,000 a month) loaded with supplements that keep him looking young.



Zombie-Inspired Beer Is Brewed with Actual Brains

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As the season finale of the popular TV show The Walking Dead approaches, Philadelphia’s Dock Street Brewing Co. is celebrating with its own version of a ‘zombie’ beer brewed with actual brains. Don’t freak out just yet, though, those are smoked goat brains, not human.

The brewery’s website reads: “Presenting the Brainy Dock Street Walker: Quite possibly the smartest beer you’ll ever drink. Get a taste and watch the finale at Dock Street on March 30th, 7pm.”

“More often than not, monotonous Monday cleaning rituals (labors of love for brewers everywhere) were spent recapping the previous nights’ twists, turns, narrow escapes, or untimely goodbyes,” said the brewery in a press release. “Dock Street wanted to brew a special tribute to the show. Dock Street Walker’ (7.2 percent ABV) is an American Pale Stout, brewed with malted wheat, oats and flaked barley for a smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Fuggle hops provide delicate, earthy notes, while the cranberries create a sinister, bloody hue and a slight tartness. The pre-sparge-brain-addition provides this beer with intriguing, subtle smoke notes. In true walker fashion, don’t be surprised if its head doesn’t hang around forever.”



Teenager Claims Selfie Addiction Nearly Ruined His Life

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19-year-old Danny Bowman is England’s and perhaps the world’s first self-confessed selfie addict. It might seem funny, but this addiction is every bit as serious and dangerous as any other. In fact, the young boy almost lost his life over his obsession of taking the perfect selfie photograph.

Danny used to spend about 10 hours taking over 200 selfies on his iPhone, every single day. At one point, his addiction got so bad that he stopped going to school and didn’t leave his house for six months. He even lost almost 30 pounds trying to make himself more photogenic. When his parents tried to stop him, he turned aggressive. And in a final, drastic attempt to cure himself of his disease, Danny overdosed on drugs.

“I was constantly in search of taking the perfect selfie and when I realized I couldn’t, I wanted to die,” he said. “I lost my friends, my education, my health, and almost my life.” Fortunately, Danny was saved by his mother Penny, before the his selfie addiction claimed his life. He is now being treated for technology addiction, OCD and Body Dysmorphic Disorder, which is an excessive anxiety about personal appearance.



Controversial Device Lets Users Inhale Alcohol, Become Intoxicated Much Faster

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The ‘Vaportini’ is a controversial new device that promises a ‘revolutionary way of consuming alcohol’. People can to use it to speed up the effects of alcohol consumption, without the calories, carbs or impurities that usually come with drinking. The device heats up alcohol to 140 degrees F and allows users to breathe in the vapor through a straw. The crazy contraption can be purchased for just $45 from an American website.

Needless to say, inhaling alcohol is just as bad as it sounds. Professor Chris Day of Newcastle University and advisor to Drinkaware (a charity that promotes responsible drinking), said: “Inhaling alcohol is a very new trend so there isn’t yet any scientific data of the effects but it has the potential to be a very dangerous phenomenon and as such, we would advise people to be cautious if indeed they do decide to try it.” The professor also pointed out that the vapor bypasses the body’s natural defence mechanisms, so it has to be unsafe.

Professor Jonathan Chick, a psychiatrist from Edinburgh, was in agreement. “There is a greater ‘hit’ on the brain than when alcohol is taken by mouth, because some of it has not already been broken down on its way through the liver and this will increase the risk of damage to brain cells. So the method cannot be called safer to the body organs,” he said. He pointed out that there is an added risk of inhalation which is due to the direct impact on the brain – that is, risk of unsteadiness, falling or impulsive behavior. The vapor also bypasses the stomach (which limits alcohol intake through vomiting), making it dangerous and unsafe.



Flight of the Living Dead – The Tiny Fly That Turns Bees into Zombies

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Human zombies might be a figment of the imagination, but ‘zombie bees’ actually exist. They are ‘created’ when regular honeybees get infested with a particular type of parasite. The bees begin to display highly erratic and bizarre behavior that’s very zombie-like. These infested bees were first discovered in 2008 in California by John Hafernik, a professor of biology at San Francisco State University.

Ever since the initial discovery, zombie bee-sightings have been reported in Oregon, Washington State, California and South Dakota. According to Professor Hafernik, “They fly around in a disoriented way, get attracted to light, and then fall down and wander around in a way that’s sort of reminiscent of zombies in the movies. Sometimes we’ve taken to calling it, when they leave their hives, ‘the flight of the living dead.’”

The culprit here is the Apocephalus borealis, a parasitic fly that is known to implant its eggs in ants. The fly larvae live off the ants’ brains, dissolve their connective tissues and eventually finish off the ants. Researchers now have reason to believe that the flies have found a new home for their eggs – European honeybees that are common in the United States. The flies lay their eggs in the bees that eventually hatch, wreaking havoc in their hosts’ bodies.



Chinese Grandmother Carries Handicapped Granddaughter on Her Back Every Day So She Can Attend School

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There’s nothing quite like a grandparent’s love, and this sweet story from Yibin City in China’s Szechuan province proves it. Even though 14-year-old Fang Mei Qiu is handicapped, she doesn’t miss a day of school. And she’s always on time! All thanks to her 66-year-old grandmother who actually gives the girl a piggy back ride every morning. Together, they cover four kilometers of mountain roads on foot each day to and from school.

Fang Mei was born with abnormal kneecaps that aren’t able to support her weight. So she can’t stand for more than a few minutes without excruciating pain, let alone walk to school. She is constantly in need of help to move around. Sadly, her father left when she was just a baby and her mother remarried soon, leaving Fang Mei in the care of her grandparents. And what loving grandparents they’ve turned out to be! While the grandfather is too old and sick to do much, the grandmother takes care of the small family’s needs.

Grandma wakes up at 5 am each morning and prepares for the day ahead. At 7 am, they begin their journey to school with Fang Mei on grandma’s back, stopping to rest at least five times during the trek. It takes them one-and-a-half hours to cover the two-kilometer journey on foot. And they are never late – grandma makes sure they reach school by 8.30 am every single day. They’ve been doing this for five years now, covering over 4,000 kilometers so far.



The Harmless Far East Eses – Thai Men Dressing Up Like Mexican Gang Members

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In an interesting new trend in Thailand, young men are choosing to dress themselves as Mexican gangsters. Their clothes (or lack thereof), hairstyles, and tattoos are all inspired by criminal gangs in Mexico and the US. They have even formed their own gangs – Balcony Pain, Fratez, and D Sixty, to name a few. But of course, copying dressing style won’t really make criminals out of decent men. None of these young copycats actually appreciate the brutal violence associated with real-life Latino gangs, they are just really big fans of the gangs’ fashion style and brotherhood mentality.

More than anything else, these men appreciate the ‘clean and simple’ gangster aesthetic because it suits the Thai weather very well. You’d actually be surprised to know that most of them hold nine to five jobs as teachers, policemen and bureaucrats. Some are family men who ask their wives’ permission before getting inked. Needless to say, they don’t fight, shoot each other or deal in drugs. They’re more like this large brotherhood of style-conscious men who bond well over their passion for gangster lifestyle and clothes.



Pastor Jokingly Offers to Sponsor Congregation’s Cross Tattoos, Now Has to Pay Up

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When Pastor Zack Zehnder flippantly offered free tattoos to his congregation, little did he expect people to actually take him up on it. During a recent sermon about acceptance at the Cross Mount Dora church in Mount Dora, Florida, the pastor had said: “If anybody would like to go out and get a tattoo of the logo of the cross that we have for this church we will find money and pay for that.” I suppose he didn’t realize exactly how popular tattoos are – at least a dozen church members have already inked themselves with the church cross logo.

Jeremie Turner, one of the congregation members who got inked, said: “We definitely took him up on his offer because if he’s going to hand out free tattoos, he’s got a crowd of people that’s going to accept them.” When pastor Zack realized what was happening, he graciously stuck to his word and personally paid for the tattoos at Bill Gold’s Tattoo Shop. “If I wasn’t so dang sarcastic in my sermons, I don’t know that we would be here,” he said, while overseeing a church member getting inked at the shop. “But we got some crazy people that have said they wanted to do it so I kinda gotta, I made the promise. I kinda gotta back it up.”

It’s nice to see  pastor Zack standing by his promise, instead of making excuses to try and get out of the deal. He even hopes that the new tattoos will serve as conversation starters and get more people interested in the church. “People’s perception of church has probably never been as negative as it is today and so if we can do something to kind of flip that script and interact with them and do something in a unique and creative way, we’re going to do that,” he said.



Chinese Contestants Stand on One Leg for Hours on End to Win Brand New BMW

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Wu Deqi is the proud owner of a brand new swanky BMW. Nothing special so far, I know, but that’s because you don’t yet know how he got it. Instead of money, he had to pay for it with a lot of pain. In a promotional contest held last Sunday in the Shapingba District of Southwest China, Wu stood on one leg with one hand touching the coveted car alongside 20 other participants. After a grueling 7 hours and 26 minutes, Wu was the last man standing – automatically winning possession of the 300,000 yuan BMW X1.

Of course, Wu’s feat is nowhere near the Guinness World Record for standing on one leg. That distinction belongs to Suresh Joachim, who balanced himself on one foot for a whopping 76 hours and 40 minutes. But you have to hand it to Wu for his extraordinary effort. I mean, I couldn’t do it for over 5 minutes even if they offered me two BMWs.

The actual event began on 1 March and attracted hundreds of participants. About 140 people entered into three elimination rounds, and 20 shortlisted candidates made it to the final competition on Sunday. This last round was the toughest; some of the contestants actually dropped to the ground in agony. The competition began at 9:30 am and by 1:30 pm, the going got really tough. That’s when the organizers asked participants to stand on tip of their support foot. Flour was spread under each person’s foot to make sure they didn’t cheat and rest their heels.



Thrill-Seeker Travels All Around the World to Perform Death-Defying Hand-Stands

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Scott Young is a thrill seeker unlike any other. Most adventurers are content with just traveling the world, but this young daredevil takes the phrase ‘living on the edge’ to a whole new level. He actually performs handstands on top of skyscrapers and other tall buildings in every city that he visits. Scott climbs to the very edge of buildings up to 40 storeys high (that’s nearly 500 foot) and hangs up-side-down. And get this – he doesn’t use any safety ropes or nets. He only carries a small camera strapped to his foot, to record the vertigo-inducing view below.

25-year-old Scott is a native of Basingstoke, a large town in northeast Hampshire in England. He has been a professional freerunner since the age of 15, which means that he performs stunts like climbing tall urban buildings and jumping between rooftops. Scott has starred in films like The Amazing Spiderman and is now a part of the 3RUN team of acrobats. But he’s currently working on his pet project called ‘Handstands in High Places’. So far, he has filmed himself performing handstands in three countries – England, China and India. His latest pictures are from the edge of an old, derelict 20-storey building in New Delhi. This was by far the most dangerous stunt he’s performed – purely because of the bad condition of the building. But Scott was pretty nonchalant about the whole affair.



Color Blind Artist Implants Antenna in His Skull to HEAR Colors

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Did you know that colors can be seen as well as heard? Well, now you do, thanks to 31-year-old Neil Harbisson, a color blind artist who spent years looking for a way of experiencing the colors of the world around him. For the past 10 years, Neil has been wearing an external electronic eye that picks up the frequencies of the colors before him and converts them into sound vibrations that he can hear. Initially he wore the device outside his head. But later, the London-based artist convinced surgeons to implant the chip int his skull to be able to perceive more intricate colors.

The idea for the device came about when Neil heard a cybernetics talk by computer scientist Adam Montandon at Dartington College of Arts in 2003. The pair then collaborated to create the device and Neil ended up memorizing various frequencies so he could recognize colors. So he still couldn’t see the colors, he could now hear and identify them. Neil, who was born with achromatopsia (a rare condition that allows him to see only black or white), said during a talk in 2012: “For me the sky is always grey, flowers are always grey and television is black and white.”

“But since the age of 21 instead of seeing color I can hear color. So I’ve been hearing color all the time for eight years so I find it completely normal to hear it all the time. At the start I had to memorize the names you have for each color and the notes but after some time all this information became a perception and I didn’t have to think about the notes and after some time this became a feeling. I started to have favorite colors and I started to dream in color.”



North Dakota Pharmacist Prescribes Monster Spray to Children Afraid to Sleep Alone

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If sprays can get rid of household pests, then why not resident monsters? A North Dakota father-and-daughter pharmacist duo have hit upon an ingenious idea that could potentially banish the night-time woes of parents all over the world. Jeff Dodds and his daughter Josslyn Dodds are both employees at Barrett Pharmacy in Watford City. They worked together to create the potion – a bit of colored water in a medicine spray bottle with some very creative labelling. The small bottle contains 120 sprays and allows for one refill; it’s called Monster Spray and, as the name suggests, it’s meant to get rid of monsters under children’s beds. Surprisingly, the concept is a success!

So how does the Monster Spray work exactly? According to the label on the bottle, you need to ‘spray around the room at night before bed, repeat if necessary’. It seems that this simple routine has been satisfying kids for the past five years or so – Barrett has used it to cure a handful of children with monster-fears. “It’s 100 percent safe and it works amazingly,” said Josslyn. “It really seems to get rid of the monsters.” According to the parents who have used it, it’s the realistic prescription bottle that convinces their children.



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