This Transforming Castle Truck Is the Most Amazing Mobile Home Ever

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Justin and Jola Siezen are an unconventional family.  They have adopted a traveling lifestyle and are constantly on the move with their baby son Piko, in a mobile home. But that’s no ordinary mobile home – it’s a magical truck that transforms into a fantasy castle, complete with a kitchen, bedroom, turret bathrooms, and a rooftop bathtub!

The couple used to spend a lot of their time on the road, because of Jola’s job as an acrobat. “We were traveling around overseas and thought about coming back to New Zealand and where we were going to live,” Justin said. “I remembered living in a bus and I was thinking ‘that’s actually not a bad idea, that would be a good start when we get back until we decide on something else.”

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Deep Springs College – An Exclusive All-Male College in the Middle of a California Desert

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One of the most exclusive colleges in the world is located bang in the middle of the remote high California desert. The institution accepts only 12 male students a year, and believe it or not, it consistently tops Harvard’s yield rate!

Deep Springs College, founded in 1917, is unusual in every imaginable way. It has a miniscule student body, an alfalfa-farm-and-cattle-ranch campus, and a mandatory 20 hours of manual labor per week. In fact, the college was built on the concepts of self-governance, manual labor, and rigorous academics. So the 24-odd guys up there spend their college years studying hard and, farming even harder.

Located in the Inyo-White Mountains, just east of the Owens Valley and the Sierra Nevada range, the campus spans 50 square miles in Deep Springs Valley. It offers a two-year liberal arts course, technically making it a junior college. But according to Vanity Fair, “Roughly 80 percent go on as juniors to colleges such as Harvard, Yale, Brown, Columbia and Oxford, while the remainder typically embark on a year of service first.” This places Deep Springs college in a category of its own.

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The Mexican Town Where Women Engage in Bloody Fist Fights to Call the Rain

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Every year, in the month of May, women from the Nahua villages of Guerrero, Mexico, get together to beat the living daylights out of each other. All the blood they spill during the fight is collected in buckets, and later used to plough and water their lands. The villagers believe that this bizarre ritual will bring the rain and provide bountiful harvests!

The festival, like many others in Mexico, combines catholic and prehispanic traditions. On the first day, women wake up early to make large quantities of food. They prepare turkey, chicken, rice, boiled eggs, pozole, mole, and tortillas, which they take along with them to the fighting grounds. At the official site, they lay out the food and decorate the area with flowers and inflated turkey bellies. They recite prayers for the virgin Mary and for the local rain god Tlaloc, after which it is time for the fighting to begin.

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The Land – A Different Kind of Playground Where Kids Get to Play with Fire and Take Risks

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‘The Land’ is a different kind of adventure playground in Wrexham, Wales, which doesn’t follow the traditional format of swings and slides. Instead, it allows kids to explore independence and take risks. The Land resembles a junk yard, where kids get to jump over barrels and into mud puddles, poke sticks into open fires, and hammer sharp nails into wooden planks.

“It’s shaped by children who attend,” said Claire Griffiths, play department manager at the Association of Voluntary Organisations, which manages The Land. “It’s open access provision so children come and go as they please. They build dens, saw, hammer; they create and they destroy.”

That pretty much sounds like a parent’s worst nightmare, but the concept is surprisingly popular. Most parents seem to agree that The Land offers a valuable childhood experience that has been missing for decades. It is the complete opposite of over-protective parenting that encourages children to stay indoors.

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The Man Who Courted a Crane for Three Years to Save Its Species

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Award winning ornithologist George Archibald is a living legend among his peers. This man actually courted a female whooping crane for three years, until she laid eggs. He managed to form an unlikely bond with the bird, and is believed to have played a big role in saving the entire species from extinction.

The story goes back to the spring of 1976, when Tex the crane was the only female of her species at the San Antonio Zoo. She was also one of about 100 surviving whooping cranes in the world. Researchers at the International Crane Foundation – co-founded by George in 1973 – had realised that Tex’s genes could contribute to increasing the population of cranes, if she would breed in captivity. There was only one problem: Tex thought she was human!

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Thai Batman Fan Opens His Own Dark Knight Museum Complete with a LEGO Gotham City

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Meet Somchai Nitimongkolchai, Bangkok’s biggest Batman fan. The 43-year-old has been investing in Batman memorabilia for the past decade – his vast collection now consists of a whopping 50,000 pieces, including a LEGO Gotham City. And it’s all on display at his very own ‘Batcat Museum & Toys Thailand’.

Somchai, a self-confessed superhero geek, became obsessed with the Dark Knight ever since the 2005 film Batman Begins. He was blown away by Christian Bale’s performance as Batman. “I saw Batman Begins and was really impressed by how smart and brave Bruce Wayne was,” he said. He felt like Batman was an ‘approachable hero’ for the real world. “Anyone could just put on a mask and be Batman.”

Somchai, who ran an event-organising company at the time, had never collected anything until then. But the film inspired him to purchase his first collectible – a ceramic Batman piggy bank – for his office desk. Since then, he has combed every flea market and garage sale in Bangkok, looking for stuff related to his favorite superhero. “I started shopping on eBay and then learned more about how collectibles are marketed,” he said.

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Meet Baltazar, the Last Ice Merchant of Ecuador

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While the rest of the world reaches into the freezer for ice, there’s someone on this planet who actually climbs mountains to chop it off. Meet Baltazar Ushca, Ecuador’s last hielero, or ‘iceman’.

Ushca is the last surviving practitioner of his family’s trade – passed on from father to son for centuries. At least once a week, the 68-year-old spends five hours hiking up Mount Chimborazo, Ecuador’s highest peak. He keeps going until he reaches the ice mine that has fed him and his family for generations.

Negotiating the steep 14,700-foot path is no joke, especially at Uscha’s age. But he continues the family tradition of cutting ice from the cave and shaping it into blocks. He then transports the blocks, by mule, down to the nearest city of Riobamba, where they are sold.

Despite his age and his short stature (4ft 11in) Ushca can carry two 66-lb blocks of ice on his shoulders. And he’s quite happy working on the mountain that he considers to be sacred. “This is a man’s work,” he said, proudly. “I am happy when I walk. Father Chimborazo looks after me.”

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Man Chops in Half Everything He and His Girlfriend Owned after Breakup

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We’ve seen people do strange things to cope with the pain of a breakup – like spending a week at KFC or inventing ridiculous uses for a wedding dress. But German eBay user ‘der.juli’ took post-breakup madness to the next level by literally cutting in half all the things he and his ex owned together.

It must have been a terrible breakup – what else could have prompted him to do destroy his TV, iPhone, laptop and even his car? We’re not kidding, he actually sliced his green Opel Corsa and his Macbook Pro neatly down the middle! He’s now selling the broken stuff on eBay, each priced at less than $2.

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Russian Powerlifter Will Make You Reconsider Condescending Terms Like “Weaker Sex”

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Natalia Trukhina is a professional powerlifter from Russia. At just 23-years of age, she has already accomplished more than other athletes do in their entire careers, setting multiple bench press and armlifting world records as well as earning several world champion titles.

Natalia discovered her passion for powerlifting when she was 14 years old. She had always liked power and combat sports and was a very active child. However, she weighed only 40 kilograms at the time and started hitting the gym in order to gain a few extra pounds. The rest, as they say, is history. Now 23, Natalia Trukhina has grown from a scrawny girl into one of the most muscular women in the world. Her impressive figure and strength put most men to shame.

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Teenagers Create Innovative Door Handle That Kills 99.8 Percent of Germs

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A couple of teen geniuses from Hong Kong have invented a product that could revolutionize the world of hygiene and infection control. They’ve created a door handle that instantly destroys germs every time it is touched by human hands.

The two kids – 17-year-old Sun Ming (‘Simon’) Wong and 18-year-old King Pong (‘Michael’) Li – are students at Tam Lee Lai Fun Memorial Secondary School, in Tuen Mun, China. They realised that everyday objects such as doorknobs, handrails, shopping cart handles, and counter-tops are breeding grounds for millions of germs, so they set out to explore the possibility of creating self-disinfecting surfaces that remain germ-free all the time.

After considerable research, Simon and Michael found out that titanium dioxide is an amazing bacteria-killer. So they ground the mineral into a very fine powder to use as a coating for the handle. They also discovered that titanium dioxide is more effective when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays. This posed a challenge: sunlight is a natural source of UV rays, but door handles are generally used indoors. So they had to come up with an energy-efficient artificial source of UV rays.

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Mexican Artist Recreates Classic Paintings on Real Butterflies

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After experimenting with candy and toothpaste paintings, Mexican artist Cristiam Ramos is now working with preserved butterflies. He spends several hours pouring over each wing, painstakingly decorating them with detailed replicas of classical paintings.

Butterfly wings don’t naturally make for good canvases – they’re small, and the texture isn’t altogether right for painting. They’re each about 12 cm in length, so Ramos has to use a magnifying glass to get the intricacy and details right. He spends a good 56 hours painting each wing, meticulously applying one brushstroke at a time.

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Swedish Company Rents Out People with Dwarfism for Corporate Parties and Private Events

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Swedish start-up dvarg.se is attracting criticism for renting out people with dwarfism to corporate events and private parties, for entertainment purposes. Some of the controversial services include ‘dwarf-boxing’ and ‘dwarf-bartenders’, priced at 4,000 kronor each, and ‘dwarf-bodyguards’ priced at 5,000 kronor per dwarf. Clients can also hire dwarves for customized services, at 1,000 kronor per hour.

The ethics of such services are obviously questionable, and the company has been accused of setting a bad example to the nation’s youth. But dvarg.se CEO and founder Johannes Erikkson insists that there’s nothing wrong with what his company is offering. “We cater for everything from nightclubs to bachelor parties,” he said. “Last weekend we had a request for some of our employees to kidnap a guy at a bachelor party.” However, the company did remove a service called ‘dwarf-tossing’ from the website, after it was reported in the national media.

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Real-Life Popeye Could Probably Crush You with His Giant Hands

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Saying 50-year-old armwrestler Jeff Dabe has big hands would be a huge understatement! Dabe’s bear paws are so big that he has been compared to cartoon characters like Popeye and Wreck-It Ralph.

A year and a half ago, we introduced you to Denis Cyplenkov, a Ukrainian strongman and professional armwrestler, who at the time we thought had the world’s largest hands. We still think they’re huge for a human, but they pale in comparison to Jeff Dabe’s. His forearms are 49 cm in circumference and his palms look like they could crush a man’s skull like a watermelon. Luckily, Jeff only uses his enormous guns for arm wrestling and operating heavy equipment.

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Thync – A Wearable Device That Alters Your Mood

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‘Thync’ is a new wearable device that makes use of electroencephalography to measure the brain’s electrical activity, and modify neuron activity. Simply put, it has the ability to change your mood!

All you need to do is attach the device to your forehead and it will instantly shift your state of mind. A corresponding iPhone app lets you pick the type of mood you want to experience, and even adjust the intensity. You could choose to become happy, relaxed, focused, or energised. And the best part is, you get to do it without using drugs, energy drinks, or alcohol.

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In Some Parts of the World Ant Heads Were Once Used as Stitches

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Remember the gut wrenching scene from Apocalypto, where Jaguar Paw’s wife uses ants’ pincers as sutures on her young son? Turns out it was inspired by a real medical treatment used in part of Asia, Africa and South America.

According to survival expert Cody Lundin, who starred on the Discovery reality show Dual Survival, army ants – soldiers that guard the rest of the colony – are known for their whopper mandibles. “I know that in ancient China, they were used as sutures by a lot of native peoples,” he explained on the show. “Take it on both sides of your wound and it’s going to clamp down on your flesh, and when you pinch off the body, it will hold that wound shut. Once they bite on, they don’t let go. You can physically pull their body away from their head, and they will stay embedded in the flesh.”

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