14-Year-Old Can Lift Twice His Body Weight, Is Probably the World’s Strongest Kid

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To be the ‘strongest kid in the world’ is a childhood dream that never translates into reality for most kids. But Jake Schellenschlager has managed to come very, very close to this goal. Inspiration hit him when he was 12 years old – when he saw his dad working out one day. Jake hasn’t looked back ever since. The 14-year-old American is now a weightlifter who can lift more than twice his own body weight.

At 5 foot 3 inches and 119 pounds, Jake has been setting world records for his weight class (under 123 pounds). Last June, he broke the world record for the squat for his age and weight at the Powerlifting Bench Press Championships in York, Pennsylvania. He lifted 136 kilograms (that’s 300 pounds – more than twice his body weight). Jake has been training for the past two-and-a-half years, without missing a single day. He gets the courage to keep going from his father. “My dad is super strong,” he says. “When I see him, it gives me motivation.” Jake and his dad work out together at their gym in Glen Burnie, Maryland.

According to Jake’s trainer, Mike Sarni, the teenager has displayed astounding mental strength. “He doesn’t feel he can be defeated,” said Sarni. “It is that inner strength that tells him, ‘I can do this.’ Usually, you get that in older, more mature people.” While his face is still that of a sweet little boy, his body is completely the opposite. Jake’s muscles are ripped and you can see the determination etched on his face in his weight lifting pictures.

Jake-Schellenschlager

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Beautiful Film Noir “Paintings” Made with Packaging Tape

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Something as mundane as packing tape, in the right hands, can be transformed into beautiful art. In this case, the ‘right hands’ belong to Ukrainian-born artist Mark Khaisman, who now lives in Philadelphia.

Mark uses nothing but packing tape and light to create his incredible artworks. He is a ‘painter of light’, as he puts it. Indeed, it is the play of light that brings out the true beauty of his ‘paintings’.

His process is simple – he sets Plexiglass sheets on a backlit panel that’s sort of like an architect’s box-light. This is the ‘canvas’ on which he uses the tape to construct images. He places strip after strip of packing tape on the glass, building up the image in layers. As he adds on the layers, less light shines through the glass, creating depth, shadow and definition in the pictures.

Mark-Khaisman

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Take a Look inside a $11.5 Million Doomsday-Proof House

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If I had a house like this, maybe I wouldn’t mind an end-of-the-world type scenario at all. I’m talking about a 4,200 sq. ft. mansion located in Yellow Jacket, a deserted town in Colorado, U.S. I call it a mansion only for its interiors. From the outside, it looks every bit like the disaster-ready, Armageddon-proof house that it’s supposed to be.

The walls of this house are made of reinforced concrete and are lined with thick steel. This makes the structure so strong that it has been declared ‘nuclear rated’ by its online listing on Curbed.com. From the outside, it seems like a desolate and boring building in the middle of nowhere, but on the inside it’s a luxury home, complete with designer furniture and beautiful interiors. The only proof that the house is a ‘luxury survival bunker’ are the overhead metal air ducts that traverse almost every room. The ducts are meant to close off in the case of emergencies, like if the air gets contaminated from a gas leak.

doomsday-prrof-house

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The Trovants of Costesti – Romania’s Unique Growing Rocks

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When I first read about trovants, I couldn’t believe they were real. They sounded like objects Captain Kirk and his crew would discover on an alien planet. Strange rocks that grow when it rains and move from one place to another without any assistance. Totally sci-fi, right?

As I kept reading about them, I discovered that trovants aren’t a part of science fiction, they are just an amazing geological phenomena. These stones seem to grow as if they are alive, even though they’re not. They are found in the small Romanian village of Costesti. The word ‘trovant’ is a synonym for the German term “Sandsteinkonkretionen” (try saying that really fast), which means ‘cemented sand’.

Cemented sand – that’s a strange name for a rock, isn’t it? But that’s what trovants are – spherical shapes of sand that appeared on earth after powerful seismic activity. In fact, the earthquakes that brought these strange rocks into existence are said to have occurred 6 million years ago. Trovants grow when they come into contact with water. Stones as small as six to eight millimeters end up as large as six to ten meters. Some of them even move on their own. When cut, trovants reveal spherical and ellipsoidal rings, similar to tree trunks.

Trovants-of-Costesti

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Woman Who Believes She Was a Fairy in a Past Life, Surgically Modifies Her Ears to Look Like One

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Melynda Moon, a 23-year-old Canadian model, has put herself through one of the most bizarre cosmetic surgeries I’ve heard of. While most people ask their surgeons to make their nose smaller or lips fuller, Moon aimed at making her ears pointier. Why? Because she wanted to look like an elf.

“I have always had fantasies about what it would be like to be something other than human,” Moon said. “So I decided to change my appearance to look supernatural.” In August 2011, she spent $400 on a painful surgery to have her ears modified.

To achieve the desired result, the tops of Moon’s ear cartilage were skinned. Pieces were cut from the tips to form points. Her ears were almost ‘carved’ into a triangular shape, reminiscent of the Elves from the Lord of the Rings.

Melynda-Moon2

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High-Tech Sweater Displays Wearer’s Emotions via Integrated LED Lights

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If you’ve always struggled to express your emotions, then you should seriously consider getting the Mood Sweater to do it for you. Sensoree, a San Francisco-based company, has created a new line of high-tech sweaters that display the wearer’s moods.

Along with the sweater, you need to wear a sensor on your hand. Information about your emotions are transmitted to the collar, embedded with LED lights that glow in a variety of colors. The wide turtleneck is white when unused, but glows in various colors, according to the wearer’s mood, when worn.

The emotive display is color coded: green for tranquil, Zen; blue for calm, relaxed; purple for ruffled, aroused or excited; red for nervous, in love; yellow for nirvana, ecstatic, blissful. The technology in the sweater is similar to that used in some lie detectors – it gathers information from the wearer’s sweat glands.

Sensoree-sweater

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This Is What a 250-Pound Rubber Band Ball Created over 32 Years Looks Like

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35-year-old Zack Hample has devoted 32 years of his life to creating a giant ball made of elastic rubber bands. Which means he started making the ball when he was just three or four years old. There’s something odd about a three-year-old trying to make a rubber band ball, at an age when most kids are just learning to play with a ball.

Perhaps this isn’t so surprising, considering all the odd things Zack has done in his life. Just last year, we had featured him here on OC for a completely different achievement. Zack is the world’s best bawl hawk. As of last year, he had collected over 5,800 balls at all the games he attended.

Now Zack is in the news again, for his giant rubber band creation. It cost him about $1,500 over the years to put bands together to make a large ball that weighs over 250 pounds. A video shows him rolling the ball around in his room, talking about how he created it.

zack-hample-rubber-ball

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Guy Eats Out of Dumpsters for a Week to Highlight Food Waste

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Rob Greenfield, a 27-year-old adventurer from San Diego, took up a unique cause. He wanted to create awareness about the large amounts of food wasted in the U.S, so he decided to travel the country and eat out dumpsters for a week.

It’s surprising, the kind of food Greenfield gets from the trash. His refrigerator is filled with fresh fruits, vegetables and bagels worth $200. And he hasn’t paid a penny for any of it. All he does is ‘dumpster dive’ behind grocery stores, which means he shuffles through the food discarded by store workers. “Some people call it nasty,” he says. “It’s just a matter of perspective.”

Greenfield has taken dumpster-eating to a whole new level. He created 21 Gourmet Dumpster Meals to showcase “the flaws in the American food system and inspire people to be part of the solution.” Surprisingly, Greenfield does not encourage people to follow him and eat from dumpsters. “I don’t recommend dumpster living to anybody. I recommend taking proper care not to put food in the dumpsters in the first place.”

dumpster-diving

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Grapple – The Unique Apple That Tastes Like Concord Grapes

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If you love the texture of apples but hate their taste, then Grapples are just the thing for you. These unique fruits look like nice fresh apples but have a completely different flavor. Produced by Todd Snyder of C&O Nursery in Washington, Grapples are apples that taste exactly like Concord grapes.

According to the Grapple website, these apples “begin either as Washington Extra Fancy Gala, or Fuji Apples, depending on the season. These premium apples are the ones that take on the grape flavor best.” The apples are put through a patented process and infused with 100 percent food grade grape flavor solution. The ‘relaxing bathing process’ does not contain any additional calories or sugar. The apples aren’t genetically altered either. “It’s as healthy as if you picked an apple off a tree,” the website claims.

Of course, the grape flavor isn’t natural. It is the “same synthesized grape flavoring agent used in hundreds of other retail food items.” Which means that the ‘natural and artificial’ taste of the fruit comes from the chemical methyl anthranilate, used in grape juices and candy. The flavoring permeates the apple fruit to the core, completely changing the way it tastes and smells.

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The Stunningly Beautiful Black Roses of Halfeti

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Turkish Halfeti Roses are incredibly rare. They are shaped just like regular roses, but their color sets them apart. These roses so black, you’d think someone spray-painted them. But that’s actually their natural color.

These stunning black roses would make excellent props in a movie about witches and black magic, or in a heavy-metal video. There’s something extremely attractive about them, in an intense sort of way.

Although they appear perfectly black, they’re actually a very deep crimson color. These flowers are seasonal – they only grow during the summer in small number, and only in the tiny Turkish village of Halfeti. Thanks to the unique soil conditions of the region, and the pH levels of the groundwater (that seeps in from the river Euphrates), the roses take on a devilish hue. They bloom dark red during the spring and fade to black during the summer months.

Halfeti-black-roses

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Androgynous Male Model Understandably Mistaken for a Girl on Asian Websites

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Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, is abuzz with photographs of 18-year-old Yiming Zhao. This beautiful young model and make-up artist captured the hearts of millions of Asian netizens. Unfortunately, their hearts broke when the truth was revealed to them – their dream girl is, in fact, a boy.

Yes, Yiming might be effeminate, but is very much a boy. It’s easy to see why so many people were fooled, though. His slender figure, sweet smile and mesmerizing gaze make it very hard to believe he’s not a girl.

The photographs show Yiming in a variety of costumes and hairstyles. Some pictures are selfies, while others show him modelling for big brands like Club Monaco. In some of them he’s deliberately dressed like a girl, wearing long wigs and wedding gowns. In others, you can spot right away that he’s male. Yiming is incredibly skinny, so I suppose that helps him pass off as male and female, if he so wishes.

Zhao-Yiming

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Meet the Man Who Artistically Carves Entire Caves by Hand with a Pickaxe

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Sculptor Ra Paulette has a phenomenal hobby – he digs caves in New Mexico’s sandstone cliffs. Not plain, rocky, boring ones. Ra’s caves are smooth, artistic, and breathtakingly beautiful, and he creates them with his bare hands. His only tools – a pickaxe and a wheelbarrow.

67-year-old Ra came into his unusual profession after years of being a drifter. He was a college dropout, was discharged from the U.S. Navy and hitchhiked his way across America. He worked on a series of odd jobs – postal employee, security guard, janitor, and even farmer and one point.

Ra learnt the art of digging in the summer of 1985, when he worked in Dixon as an excavator. He would dig outhouses and build wells, giving him a longing to do something artistic with his hands. One thing led to another and soon, he was digging caves.

Ra-Paulette-caves

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South Korean Twin Sisters Look Unrecognizable after Amazing Plastic Surgery

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Plastic surgery is so common now, it shouldn’t shock us anymore. But you can’t help being amazed at certain transformations. Like these South Korean twins’ almost unbelievable change.

We don’t know their names. All we know is that they were participants on the popular South Korean TV show – Let’s Beauty. The show focuses on people who say they feel held back by their appearance, helping them look better and feel more confident.

Snapshots of the twins’ transformation are all over the internet. Honestly, I think they looked pretty good before the surgery. But they look breathtakingly beautiful now. The photographs show a surgeon analyzing the twins’ appearance and going over the procedure. There’s a sneak preview of the dramatic difference in the making. And the final pictures show a detailed view of the completely reconstructed faces.

cosmetic-surgery

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How Bad Do You Have to Go? Extreme Toilet Perched on a Cliff in Siberia

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The world’s most extreme toilet is located in Siberia, 2,600m (over 8,500 feet) above sea level. It’s not just the height that makes it scary; the toilet is perched rather precariously on the edge of a cliff. I think it looks like it might fall right off if a very heavy person used it.

What’s this lonely lavatory doing up there all by itself, you ask? Well, it’s meant to serve just five people – employees at the remote weather station at Kara-Tyurek.

Kara-Tyurek, which means ‘Black Heart’ in the local language, lies in the Russian Altai Mountains. Its weather station has been operational since 1939, and the five people working there have just the one toilet to use.

extreme-toilet

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A Truly Dirty Job: Guy Predicts the Future by Analyzing Poop

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Harry and Ron hated their divination lessons. Hermione stormed out of one, never to return again. Professor Trelawney was a real nut-job. I could feel the pain of these characters as I read the Harry Potter books; divination always seemed like such a farce. But now I think that maybe they didn’t have it so bad after all. I mean, all they had to do was make up a bunch of dreams and detect patterns in tea-leaves. It’s not like they had to do what S.S. Singh does in real life to predict the future – analyze human poop.

Believe it or not, poop-analysis is a real branch of divination study. It even has a name – Scatomancy. Singh is one of the few practitioners of this long-lost art and he is being featured in a documentary called ‘Journey to Planet Sanity’, releasing Dec 6th. I just watched a video clip of Singh analyzing some poop and… oh well, what can I say? It’s as disgusting as it sounds.

“It’s a lost art,” says Singh. “You’d be surprised how accurate it actually is.” What really surprise me are the events in the video clip. This is what happens: In the film, skeptic Blake Freeman is travelling around the United States with his friend, Leroy Tessina. Leroy is paranoid about aliens and paranormal activity, and has spent his life savings on protecting himself from such things. Freeman needs to convince Leroy to go on this trip with him, and so he takes Leroy to see Singh.

Scatomancer

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