Monkey-Man Keinichi Ito – The Fastest Man on All Fours

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29-year-old Kenichi Ito, from Tokyo, says he has loved monkeys ever since he was a child. He has always been able to identify with animals, and harbored an ambition to adopt one of their traits. His deep desire has been fulfilled, now that he is actually able to move around quite comfortably on all fours, just like a monkey. It all started one day when he witnessed a monkey running quickly. From that point on, he claims he practiced running like the animal every day, until he became the fastest man on all fours.

“You know, my face and body kind of look like a monkey, so from a young age everybody used to tease me, saying ‘monkey, monkey,'” Ito said in his neat apartment, sitting in front of a large poster of a chimpanzee. But I wasn’t really bothered because I really liked them, and somewhere inside of me I had this ambition to adopt one of their traits. When I saw a monkey that could run fast, I knew I’d found it – and from that point on I practiced running like a monkey every day,” Keinichi Ito says about how it all started.

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India’s Controversial Baby Dropping Ritual Is Back

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The devotee scales the high walls of the religious shrine on a rope, a bucket dangling off his back. Once he is at the top (typically about 30ft high), he miraculously retrieves a baby from the bucket, handing it over to a bunch of men standing on the balcony. One of these men takes hold of the baby’s hands and feet, holding the child as though it were a basket. He swings the kid back and forth in the air, exclaiming a chant in the praise of the Lord. And then, shockingly, the baby is dropped.

Baby dropping could be India’s most bizarre ritual. Screaming, wailing babies are dropped from several meters into the air, and there are a group of 14 to 15 men standing right below, holding a blanket that breaks the baby’s fall. Just as it bounces on the blanket once, it is caught by one of the men and handed over to the mother. Understandably, it takes several minutes before the baby recovers from the shock.

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Living with the Dead – Manila’s Cemetery Dwellers

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Graveyards in Manila can be a strange sight for first-time visitors. Some of them hold a strong resemblance to mini-townships, with no sign of the eerie quietness that usually shrouds such spaces. Mausoleums house shops that sell canned sardines, noodle packs, candy, candles and other essential items. Even prepaid cards for mobile phones are available. Meals and drinks are sold at informal restaurants set up between graves. The walls are scaled with makeshift ladders, helping inhabitants to get in and out with ease. Wondering why in the world would the dead need such conveniences? Well, they’re not for the dead, but for the living. Several thousand homeless people in Manila have made graveyards their permanent homes. The biggest graveyard of the Filipino capital, North Cemetery, is now like a small village in itself with a population of 10,000.

I’m not sure about for long this has been going on, but it must be a pretty long time considering that some inhabitants have actually inherited mausoleums from their great-grandparents, and ended up living there accidentally. But a majority of the graveyard population consists of those who come from the provinces of Philippines to the big city and are unable to make ends meet. Apart from running shops and eateries, the people here make a living by working with the graves. At funerals, teenagers carry coffins for 50 pesos (about 50 cents), adult men are employed to repair and maintain tombs, while women take care of cleaning mausoleums. Children collect plastic, scrap metal and other garbage, which are eventually sold.

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Tuvan Throat Singing – A Unique Mongolian Tradition

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As with any other piece of music, it is quite impossible to describe through words what exactly Tuvan throat singing is. I could try to explain to you the physics of how it is done, but then you could always get that information from Wikipedia. I could try to explain what it sounds like, but then you could just listen to it on YouTube. Oh, and while you are on YouTube, please don’t go by Sheldon Cooper’s version of it from The Big Bang Theory. It is funny, but it is in no way the real thing.

Tuvan music is at best described as a variant of overtone singing. Its beauty lies in its traditional, rustic melody and it exudes an old-world charm. That’s not surprising, given the fact that this form of music dates very far back in history. A music that came into being purely out of culture and geographic location, the ancient Tuvans used to look for specific spots to practice it. Given the open landscape of Tuva, sounds are carried a great distance. Singers often travel far into the countryside, in search of the right river or mountainside for the environment that throat singing requires. Sounds like a beautiful way to blend music and nature.

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Controversial Cinnamon Challenge Becomes Internet Hit

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It’s things like the Cinnamon Challenge that strengthen my belief that people will do the dumbest things if they think it’s cool. Because who in their right mind would want to stuff their face with a tablespoon full of cinnamon just for fun? The answer – thousands. And would you believe the Governor of Illinois is one of them? Yep, Gov. Pat Quinn took in a spoonful of that stuff on air, in response to a challenge. He followed his act with the words, “The will of the people. The law of the land.” I don’t know about you, but I’d think twice before giving him my vote. Right now, there are over 30,000 videos on YouTube tagged ‘Cinnamon Challenge’. The most popular ones have millions of views.

The Cinnamon Challenge is basically a dare to swallow a spoonful of cinnamon in powdered form, without water. It’s the latest rage and it has gone beyond viral. The challenge itself has been around for years, but the sudden spike in its popularity remains unexplained. It seems like a simple thing to do; just swallow the stuff and be done with it. In reality, however, it isn’t all that easy. The problem with cinnamon is that it does not break down easily. So the chances of it getting stuck in the throat are pretty high, causing gagging and even vomiting. Doctors have said that this could be very dangerous, because cinnamon can also prevent air from entering the lungs, which could lead to lung inflammation.

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Indian Man Bathes with Boiling Milk Once a Year

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India is a land of ancient culture, with practices that date back thousands of years. It is hard to trace the origins of any particular ritual, let alone remember the significance behind them. With no logical explanation available, several Indian practices seem superstitious and sometimes even a tad foolish. However, this does not deter the people of India from participating in religious and cultural celebrations with gusto.

One such example is the festival of the nine evenings, Navaratri (Nava=9, Ratri=Evening), celebrated every year in the month of October. Dedicated to different versions of the Goddess, all 9 days are filled with festivities, good food, music, dance and religious ceremonies across the country. Living in India, watching the Navaratri for me is a part of normal life. But then I heard about this man who is certainly unusual, even for Indian standards. Every year, during Navaratri, he bathes with pots of boiling milk. And he comes out of the experience, unscathed.

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Who Needs an Education When You Can Eat Hot Coal

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People will eat the weirdest things. In the past we’ve featured strange eating habits like munching on bars of soap, gobbling handfuls of sand and eating sponges, but Ambuli Abu, from Coimbatore, India, is the only man I know of who can actually eat red-hot coal.

I’ve seen people consume some of the hottest foods on Earth, but none can even hold a candle to Ambuli Abu, an Indian man who likes his food right out of the fire. The school drop-out has been making a name for himself by eating hot coal and light bulbs. It’s not the career everyone dreams of, but for Abu, this was apparently the best way to achieve his goal of setting a world record. In a video interview, the fire eater says he is aware that his mouth and stomach must be suffering as a result of his eating hot embers, and admits that it does cause him pain, but he tries to keep his heart strong in order to fulfill his dream of becoming a record setter. He adds that just the fact that he can do thins other cannot, keeps him going.

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Meet Stanley Thornton, the 31-Year-Old Adult Baby

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It’s often said that in order to de-stress, you need to keep the inner child alive. But what if there was a person who kept it alive all day, every day? Sounds a little creepy, I know, but that’s exactly what 31-year-old Stanley Thornton does. He lives a double-life – as an adult outside the house and a baby inside. Some see it as a psychological condition, and others call it a fetish, but Thornton says it’s only his method of letting go of stress.

Thornton’s typical day goes something like this: Every night he goes to sleep in his giant crib, dressed in a playsuit, with colorful mobiles hanging from the ceiling. In the morning, his mommy wakes him up and feeds him with a bottle or a spoon. He then changes into adult clothes when he goes outside. But he’s back home in the evening and into his baby clothes again. It’s play time and he’s occupied with Legos, stuffed animals and a giant high-chair. Thornton was 13 years old when he was abused and started wetting the bed at night, so he started wearing diapers. He then gradually began to realize that he liked and wanted all the comforts of babyhood. At age 20, he started day wetting and wearing a diaper full time. The strangest part here is that the woman caring for him is not really his mother. Sandra Diaz is Thornton’s roommate, and voluntarily cares for him as a mother would for her child. “I love him like he is my favorite nephew,” she says. “He is like my family member who lost his mother, and I’m like the aunt stepping in and saying I’m still here for you.”

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Hotheads Pay to Let Out Their Aggressions in Dallas Anger Room

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Have you ever been so angry that you just wanted to hurl that laptop right across the room, but restrained yourself in the interest of ‘proper conduct’? I know I have. Anger is a common emotion experienced by everybody at some point. Some manage it, some don’t. But it gets the better of even the best of us at times. However, an emotional outburst is never appreciated by the people around you, even if you had a very valid reason for it.

That’s why, now there’s the Anger Room. It’s a place where it’s absolutely okay to be angry and break things. They even give you the tools and set it up so that you can vent out all the anger from years and years of holding it all in. The founder of the room is a Dallas businesswoman, Donna Alexander. The smash sessions at the Anger Room can last for 5, 15 or 25 minutes and the place can be set up according to your liking. It could be an office, a kitchen or a living room. Cheap furniture, TV sets, balloons, inflatable punching bags and headless mannequins are provided, along with a golf club to break it all. For protection, participants are allowed a hard hat, gardening gloves, goggles and a face mask. They also require you to break things in the direction of the graffiti-filled wall, for the safety of the camera crew on the opposite side.

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Man Single Handedly Carves Orthodox Churches in the Side of Mountain

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It’s the stuff that ancient legends are made of, but I guess you could call the story of Aba Defar a modern-day miracle. How else would you explain an old man carving four churches on a mountain side of the Ethiopian highlands, all on his own?

Aba Defar is a man driven by his faith in religion. At one point in life he was a family man and a weaver by profession. But all that changed with a simple dream he had in 1959. The Holy Spirit appeared in his dream, showing him a mountain church carved out of sheer rock. The dream kept repeating itself over the next 30 years, but he never knew what to make of it. It was when he had a vision that he finally understood that his life’s mission was awaiting him.

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People CAN Fly: Man Takes Off with Custom-Made Bird Wings

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How many times have you wished you could soar through the sky like a bird, only to remind yourself that it wasn’t possible? For me, it must have been a million times. But now it doesn’t seem like such a remote possibility, not after watching this video of a man flying with a pair of custom-made wings.

Flying is something humans have been obsessed with, the one form of movement that we’ve never been able to master. Several attempts have been made over the centuries to invent the perfect set of wings that could enable man to fly independently. Now, it appears that this has finally happened, if the claims of Jarno Smeets are to be believed. The authenticity of a video he created of himself flying is being questioned, but it sure does appear like he’s doing it for real. And he looks like he’s having a hell of a time.

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70-Year-Old Woman Looks Like She Just Turned 40 Thanks to Vegan Diet and Rainwater

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Just yesterday, we wrote about Dr. Life, the man with a 70-year-old’s face and a 20-year-old bodybuilder’s physique. Well, now in the news is another 70-year-old who seems to have found the secret to eternal youth, only hers doesn’t imply using growth hormones and testosterone. Annette Larkins doesn’t look a day over 40, thanks to the diet and lifestyle she maintains. She looks so young that people mistake her to be the daughter, when she’s out with her husband of 54 years, but I suppose he isn’t complaining.

Mrs. Larkins says the secret to her beauty lies in the raw vegan diet, consisting of organic vegetables, fruits, seeds and nuts grown in her own garden, she calls the ‘fountain of youth’. The woman doesn’t touch anything that has been cooked. And another strange thing she does is collect rainwater, to keep her garden blossoming, but also to drink. But the resident of Miami-Dade County, Florida, didn’t always have such a healthy lifestyle. In fact, she consumed meat regularly, as her husband used to own a meat factory way back in the 1960s. It was then that she decided to change her eating habits forever. And what a great decision that was. I mean, just  look at her!

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Speech Jammer – The Wacky Japanese Device That Stops People from Talking

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Ever came across someone so annoyingly chatty that you wanted to shoot them with an invisible gun and shut them up? Well, you might just be able to, thanks to the Speech Jammer. It’s a Japanese invention that could very well be the perfect answer to all the talkative people out there. The device is said to be powerful enough to jam a person’s speech from up to 98ft away.

Sounds too good to be true, right? The inventors, Kazutaka Kurihara and Koji Tsukada, explain how it works. The prototype invention supposedly records the obnoxious speech with a directional microphone, adds a 0.2 second delay, and then fires it right back at the prattler with the help of a directional speaker. So there’s basically a delay between when the person says something and when they hear their own speech. This would mess with the person so bad, that they would soon be rendered speechless for a while. Perfect! But then, the device itself looks so huge and scary in its current avatar, I think people might shut up the very moment it was pointed at them.

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Indian Artist Paints with His Tongue

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Now here’s a hobby that’s bound to leave a bad aftertaste. Ani K, from Kerala, India, makes paintings using his tongue. No, he doesn’t hold a paintbrush with his tongue, as I mistakenly believed at first. He actually slathers paint on it, which he then transfers on to canvas to create beautiful images.

Sounds rather gross to me, but the talent is certainly something to behold. Ani K, who works as a drawing teacher, says he was inspired by an artist who painted with his foot and wanted to do something like that. He started off using his nose, but he realized that was done before and he wanted something unique. That’s when he zeroed in on his tongue. “I thought of giving my tongue a try and succeeded,” he says. “Many newspapers reported it. I got a good response. Then, I made it a regular practice.”

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Blo-Ball – Air Hockey Played with Your Mouth

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What could make a game like ping pong more interesting? Abandon the paddles and blow the ball across, of course! And that’s exactly what Blo-Ball is all about. The game is a mix of air hockey and ping pong, with players crouching on either side of a six-foot long table. In a bizarre display of lung-power, they take turns in blowing the ball across to their opponents. Rails on either side of the table keep the ball from falling off ever-so-often, and the height is adjustable to accommodate player heights. It can be played singles or doubles, and the first sider to blow 11 points, is the winner. As fun as the game sounds, it does seem incredibly tiring.

 

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