Indians Take Exam Cheating to New Heights by Scaling School Walls to Help Friends and Relatives

Cheating at exams is an age-old phenomenon, but the practice literally scaled new heights last week in the eastern Indian state of Bihar. News reports showed how parents and relatives of 10th-grade students climbing the walls of a school building to hand cheat sheets to the students taking their year-end exams inside!

Photographs and videos of the stupefying event went viral in India, even as police officers stood watching helplessly. Some videos also showed inspectors slapping young students as they pulled out cheat sheets from under their tables. It seems that several students were able to smuggle textbooks and notes into the exam centers despite tight security.

Cheating is apparently common in rural areas of the state, where the competition is fierce and opportunities are few. Just last month, dozens of 12th-grade students were expelled and parents detained in cases of cheating. But the sight of parents risking their life and limb to help their kids has truly shocked the nation.

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Blind Artist Relies on Touch and Textures to Create Stunning Paintings

Texas-based artist John Bramblitt perceives the world and everything in it through color. Fear, for instance, he says is a “red with a lot of black mixed in. It’s almost like the color of blood and dirt or soil – it’s really deep.” His paintings are stunningly vivid, bursting with color and texture. Ironically, Bramblitt is blind.

The 37-year-old has been suffering epileptic seizures since the age of two. As he grew older , the seizures became more and more frequent. “There would be months I’d have so many seizures I couldn’t count them,” he said. His vision gradually began to deteriorate since age 11 – at first it would become blurry and then eventually clear up. But with time, it cleared up less after each episode, and by 2001 he had become completely blind.

The loss of vision was a terrible blow for Bramblitt, sending him into what he calls the “deepest, darkest hole” of depression. “All of the hopes and dreams that I had for my life; all of the plans for what I would do after I graduated school were gone,” he said.

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This Canned Air from “Yeti’s Cave” Will Apparently Make You an Animal in Bed

If the claims of a group of Siberian entrepreneurs are to be believed, their new product might just give Viagra a run for its money. They aren’t selling another expensive pill, just a can of fresh air!

According to Vladimir Makuta, head of the local Tashtagol district, air from Azasskaya Cave and its surrounding area, which is where the fabled Yeti (a.k.a Bigfoot) was supposedly sighted on more than one occasion, is crystal-clear, full of goodness, and has a healing effect. It can apparently help strengthen immunity and positively impact mental state. But most importantly, it is said to works wonders for people who want to perform better in bed.

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Egyptian Woman Spends 43 Years Disguised as a Man to Be Able to Earn a Living

For over four decades, Egyptian woman Sisa Abu Daooh was the sole breadwinner in her family, which is highly unusual for the patriarchal society she lives in. What’s more unusual is the way she did it – by dressing herself like a man! Now 64, Abu Daooh is being honored as the ‘ideal mother’ by the Social Solidarity Directorate of Luxor.

Sisa lost her husband when she 21 and pregnant. After the birth of her daughter, she was left with no money and no source of income, either. Since the local culture did not permit women at the workplace, she had no option but to dress like a man. Her disguise consisted of a  ‘jilbab’ – a loose, full-length robe with wide sleeves – along with a white turban, or a men’s hat called ‘Taqiyah’, and black shoes.

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Woman Sells $40 Birth Placenta Smoothies

If you found our post about bodybuilders consuming breast milk hard to stomach, wait till you hear what this woman in England puts in her smoothies. Kathryn Beale makes controversial birth placenta smoothies in her own kitchen and sells them to new mothers for £25 ($38) each.

The 41-year-old from Wiltshire county, in South West England, got involved in placentophagy – the consumption of birth placenta – a couple of years ago, after meeting the founder of the Independent Placenta Encapsulation Network. Her most popular product is a placenta capsule, priced at £150 ($224) per batch, but her most talked-about creation is a smoothie that contain a fist-sized chunk of chilled placenta blended with berries and bananas.

Kathryn insists that these products are perfectly safe and have several health benefits. “Most species of mammal eat their own placenta straight after birth, raw – it is normal in the animal kingdom,” she explained. “We are unusual in that we don’t routinely do it. It is full of iron, stem cells and hormones, and is reputed to help with milk production and post-natal depression.” The placenta products aren’t meant for everyone, though – just new mothers. “Women who want to use their placentas are tested during pregnancy, and if we know the placenta carries any blood-pathogens we will not use it,” she explained. “After the birth it then stays with the mum in cold bags with ice packs. I collect them very quickly, usually within 24 hours.”

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Adult Preschool Helps Grownups Get in Touch with Their Inner Child

It’s good to get  in touch with your inner child from time to time, and apparently some people are willing to pay big money for the chance to do so in a proper environment. A Brooklyn-based preschool for adults is charging clients between $333 and $999 for the chance to act like a kid again.

At ‘Preschool Mastermind’,in New York, adults get to participate in show-and-tell, arts-and-crafts such as finger painting, games like musical chairs, and even take naps! The month-long course also has class picture day where the adults are expected to dress to their ‘four-year-old best’, a field trip, and a parent day when students get to bring two adults of their choice.

30-year-old Michelle Joni Lapidos, the brains behind the adult preschool, studied childhood education and has always wanted to be a preschool teacher. She’s always on the lookout for new ways to get people in touch with the freedom of childhood – she had started a skipping club in Brooklyn in 2013, but a friend encouraged her to start the mastermind course instead.

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Disco Shopping in Amsterdam – Dutch Group Turns Supermarkets into Discos

Shopping for groceries can be dreary, but a group of Dutch entrepreneurs is trying to change that. They’ve come up with a unique concept called ‘Disco Boodschappen’ (Disco Shopping) which basically involves throwing a disco dance party at an otherwise boring supermarket.

The organisers said they came up with the plan after they saw a tweet with a similar idea. “A friend of mine posted a tweet with a picture of a note from a supermarket where a student is proposing an hour of disco shopping,” said entrepreneur Joost Aarsten. “I thought, ‘Wow, we gotta do that!’”

So he got together with a few friends to formulate a simple event that would make shopping for food seem like a celebration. With a high quality sound system, a few decorations, and a DJ, they plan to convert the most mundane supermarkets into a hip place for a few hours.

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Semi-Nomadic Sea Gypsies Boast Superhuman Underwater Vision

The semi-nomadic Moken people, living along the coasts of Burma and Thailand, are hunter-gatherers who for centuries have harvested the sea’s bounty. They use traditional diving methods to this day, instead of modern masks or scuba gear. And their underwater vision is so evolved that they are able to gather tiny shellfish and other food from the ocean floor at depths as low as 75 feet!

Diving for food sounds like a difficult way to survive, but scientists have discovered that young Moken children have underwater vision that’s twice as good as European children of the same age. Scientist Anna Gislén, of Sweden’s Lund University, studied the children’s unique vision after hearing about them from a colleague.

“Another scientist, Erika Schagatay, was in the south of China working with sea nomads and their diving response,” she said. “She noticed that the children were picking out small brown clams from among brown stones. To her, this was incomprehensible, as she could hardly see them with her goggles, and the children used no such thing. It was not her area of science, so eventually it ended up on my desk.”

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Guy’s Girlfriend and Ex-Girlfriend Jump into a River to See Which One He Would Save

A Chinese man was recently presented with the ultimate test of love – he was forced to choose between saving his current and ex girlfriends! The two love-struck women jumped into a river to see which one he would save.

The poor man in question is 21-year-old Wu Hsia, who recently broke up with his long-time girlfriend Jun Tang, 20, after falling in love with 22-year-old  Rong Tsao. The ex-girlfriend took the split rather badly and began to harass Wu in the hope that he would leave Rong and come back to her.

Tired of the bickering women, Wu decided to meet with both of them and make his intentions clear. “I was sick of being nagged from both sides,” he said. “Rong was moaning about Jun and Jun was moaning about her and it all got too much.” Unfortunately, the meeting turned out to be a bad idea. Jun and Rong got into an argument, which ended with Jun throwing herself into the river. Rong quickly followed suit.

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The Last Man in Fukushima – Kindhearted Local Remains in Radioactive Zone to Feed the Animals

When the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant went into meltdown, after the devastating tsunami in 2011, most of the locals fled to overcrowded temporary shelters. So did Naoto Matsumura, but the brave man soon decided return to his home town of Tomioka, just to take care of the many animals left behind! And even though the radiation levels are dangerously high (17 times higher than normal) in this area, Matsumura says he isn’t going anywhere.

He now spends most of his time running a charity along with a few supporters, taking care of animals left behind in the evacuation zone. “I have two cats, one dog, one ostrich, one horse, 31 cows and four wild boars,” Matsumura proudly declared.

He started off by taking into his care the animals that were abandoned in his hometown. He described how most of the pets were still tied up, because locals had believed they would be back home soon. Matsumura took it upon himself to feed the animals every day. “They couldn’t stand the wait, so they’d all gather around barking up a storm as soon as they heard my truck,” he recalled. “Everywhere I went there was always barking. Like, “we’re thirsty” or, “we don’t have any food.”

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Incense Pointillism – Artist Burns Thousands of Holes into Paper with Incense Sticks to Create Beautiful Landscapes

While traditional forms of pointillism involve adding distinct dots of color in patterns to form an image, Korean artist Jihyun Park does the opposite. He inverts the art of pointillism by puncturing dots into paper instead of adding them.

Using incense sticks, Park burns thousands of tiny holes into rice paper, until recognisable patterns of clouds, mountains and trees emerge. His project, titled ‘Incense Series’, consists of completed drawings mounted on varnished canvases. So the holes in the paper allow the viewer to see shadows while the white canvas reflects light.

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Sizzling Hairstyle – Chinese Barber Cuts Hair with Hot Metal Tongs

Wang Weibu is one of the few remaining Chinese hairdressers practicing the ancient hair-cutting art of ‘Dahoujia’. The rather extreme technique involves the use of a pair of red hot metal tongs to burn hair off, instead of cutting it!

Weibu, 72, starts by heating the clamp in a wooden fire until it is red hot, and cooling it slightly in water. He then uses it like scissors to chop of the hair to the desired length. Later, he slides the hot metal all over the remaining hair. The technique is rather baffling – after all, who would want to walk around with a head of scorched hair? But surprisingly, the final effect is rather nice – sort of like a perm – and lasts for about three months.

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Prayer Nuts – Intricately Carved Wooden Marvels of a Time Long Passed

While most rosaries these days consist of glass or wooden prayer beads, there was a time when wealthy Europeans used ‘prayer nuts’ – minutely detailed, small-scaled boxwood carvings. Each nut was a masterpiece in itself, decorated on the interior and exterior with intricate carvings representing Biblical stories.

The delicate wooden orbs were designed to be worn on a rosary, or on a belt by members of the nobility or wealthy merchant classes in northern Europe. At times, fragrant substances may have been inserted into the orbs, so that the nuts may have served as pomanders as well.

Recent studies suggest that prayer nuts of the early 16th century were reduced to such a small scale that they might have become impractical to use. The religious significance might have faded away, and these nuts may have later been made just to be studied and marveled at, as private collectors’ items.

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There’s a Truly Unique Island Home For Sale in Hungary

If you’re looking for a truly unique island home, you might want to check out this newly listed property in Hungary. It’s no a tropical paradise and the water is actually a small pond in the middle of an agricultural area, but at least it’s quiet.

The small house is located straight in the middle of a 120-square-meter man-made pond and apparently includes all modern amenities, including running water, electricity and sewage system. Whoever built it must have been a real fishing enthusiast as the pond is stocked full of different kinds of fish, from carp to bream and even sturgeon. Overall, there is a total of over 10,000 kilograms of fish living in the pond and they come with the house.

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Turtle-Shaped Island Spends Nine Months Underwater, Only Appears in Spring

Every year, with the coming of spring, thousands of Chinese tourists flock to the The Gorges Reservoir to see an elusive turtle-shaped island rise from the waters of the Muodaoxi River. The event, dubbed ‘spring turtle rising from water’, is celebrated by local residents because turtles are considered auspicious and a sign of longevity.

It sounds like a fascinating natural phenomenon similar to the Jindo Moses Miracle that takes place in South Korea, but in this case the “magic” is man-made. The water level of Muodaoxi River is controlled by the Three Gorges Dam. In spring, the reservoir supplies water to the areas downstream, bringing down the water level and exposing the island.

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