Japan’s Unique Museum of Stones Shaped Like Human Faces

Chinsekikan, or The Hall of Curious Rocks is a unique museum in the Japanese town Saitama, just outside Tokyo, where visitors can admire close to 1,000 rocks that resemble human faces.

This outlandish tourist attraction is the work of the late Shozo Hayama, a rock enthusiast who spent 50 years of his life collecting strange-looking rocks, and especially those that resembled human faces. His only requirement was that nature be the only artist, and believe it or not he actually put together a collection of over 900 human-looking rocks, some of which resemble famous people, like rock’n roll legend Elvis Presley or Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

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Ejiao – The Chinese Miracle Cure Decimating the World’s Donkey Population

Ejiao, or donkey skin gelatin, is considered one of the three treasures of traditional Chinese medicine. It is used to treat a wide range of ailments from simple colds to insomnia and impotence, and demand in the Chinese market is soaring like never before. Millions of donkeys are slaughtered all around the world and their hides transported to China to be melted into the miracle gelatin that many believe will keep them looking youthful and even prolong their life.

Dong’e county, in northern China, is the epicenter of ejiao production. Here, over 100 factories melt thousands of donkey hides into gelatin, every week, and after running out of domestic stock, they are now relying on imports from developing countries to sustain the huge demand. China’s donkey population has dwindled from 11 million during the 1990s to just 6 million today, due to both industrialization and massive slaughtering for ejiao. With local stock of donkeys going dry at an alarming rate, some factories have opened their own farms to breed and kill up to 10,000 donkeys a year, but with some of them processing over 1 million donkey hides in the same period, it’s hardly a sustainable plan. Which is why many factories have turned their attention to the foreign market.

Various countries in Africa, Asia, South America and the Middle East are supplying millions of donkey skins for the Chinese ejiao market. With the price for donkeys having skyrocketed from around $65 a decade ago to $315 today, some livestock breeders are switching to donkeys exclusively, because the trade is so profitable. But some governments have already banned China from buying their donkeys because they realized that it would eventually decimate the animal population. In September, Nigeria announced a ban on the export of donkeys in September, after the trade increased three times in one year, mainly to Asian markets. “If the export continues the animals will be decimated,” Atte Issa, a Nigerian government official told the BBC.

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Russian Politician Sacked for Recording Workout Video in Funeral Parlor

A regional Russian official was recently expelled from the ruling United Russia political party for recording a bizarre workout video at the workplace – a creepy funeral parlor – and posting it on her Instagram account. You can say that she gives the phrase ‘dying to lose weight’ a whole new meaning.

Anastasia Myakina was head of United Russia’s faction in the Shelekhovo District Assembly in the Irkutsk Region, as well as the manager of a state-owned local funeral parlor. Until recently, she was considered a successful business woman in her home town, but then she made the grave mistake (pun intended) of recording a short workout video at the workplace. In the bizarre footage, which has gone viral online, she can be seen smiling as she squats in front of the camera, with tombstones, funeral caskets and wooden crosses in the background.

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Former Math Teacher Banned by Bookmakers for Winning Too Much

A former math teacher from Camden Town, England, claims betting shops won’t take his bets anymore after he devised a system that guarantees he wins every time without any risk of loss.

Richard Saul, who calls himself the “wizard of odds”, claims that he has bet tens of thousands of pounds on horse races over the last three years, but in the last few weeks, all but one bookmakers in Camden Town have stopped taking his bets. “They should take the bet, but they don’t because I keep winning. I don’t think your average punter would be able to work out how to do it. In Camden Town, only Jennings will take my bet now – and they will only let me do it once, that’s all,” Saul complains. “[Elsewhere] the staff go on the phone, then after two minutes they come back and say, ‘we can’t take this bet’. I’ve gone on accounts online, but they won’t take it there either.”

The math expert believes that his recent ban by bookmakers has to do with his guaranteed-win system. He came up with it when betting shops started introducing higher payouts for “each-way” horse racing bets. Usually, an each-way bet means that the fourth-placed horse pays a quarter of the horse’s odds of winning, but some high street bookies  expanded the offer to include a fifth-place horse, in order to attract punters. That’s when Saul figured out that by betting on every horse with different stakes, he could guarantee himself a win.

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Man Allegedly Lives with Snake He Thinks Is His Dead Girlfriend Reincarnated

According to a Facebook post that recently went viral, a man devastated by the death of his girlfriend grew very attached to a 10-foot cobra which he believes is his lost partner reincarnated. For the last couple of years, the two have been inseparable, doing everything together, from watching TV to going to the gym.

The bizarre story was originally posted on the Facebook page of one Worranan Sarasalin from Kanchanaburi, Thailand, along with a set of photos of the man and his beloved cobra in various circumstances. Sarasalin, who covers a variety of local news stories on a daily basis, claims that the unnamed man developed an unusual connection with the large reptile after noticing a “Striking resemblance” to his deceased girlfriend and becoming convinced that she had come back to life as the serpent.

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Company Delays Employees’ Monthly Salary So They Wouldn’t Spend It on Junk on Chinese Black Friday

This year’s Singles Day, China’s version of Black Friday, is scheduled to break sales records, but the employees of one catering company in Chonqing will not be able to spend as much money on discounted items as they would have liked, because their employer decided to hold their paychecks until after the holiday, so they wouldn’t spend their hard earned money on junk.

Workers recently found out about management’s controversial decision through a notice posted at the main entrance of the company. The document mentioned that instead of receiving their paychecks on November 10th, as usual, they would have to wait until next month, but only because their 31-year-old boss was worried that they would waste their salaries on junk they didn’t even need. He let them know that he himself had spent almost 20,000 yuan ($2,942) during last year’s sale, which included a 8,000 yuan ($1,176) computer he never even uses. So to keep them form making the same mistake, he decided that their money’s safer with him.

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Russian Officials Use Photoshop to Fake City Cleanup, Again

Russian authorities in the city of St. Petersburg recently came under fire after it was discovered that they had used digital editing software like Adobe Photoshop to fake the cleanup of a local lamp post.

Last week, a resident of St. Petersburg submitted a request on the local government official website asking that a lamp post covered with obscene advertising stickers be cleaned. This Tuesday, an employ of the St. Petersburg administration responded to the complaint, letting the person know that the job had been done, even posting a photo of the cleaned up lamp post as proof. It had apparently been scrubbed of advertising materials, but after taking a closer look, a number of users noticed that the infrastructure element depicted in the photo didn’t look quite right.

Zooming into the picture, it was revealed that the lamp post in question had been given the “spray can” treatment to create a two-tone speckled grey effect over the stickers. And as if the shoddy digital cleanup wasn’t obvious enough, someone even noticed a bizarre “blob” of white digital spray paint suspended in mid air by the right of the infrastructure element.

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Guys Attend Bachelor Party, Come Home with Adorable Puppies

When most guys attend bachelor parties, the only thing they come home with is a nasty hangover, but groom-to-be Mitchel Craddock and seven of his friends each returned with an adorable puppy.

Craddock of Vicksburg, Michigan, took family and friends to the woods in Tennessee for a 5-day bachelor getaway, but on their first morning there, they noticed a dog outside the front door of their cabin. “We were cooking bacon with the door open. The next thing you know, there’s this dog sitting right at the front door. She wouldn’t come inside, but she sat right there,” he recalled in an interview. “She was very friendly but very skittish— I thought maybe she had been booted out of a house before.” The dog refused their repeated invitations to come inside, but the guys noticed that she was hungry and thirsty, so they offered her food and water, both of which she wolfed down almost instantly.

The dog was so well behaved that Mitchell and his friends were sure that she belonged to someone, but after their first encounter she remained at their cabin. “We’d ride for 4-5 hours, or go into town, and every time we’d come back she would  either be sitting on our doorstep or under one of our trucks,” he told Mlive. He and his friends had noticed that the dog, which they had named Annie,after Little Orphan Annie, had had puppies, but her milk supply had apparently dried up. After three days of regular meals and lost of water, Annie started producing milk again, and seeing her running to the back of the cabin and barking in alarm every time a vehicle went down the road near the woodline, the guys decided to investigate.

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Man Lives as Full Time Grey Jedi

46-year-old Kevin Cottam is not the world’s biggest Star Wars fan, but for the last two years he has never left home without his iconic Jedi robe and trusty lightsaber. He is the UK’s only full-time Grey Jedi.

Cottam says he became a follower of Jediism six years ago, after doing some research online. He had become frustrated by all the rules most religions follow so he decided to look for something more suitable. “Before becoming a Jedi, I was a Zen Buddhist, but I was frustrated with the different precepts and mandates that came with the religion,” he says. “I researched other religions online and came across the Djedi of ancient Egypt, which inspired the Jedi in Star Wars.”

He learned that Jediism didn’t have any holy texts or commandments, only three basic laws: the cycle of knowledge, wisdom and compassion. Through the application of knowledge we gain wisdom, and through wisdom we become compassionate. He felt that this simple principle provided more guidance that thousands of restrictive and often times nonsensical rules ever could. So he decided to ditch Zen Buddhism for Jediism and became a Grey Jedi. “All Jedi believe there is a force that creates everything. But unlike the Jedi and Sith, who see the force as light and dark (ie good and bad), the Grey Jedi see it simply as a natural force. It is how we use the force that dictates whether it is good or evil,” he says.

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Baby Becomes Fourth Generation of Her Family to Inherit Striking Patch of White Hair

18-month-old MilliAnna Worthy, from Ridgeland, South Carolina, was born with a white patch of hair right above the forehead, a very rare trait caused by poliosis, which creates a lack of pigment in the patch of hair and the skin around it. But even more unusual than the striking trait is the fact that it has been in MilliAnna’s family for at least four generations.

The girl’s mother, 23-year-old Brianna Worthy, has the same patch of white hair, and so do her mother, Jennifer, (41), and her grandmother, Jaonne, 59. “We are unsure how far back the birthmark goes as my grandmother was adopted as a child and hasn’t met her biological family,” the young mother says. “I was hoping she did have it. My younger sister that my mother had a few years after me didn’t get it, so I didn’t know if MilliAnna was going to, but once I had her and they laid her on my chest and I saw she had it I was so happy.”

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Hong Kong’s Unique Sanctuary of Discarded Deities

In Hong Kong, when people damage their statues of deities or simply replace them with newer ones, they don’t throw them away. Instead they leave them on the side of the road for people to worship or take them home. One man has been picking them up for over 17 years, and today his colorful collection is one of the island’s most impressive tourist attractions.

85-year-old Wong Wing-pong, a retired butcher, looks after thousands of unwanted statues of deities, including Buddhas, Taoist deities, local gods and Christian icons. They are all perched on a rocky slope in a park near the waterfront in Wah Fu. Legend has it that he picked this spot because it already had a statue of Tin Hau, the patron goddess of fishermen, and he believed it would make it easier for people to come see both the Buddhas and the goddess at the same time. However, he recently told news reporters that it was simply the place where he found the first discarded statues, a few dozen of them, 17 years ago.

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Desperate Young Woman Sells Herself Online to Help Cancer-Stricken Mother

In a desperate attempt to raise money for her sick mother’s cancer treatment, a 19-year-old girl in China recently posted a message on the Asian country’s most popular social media platform, WeChat, saying that she was selling herself to the highest bidder.

In her post, Cao Mengyuan says she was born and raised in a rural home in Gaozhou city, southern China. Her 45-year-old mother, who had worked as a farmer all her life, was recently diagnosed with skin cancer and her health was deteriorating very fast. Doctors told the young girl that the treatment for her mother’s illness would cost about 350,000 Yuan ($51,500) which the family could not afford to pay. And since the woman doesn’t have medical insurance either, the 19-year-old decided that, as the eldest of five children in her family, it was up to her to somehow come up with the money, by any means necessary. So she decided to sell herself online.

“I wish that a kind-hearted person could buy me, so my mother can undergo the operation,” the post states. “After the transaction, I am willing to work at the will of the buyer in return. I will do whatever the buyer asked me to do. I never go back on my word. Everything I said is true. I will sell myself to the highest bidder.”

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Ukrainian Pensioner Turns Apartment Building Staircase into Awe-Inspiring 17th Century Chateau

Vladimir Chaika, a pensioner from the Ukrainian city of Kiev, spent 15 years turning the staircase of his Communist era apartment building into an artistic masterpiece reminiscent of 17th and 18th century chateaus.

Vladimir says that he had always been fascinated by the interior design style of 1600s and 1700s castles and estates, and having worked in constructions for many years, repairing various structures around Kiev, he had the skill and experience needed to undertake such a complicated project. It was time that he lacked, but following an accident that left him clinically dead in 1997, he was forced to retire and ended up with a lot of free time on his hands. He was very familiar with the decorating style of 17th century French chateaus, construction materials were cheap, and after asking a friend to supply him with a variety of custom molds, he was ready to get to work.

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Chinese Couple Raise 3.7-Meter-Long Python as Their Child

An elderly couple in Haikou, China’s Hainan Province, have been sharing their home with a 60 kilogram, 3.7-meter-long python for seven years, raising it as their child and even taking it for walks around their neighborhood.

68-year-old Shi Jimin, a retired meat processing worker, adopted the python in 2009, to save it from certain death. A fish and snake vendor had come by his workplace, and managed to sell his entire supply, except for a small 30-cm long snake that no one had wanted. The man had said that if no one was interested, he was just going to get rid of it, which is when stepped in and asked the vendor how much he wanted for the reptile. Shi says that he eventually got it for free, as the man was just going to kill it or throw it away somewhere anyway. So he took the young snake home to his wife, not knowing that it would grow up into a cattle-eating behemoth.

But even after realizing that they had adopted a python, the elderly couple had no problem sharing their home with their pet, which they consider more as a child. In the last seven years it has grown to an impressive 3.7 meters and weighs around 120 pounds. But experts say it’s still young and bound to get even bigger. Still Shi and his wife are not concerned for their safety, and allow the snake to freely slither around their home during the day. It often sits on their laps as they watch TV together, or just finds a comfortable spot and sits there like a good boy. In they evening, the couple give the snake a warm bath, and before going to bed, they take the python to his very own bedroom.

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Designer Creates Human Ivory Jewelry Out of Her Own Teeth

In a time when ivory poaching has gotten so bad that it threatens to wipe out several animal species, a young Dutch designer is creating “egalitarian jewelry” made of our very own ivory – teeth.

Lucie Majerus first got the idea for her “human ivory” collection after having her wisdom teeth removed. She kept them and soon realized they would make great material for a statement jewelry collection. “Why wouldn’t we value our own material instead of the precious material from other species?” she rhetorically asks. “In opposition to materialistic values, “Human Ivory” acts metaphorically for having our own value in ourselves. A suggestion to cherish our own “Material” instead of other species’ teeth and reconsider conventional preciousness. What if we mine our own ivory and turn it into pearls?”

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