Russian Homeless Video Blogger Finds Fame and Fortune Online

A homeless man in Moscow has steadily been building himself an army of followers online ever since he started video blogging in May. The self-confessed ‘bum-blogger’ says his videos are so popular because they “show you the Moscow you have not yet seen “.

Many of the homeless blogger’s videos have gone viral in Russia, and his YouTube channel – where he goes by ‘Zhenya Yakut’ – now has over 35,000 subscribers. His most-viewed videos have nearly half a million hits, and he has over 3,000 followers on Instagram. Yakut, 43, says he’s been homeless for five years now. Through his videos, he tries to give people the low-down about life as a homeless man in Moscow, including “where to eat for free, to sleep, to wash up, where to go, what to see.”

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Artist Paints Incredibly Realistic Portraits on His Palms, Then Stamps Them on Paper

California-based Russell Powell is without a doubt one of the most talented and original artists we have ever featured on Oddity Central. The young artist is able to paint incredibly detailed portraits on the palm of his left hand, before stamping it on a paper canvas to create a permanent imprint of the artwork.

Powell calls the process ‘hand-stamping’; it’s a tricky technique because not only does he use the irregular surface of his palm to create detailed works of art, he also needs to work fast to complete the portrait before the paint dries, for a clear imprint. The end result, however, is nothing short of breathtaking.

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Architecture Graduate Builds His Office Out of 8,500 Beer Bottles

Li Rongjun, an aspiring architect from China, has built himself an spectacular office. In a bid to showcase his mad construction skills, he’s used 8,500 beer bottles to make the entire upper floor of a two-storey building!

The 300-square foot office, located in Chongqing city, consists of 40 layers of bottles that Li and his father laid out over four months. Pictures show how he cleverly stacked the bottles in rows with the bottoms facing inward sand filling the gaps with stones and cement.

“I wanted to build an artistic and usable office,” said Li, who graduated from the Inner Mongolia University of Science and Technology this year. “This building is also my calling card for my future business plans. It will allow investors to see my products in real life and see my talent.”

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

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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Spanish Town That Runs on Twitter Shows Off the Power of Social Media

Twitter, along with countless other social media websites, is often viewed as a productivity killer. But a small town in Spain has actually been using the platform to improve communication between authorities and the people. In fact, Twitter is so important to the people of Jun that they actually built a monument of the iconic ‘blue bird’ in the town’s square.

Since September 2011, the 3,500-strong community has used Twitter to spread local news, developments, job opportunities, orbituaries, and even school dinner menus! Residents book doctor’s appointments, register consumer complaints, and report crimes through their tweets. Jun’s Mayor, José Antonio Rodriguez Salas, has his own account, with a massive following of over 340,000. Locals can contact the Mayor by tweeting him directly.

All the town’s public services, including the police force, have their own Twitter accounts. The force, consisting of only one officer, drives a squad car with ‘@PoliciaJun’ painted on the bonnet. In fact, the bird logo can be seen everywhere, including the Mayor’s office. Even the guy who sweeps the streets tweets amusing messages, with before and after shots of his handiwork.  The town’s elderly aren’t ignored either – there’s a special program in place to teach them how to use the internet and social media.

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Down Cafe – A Turkish Cafe That Only Employs Workers with Down Syndrome

A café in Istanbul is making headlines for exclusively hiring people with Down syndrome. The aptly named ‘Down Café’ employs staff between the ages of 18 and 25, and aims to empower them with self-confidence and independence.

Saruhan Singen, who founded the café in the Sisli district of Istanbul, said that he was inspired by his own experience of raising a daughter with Down syndrome. She now works at the café as well. “I have Sezil and I think she is a gift to me  to understand others like her,” Singen said. “When we think about the number of people with Down syndrome, there is not a wide range of career paths available.”

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Guy Tries Wearing High Heels for a Day to Prove Women Are Whiners, Fails Misearbly

Sick of listening to women constantly complain about having to wear high heels, one man challenged himself to wear high heels for a whole day to prove “that girls are huge complainers.” It didn’t go exactly as he planned…

As any woman will tell you, high heels can make your legs look sexy, but wearing them for long periods of time is no picnic on your feet. Even single-sole pumps and platforms will prove painful if you stand or walk in them long enough, but Brandon Cohen, a video correspondent with BroBible.com, actually went for the worst possible option – full-fledged stilettos. He meant to spend a whole day in them, doing all kinds of activities to prove his point, but only managed to keep them on from 8:30 a.m. to 7:15 p.m, most of which he spent sitting, because he couldn’t stand anymore.

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Father-Son Duo Create the Most Amazing Pancake Artworks

Edible pancake art is nothing new, but we have yet to see anything as detailed as the masterpieces of Tiger Tomato, a father son duo who shot to fame on the internet after posting their colored batter creations on YouTube.

Looking at their awe-inspiring pancakes, it’s hard to believe Tiger Tomato have only been at it for three months. It all started with a simplistic yet wonderfully colored rainbow pancake, which got over 150,000 views on YouTube. Inspired by the overwhelmingly positive response, the father-son duo from Melbourne, Australia, quickly stepped up their game and came up with elaborate-yet-edible renditions of popular cartoon characters like Elsa and Olaf from the Disney hit “Frozen”, Homer Simpson or Garfield.

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Owners Forced Out of Newly-Bought Million-Dollar Home by Creepy Letters from “The Watcher”

The otherwise quiet town of Westfield, New Jersey, has become the focus of international media attention, after a family was reportedly forced out of their home by a series of bone-chilling letters from a stalker who calls himself “The Watcher”.

Derek and Maria Broaddus bought the six-bedroom, 4,000-square-foot turn-of-the century home for $1.3 million, in June 2014. Three days after signing the papers, they started receiving creepy letters from someone who claimed to be watching the house. “My grandfather watched the house in the 1920s and my father watched in the 1960s. It is now my time,” the first one read. “I have been put in charge of watching and waiting for its second coming.”

The creepy letters also mentioned the Broaddus’ children: “Do you need to fill the house with the young blood I requested?” the mysterious stalker asked. “Once I know their names I will call to them and draw them out to me.”

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Kindhearted Woman Saves 100 Dogs From Being Eaten During Controversial Festival

A 65-year-old dog lover from China, has gone to great lengths to save as many dogs as she possibly could from being eaten during this year’s Yulin Dog Meat Festival. She managed to pay around $1,000 for the release of 100 otherwise doomed canines. It may not sound like much, but the media attention her actions got in international media also helped raise awareness about the cruel festival, thus increasing the chances of it being banned in the near future.

Yang Xiaoyun, a retired school teacher from Tianjin, China, traveled 1,500 miles from her home to the city of Yulin, to save scores of dogs from being slaughtered and eaten during the Dog Meat Festival. Photos shared on Chinese internet portal Netease show the 65-year-old woman walking through a market where dogs were kept in cages and paying for various sums of money for their release. Reports say she ended up paying 7,000 yuan ($1,000) to save 100 dogs.

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Awesome Beer Portraits Prove Beer Goes Great with Art

Some artists rely on a pint of ice cold lager for a bit of inspiration, but Chicago-based illustrator Kyle Bice actually uses amber brew to create his signature beer portraits.

Kyle Bice graduated from the American Academy of Art with a degree in traditional oil painting, but since he didn’t really believe there was much of a career for him as a painter, the young artist turned to illustration. After making a name for himself in advertising and the world of comic books, Kyle met with Fred Bueltman from New Holland Brewing, who had seen his work and asked him to redo a bunch of labels for the company. It was during this time that he discovered his passion for craft beer.

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Meet Weesay, the Blind and Homeless Oil Can Guitar Master

Wesseh Freeman, a.k.a Weesay, became an internet sensation last December for his badass strumming skills. His unique handmade guitar – cobbled together from an old stick, a paint can, and three used strings – caught the attention of brothers Nikhil and Sachin Ramchandani, the owners of O! Chips, a potato chips company in Liberia. So they asked him to write a jingle for their brand, and posted a video on the company’s YouTube channel. The two-and-a-half minute clip instantly went viral.

Weesay, 37, is blind and homeless. But that hasn’t affected his musical abilities in the least. The man is truly gifted, and that’s evident just from the guitar he managed to fashion for himself. According to Guitar World, “His frets are made from bike spokes or coat hangers and are apparently movable; yet he has a mastery of intonation. This instrument should be completely out of tune…but it’s not! Weesay plays it like a boss.”

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Artist Turns Old Circuit Boards and Electronic Components into Beautiful Winged Insects

UK-based artist Julie Alice Chappell has chosen an unusual medium for her sculptures – discarded electronics. She tears out circuit boards and other components from broken devices, and converts them into delicate insect figurines.

Julie’s introduction to the unique art form occurred several years ago, when she happened to find a big box of tiny electronic components at ‘The Craft Bank’, in Portsmouth, UK. “The first thing that came into my head when I looked at them was, ‘a mass of tiny bodies and legs… ants!’ I took them home to my children and we made ants.”

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Man Spends 50 Years Visiting Every Country in the World

Calling Albert Podell ‘well traveled’ would be an understatement. 78-year-old Podell, a former Playboy editor, can truly say that he’s seen it all, after spending half a century visiting every country in the world. He’s encountered pretty much everything on his travels, right from guerillas in Yemen, to flying-crab attacks in Algeria, and police interrogations in Cuba. He has chased water buffaloes, broken his bones, and eaten all kinds of weird stuff. He’s been robbed, arrested, and almost lynched!

Podell was bitten by the travel bug at a very young age. “Aged six, I started to collect postage stamps, and where the other kids specialised in certain countries, I wanted a stamp from every country in the world,” he told Daily Mail. “Getting a passport stamp from every one may have been inspired by that.”

“Those little coloured bits of perforated paper also instilled in me a fascination with travel because I wanted to see the lands where all the objects, people, and places depicted on those stamps came from.” So he resolved early on that “there was more to life than hanging around in one city forever.”

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Real-Life Tony Stark Builds Awesome Replicas of Superhero Suits

Communications specialist Clay Hielscher seems like an average guy, but pay his home a visit and you’ll realise why he’s called the real-life Tony Stark. The Kansas man not only resembles the popular comic book character, but he is also passionate about building superhero suits from scratch – his house is like a costume prop shop for a motion picture studio.

Hielscher is a former law enforcement officer, which sort of explains his obsession with superhero battlesuits. It all started a few years ago, when he was building a 17-foot kayak, just to let off some steam. One of his friends took a look at his work and suggested that he try to construct an Iron Man battlesuit.

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