StopXam – Russia’s Parking Vigilantes Make Bad Drivers Follow the Rules One Way or Another

StopXam is a vigilante group that is actively involved in fighting against the rude and entitled driving culture in Eastern Europe. Their goal is to stop bad driving with politeness, which forms the basis of the name StopXam (meaning ‘stop rudeness’). While the non-profit organisation originated in Moscow in 2010, several branches have emerged in neighboring countries such as Moldova.

With their unique approach towards eliminating illegal parking and dangerous driving, StopXam has managed to become an internet sensation. Their technique is simple: they first approach offending drivers and try explaining things politely. For instance, they might say: “Hello, your car is standing too close and does not allow this car to move. Please park somewhere else.”

Some drivers get the message quickly and correct themselves. But those who don’t get a giant sticker that covers up almost half their windshield. “We will give you a sticker on your front window, and it will be very uncomfortable for you to drive with it,” they warn. If the driver still doesn’t budge, they go ahead and paste the sticker, which reads: ‘I don’t care about other people, I park where I want’.

stopxam

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Male Actor Transforms Himself into Female Celebrities Using Makeup and Wigs

31-year-old actor and TV host Paolo Ballesteros specialises in transforming himself into female celebrities from around the world – including Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Katy Perry, Jennifer Lawrence, Julia Roberts and more. Believe it or not, there’s no Photoshop involved; Paolo uses only wigs, makeup, and colored contact lenses to complete the stunning transformations.

Paolo is the host of a popular TV show in the Philippines called Eat Bulaga. His transformations actually started as a segment on the show Super Sereyna, where he would surprise audiences with his mind blowing makeup skills. Paolo revealed that he is self-taught – he learned to apply makeup by watching YouTube tutorials, and he does it all by himself.

paolo-ballesteros-makeup

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This Man Is on a Mission to Have Coffee at Every Starbucks in the World

Winter, a 42-year-old coffee fanatic from Houston, Texas, is on a mission to have coffee at every Starbucks coffee-shop in the world. Given that Starbucks operates on almost every corner of every street of every city in America, not to mention thousands of shops around the world, Winter seems to have set himself an impossible goal. Yet, he’s already been to 11,676 Starbucks branches, and he won’t rest until he’s been to each and every one in the world – that’s at least 10,000 more to go.

Born Rafael Lozano, he legally changed his name to ‘Winter’ because he didn’t want his credit history confused with his father’s. Over the years, Winter, a computer programmer, has spent over $160,000 on Starbucks coffee and on traveling to cafes across 38 different countries – including shops in London, New York, Paris, Egypt, Kuwait, Turkey, Japan, and Lebanon. That’s about 25 percent of his earnings and three months of travel a year on coffee runs.

He’s a self-proclaimed caffeine addict, who at one point, used to guzzle 29 cups of coffee a day. Interestingly, he actually prefers artisanal coffee from independent stores, but he appreciates that Starbucks tastes the same everywhere. His first visit was in 1997, and he almost immediately decided that he had to go see all the branches in the world. “It was a completely random idea that came to me when I was in Plano, Texas while discussing the growth of Starbucks in the greater Dallas area,” he said.

winter-starbucks

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Beggar Turned Millionaire Offers Passer-By Who Once Showed Him Kindness $160,000 Reward

This heartwarming rags-to-riches story is guaranteed to restore your faith in humanity. A Chinese businessman who was once helped off the streets by a passerby, is now repaying the kindness by offering his benefactor a whopping one million yuan (over $160,000).

This story began in 1993, when 17-year-old He Rongfeng was forced to beg on the streets of Taizhou city in China’s Zhejiang province, to support his poor family. “Two friends and I had gone to Taizhou looking for work, but we were unsuccessful and ended up roaming the streets, penniless, starving, and without even shoes,” Rongfeng recalled. “We were in the pits and couldn’t see a way out, and then this young woman turned up.”

The woman was Dai Xingfen, who ran a local noodle shop with her husband. She took Rongfeng and his friends back to her modest one-room apartment and offered them food and a place to sleep. She gave them hot water to soothe their blistered feet, and then called a few acquaintances to find work for the boys in another city. Before they parted, she even gave them money for the train fare.

gratitude

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This Life-Size Hulk Statue Made Entirely of Discarded Nuts and Bolts Is the Coolest Thing You’ll See Today

Ban Hun Lek is a Thai scrap metal art company that makes amazing pop culture sculptures from discarded auto parts. One of their best works is this Incredible Hulk statue made almost entirely out of rusty old nuts and bolts.

According to the brand’s website, Ban Hun Lek is a family-run business, specializing in hand-made scrap metal art that’s created piece-by-piece from used auto parts that have no value. “Bolts, nuts, screws, spark plugs, and other used auto parts have been re-created by our skillful welders with just a normal electric welding technique,” they wrote. “These art would make great gifts, and are great for collection and decoration.”

incredible-hulk-sculpture

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Man Wants to Swap His Detroit Home for an iPhone 6

A homeowner in Detroit, Michigan, recently put his property up on the market – and when he failed to make a sale, he decided settle for a trade. He is now after Apple’s latest product offering – the iPhone 6. And if he can’t have that, he’s willing to settle for a 32-gigabyte iPad or an Android in exchange for the house.

Understandably, the three-bedroom, one-and-a-half bathroom brick house isn’t exactly in the best condition. It does have a finished basement and a plush garden, but neighbors strongly believe that it needs to be torn down. The bungalow was initially listed for $5,000, but there weren’t any takers. So the current price is down to $3,000 or an iPhone 6.

“It’s a real listing,” insisted realtor Larry Else. “My client is overseas and he told me he would be willing to trade the property for an iPhone 6. It sounds to me like he wants the Plus version, but I think he’s willing to negotiate.”

house-for-iPhone

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Meet the Millionaire Who Dedicated His Life to Raising Gorillas and Releasing Them into the Wild

Damian Aspinall is a casino-owning millionaire, environmentalist and animal lover who has made it his life’s mission to raise gorillas and release them into the wild. And in order to make that happen, the self-made businessman set up the Aspinall Foundation, through which he has raised over 60 gorillas in England and released them to secure locations in Africa.

Aspinall, who was once known for his party lifestyle and for dating supermodels like Naomi Campbell has now devoted his life to deepening the connection he has always shared with the animal kingdom. Apart from the Aspinall Foundation, he also runs Howletts and Port Lympne wildlife parks in Kent. It is his belief that animals should have as much right to happiness as humans do.

His deep-rooted connection with animals goes all the way back to his childhood – his father John, Aspinall, was a gambler and maverick zoo keeper. So he grew up around his father’s exotic pets, developing an all-consuming passion for wildlife as he got older. “It’s magic crossing the species boundaries, and the greatest thing about being alive,” said the 54-year-old. “You can’t explain it to people who don’t have it.”

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Kokoro Scanner – A Japanese High-Tech Toy That Lets Others Know If You Are Lying or Telling the Truth

The Kokoro Scanner (Heart Scanner) is a high-tech Japanese invention that can spice up classic party games such as ‘Truth or Dare’. It is a lie detecting device that is worn on the forehead and changes color to indicate the truthfulness of a person’s responses.

Created by Tokyo-based toy company ‘Takara Tomy’, the scanner works a lot like a polygraph machine – it monitors the pulse using infrared rays. So when you make a person wear it, it first monitors their heart rate to establish a baseline. Then, you ask them a question, the wearer responds, and the device monitors the heart rate once more to compare it with the baseline.

It then flashes green if the person’s pulse is normal indicating that they’re telling the truth, yellow if they might be lying, and red if they are lying for sure. Because the light is attached to the person’s forehead, they won’t be able to tell what color is flashing while they’re being interrogated with all sorts of embarrassing questions.

Kokoro-scanner

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Chinese Tycoon Gifts Custom iPhone 6 Smartphones to All His Former High-School Classmates

Chinese businessman Qian Fenglei is the kind of friend everyone would want. This real-life Richie Rich has recently gifted specially embossed gold iPhone 6 smartphones to all his former high school classmates, at a reunion dinner. The inscription on the phones reads: ‘Class of 1992, Maoshan Middle School’.

Qian is the chairman of Universal International Holdings (Hong Kong) Limited, and is quite well known for his generosity. He was previously in the news for donating two million yuan towards relief work after the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. And he also gave all his former classmates an iPhone 5 during a previous reunion. Guess they know what they’ll be getting when Apple launches their new generation of phones.

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Hairstylist Spends over 150 Hours Covering Her Car in Human Hair, Sets World Record

We’ve seen people cover their cars with the weirdest stuff – right from dentures to swarovski crystals. But this one is a first – an Italian hairstylist chose to pay tribute to her profession by covering her car in human hair. There’s hair everywhere – on the exterior, the seats, the dashboard, and even the steering wheel.

The car in question belongs to 44-year-old Maria Lucia Mugno. She decided to cover it in hair in 2010, after a friend bet her that she couldn’t do it. So with the help of her assistant Valentino Stassano, she spent 150 hours sewing thickly braided strands of hair imported from India on her small Fiat 500. The effort won her the Guinness World Record title for the world’s hairiest car.

car-covered-in-hair

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Talented Artist Creates Incredible Optical Illusions on Wood

Singaporean artist Ivan Hoo is an ace at creating optical illusions. Using pastels and pencils on wood, he illustrates highly realistic objects such as spilled cola, cracked eggs, broken vases and crumpled paper. It all looks three-dimensional until you touch it and realise that it’s not.

Ivan said that he chose to work with wood because of its texture and the way it holds color. “By working on wood, it gives me a lot of dimension and ideas to create something close to reality and it works really well with pastels too,” he explained.

“I started to experiment on wood some years back with mainly portraits as my subject before going further with a different concept,” he added. “I started to think of ideas and draw things that we could see ‘happening’ on a piece of wood, so the very first idea that struck me was the dripping effect. That was my first anamorphic work.”

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Man Loves Broadway Show So Much He Has Seen It 500 Times in the Last 5 Years

38-year-old Abe Calimag is so hooked on the Broadway musical Rock of Ages that he’s seen it 500 times in the past five years. His obsession has taken him to six different countries, just to watch various productions of the same show. And he’s spent a whopping $25,000 along the way.

Abe, a business consultant from Virginia, bought his first Rock of Ages ticket in 2009 because his favorite actress Amy Spanger was supposed to be in it. He later realised that she wasn’t in the cast anymore, but he decided to go see the show anyway. It turned out to be the experience of a lifetime, and thus began Abe’s love affair. During the last five years, he has traveled to London, Toronto, Australia, Manila and to several states in the US, and even taken a few cruises just to watch the production over and over again.

Abe-Calimag

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Indonesian Workshop Creates Mind-Blowing Life-Size Replicas of Popular Sports Cars Exclusively Out of Wood

This group of highly skilled Indonesian woodworkers caters exclusively to people who love collecting sports cars – both real and wooden. They carve impressive life-size replicas of popular sports car models, and their creations are routinely exported to buyers in the US, England, Germany, and other European countries. 

Their latest handiwork is a model of the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, made entirely out of teak – it doesn’t work of course, but it’s a stunning copy of the real thing. And let’s not forget – cheaper by several thousands of dollars.

wooden-Bugatti-Veyron

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Awesome Pixelated Portraits Made with Thousands of Expertly Arranged Paint Swatches

Peter Combe is a San Francisco-based visual artist who specializes in creating three-dimensional artwork using nothing but paint swatches, hand-punched into small disks. Using his special technique, Combe creates stunning pieces that range from abstract pattern-based compositions to highly realistic pixelated portraits with a vintage photograph-like quality.

Combe has a huge collection of paint swatch disks of over 1,100 colors that he has organized based on tonal increments and light-reflecting values. This enables him to think of tones rather than colors while working. To create a piece, he fits these disks into bezel-cut grooves on a specially prepared archival material, with the aid of a vintage operating-theater lamp.

Peter-Combe-portraits

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Did You Know Deep-Fried Maple Leaves Are Actually a Popular Snack in Japan?

They say everything tastes better deep fried, but who’d have ever guessed that also applies to maple leaves? Well, the dish is real – it’s called Maple Tempura and it’s a fall delicacy in Japan. Surprisingly, it isn’t just made by picking up random fallen leaves and frying them. There’s actually an elaborate process involved in making these sweet, golden snacks.

To prepare Maple Tempura, the leaves are carefully selected and preserved in salt barrels for over a year. Then, they’re removed from the salt and dipped in a batter made from flour, sesame seeds and sugar. These batter-coated leaves are then deep fried for over 20 minutes, until crisp.

fried-maple-leaves

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