No Man’s Land – Kenya’s Women-Only Village

Umoja is literally a no man’s land in Kenya – a matriarchal refuge where men are not allowed. The village, founded 25 years ago by Rebecca Lolosoli, is meant to be a safe haven for women and girls who want to escape abuse in the otherwise patriarchal society of the Samburu people, in northern Kenya.

Rebecca, a member of the Samburu tribe, now serves as the chief matriarch of ‘Umoja Usau Women’s Village’. Having witnessed occasional violence as a child, she slowly came to the conclusion that some of the traditional Samburu practices were inherently abusive towards women. So she began to speak out against these practices, in favour of widows, orphans, and victims of rape, female genital cutting, and forced marriage.

Rebecca’s outspoken attitude was met with a lot of resistance. Things got out of hand when she spoke up for a few women who were raped by British soldiers training nearby. Men in her village beat her up, and her husband did not protest on her behalf. So in 1990, she led a female exodus and started her own village.

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Chinese Primary School Replaces Nap Time With Meditation Session

Most people will agree that nap time is one of the best things about kindergarten – which is why a Chinese primary school was severely criticized for trying to replace afternoon naps with meditation. The pilot meditation program at Shishan Shuben Primary School, in China’s Guangdong Province, ran for only two days before it was scrapped following a backlash. Parents apparently hated the idea, and the media reacted negatively to it as well.

According to news reports, notices were sent to parents before the new semester, informing them that the school was going to do away with mid-day naps and introduce guided meditation instead. When school started, the students were each given a piece of newspaper to sit on. They were then made to watch tutorial videos on how to meditate, featuring the school’s headmaster, Mr. Wu. Unfortunately, Wu’s directions did not have the intended effect – most of the students slept anyway. “He just keeps talking all the time and some of them have been falling asleep,” one little kid said.


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Scientist Hasn’t Bathed in 12 Years, Uses Bacteria Spray to Keep Clean

In a bid to prove that showering is overrated, an American scientist hasn’t had a bath in 12 years. Instead, he sprays his skin with a mist containing live bacteria, which he claims has kept him clean all these years!

Dave Whitlock, a chemical engineer and MIT graduate, says that there is no basis for assuming that bathing is a healthy practice. “No one did clinical trials on people taking showers every day,” he said. “I have not taken a shower in 12 years.” In fact, he says that the chemicals in our soaps and shampoos have destroyed all the friendly bacteria that once inhabited our skin and kept us clean.

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Makeup Artist Transforms into Amazingly Realistic Comic Book Characters

Comic book makeup is a huge trend these days, but a few artists truly stand out for their spectacular work. Joining the ranks of Lianne Moseley and other Marvel makeup gurus is Argenis Pinal, a California-based cosmetologist.

Argenis is insanely popular on Instagram with over 100,000 followers. The man is a wizard with makeup – he’s managed to transform himself into almost several comic book characters and he’s done such a good job of it that you only realise you’re looking at a living person and not an illustration when he moves.

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Strange Condition Causes 30-Year-Old Man to Look Decades Older

Although he’s only 30, Yuan Taiping from Chongqing in southwest China, looks like an 80-year-old man. He suffers from a bizarre medical condition that’s caused his skin to age prematurely. He’s visited numerous doctors, but no one has been able to find him a cure so far.

Yuan, who works as a manager at a construction company, looked normal until the age of 20. But then he noticed changes on his face and body – he developed oedemas on his arms and legs and deep lines on his face. At first he thought it was due to stress, but when wrinkles appeared on his forehead, he realised that something wasn’t right. So he decided to get medical help, but in spite of visiting countless hospitals and taking lots of medication in the past decade, nothing has worked.

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Pregnant Woman to Have Dolphin-Assisted Birth in the Ocean So the Baby Can Speak ‘Dolphin’

UPDATE: The whole story below is nothing but a Big Media fabrication. Unfortunately, we fell for it being true without doing proper research, and for this we apologize to both Dorina Rosin and you, the readers. In a post on her blog, Dorina clarifies everything in great detail, but long story short, she never intended to have a dolphin-assisted birth, and actually had the baby on dry ground, assisted by a human midwife. The only support provided by the dolphins was a spiritual one. Dorina says she has always been aware of the dangers posed by a dolphin assisted birth, especially in the ocean, and has been upset by all the negative feedback she has gotten as a result of this FALSE story spreading on the internet. It’s truly unfortunate and unfair, as she seems like a decent, down-to-earth person who really didn’t deserve this. Again, you have our sincerest apologies!

A Hawaii couple might be taking their quest for a natural childbirth too far – they’ve decided to deliver the baby in the ocean, surrounded by dolphins! Dorina Rosin and her husband Maika Suneagle claim to be “dolphin people” and believe that their baby will be able to “speak dolphin” after the birth.

It sounds bizarre, but as it turns out, dolphin-assisted births are really a thing. The trend has been around for a few years now, and it appears to be gaining popularity. The idea apparently sprung from immersion or water births that are quite popular the world over. But couples aren’t satisfied with just water any more – they want to be surrounded by friendly dolphins as well.

According to the Sirius Institute in Hawaii, which runs a dedicated dolphin-attended birth centre, the idea is quite “reasonable”. Their website states: “Since birthing in water is beneficial, and dolphins are able to heal or improve a wide range of medical conditions, it is reasonable to suppose that their presence at water births could be beneficial.”

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Gyotaku – The Traditional Japanese Art of Painting Fish with Actual Fish

Back when there were no cameras for fishermen to record their trophy catches, the Japanese came up with a unique printing method called Gyotaku. Gyo means fish, and Taku means impression, and the technique involved just that – using freshly caught fish to make inky impressions on paper.

Hundreds of years ago, Japanese fishermen would take paper, ink and brushes out to sea with them. They would rub the fish they caught with the non-toxic sumi-e ink and then print them on rice paper. Most of the fish were then cleaned and sold in markets, but a few revered ones were released back into the ocean. In the mid-1800s, fishermen began to add eye details and other embellishments, giving rise to a unique art form.  

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You Can Rest in Peace on the Moon for $12,000

You might not make it to heaven in the afterlife, but you sure can go as far as the moon. Celestial funerals are now a possibility, thanks to San Francisco startup Elysium Space. For a ginormous fee of about $12,000, the company will privately transport your cremated remains to the moon!

Founded by former NASA engineer Thomas Civeit, Elysium boasts of bringing space and funeral experts together to provide the unique service. “Families now have the historic opportunity to commemorate their departed loved ones every night through the everlasting splendour and soft illumination of the Earth’s closest companion: the moon,” they stated in a press release.

Although the company was founded in 2013, the service only offered in August of this year, after Elysium managed to seal a deal with space logistics company Astrobotic Technology. They’re currently taking orders, and the first batch of ashes will travel to the moon on Griffin Lander spacecraft – Astrobotic’s inaugural lunar mission – in 2017.

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How Big Busted Mannequins in Venezuela Are Changing the Country’s Perception of Beauty

With one in three Venezuelan women opting for breast enlargement procedures, it actually isn’t surprising that store mannequins in the nation now feature augmented busts as well.

According to a New York Times report, plastic surgery is so common in Venezuela that women freely talk about their operations. Even low income women save up to get operated and become what is now considered normal. Mannequin manufacturers claim that they simply had to catch up with these women, or risk bankruptcy. Many factories were in fact struggling to make ends meet until they decided to redesign their mannequins to reflect the nation’s changing beauty standards.

Mannequin factory owner Eliezer Alvarez did just that a few years back – he created a new kind of mannequin with a “bulging bosom and cantilevered buttocks, a wasp waist and long legs,” and experienced an immediate boost in sales. “The mannequins were natural just like the women were natural, (but now) the transformation has been both of the women and of the mannequin,” said Nereida Corro, Alvarez’s wife and business partner.

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Indian Artists Turn Mumbai Taxis into Artworks on Wheels

‘Taxi Fabric’ is an innovative art project in Mumbai, India, that allows upcoming designers to transform the interiors of taxicabs in the city. Ten cabs have been given vibrant makeovers so far, and a Kickstarter campaign is underway to raise funds for more.

“The Taxi Fabric project is all about providing Indian designers with a unique platform to show off their work – using taxi seats as their canvas,” the campaign page reads.  The designers who founded the project also hope to “show Indians the impact good design can have.”

The team added that Indian taxi drivers do pimp their cars to stand out from the competition, but the upholstery usually doesn’t get much attention. The designs are just something drivers pick up from local markets, mostly “dull and forgettable”. The Taxi Fabric project wants to change that by creating bespoke fabrics with designs that reflect Mumbai’s life and culture.

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90-Year-Old Watchman Turns Russian School into a Veritable Art Gallery

After 25 years of teaching art at several schools, Valery Khramov finally retired from his job, but not from art. The 90-year-old spent the entire summer painting the walls at the school where he currently works as a watchman. He singlehandedly managed to transform the boring institution into an ethereal space, just in time for the new academic year.

“I spent the last three months at school,” Valery told the local media. “All I did was paint and draw. It has been 10 days since I slept – it was necessary to have time to finish everything for the new academic year.” And now that the kids are back in school, they’re absolutely thrilled with the new decor. In fact, first graders are actually being taken on tours of the ‘gallery’. What a fantastic way to beat back-to-school blues!

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The BEEcosystem Lets You Keep Bees as Indoor Pets

Growing bees indoors has never really been an option before, but an American startup called Living Interiors is changing that with their revolutionary new product – the BEEcosystem.

The BEEcosystem is a hexagonal cedar observational hive, “small enough to be manageable in non traditional beekeeping spaces,” but also large enough to produce cut-comb honey. The viewing window on the hive allows people to see the bees at work on the hive.


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Japan’s New Girl Band Has an Average Age of 84

KBG84 is a one-of-a-kind girl band in Japan consisting of 33 singing and dancing grannies, with an average age of 84. The oldest member, Haru Yamashiro, is 97 years old!

The new band, based in the remote island of Kohama in Okinawa, is a huge hit in the country – so much so that the members are rather taken aback by their success. Their first single – titled Come on and Dance, Kohama Island – has made it to the top of the  charts, and they’ve just completed a sellout tour of Japan.


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The Chinese Farming Village Where Everybody Knows Kung Fu

Ganxi Dong, a small village hidden deep in the mountains of Tianzhu in central China, is gaining worldwide attention for its unusually skilled residents. Apparently, everyone who lives in the self-sustaining village is a martial arts expert!

The Dong people, one of the 56 recognised ethnic minorities in China, pride themselves for having shunned the outside world in favor of local tradition. Apart from farming, every villager is well-versed in the art of kung fu, each one pursuing a different style of the ancient Chinese martial arts. They use a range of weapons including sticks, pitchforks, and their own fists.


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World’s First ‘Blood Rave’ To Spray Party-Goers with Gallons of Real Blood on Halloween

A nightclub in Amsterdam is getting ready to host the world’s first ‘blood rave’ this Halloween, with real blood! According to media reports, Dutch partygoers will be sprayed with gallons of blood from an overhead sprinkler system, based on the opening scene of the 1998 vampire film Blade.

The event’s official Facebook page states: “Blood Rave is a night-life community for likeminded individuals, on a discrete location in Amsterdam.” It also lists a link to an intro video (the scene from Blade), and another link to purchase tickets.


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