Teen Sleeps Outside for a Whole Year to Raise Awareness to Plight of the Homeless

17-year-old Rudy Hummel has been sleeping outdoors every night for the past seven months. He plans to continue until he has reached his one-year goal. Through this unique project, Rudy wants to test himself and also raise awareness about the difficulties that the homeless face.

“I came up with the idea to do this for a whole year just because I like to challenge myself, but now it means more than that,” he said. “I’ve got a couple of organizations picked up that I want to try and collect money for, to donate to. Trying to turn this into a fundraiser.” The high school junior from Hermantown, Minnesota said that he has always loved camping and spending time in the outdoors.

His initial plan was to sleep outdoors only during the summer, but then he just kept going. “Geez, this has not been hard enough,” he said. At first Rudy slept on a platform in a tree in the Hummels’ backyard that he had built with his dad. When winter came, he piled up snow with a shovel in the backyard and hollowed it out to create a small bedroom. “It’s a quinsy, which is a type of snow shelter,” he explained.

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Japanese Researcher Uses Controversial Experiments to Prove Our Thoughts and Intentions Can Alter the Physical World

Self-help gurus have been telling us about the power of positive thinking for years. Now, the results of an experiment might just prove that they were right all along. Dr. Masaru Emoto, a researcher and alternative healer from Japan, has researched the effects of positive and negative thoughts on materials such as water and cooked rice. The results are pretty amazing.

Dr. Emoto shot to international fame in 2004, when he was featured in the documentary film What the Bleep Do We Know. In that film, he demonstrated through experiments that human thoughts and intentions could cause a great deal of change to the molecular structure of water. His discovery was path breaking, given the fact that human bodies are made of almost 70 percent water.

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Chinese Students Tie Their Hair to the Ceiling to Prevent Falling Asleep while Studying

Now this is what I call pure genius. Why didn’t I think of this when I was a college student struggling to stay awake all night? As you can see in the pictures, these Chinese university students have resorted to tying up their hair using clothespins. Every time they nod off, the pins will pull on their hair, jerking them awake.

The technique became popular after two students at the Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University in Fujian province uploaded pictures of themselves on Weibo. Chen Tang, 20 and her roommate Huang Lu, 21, had been struggling with a huge workload and needed a quick fix to fight the urge to nap.

They had tried the regular methods – caffeine, push-ups and cranking up the air-conditioning – but none of that worked. That’s when they decided to hit the history books for a solution. Chen and Huang read about two famous Chinese scholars who practiced extreme methods to keep their minds alert.

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Artist Uses Her Fingers to Create Mind-Blowingly Realistic Paintings of Icebergs

Zaria Forman’s paintings of icebergs are so realistic that just looking at them actually gives me the chills. Her 2012 collection, Chasing the Light, is a tribute to her mother who died from brain cancer. She also hopes to raise awareness to climate change through her work.

Forman has a unique style of creating art. “When I travel, I take thousands of photographs and make small sketches. Once I am back in the studio, I draw from my memory of the experience, as well as the photographs to create large scale compositions. I add layers of color onto the paper, smudging everything with my fingers and hand,” she said.

Zaria-Forman

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Salton Sea Beach – A Graveyard Made Up of Millions of Fish Bones

California’s largest lake is also its worst one. As you drive past it, you get to see pristine white beaches with blue waters, but if you climb out of your car and take a closer look (I wouldn’t recommend this), you suddenly realize how horribly depressing the place is.

The white sand is, in fact, not sand at all. It is actually just pulverized bones from the millions of fish that died here. The water is actually murky brown; the blue color is only a reflection of the desert sky. And you cannot possibly ignore the putrid stench – like a large fish market that only sells rotten fish.

The very existence of Salton Sea is an accident. It formed in 1905, when an irrigation canal from the Colorado River broke after heavy rainfall. The river burst through the banks of the canal and millions of gallons of water spilled over into a dried out lake bed in the California desert.

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Billionaire Who Offered $65 Million to Any Man Who Could Marry His Gay Daughter Doubles His Offer after 20,000 Suitors Fail

A couple of years ago, we wrote about Cecil Chao Sze-tsung, a Hong Kong-based property and shipping tycoon who offered US $65 million to any man who could woo his gay daughter, Gigi Chao. At the time, 33-year-old Gigi had just announced her wedding to her partner of seven years, Sean Eav.

Fast forward to present-day and Gigi is still a happily married woman, but Cecil doesn’t appear to have given up yet. He is in the news again for raising the reward to a whopping HK $ 1 billion (approximately US $130 million), even though thousands of eligible bachelors have tried and failed at the task. 77-year-old Cecil is still refusing to acknowledge Gigi’s marriage, insisting that she is single.

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San Francisco Artist Turns Disposable Coffee Cups into Stunning Works of Art

We love all kinds of unusual art here at OC, and Miguel Cardona’s unique paper cups fit the bill perfectly. The San Francisco-based illustrator and professor of design takes ordinary coffee cups and transforms them into stunning collectibles. His doodles cover a range of subjects – from aliens to sea creatures, and even the face of Walter White (of Breaking Bad fame).

Cardona’s love affair with cups began last year, when he happened to visit a café near his workplace. The barista tied a napkin around a takeaway cup, and Cardona thought it looked like a scarf. So he quickly sketched a hipster around it. On subsequent cups the scarf became a doo-rag and then a Ninja Turtles’ mask.

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Jeweler Born with No Fingers Creates Masterpieces Worth Thousands of Dollars

For a person born without fingers, 48-year-old Annette Gabbedey has the most unusual job – she is one of Britain’s most talented jewelry designers and an expert goldsmith. It is surprising that she doesn’t even use special tools to help her work around her condition. Instead, she adapts conventional crafting devices to make the most dazzling and intricate ornaments.

Because she has never had fingers, Annette says that she doesn’t feel like anything is missing. In fact she prefers it this way, insisting that she is not disabled. “I tend to look at people with fingers and think well how can you manage with fingers because they must get in the way,” she said. “It is just your own perception of how you look at yourself and for me I was born like it and I have never known anything different.”

Annette-Gabbedey

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Living Life Like in the 1950s – America’s Rockabilly Community

At first glance, you would be tempted to think that these pictures were clicked sometime in the 1950s, but you would be mistaken. These are actually members of America’s Rockabilly community – people who dress, drive and decorate their homes just like in the fifties.

Jennifer Greenburg, a 36-year-old assistant professor of photography at Indiana University Northwest, has been photographing the Rockabillies for a decade now. “There are people out there who very legitimately want to imitate the 1950s,” she said. “They move to the suburbs, have two kids and live behind a white picket fence.”

‘Rockabilly’ refers to a genre of popular music in the fifties that mashed rock ’n roll with other types of music. Now, it is a group of people who want to surround themselves with as many things from the 1950s as possible. “At first I thought the culture was about fashion,” Greenburg said. “Then I realized it was much, much more than that. I realized that this was a culture of people who functioned as a community.” At the heart of the Rockabilly community lies a great love for quality and design. The fifties were a time when consumer products in America were made by industrial designers who took care of functioning as well as aesthetics.

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The Dark Hedges – Ireland’s Real-Life Fantasy Setting

Along Bregagh Road, near the village of Armoy in Northern Ireland, lies a tranquil byroad called The Dark Hedges. For the past three centuries, a stretch of Beech trees have been guarding either side of this road. They have reached up and intertwined with each other, creating an ethereal tunnel of trees with shadow and light playing through the entwined branches. The effect is nothing short of spectacular.

The trees were planted in the 1750s by the Stuart family, on the grounds of Gracehill House, James Stuart’s Gregorian mansion. They wanted to create a compelling landscape to impress visitors who approached the entrance to the mansion. Needless to say, the Stuarts managed to achieve the desired effect. Even today, the Dark Hedges attracts locals and tourists alike.

Up until fifteen years ago, only locals knew about the Dark Hedges. In 1998, Northern Ireland’s national tourist board began to use the setting to promote tourism. Visitors have been pouring in ever since. It is one of the most photographed places in the world, and has become a desktop wallpaper cliché. Several scenes of the hit series ‘Game of Thrones’ have been filmed here and it is also a popular location for wedding photography.

The Dark Hedges

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Dutch Town Has Street Names Inspired by Lord of the Rings

Geldrop is a small town in the southern part of The Netherlands, with a population of 28,000. Not much information on this place is available online, but it seems like a perfectly ordinary Dutch town. But there is something special about it (apart from the fact that ‘Geldrop’ sounds like some kind of candy).

The names of all the streets in one of the neighborhoods of Geldrop are actually taken out of J.R.R Tolkien’s epic trilogy, The Lord of the Rings. We have absolutely no idea why, or whose genius idea it was, but it’s one of the few places in the world with such bizarre street names. I’d understand if it were just one or two streets, but the entire neighborhood consists of Lord of the Rings references.

At the heart of the city is Laan von Tolkien (Tolkien Avenue). Then the streets branch out into names of hobbits, elves, dwarves and even a few ents (the talking trees). If you want to see for yourself, go to Google Maps and search for Geldrop. Or, you could just follow this link.

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Chinese Rich Kid Offers $170,000 to Rent a Girlfriend for Upcoming Spring Festival

This Chinese man is so rich he is willing to shell out one million yuan (US $170,000) just to rent a girlfriend. The news was first reported on China’s leading social networking website, Weibo. The post came from an account called ‘Host of Henan newscast’.

Paying a girl to date you might give people the wrong idea, but this case appears to be different. According to the posting, the man wants to hire a girl just to accompany him to his family reunion during the upcoming Spring Festival. Perhaps he doesn’t want to be alone during the Chinese holidays?

The listing included a photograph of the dude, sitting behind a pile of cash. I suppose he wanted to go all out to prove that he is serious. He put up a list of requirements: the girl should be under 25, over 1.68 meters tall, less than 50 kilograms, and “sweet,” with at least a bachelor’s degree. He will pay 10 percent extra for a girl with a doctorate degree or a virgin. Among other promises is a chartered flight from Shenzhen to Zhengzhou and back.

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Mr. Incredibeard and His Truly Incredible Beard Styles

29-year-old Isiah Webb is blessed with amazing genes that have helped him grow a truly legendary beard. It’s rare to find men these days with such a thick overgrowth of facial hair. But Webb isn’t content with just having a long beard. He has transformed it into various weird shapes and styles, posted pictures online and watched them go viral.

Webb calls himself ‘Mr. Incredibeard’. “Beards run in my family, so I’ve always really known; it’s kind of tradition,” he said. “One of my ancestors, Jay Gould, was a railroad tycoon with a pretty awesome beard, and we actually look alike in many ways. Maybe one day I will be able to make a few billion dollars as a beard tycoon.”

I must say, he does look like he’s well on his way to becoming a ‘beard tycoon’, if there really is such a thing. He wears it in so many creative ways – a bowl to eat noodles from, a ‘bearded elf beard’, a ‘stairway to heaven beard’, and even a ‘fries & a beard shake’. Yes, he actually uses his beard to hold a burger, some fries and a shake so that his hands are completely free. I think that’s just for the photograph though, I don’t suppose he’d really eat food off of his beard. Oh, wait, he would.  Isiah puts up these photographs every Monday, on his various social media profiles.

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Meet Steven Kutcher – The Guy Who Gets Insects to Act on Camera

Have you ever wondered how the insects in movies do exactly what they’re supposed to? How do they know they’re even in a movie scene and play along with the plot? Like the spider that bites Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) in Spiderman. The bees that swarm Matt Damon in We Bought a Zoo. The spider that walks four feet and slips into a slipper in the cult classic, Arachnophobia. Or the giant mosquitos in Jurassic Park.

It turns out that there’s actually a person behind all these shots, manipulating the insects to do his bidding. That man is Steven Kutcher, 69, an entomologist who has been working in Hollywood since 1976. He has been a part of over 100 feature films, numerous commercials, music videos and TV movies.

“I think of myself as a bug wrangler, a consultant. I’m not the cheap guy who trains dogs and chickens and happens to have a tarantula,” he said. “I’m both a scientist and an artist. I think Steven Spielberg said I was the first entomologist in the film industry. I brought the science of insect behavior to the film industry.” It’s pretty obvious that Mr. Kutcher takes immense pride in what he does.

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Young Russian Spends Eight Months Living Alone Like in the Early Middle Ages

24-year-old Pavel Sapozhnikov is putting himself through one of the most epic socio-psychological experiments in history. He is trying to replicate the lifestyle of his Russian ancestors from around the year 1100, and practicing an ascetic lifestyle with very little human contact for the entire duration of the experiment.

The project began in September 2013 and should run on until May this year. The essence, according to Pavel, is to live on the replica of an ancient farm, devoid of any modern conveniences or communication. “I live alone in the past,” he wrote.

‘Project Hero’ is the brainchild of Alexei Ovcharenko, from the event management agency ‘Ratobor’, which translates as ‘A Mighty Man’. Ratobor, founded in 2006, has conducted several projects and events exclusively based on historic experiences. They proudly declare on their website: “We often do not agree with the vision of the customer and dictate what the event should be. But in our history, we haven’t received any negative reviews about the quality of our corporate programs.”

Pavel Sapozhnikov

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