Meet the NASA Expert Who Smells Things for a Living

George Aldrich isn’t an expert on space travel and building shuttles, yet, he holds one of the most important jobs at NASA. The agency doesn’t send any object to space unless he’s smelled it first! The master sniffer, also known as ‘Nostril-damus’, has protected hundreds of astronauts just by smelling the stuff that will be put into spacecrafts.

Aldrich can smell anything and everything, even the things that most of us find disgusting. He has had a superior sense of smell since childhood, but his special talent was discovered only around 40 years ago. He was a firefighter in White Sands back then, and NASA had started to look for sniffing volunteers. So Aldrich applied and he did exceedingly well at their calibration test in which he had to identify the seven primary odors – musky, minty, floral, ethereal, camphoraceous, pungent and putrid.

Since then, Aldrich has worked for NASA at their White Sands test facility, where his nose reigns supreme. The job might seem comical, but just how important is it? As it turns out, very. “Astronauts could actually get sick from being subjected to obnoxious odors,” said Aldrich. And it’s really true – the Russians had to abort a mission in 1976 because their astronauts couldn’t tolerate a hideous stench inside their shuttle. Too bad they didn’t have their own ‘nasal-naut’ like the Americans do.

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Indian “Snake Man” Charms the World’s Deadliest Snakes

40-year-old wildlife conservationist Vava Suresh has a way with snakes. His life’s mission is to ‘love and guard’ even the most venomous of slithery creatures – he’s already rescued over 30,000 snakes so far. His unique talent and hobby have earned him the nickname ‘Snake Man’; people all over the South Indian state of Kerala summon his expert services when they want a snake safely removed from their homes.

Suresh, who was born into a poor family in the city of Thiruvananthapuram, has a completely different perception of snakes than most people. He says that they’re gentle, lovable creatures that need kindness and protection from humans. “Snakes are a part of my life since childhood,” he said.

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Engineers Build Coolest Water Gun Ever

Finally, we have an engineer who’s putting his degree to proper use! 27-year-old Londoner Alex Bygrave has used all his technical know-how to come up with the ultimate invention – an awesome Gatling water gun. Believed to be the world’s most sophisticated Gatling-style weapon of its kind, the gun features a 10-liter water tank, six barrels and a 40-foot firing range.

Alex spent 50 hours designing and building the pistol from scratch, making use of 55 separate parts made of everyday objects. “I had to first break down the mechanics of how the Gatling gun worked, and then build it up using a mix of all sorts of components,” he said.

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Woman Experiences Life with a Celebrity by Living with a Life-Size Cardboard Cutout of Bradley Cooper

A lady from New Jersey is currently living every woman’s dream – she is actually spending every moment of her day with Hollywood star Bradley Cooper. Well, not with the actual guy, but a life-size cardboard cut-out of the actor. She says that she’s fulfilling her desire of a life with Bradley Cooper in the only way she knows how – by making it up!

39-year-old Danielle Davis has designed a unique life for herself and her ‘cardboard Cooper’, who is by her side 24×7. She shops with him, cooks with him, eats with him, mows the lawn with him, and even takes him to bed. You’d think that Danielle is a spinster who lives alone with her cats, but no, she’s married and has two children. Her family is strangely supportive of her Cooper experiment.

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Eat Your Food and Wear It Too – Gold-Plated KFC Chicken Bones as Jewelry

Hard core KFC fans have come up with the perfect way to pay homage to their favorite fast food brand – by wearing gold plated KFC bones as jewelry. The idea sounds rather primitive, but I suppose the gold plating does reduce the barbaric effect to some extent.

‘Kentucky Fried Chicken Bone Gold Necklaces’, are made of only two ingredients – real KFC bones and real 14 karat gold. They come in two sizes – small and large. The necklaces are the brainchild of Kentucky for Kentucky, a group of people with the mission to ‘engage and inform the world by promoting Kentucky people, places and products.’

Their official website states: “We’re excited to introduce a brand spanking new Kentucky invention. An invention so kick-ass, it will change the jewelery game forever. We’ve taken one great Kentucky invention and turned it into a completely new Kentucky invention. Like Willy Wonka’s Everlasting Gobstopper, we’ve figured out a way to make it possible to savor a single piece of Kentucky Fried Chicken forever. Forever and ever. We all win.”

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Chinese Entrepreneur Turns Industrial Concrete Tube into Popular Low-Cost Hotel

While some people enjoy luxurious travel, others are more than happy to make do with the bare minimum. A clever Chinese hotelier has used this fact to his advantage – he constructed a highly unusual, low cost hotel by reusing industrial grade concrete tubing.

The ingenious young man, from Henan Province, managed to acquire several meters of recycled concrete tubing and sliced it into 15 separate mini structures. Each sturdy structure, designed to accommodate two people, is equipped with a double bed, a restroom, and a few ‘extra touches’ like air conditioning and sound proofing. The exteriors of the circular dwellings have even been decorated with some street art to make them look more appealing.

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Croatian Man Can Allegedly Perform Miracles Just by Gazing at People

Braco the Gazer has a special talent in the realm of alternative spirituality. He can heal people by just by gazing at them for a few minutes. Hundreds claim that their aches and ailments have all vanished after they looked into his peaceful eyes. The 46-year-old Croatian is now immensely popular in Europe and is a growing phenomenon in the United States.

He doesn’t call himself a healer, guru or teacher. In fact, Braco (pronounced Brah-tzo) leads a pretty normal lifestyle; he smokes, eats meat and lives with his wife and child. But none of that gets in the way of his gazing powers. According to his followers, Braco has connectivity with the Sun, which makes him a conduit for the transmission of divine energy, and a portal to oneness or the quantum field. Apparently, the power of his gaze is so strong that pregnant women are forbidden to attend his gazing events…

That might sound like a whole lot of spiritual mumbo-jumbo to the uninitiated. But it makes perfect sense to those who have been ‘touched’ by Braco’s gaze. He does not speak in public or give interviews; the only time people have heard his ‘loving’ voice is on DVD. Some people say he hasn’t actually spoken to anyone outside his inner circle since 2002. It’s almost as though he might lose his special powers if he utters more words than strictly necessary.

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World’s Largest Snake Gathering Turns Canadian Wilds into a Slithering Sea

Every spring, the Canadian wilds of Manitoba become a sea of nightmarish writhing snakes. A tangled mass of thousands of red-sided garter snakes come together in what is considered the largest snake-gathering in the world. After spending the long winter months in hibernation, they all come out for a bit of a breather, to frolic in the sun and perform their mating rituals.

The fascinating event takes place at the Narcisse Snake Dens, a few kilometers north of Narcisse, in Manitoba province. What makes Narcisse the ultimate rock-concert equivalent of the snake world? Well, the answer to that question dates back to the Paleozoic era, when the area of Manitoba was covered by an ancient ocean. The water doesn’t exist anymore, but the ocean bed still does – layer upon layer of thick limestone rock covers the region, with thousands of natural crevices, tunnels and caves. Rainwater seeps through these cracks and when the rock gives way near the surface, the resulting collapse forms a sinkhole.

The cold-blooded snakes happen to love these sinkholes, which are perfect for hibernation during the harsh Canadian winter with temperatures reaching 50 degrees below zero. So they migrate from far and wide and settle into the sinkholes, putting a good distance between themselves and the frost line. Because there’s a limited number of sinkholes, also known as den sites, all the snakes in an area have to go to the nearest den site. So there are literally tens of thousands of snakes crowded into just one sinkhole the size of the average living room.

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Guy Buys Hundreds of Cinema Tickets to New Transformers Film to Show Ex-Girlfriend How Rich He Has Become

A jilted man impulsively purchased hundreds of IMAX tickets to the latest Transformers film, last week, and posted photos of the receipts online. Even as his bizarre move shocked movie-goers across Beijing, the crazed gentleman gave the tickets away for free to everyone who shared his post on social media. It turns out it was all just a desperate ploy to prove to his ex-girlfriend that he is no longer poor.

The woman in question had dumped our man, Wang, seven years ago. That’s a long time in terms of break-up years, but it looks like Wang still hasn’t gotten over her. He wrote on his Weibo microblog that she had ditched him when he couldn’t afford to take her to the cinema. To add insult to injury, she moved away from him, from their hometown of Nanjing to Beijing.

Clearly stung by the break-up, Wang spent the past seven years working hard to make his Shanghai-based business a success. And he was finally able to afford not just one, but hundreds of cinema tickets worth 250,000 yuan (US $40,000). He claimed that the amount is only half of his present monthly income. He booked all the seats in four of the six IMAX theaters in Beijing, for last Friday’s screening of Transformers: Age of Extinction.

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Employee-Free Coffee Shop Trusts Customers to Pay for Their Order

‘The Vault’ in Valley City, North Dakota, serves coffee, tea and pastries, just like any other coffee shop. But here’s the difference: there’s no one there to do the serving! The owners have complete faith in the honesty of the people who walk through their doors, so they haven’t hired any employees.

“The Vault is self-serve,” declares the official website. “Everything is priced by hand, there are no price scanners. Just keep a track of your purchases and pay before you leave the counter area. There is a credit card reader and a deposit slot for checks and cash.” Customers simply walk in, make their own coffee, pay for it, and hang out for as long as they like.

It sure is a big gamble, but owners David Brekke and his wife Kimberly don’t seem to be too worried. When they opened the shop last October, it made complete sense to have people serve themselves and rely on the honor system. They have yet to break even, but that’s not because people are stealing.

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Artist Specializes in Sculpting Nature with a Chainsaw

Mark Tyoe is a talented chainsaw artist and the co-owner of Wintergreen Knoll Chainsaw sculptures in the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York. He runs the business along with his wife Linda; together, they sell Mark’s unique chainsaw carvings that he’s been making since the 1990’s. Mark is really good at transforming a solid block of wood into a beautiful sculpture, using nothing but a chainsaw.

“Everything I do on my carvings is with a chainsaw,” he said. “I’m kind of a purist about using one tool.” A chainsaw is hardly the ideal tool for artists, so it’s really a wonder that Mark manages to use one to create such delicate details. He doesn’t grind or sand, and he doesn’t use screws, nails or paint.

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Only Girls – A French All-Female Garage for Women Tired of Getting Ripped Off

‘Only Girls’ is a new garage designed to make women feel comfortable, especially those who are tired of being shortchanged by deceitful mechanics. It recently opened in the Saint-Ouen-l’Aumone suburb of northwestern Paris.

The garage opened just a month ago and it has already had around 40 customers, two-thirds of which were women. The concept of an all-female garage stands to be a big hit because Only Girls aims to offer women motorists exactly what they need – respect. Many women claim to have a tough time getting their cars fixed at regular garages, because mechanics do not take women seriously and quote higher prices than they would for male customers.

“When you’re a woman, it’s like you’ve got ‘sucker’ tattooed on your forehead,” said Sandrine Hautenne, 42. “One time, I went round to three different garages, and got three different estimates. Since then, I’ve sent my uncle to get estimates and guess what? The prices have dropped!”

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World’s Strangest Job? Man Impersonating a Woman Plays Fox-Human Creature for 12 Hours a Day at Pakistan Zoo

One of the top attractions at Karachi Zoo in Pakistan is ‘Mumtaz Begum Africa Wali’ – a mythical half-fox, half-woman chimera. With the body of a fox and the head of a woman, this bizarre creature manages to delight visitors more than any other animal in the zoo. Her witty conversation and fortune-telling talents make her an instant hit with any sort of crowd.

Once you enter Karachi Zoo, it’s hard to miss Mumtaz Begum – the organizers announce their bizarre attraction on a megaphone. When you get inside Mumtaz Mahal, the building that houses her, all you can see at first is a fox’s hide placed on a table-like arrangement. Suddenly, a woman’s head appears out of nowhere, exactly where the fox’s head is supposed to be.

The woman wears heavy make up with bright lipstick, and small children in the crowd are immediately captivated by her presence. Then she begins her story: “I was born like this in Africa 35 years ago, and I live on cake, juice, and fruits…” After a short monologue, she engages with visitors and answers their questions in several languages.

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19th Century Artist’s Amazingly Detailed Sand Art Will Blow Your Mind

Andrew Clemens (1857 – 1894) was an extraordinary self-taught artist from Iowa who created unbelievably intricate art using tiny grains of colored sand, with tools and techniques that were way ahead of his time. Although the man was completely deaf and nearly mute for most of his life, he managed to nurture his passion and make hundreds of bottles of beautiful sand art.

Clemens was born to German and Prussian parents who met and fell in love on their way to the United States. After living in various cities, his father finally moved the family to McGregor, Iowa, to take advantage of the gold-rush and the settlement of the American west. It was here that, at the age of five, Clemens was struck with ‘brain fever’ (or encephalitis as we know it today). Although he was lucky to survive, he permanently lost his hearing and speech to the disease.

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9-Year-Old Basketball Player Gets Recruited by Miami University Because She Is That Good

While most fourth graders in the United States are grappling with the basics of the sport, nine-year-old Jaden Newman is already playing basketball like a pro. In fact she’s so good that she’s been approached by Miami University – they’ve asked her to keep them in mind when the time comes for her to make her college choice. Getting recruited by a college-level team is no mean feat, and it’s really astonishing that Jaden has managed to achieve it at such a young age.

Playing basketball alongside older players isn’t new to Jaden – she’s already been through two seasons on the girl’s high school varsity team at Downey Christian School, a private school in Orlando, Florida. Her stats are mind blowing; at just 4 foot 5 inches tall, she’s averaged 14.5 points and 7.5 assists per game while playing against teenagers this past season. Her performance gained her national prominence, and now that she has the offer from Miami University, she’s believed to be the youngest female player to ever get recruited by a Division I program.

Jaden-Newman

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