Russian Couple Share Their Home with a Full-Grown Brown Bear

Svetlana and Yuriy Panteleenko seem like a perfectly average family, but that’s until they introduce you to their 23-year-old adopted son, Stepan, a 300-lb brown bear. The unlikely family do almost everything together, right from playing in the backyard, to cuddling and watching TV on the sofa.

Stepan was just three months old when the Panteleenkos adopted him. He had been found by hunters after reportedly losing his mother and was in very bad shape. So they took him in and have been happily living together for the last 23 years. The couple say that because Stepan has been domesticated from a very young age, he has developed the gentlest temperament. He loves nothing more than hugging his parents every chance he gets and cuddling next to them on the sofa in the evening. “He absolutely loves people and is a really sociable bear – despite what people might think, he is not aggressive at all. We have never been bitten by Stepan,” Svetlana says.

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Scientist Creates Possible Cure to All Viruses, Needs It to Go Viral

When MIT-trained engineer Todd Rider revealed his revolutionary idea for killing virtually any virus, everyone from fellow scientists to The White House praised him for his results, with some going as far as to call his discovery the most important medical breakthrough since antibiotics. Yet four years later, Rider is struggling to find funds for his research and has to turn to online crowdfunding for something that could save the lives of millions.

The story of Todd Rider’s quest to rid the world of viruses began over 15 years ago, when, while in the shower, he came up with a radical idea in his head – what if there was some way to kill viruses by flipping their biologic suicide switches leaving the patient healthy and infection free? For the next decade, he and his colleagues worked on the concept of Broad-Spectrum Antiviral Therapeutics, which proposed a whole new approach to tackling viruses. Instead of containing and preventing viral infections, their method actually killed virus-infected cells, without harming normal cells.

In early tests, this new weapon dubbed Double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) Activated Caspase Oligomerizer (DRACO), eliminated 15 pathogens, from the common cold to H1N1 influenza to hemorrhagic fevers like the dengue virus. It proved effective across 11 human cell types, including heart, kidneys and liver, and mice infected with lethal doses of influenza virus were cured with DRACO treatments.

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Meet Jana Jihad – Palestine’s Youngest Amateur Reporter

While most 10-year-olds are busy playing games, learning the ropes at school and enjoying their childhood, Janna Jihad risks her life reporting on the Palestinian – Israeli conflict in the occupied West Bank, in an effort to raise awareness to the plight of her people.

A resident of Nabi Saleh, a small Palestinian village north of the West Bank city of Ramallah, Janna has been a witness to the tragedies of war from a very young age. Her mother, Nawal, says she was traumatized after one of her friends was shot dead by the Israeli army. “He was older than her but used to always be friendly and nice to her so that she became attached to him. When she saw his blood on the ground, she became frantic.”  She used to pen her feelings and frustrations in a locked journal every night, but the deaths of two of her relatives – her cousin, Mustafa Tamimi, and another uncle, Rushdie Tamimi – inspired her to get involved and reveal the injustice the people in her village are being subjected to.

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Japanese Boy Missing for Three Days After Parents Left Him in Woods as Punishment

Rescue teams have been scouring the thick woods of northern Hokkaido, Japan, for the past three days in search of a young boy who had been abandoned there by his parents, as punishment for being naughty.

7-year-old Yamato Tano-oka was first reported missing on Saturday, when his parents alerted the police saying that he had become separated while they were out walking through the forest, looking for wild vegetables. However, a day later, during questioning, one of the parents admitted that Yamato had been left alone in the bear-infested woods on purpose, as a form of punishment for misbehaving. Although the police has yet to confirm the exact reasons for this punishment, local media reports that he had been throwing rocks at passing cars and people.

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Every Year This Man Organizes a Very Popular Conference about Boring Things

Most conferences tend to be boring, although not intentionally so. But there is one event that is deliberately dedicated to all things dull and tedious – the ‘Boring Conference’ hosted every year at London. Believe it or not, it’s a sell-out event where attendees are treated to talks on all sorts of boring things like paper bags, toilet roll quality control, lamp posts, and bricks.

How did such a thing as a Boring Conference come to exist, you ask? Well, it all started in 2010, when the man in charge of organizing an even called the Interesting Conference canceled the whole thing, saying that he was too busy. James Ward, an English book author and marketer, replied to the announcement, saying that he liked boring things and that they should be celebrated too. His social media post got a lot of people interested in a possible event about boring things and he started getting questions about where to buy tickets for it. That year, Ward organized the world’s first Boring Conference.

This year’s Boring Conference, held at London’s Conway Hall on 7 May, was the sixth consecutive event in the last six years and all 425 tickets were sold out in just a few days. Ward always opens up the event himself, because he likes to “set the bar low”. If people start with poor expectations, then the show can only improve, he says. Last year, he spoke about postcard photos of the old Post Office Tower.

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Coca Cola Japan Launches “Sleep Water” It Claims Could Help You Sleep Better

Capitalizing on the Japanese work culture that makes insomniacs of employees,  Coca Cola Japan has recently released a new beverage that the company claims can help people get a better night’s sleep. Aptly named ‘Glaceau Sleep Water’, the drink is perfect for those who have trouble nodding off every night and are desperate to experience deep, uninterrupted sleep.

Sleep Water is apparently enriched with a special ingredient called L-Theanine, an amino acid that is believed to decrease anxiety and stress while improving relaxation. Theoretically, this should result in better quality sleep, so it should work even for people who don’t have time for a full eight hours of slumber. The company claims that only a few hours of Sleep Water-induced rest are more than enough to feel rejuvenated the next morning.

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World’s Proudest Grandma Plasters Grandchildren’s Photos on Virtually Everything

Grandmas are usually proud of you even if you so much as sneeze, but this North Carolina woman has taken granny-love to a whole new level. 66-year-old retiree Carmen Baugh is so enamoured with her grandkids that she’s converted her living room into a shrine of sorts, with their photographs plastered across the wallpaper, curtains, and even cushions.

Carmen got the idea to do up her home with her grandchildren’s faces when she moved from Charlotte to Raleigh. She looked at lots of different wallpaper and curtain samples before deciding to design her own. “My grandson and granddaughter are my pride and joy so why not decorate my home with their faces on?” she asked herself.

So instead of just using framed photos of her grandkids, she decided to have a specially-made wallpaper featuring over 30 different photographs of theirs. And she liked it so much that she went on to design a similar fabric for her curtains and cushions, and then used it to make herself a top as well! 

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South-Korean Technology Addicts Participate in Bizarre Space-Out Competition

A strange ‘space-out competition’ recently saw 60 South Koreans in the country’s capital of Seoul put aside their smartphones and tablets and simply sit on the ground in a public park, thinking and doing nothing for 90 minutes. The person measured as having the most stable heart rate at the end of that period was judged the winner.

With more than 80% of its 50 million-strong population owning a smartphone, South Korea is considered one of the world’s ‘most wired’ countries. National statistics show that users spend an average of four hours a day tweeting, texting or playing video games on their handhelds, and about 15% show symptoms of addiction. This growing fixation with technology and the internet is seen as a serious problem, so to give people a chance to disconnect, if only for a short time, and promote a life free of information overload, a group of artists came up with the Space Out Competition.

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Amazing Human Being Has Laid Over 550 Unclaimed Bodies to Rest in the Last 60 Years

Mithalal Sindhi, from the Indian city of Ahmedabad, is not a rich man, by any means. He has been living on the streets for the last six decades, earning a modest living by selling Bajra (pearl millet) from his pedal rickshaw. Most of what he makes, Mithalal spends on performing the last rites for unclaimed dead bodies that no one else takes responsibility for. He is without a doubt one of the most kindhearted people we have ever written about.

During the partition of the British Indian Empire, 15-year-old Mithalal moved from Pakistan to Bombay, with his family. He did a number of odd jobs to make ends meet and survive in the big city, but in 1957, he moved to Ahmedabad where he started a small fruit selling business using what little savings he had. It was during this time that he met Nyaldas Sindhi, a vegetable vendor, with whom he became very close friends. They would eat lunch together and even sleep next to each other on the footpath, at night. Their friendship came to an abrupt ending in just two years, after Mithalal tried waking his friend one morning, but he didn’t respond.

Devastated by Nyaldas’ death, the young fruit vendor realized his friend had no close families or relatives to take care of the last rites. Mithalal asked the Mukhya (Leader of Vegetable Market) for help, but he refused, telling him it was not his concern. No one was willing to take responsibility for his friend, so he stepped up and had his body cremated near Callico Mill. It was this experience that made him realize that there were so many people dying every day in Ahmedabad that had no one to perform their last rites. He decided he was going to be the person to do it.

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Aptly Named Rollercoaster Restaurant Delivers Your Food via Tiny Rollercoasters

British theme park Alton Towers is giving fast food a whole new meaning with its-newly opened ‘Rollercoaster Restaurant’ where dishes are delivered to patrons via – you guessed it – tiny rollercoasters. For an attraction famous for its adrenaline pumping rides, this is the perfect eatery.

When you enter the Rollercoaster Restaurant, an employee will seat you at your table and explain how to use a tablet to order food, which will travel to your table via a 26-foot rollercoaster with two gravity-defying loop-the-loops. But here’s the catch – you share a rollercoaster with three other tables, so there’s no way of telling whether the dish on the way is the one you ordered or not.

Once it makes its way down to the bottom, the dish will plant itself on a massive lazy suzan, along with a flag displaying the table number. If it happens to be yours, you can simply rotate the lazy susan towards your table and help yourself. Thankfully, the food arrives in closed containers and drinks arrive in bottles to avoid spillage, while hot beverages like tea and coffee are served the regular way – by hand.

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Car Chased by 20,000 Bees for Two Days After Hive Queen Gets Stuck in Trunk

A woman in the UK was left baffled by a swarm of about 20,000 bees that latched onto the back of her car and refused to budge for over 28 hours. The mystery was eventually solved when she discovered that they were actually following their queen, which had gotten stuck in the trunk of the car!

It all started last Sunday, when Carol Howarth, 65, parked her silver Mitsubishi Outlander in the town center at Haverfordwest, in Pembrokeshire, Wales, during a shopping trip. While she was away, thousands of bees began to gather around the car, much to the amazement of passersby. A rescue squad of three beekeepers and a national park ranger were called in to capture the bees in a special box and by the time Carol returned to the car, the situation was under control.

She was thankful for their help, but her tryst with the bees was far from over. Little did she know that as she drove back home, the rest of the swarm was following her . “The next day I realised that some of the bees had followed me home,” she said. “There were a lot less than the first swarm.” So she called the beekeepers once again and they arrived at her home on Monday evening.

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This Home Appliance Store Lets You Try Every Product Before Deciding to Buy It

California-based retailer Pirch is setting a new standard in shopping for home appliances by allowing customers to test products first hand in its stores – right from turning on a kitchen stove to standing under a fully functional showerhead. What’s more, shoppers are greeted with fresh coffee and complimentary snacks as they look around.

The idea is to get customers to spend a long time in their stores, and it seems to be working. According to Pirch CEO Jeffery Sears, shoppers are now spending an average of two hours and 11 minutes at each of their locations. And of course, they’re buying stuff too. Some of Pirch’s eight stores across the US are reporting sales over $3,000 per square foot, a number surpassed only by Tiffany’s and Apple shops.

“We know that when people walk through the space they’re just stunned and they start to dream,” said Sears, who co-founded Pirch with James Stuart in 2009. “Water runs, the chefs are cooking and people are learning. Pretty soon you just simply say, ‘My house sucks.’”

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Filipino Man Turns His Home into a Public Library to Help Kids Learn to Read

Retired Filipino accountant Hernando Guanlao has found a wonderful way to spend all his free time – he’s set up a public library right outside his home and he regularly hands out books to poor children for free.

Hernando’s little library is very relevant to the society he lives in, where many children drop out of school to support their families. He says that he set up the library to honor his parents and the only inheritance they left him – an insatiable love for learning. “As a Filipino who didn’t have the opportunity to go to other places, I wanted to do something before I turned 70 that would help other Filipinos,” he added.  “And books are my means to do that, so I can bring people joy, and help them not feel left behind. It seems to me that the books are speaking to me. That’s why it multiplies like that. The books are telling me they want to be read… they want to be passed around.”

Readers are allowed to take as many books as they like, and return them whenever they please. According to Hernando, “The only rule is that there are no rules.”

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Antlerman’s Shed – Inside an Awe-Inspiring Building Decorated with Thousands of Deer Antlers

James Phillips, from Three Forks, Montana, has been collecting shed antlers for over half a century now. The 66-year-old takes long hikes in the foothills of the mountains, looking for antlers to take home. Over the last six decades, he has collected over 16,000 individual pieces that now cover virtually every inch of a specially constructed 30 x 64 foot building known as Antlerman’s Shed.

Antlerman recalls that his passion for collecting sheds began in 1958. “I, as a ten year old, took a short walk from my parents’ homemade trailer up a creek into the timber,” he wrote on his website, “I stumbled onto an old set of elk antlers and packed them back to camp. A few days later I hiked a little further and brought home a couple old white elk antlers. To this day, when I find a shed I get the same rush as I did then. Antler hunting is in my blood.”

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Meet the Plus-Size Male Dancer Challenging Ballet Stereotypes

American ballet dancer Erik Cavanaugh is proving to the world that plus-size performers can be just as agile and graceful as their slim counterparts. His Instagram is filled with photographs and videos of himself performing ballet and other contemporary dance routines. He hopes to appear in music videos and on the Ellen Show, and his ultimate goal is to “change the mind and shape of dancers”.

Erik, 23, works at a pizza parlor by day and spends all his spare time dancing and choreographing. He learned the basics of dance at the Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts School when he was much younger, and was encouraged to post videos of his performances online by his dance coach at his alma mater, Slippery Rock University.

Some of his short video clips feature him pulling off incredibly difficult and impressive moves, like multiple pirouettes, set to contemporary music like Justin Bieber’s Purpose and Jordan Smith’s Settle. The New York Post featured a compilation of Erik’s moves in a Facebook video, which went viral, inspiring millions around the world.

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