Indians Fight Public Urination by Attacking Offenders with Water Canons

At first glance, you might mistake this large yellow tanker fitted with hoses for a fire engine. But look closer at the symbols painted on the sides, and you’ll realize that this water truck is meant to serve a different purpose. It’s called the ‘Pissing Tanker’ and it is currently roaming the streets of Mumbai, India. Its goal – to fight public urination with public urination. Well, sort of. The truck is actually full of water, but the message is pretty clear - Urinate in public and get pissed on yourself.

The idea is really quite simple an eye for an eye. I say that’s brilliant, because years of campaigns to stop public urination in India have never really had much success. Re-painting the walls, putting up sign boards, setting up public urinals, collecting large fines, and even the threat of police arrests have never worked – Indian men just aren’t able to shake the habit (pun very much intended).

pissing-tanker

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Araras, the Brazilian Village Where People Melt Away under the Sun

The village of Araras, in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil, has the world’s largest population of people suffering from a rare skin disease known as xeroderma pigmentosum (XP). The condition is hereditary and makes its victims extremely sensitive to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. People suffering from XP become highly susceptible to skin cancer and are unable to repair the damage caused by the sun, leaving their skin red, raw and unsightly.

Since Araras is mostly made up of tropical farming communities, outdoor work is inevitable. Most residents have no choice but to spend long hours out in the sun, letting XP take over their lives in the most horrifying ways. Out of the 800 residents, over 20 people suffer from the condition. That’s one in 40 people, far higher than the United States, where the rate of occurrence is one in 1 million. One of the reasons for this is that Araras was founded by only a few families with several carriers of the disease, who passed it on as the villagers intermarried.

38-year-old Djalma Antonio Jardim has been an XP victim for several years. “I was always exposed to the sun – working, planting, and harvesting rice and caring for the cows,” he said. “As the years passed, my condition got worse.” For Jardim, XP showed early signs of manifestation. When he was just nine years old, he developed an unusually large number of freckles and small lumps on his face. If he had had the opportunity to protect himself from the sun back then, things could have been very different today.

xeroderma-pigmentosum

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Awesome Dad Builds 50-Meter-Long Rollercoaster in His Backyard

I’ve seen a lot of parents flatly refusing to indulge their kids’ outlandish ideas. That’s why I find 50-year-old Will Pemble’s spirit and child-like enthusiasm quite extraordinary. The father-of-two actually gave in to his son’s bizarre request – to build a rollercoaster in their own back yard.  It really makes Will a strong candidate for the title of best dad in the world, don’t you think?

Will is an e-commerce professional, living in San Francisco with his wife and two children (Lyle, 10 and Ellie, 12). He said that he took on the rollercoaster project because he wanted to show his kids that anything is possible if you’re willing to put in the effort. And he’s also a bit of a physics enthusiast, so he thought the project would be a great time to teach his children a fair bit of science.

backyard-rollercoaster

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Can You believe These Are Hyper-Realistic Acrylic Paintings and Not Actual Photographs?

We’ve seen lots of artists creating portraits that look like photographs, but very few have come as close to the real thing as Sheryl Luxenberg. Her work is fittingly called ‘hyperrealism’ – her paintings are just too real to be true. You probably need to stare at them for hours to spot one feature that doesn’t look utterly lifelike.

Sheryl is an award-winning visual artist living in Ottawa, Ontario. On her websites, she says that she tries to present the objectivity of her subjects, taking advantage of illusionistic depth and emphasizing with paint a flattened three dimensional look. I’m an art-dummy, so I really have no idea what that means. But it’s apparently the hallmark quality of the Photorealism Art Movement that began in the United States in the late 1960s.

Sheryl-Luxenburg-art

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This Collection of Bat-Eating Spiders Is Probably the Scariest Thing You’ll See Today

It’s hard to imagine a fragile spider killing and eating a full-grown bat. I mean there’s no way a tiny spider could have any sort of muscle power over a fully grown bat, right? Believe or not, there are eight-legged bugs out there that can pounce on bats and eventually devour them. And when they can’t, they rely on their superior web-spinning skills to get the job done.

One of the earliest sightings of bat-eating spiders occurred way back in 1941, when Indian scientist G.C. Bhattacharya (of the Bose Research Institute) walked into a cowshed in a village near the city of Calcutta. In a letter to an unknown publication, he wrote a detailed account of his experience: “Entering into the cowshed, I noticed a pipistrelle bat struggling to drag itself out of a crevice between two bamboo strips of a wall and a big house-spider was seen firmly gripping the former by the neck with its powerful mandibles.” No matter how much the little bat kicked, and screamed and flailed, the spider held on with a death-grip. “There was intermittent gasping and screaming of the bat,” Bhattacharya wrote.

Eventually, he focused a torch on the spot and as soon as the light fell on the pair, the bat screamed loudly and managed to drag itself through a certain distance on the matted shed wall. About 20 minutes later, the bat, thoroughly exhausted, stretched out its wing and gave in.   Bhattacharya then captured both victim and predator in a glass jar and took them home for closer observation. The next morning, he found the spider resting peacefully at the top of the jar, while the bat lay dead at the bottom, untouched. It had visible injuries to its neck and had died sometime during the night.

bat-eating-spider

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Rare Skin Disease Hasn’t Stopped This Beautiful Girl from Becoming a Successful Model

19-year-old Chantelle Brown-Young is perhaps the world’s first and only model with vitiligo, a condition that causes depigmentation of the skin. Vitiligo is the result of a malfunctioning immune system, has no cure and affects less than one percent of the world’s population. It’s the same disorder that pop icon Michael Jackson suffered from. In Chantelle’s case, the condition almost ruined her life. That is, until she decided to turn it around.

As a child, Chantelle became an easy target for bullies. “While growing up, I was teased, ridiculed, and bullied and called names like cow, zebra, and all manner of other disparaging slurs,” she said. “The continuous harassment and the despair that it brought on my life was so unbearably dehumanizing that I wanted to kill myself.” Her mother, Lisa Brown, said: “Chantelle is a sweet, beautiful, outgoing teenager and while she was being abused, I didn’t stop praying that God would help me find a way.”

Eventually, Lisa’s prayers were answered. The family moved from Canada to California, and Chantelle decided that in her new life, she wouldn’t be limited by her condition. She realized that she was in control of her destiny, if only she was prepared to change the way she saw herself. So instead of blaming her skin condition for all her troubles, she started to embrace the flaw. She also pushed back the negative energies and the negative people who surrounded her.

Chantelle-Brown

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Japan’s Valley of the Dolls – Artist Repopulates Deserted Village with Creepy Dolls

When Japanese artist Ayano Tsukimi returned to her village 11 years ago, it wasn’t the place she once knew it to be. There were hardly any people around anymore, so she decided to repopulate the place herself – with handmade dolls. These dolls can be seen strewn across the village, on benches, in the street, outside her home, working in farms, and even lounging about the abandoned school compound. Over a span of 10 years, she has sewn about 350 life-size dolls, each one representing a former villager.

Nagoro is a remote village, nestled deep in the valleys of Shikoku Island. It was once a bustling center with a dam, a big company and hundreds of inhabitants. But the residents moved to bigger cities over the years, in search of better jobs, abandoning the village permanently. Its population is dwindling as the residents left behind continue to die. Today, Nagoro has only 37 living  inhabitants, and of course, many times more dolls. And Ayano believes that a time may come when she will have outlived everyone in the village.

Valley-of-the-Dolls

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Meet the Man Who Gave Up His Job to Earn a Living from Playing Dead

56-year-old Chuck Lamb is quite literally dying to succeed. In 2005, he quit his job as an IT engineer to pursue a very, very bizarre hobby – playing dead. Today, he earns up to $1,500 a day for playing the dead guy in various films and TV shows. Who knew there was so much money to be earned in the afterlife, right?

It all started one evening when Chuck was watching an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, with his wife Tonya. He suddenly realized that he could actually put his corpse-like appearance to use. In the next one week, he set up his own website and uploaded a series of photos and videos with elaborate setups and one common element – ‘dead guy Chuck’. Tonya was brilliant with creating the scenes, making fake blood and having Chuck pose as being run over, crushed under a garage door, electrocuted by a toaster, and more.

“It started as a joke, we live in the mid-west and there aren’t many film opportunities,” said Chuck. “I just thought: ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to be on TV?’ How could we do that being nobodies. I had a dream that I was the dead body on Law & Order. I woke up and realized: you don’t need any talent to play dead! So Tonya made up fake blood and started photographing the poses. She’s the brains behind it, I’m just the hunk of meat that lies around ‘getting slaughtered’.”

Dead-Guy-Chuck

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165-Meter-High Swiss Dam Is the World’s Tallest Non-Natural Climbing Wall

Diga di Luzzone is considered to be the Everest of wall climbing. The 540-foot artificial structure is the tallest vertical climbing wall in the world. It is actually part of the functioning Luzzone dam, but while  it was never built for climbing thrill-seekers around the world have made it their own. Nestled among the Alps, the wall offers a terrific view of the surroundings, although climbers don’t really get much time to enjoy it.

Access to the Diga di Luzzone costs about 20 CHF, which is quite cheap. The cost includes a ladder that you can use to gain the first 20 ft. right up to the holds of the first pitch. There are five pitches in total – each one long enough for you to feel the weight of the rope as you clip the higher bolts. Look down, and the exposure is simply mind blowing. All through the climb, you are exposed to the elements, making the man-made route feel as natural as possible.

Diga-di-Luzzone

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Hemeroplanes Triptolemus – The Creepy Snake That’s Actually a Harmless Caterpillar

Looking at a photo of Hemeroplanes triptolemus, nine out of ten people would swear it’s a snake. But look closer, and you’ll realize there’s something peculiar about it – the body is unusually short and ends abruptly with a large reptilian head. The truth is, it’s not a snake at all. The Hemeroplanes is actually a caterpillar pretending to be a snake. And it does a darn good impression of the deadly creature, often fooling curious travelers and predators alike.

Hemeroplanes are moths of to the Sphingidae family, found in many parts of South America, Africa and Central America. In the larval form, they are capable of expanding their anterior body segments to closely resemble a snake, complete with reptilian scales and scary eyes. To make their mimicking act even more believable, the harmless caterpillar will sometimes even snap at potential predators. Of course, they have no real fangs so they can’t really do any serious damage, but their appearance is convincing enough to scare even humans away,

snake-caterpillar

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Russian School Groundskeeper Creates Amazing Snow Art with His Shovel

A small school in Izhevsk, the capital city of Russia’s Udmurtia region, probably has the best groundskeeper in the world. Not only is he great at his job and popular with the students, he’s also super-creative. On snowy winter days, he regularly delights the school staff and students with large artworks drawn in the schoolyard with his snow shovel.

51-year-old Seymon Bukharin uses the snow as his canvas and a shovel for a paintbrush. With the shovel, he sweeps the snow to create fantastic designs, like a ship sailing on the high seas, animals and birds, or traditional Russian scenes. The students love nothing more than to admire his masterpieces from their classroom windows, and only wish they had more time to lend a hand with the artistic process.

snow-art

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Man Spends over $150,000 to Turn Himself into a Real-Life Ken Doll

We usually hear of women going through bizarre surgeries in an attempt to look like Barbie, but it deems some men want to turn themselves into dolls as well. A Brazilian air steward living in the UK has spent a whopping $150,000 over the past 10 years, to become a living, breathing Ken doll.

30-year-old Rodrigo Alves has had over 20 cosmetic procedures done on various parts of his body, like Botox and fillers, laser comb hair treatment, abdominal and pectoral implants, liposuction, arm fillers and even calf shaping. Today, Rodrigo says that his quest for the perfect body is still ongoing, even though the surgeries almost killed him at one point.

His long list of surgeries includes 12 major operations and eight smaller procedures. He has spent about $50,000 on nose jobs alone, $15,000 on implants and $40,000 on a fake six-pack, among others. He also indulges in Botox and filler top-ups twice a year and takes collagen pills, anti-water retention pills and hair growth tablets every day. His role model is Barbie’s boyfriend Ken, whom he admires greatly. “With Ken everything is in the right place, his back, his biceps, his jawline. So of course I’d like to look like him. He’s perfect,” Rodrigo says.

Rodrigo-Alves

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20-Year-Old Artist Creates the Most Realistic Colored Pencil Portraits You’ve Ever Seen

I must admit, ever since I found artist Heather Rooney’s YouTube channel, I’ve been hooked! She posts all these time lapse videos of her incredibly realistic colored pencil portraits, and, well, you have to see what she’s capable of doing with a few colored pencils. Watching her draw is just as fascinating as looking at the finished artworks, which all look unbelievably life-like. I’ve just spent a good hour watching videos of her drawing some of my favorite celebrities, and I’m definitely going back for more.

One of Heather’s most popular works is a rendition of the famous Hollywood selfie picture (featuring major stars like Brad Pitt, Ellen DeGeneres, Jennifer Lawrence and more) taken at this year’s Oscars. The amount of detailing that she’s put into the features of each of the celebrities is simply mind-blowing. Her artwork was featured by every major art site on the internet when she first posted it, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg, believe me. This girl has dozens of incredible portraits just waiting to be discovered.

Heather-Rooney-portraits

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Aviation-Themed Film Studio Opens Fear of Flying School for Dogs

For the first time ever, Air Hollywood, an aviation-themed film studio in Los Angeles, is offering a unique service for dogs – classes to help man’s best friend overcome fear of flying.

The idea for the school came to ‘Air Hollywood’ owner Talaat Captan, after he witnessed an uptight dog and an equally uptight owner struggling to pass through airport security. “There was a light bulb right on top of my head, saying, I have all these big facilities, millions of dollars’ worth of sets, why don’t I do something really useful? And that’s how it all started,” he said. So he developed the concept for the fear of flying school, and it turned out to be a big hit with pet owners.

“Getting to practice it, I would feel comfortable going on an airplane with my dog. I would know exactly what to do.” said Stacey Huckbea, one of the instructors at the school. The dogs and their owners are trained quite thoroughly on the entire aviation experience – checking in, going through the terminal, TSA screening, and boarding an airplane. The school also simulates take off turbulence and landing in a fake airplane that sits on a working sound stage used for TV and movie productions.

fear-of-flying

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This Guy Went a Year without Taking a Single Shower, Still Managed to Stay Squeaky Clean

27-year-old environment activist Rob Greenfield went a whole year without taking a shower. A man-made shower, that is. Instead, he spent the year bathing in natural water resources – lakes, rivers, rain and waterfalls. And when natural water wasn’t accessible, he used a bucket filled with water from leaky faucets and fire hydrants.

Here’s the surprising bit – while the average American consumes about 100 gallons of water a day, Rob used less than 2 gallons a day that whole year. That’s eight Nalgene water bottles. Now, that’s quite a difference. It really makes you wonder about how much water we actually need to survive. Rob said that he got the idea to live with less water during a long bike ride across America to promote sustainability and eco-friendly living.

“I set a bunch of rules for myself to follow to lead by example. The rule for water was that I could only harvest it from natural sources or from wasted sources. And I kept track of exactly how much I used, with an aim of showing just how little we need to get by.” After the 100-day bike ride without showering was over, Rob decided to continue his streak. He went ‘showerless’ for the next 6 months and then decided to extended to a year. And it turned out to be a whole lot easier than he thought.

year-with-no-shower

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