Male Belly Dancers Are All the Rage in Turkey These Days

If you thought belly dancing was exclusive to women, you’re in for a surprise. Believe it or not, male belly dancing is a real thing in Turkey, and it’s totally in vogue. Sporting designer stubbles and dressed in skirts decorated with coins and shimmering tassels, the dancers jerk their hips to Turkish tunes, enthralling their audience with their exotic moves.

Interestingly, these male performers are not a recent phenomenon. Known as ‘zennes’, they used to be a regular feature at the courts of Ottoman Sultans, because Muslim women were not permitted to perform on stage at the time. But as the 600-year Empire declined and society modernized, women took on more public roles. The number of female belly dancers rose, and the number of zennes slowly declined.

Although they haven’t made an appearance for decades, interest in the ancient art form is now at a new peak. It all started with the Islamic-rooted Turkish government’s attempt to revive the nation’s conservative Ottoman past. Apart from the government’s attempts, the enthusiasm among the nation’s population for the Ottoman-era culture has helped improve the popularity of male belly dancing.

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Samsung Creates $30,000 High-Tech Dream House for Dogs

Samsung UK has come up with a real treat for dogs and their owners – a high-tech dream house for dogs. The unique pooch pad comes fully loaded with an automatic food dispenser, a grass turf covered treadmill, a hydrotherapy pool, vinyl walls that the owner can cover with photos, and a Samsung Galaxy Tab S for the dog’s browsing pleasure. With a price tag of £20,000 (roughly $30,000), the Samsung Dream Doghouse is being touted as the most expensive doghouse ever.

“With the Samsung Dream Doghouse, we wanted to reflect the nation’s growing trend for using technology,” said Samsung Electronics UK president Andy Griffiths. “From dogs who have social media profiles to owners who use video calling to check on their pet while away, technology is fast becoming an integral part of everyday life. The Samsung Dream Doghouse looks sleek and modern, featuring the kind of tech the discerning dog of the future will need.”

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Taiwanese Man Left with Almost No Memory Keeps Notes of Everything So He Doesn’t Forget Who He Is

Chen Hongzhi, from Hsinchu county, in north-western Taiwan, suffers from a unique condition – he can’t remember anything for more than five minutes. The 25-year-old literally has to start his life from scratch every day. So he writes down every single thing about himself in a diary, in order to keep track of everything that goes on around him.

Hongzhi’s amnesia is the result of a serious head injury sustained during a car accident when he was 17 years old. After spending months in intensive care, his body finally recovered but the span of his memory was reduced to only five minutes. This means that he continually forgets pretty much everything that has happened between five and ten minutes ago.

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7-Year-Old Wonder Kid Nicknamed “Google” Knows Pretty Much Everything

Seven-year-old Kautilya Pandit is what you would call a walking, talking encyclopedia, with the capacity to absorb information ranging from geography to biology and current affairs. He also dabbles in economic statistics, politics and pretty much any other subject you can think of. Within three months, the little kid managed to memorize information about 213 countries, their population, GDP, source of income, currency, religion, culture and heritage.

Kautilya, a resident of Kohand Village in Haryana, India, is now a national celebrity – he regularly travels to schools across India, answering live questions from other kids, on stage. In one of his latest appearances, he was asked unusual questions like the total surface area of Vatican City, the GDP of the UK and more. He was able to answer them all with ease.

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Atheist Making over $100,000 a Year Selling Bibles Says He Feels Bad about It but Money Is Too Good to Stop

Lots of people sell products they don’t believe in, but in Trevor McKendrick’s case, you just can’t ignore the irony. That’s because Trevor is an atheist who sells Bibles for a living – and something just doesn’t feel right about that, even to him!

Interestingly, Trevor did not consciously choose his profession – it sort of fell into his lap by accident. He happened to be out at a dinner with his family in February 2012, when he found out that a relative was making $8,000 to $10,000 a month just by selling iPhone apps.

Trevor found the prospects too good to ignore, so he decided to step into the app business himself. All he wanted to do was to make about $600 a month, which would have been enough to cover his rent. So he went on to the Apple store to find an app that was making a lot of money, but “sucked”.

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Chinese Woman Somehow Memorizes Every Single Entry in the Oxford English-Chinese Dictionary

At an age when people usually start forgetting things, this Chinese woman has managed to do the opposite – she’s actually memorized the entire Oxford English-Chinese dictionary from cover to cover!

Li Yanzhi, 51, from China’s Shaanxi Province, can not only recite all 220,000 entries in the 2,458-page dictionary, but can also accurately describe their meanings. Ms. Li works as a lecturer in Financial English at Xian Transport University’s Economic and Banking School. But she needs an extra income to be able to support herself and her 26-year-old autistic son who is unable to care for himself. A mother and divorcee of 20 years, Ms. Li said she took on the Herculean task in the hope of receiving more translating work.

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Indonesian Woman Puts House on the Market, Offers to Marry the Buyer

Indonesian homeowner Wina Lia has come up with an innovative strategy to find matrimonial bliss – she’s put up her house for sale and has offered to marry the buyer! 40-year-old Lia owns a two-bedroom home in Sleman, a sleepy little district near the Javanese city of Yogyakarta. The lovely house comes with a small fish pond, a spacious backyard, and of course, the chance to gain Lia’s hand in marriage.

The online ad featuring Lia’s home listed the asking price at $76,500 but also mentioned a unique bonus: “Buyers who don’t negotiate the price can ask the owner to marry (terms and conditions apply).” The ad promptly went viral, with local news agencies tracking Lia down to check if the claim was genuine. Turns out that it was.

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Chinese Company Builds 57-Storey Skyscraper in Record 19 Days

Chinese construction company Broad Sustainable Building recently released an online video showing how they managed to build a 57-storey building in a record time of 19 days. ‘Sky City’, located in Changsha city, comprises 800 homes and office space to accommodate a total of 4,000 people.

The company’s original proposal for the site was actually a 97-storey building that would have been the world’s largest skyscraper. But just after 20 stories were completed, construction work was stopped for one year because local officials wanted to review the plans. Ultimately, they had to reduce the plan to 57 stories due to the building’s close proximity to the airport.

In spite of the major delay, the entire construction from start to finish was completed in less than three weeks of work. The 4-minute clip shows employees building each storey offsite and delivering it to the location. A timelapse sequence shows the assembling of the mammoth building which require a total of 19 days to complete – that’s exactly three floors per day!

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30 Days of Bugs – Student Goes on Insect Diet for a Whole Month

We’ve heard people going on all sorts of crazy diets, but this one is a first – an American student recently went a 30-day bug fest! Throughout  the month of February, Alabama student Camren Brantley-Rios ate insect-laced meals three times a day.

The 21-year-old, who documented his bug-eating experience on a blog called ‘30 Days of Bugs’, believes that traditional meats such as pork and beef are unsustainable as sources of protein. He considers insects to be the diet of the future, so he’s experimenting with creepy crawly ingredients to make delicious dishes.

There was a time when Camren himself was repulsed by the idea of consuming insects. But now that he’s actually done it, he says it hasn’t been too difficult to get used to. “I’m mainly sticking to three species,” he said. “Mealworms, waxworms and crickets. Those are definitely the bulk of my diet. But I’m trying here and there to incorporate things a little bit more exotic.”

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Trick or Truth – Thai Monk Meditates in Pot of Boiling Oil over an Open Flame

A YouTube video of a monk praying calmly in a vat of boiling oil has recently has been doing the rounds online, leaving viewers wondering how the monk can keep from screaming in agony.  Social media users were enthralled by the possibility of this Thai monk’s ability to defy physics with his ‘magic’. Unfortunately, skeptical scientists soon pointed out a few facts that pretty much ruined the illusion.

The monk, from Thailand’s Nong Bua Lamphu province, looks at ease despite sitting in a vessel of oil with a fire raging underneath. He is also seen sharing his magical powers with others by touching objects that they pass to him. His followers believe that his touch can make their amulets or pieces of fabric powerful. These objects are apparently sold to the locals and other places of worship.

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Russian Teen Builds Realistic Life-Size Tanks Out of Snow

Alexander Zhuikov, a student from Novosibirsk, Russia, was recently in the news for his highly realistic snow sculpture of a life-size tank. It took him a month to create the frozen masterpiece, which he later entered into a contest held by the makers of popular online game World of Tanks.

Alexander, 20, began his project by downloading various tank drawings from the internet. He chose a spot in his grandmother’s garden and with the help of his friends, he cleared the place by shoveling  about 20 tonnes of snow. He then set about building the snow machine and making a shield to protect it from the sun, using simple tools like spades, knives and trowels. He even created a self-propelled cabin that can be accessed through a hatch. Everything is made of snow, except for the rope, barrel, and other small parts.

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Pseudis Paradoxa – The Paradoxical Frog That Shrinks as It Grows

The Pseudis Paradoxa is the Benjamin Button equivalent of the amphibian world. The paradoxical creature starts off as a 25-cm-long tadpole and shrinks as it grows. ending up as a small tropical frog, about a quarter of its original size.

When biologists discovered the paradoxical frog in the South American wild,they were understandably confused. At first, they thought the adult frogs were actually the babies, which later grew into giant tadpoles, exactly the opposite of how every other frog species in the world develops. They later figured out that the 11-inch tadpoles were indeed the juveniles, but still couldn’t explain the bizarre phenomenon.

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German City Sprays Walls with Hydrophobic Paint That Causes Public Urinators to Soak Themselves

For several years, the residents of Hamburg party hub St Pauli have tolerated public urination by drunken partygoers. But now they’ve decided that it’s ‘peeback’ time. In an attempt to combat the problem, they’ve coated their buildings and streets with a special hydrophobic paint that bounces the urine on the urinators!

Local community group IG St Pauli came up with the brilliant idea after they realized that traditional signs and warnings just weren’t working. “Prohibitions and fines do scarcely anything,” a member of the group said. “So we decided to solve the problem our own way. Now, St Pauli pees back.”

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The Elkhart Tooth Stone – A Block of Concrete Filled with Human Teeth

The street corner at the intersection of Riverside Drive and Lexington Avenue, in Elkhart, Indiana, is home to an unusual memorial – a concrete block full of human teeth. While the teeth aren’t visible from afar, a closer look will reveal dozens of molars, canines and incisors sticking out from almost every crack and crevice.

The strange monument was created by local dentist Dr. Joseph Stamp, who practiced for 60 years in the area before he died in 1978. He had an interesting habit of saving every single tooth he extracted, preserving them in a barrel of chemicals in his basement.

At some point during those years, Dr. Stamp lost his dog – a German Shepherd named Prince. The incident left him heartbroken, and as a tribute to his loyal friend, the doctor created the concrete block embedded with thousands of teeth from his collection.

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Japanese Otaku Creates Creepy Talking Girlfriend Pillow for the Lonely

Japanese inventor Koichi Uchimura is on a mission to develop new technologies that “support people’s otaku life”. Otaku is a term that refers to young people who are obsessed with computers or certain aspects of popular culture, often at the cost of their social life. And Uchimura wants to make sure they have every convenience possible. His latest invention is a creepy talking anime pillow that responds to human touch.

Having used anime huggy pillows – called dakimakura – himself, Uchimura realized that they always left him feeling unfulfilled. “When we’d sleep in the same bed, I’d start to think, ‘I wish she could talk,’” he said. “I wanted to make that a reality.” So he came up with ‘Ita-Supo’, a sophisticated talking pillow printed with the picture of an anime girl.

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