Drink or Fail – Chinese Students Forced to Down Hard Liquor to Pass Exam

A college professor in China has been suspended after giving his students a rather controversial test during their final exam. In a bid to prepare them for real life, he asked his students to gulp down glasses of baijiu, a Chinese liquor, grading them based on how much they were able consume.

“You’re all going to do sales jobs after graduation, drinking baijiu is the thing you must learn!” Gu Ming told the students of his Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) class at Guizhou Anshun Vocational Institute. He had poured the alcohol into dozens of plastic cups and laid them out on the desk in his office, asking his students to drink up.

“Those who ‘ganbeied’ (finished) a full glass of liquor get a full 100 mark for their exam, half glass gets 90 marks, and a sip gets 60,” one of Gu Ming’s students later posted on Chinese social media website Weibo. “Those who do not drink at all will fail.”

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Hikaru Dorodango – The Delicate Japanese Art of Making Perfect Shiny Spheres Out of Dirt

Hikaru Dorodango, which translates to ‘shiny dumpling’, is a relaxing Japanese art that involves crafting shiny spheres from dirt. That might sound super simple, but it actually takes years to perfect and several hours to manipulate the dirt. It’s all worth it in the end though, because, in the hands of a true master, the end results are nothing short of mind-blowing.

To make a shiny Dorodango, you start by packing mud into your hand and squeezing out all the moisture. You then press into into the shape of a sphere and spend the next two hours rubbing on more layers of increasingly finer dry dirt. Once this is complete, you pack the dumpling in a plastic bag for three or four hours and later polish it with a cloth and varnish until it shines.

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Afghan Teacher Turns His Bicycle into a Mobile Library to Give Isolated Children a Chance to Read

In a nation ravaged by war, where children have little to no access to quality literature, a school teacher is trying his best to make a difference. Saber Hosseini, who teaches children in the city of Bamiyan, central Afghanistan, has converted his bicycle into a mobile library which he rides to remote villages.

“I came up with the idea for this project six months ago. I talked about it to friends in literary circles, who donated money and got some of their friends abroad to donate as well. I started alone with 200 storybooks for kids, and started riding to remote villages throughout Bamiyan province. Soon, I recruited more volunteers – now there are 20 of us, and we have a collection of about 6,000 books.” Most of these books are imported from Iran.

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French Engineer Converts Old Cars into DIY Poor Man’s Teslas

French engineer Marc Areny didn’t let his financial status get in the way of owning a Tesla – he simply built a DIY version for himself.

A resident of Romania since 2011, Marc was driven by the idea of making “an electric car that anyone could afford, not just elites.” So he started off with Romania’s national car, the low-cost 2005 Dacia Logan by Renault, and got rid of all the parts that worked on petrol. Instead, he replaced them with batteries and an electric motor. The result was a reliable and fast vehicle that does the job pretty well, albeit without all of Tesla’s bells and whistles – touchscreens and other gizmos.

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Unique ‘Pay as You Trash’ System Helps South Korea Cut Food Waste

In a bid to control the nation’s growing problem with food wastage, the South Korean government has started a unique initiative – ‘Pay as You Trash’. Residents are required to separate their food waste from the rest of their trash and dump it separately in a centralised bin. And in order to access the bin, they actually need to pay by the kilo!

As of now, the South Korean government has three methods in place to charge citizens for the food thrown away. One is through an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) card – when users tap this card – embedded with their personal tag – over a specially designed food waste bin, the lid will open, allowing them to dump their waste. This waste is automatically weighed and recorded in the user’s account. The user needs to settle this bill on a monthly basis. Each RFID bin costs 1.7 million won ($1,500) and can cater to 60 households.

The second billing method is through pre-paid garbage bags. These specially designed bags are priced based on volume. For instance, in Seoul, a 10-liter garbage bag costs around 190 won (less than $1). There’s also a bar code management system in place, in which residents deposit food waste directly into composting bins and pay for it by purchasing bar code stickers attached to the bin.

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Introducing Anti-aGin – The World’s First Anti-Aging Gin

Alcohol generally does nothing good for the skin, but the makers of this new brand of gin are claiming otherwise. Aptly named ‘Anti-aGin’, the 40 percent spirit supposedly contains several skin-boosting ingredients like collagen and other antioxidants, giving it anti-aging properties. So with Anti-aGin, you don’t need to worry about your drinking habit showing up on your skin.

Created by UK-based Warner Leisure Hotels, in collaboration with contemporary food design company Bompas & Parr, the age-defying gin has been distilled with pure collagen – the glue that holds our skin together. As we grow older the collagen level in our skin declines, leading to wrinkles and sagging, so the supplement present in the gin is meant to reverse that.

The beverage also contains antioxidant rich ‘skin-healing’ ingredients like green tea for detox, witch hazel oil to kill bacteria, gotu kola that helps reduce cellulite and sun damage, chamomile for healing and relaxation, and burdock to repair cracked skin. Other ingredients include angelica root, coriander, liquorice, and cardamom.

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Meet the Time Traveler Running for U.S. President

Adding to the madness of the 2016 US presidential election is American lawyer Andrew Basiago. He claims to have traveled through time nearly all his life, and is pretty sure that he’s going to become “either president or vice president” between 2016 and 2028. Polling data is obviously of little use to this guy.

Basiago, a Washington-based attorney, first started talking about his experience with time travel in 2004, with Project Pegasus – a top secret organisation studying the effects of time travel and teleportation on children. So between 1968 and 1972, when Basiago was a young boy of seven, he claims to have participated in several experiments that transported him through time, space, and even parallel universes. His mission, supposedly, was to provide the US President at the time with important information about past and future events.

Now, Basiago is using the ‘knowledge’ gained over years of time travel to further his political ambitions – he’s running for president this year as an independent candidate, and is fairly confident he’s going to win. “I have prior knowledge that not only will I run for president, but that during one of the elections – which would have to be between 2016 and 2028, because I’m not running past that – I’m either elected president or vice president,” he explained, confidently.

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German Town Installs Ground Traffic Lights for People Looking at Their Smartphones

While zombies thankfully still remain a figment of our imagination, ‘smombies’ – people walking while staring at their smartphones – are very real and a growing cause for concern. Fed up of having to constantly alert both locals an tourists to pay more attention to their surroundings to avoid serious accidents, authorities in a small German town have come up with a more proactive solution – embedding traffic lights in the pavement to make them visible to people constantly looking down at their phones.

The seemingly ridiculous safety measure was put in place after two pedestrians in the town of Augsburg were recently hit by quiet electric street trains as they crossed the street without looking up from their phones. They both escaped with only slight injuries, but a 15-year-old girl engrossed in her smartphone on a street in nearby Munich wasn’t so lucky. She was hit by a tram and dragged along for several feet before she died. So authorities in Augsburg decided to act, installing ground level traffic lights at two tram stops last Tuesday. The lights flash red every time a tram is approaching, or when the regular traffic light turns red.

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This Guy Is on Track to Make $100,000 a Year Decorating Bananas

We think ‘Bananas Gone Wild’ beats Potato Parcel hands down in terms of most ridiculous business idea ever. But hey, what do we know – both services, started by Texas entrepreneurs, have proven to be insanely successful. While the latter involved sending people messages inscribed on raw potatoes, this newer venture is all about decorating bananas and selling them for $10 apiece.

Davonte Wilson, the brains behind Bananas Gone Wild, first came up with the idea during his stint as an electrocardiogram technician at a hospital. He became popular at the workplace as ‘that guy who draws funny faces on bananas’, with some co-workers going as far as to making fun of his bizarre hobby. But it’s Wilson who is laughing all the way to the bank now, as his business is apparently projected to earn him a whopping $100,000.

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Meet the Incredible Jake Olson – A Completely Blind College Football Player

After years of cheering for his favorite college football team, University of Southern California student Jake Olson has achieved the impossible dream – despite being completely blind, he is now a part of the team, playing as long snapper for the USC Trojans, approaching the game based on feel rather than sight.

Born with retinoblastoma, a rare cancer of the retina, Jake lost his left eye when he was only eight months old. “When the doctors found my cancer, it was completely taking over my left eye,” he said. “The greatest fear is the cancer spreading through the optic nerve to the brain.” So the eye had to be removed entirely, followed by several rounds of chemotherapy and laser treatment to prevent the cancer from spreading to the right eye. Sadly, it kept coming back.  At age 12, Jake received news that he would have to lose his right eye as well. “Realizing what I was going to be confronting… a life without sight, it was difficult. I didn’t feel completely hopeless, but there was this sense of ‘I don’t know how I’m gonna do anything anymore.’”

Being a lifelong Trojan fan, one of Jake’s last wishes before he lost his eye was to watch them play at Notre Dame and also to witness a practice session the night before the surgery. “There were nights of crying and stressful times when I couldn’t get the thought of going blind out of my psyche,” he said, speaking to the LA Times. “But every time I was up at USC or talking to one of the players or just being around, it was just pure fun. And truthfully, peace.”

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The Wild Parrots of Brooklyn – New York’s Cutest Immigrants

Among the brightest of Brooklyn’s diverse inhabitants are Quaker parrots – tropical green birds with blue wing tips, measuring about 12 inches from beak to tail. Although they’re native to the generally hot regions of central and southern Argentina, they’ve successfully managed to colonize the relatively colder New York borough over the past four to five decades.

No one knows exactly how these colonies of exotic birds came to live in the Big Apple, but as with all mysteries, there is a lot of speculation surrounding their existence. The most popular explanation has to do with an accident at JFK Airport, during which a number of birds escaped from broken shipping crates and ended up making a home for themselves in the city. Others believe the real answer to this mystery is much less dramatic, and actually has to do with clumsy bird owners. Quaker or Monk Parrots were very popular pets during the 70’s as they were very cooperative and easy to train, so it’s easy to assume that some of them escaped and founded the colonies that today exist all over New York – in Pelham Bay in the Bronx, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, in eastern Queens in Howard Beach, throughout Staten Island, and sometimes in Central Park.

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Artist Carves Animal Skulls into Intricate Works of Art

American artist Jason Borders uses a simple Dremel rotary tool to turn creepy animal skulls into intricate works of art that sell for hundreds of dollars.

Born in Lexington, Kentucky, Borders always had an interest in bones and started collecting them at a very young age. “I always had a little cabinet of curiosities in my room, and in the garage,” he says, but he didn’t start using them as a medium for his art until much later in his life. He always an artistic streak and used to take art classes at the Lexington Art League in his spare time. He later attended the Columbus College of Art and Design in Ohio, but only worked with traditional materials like clay and paper. That was until a few years ago when he discovered an elk carcass while driving through the desert.

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Ikaria – The Greek Island of Longevity

On the Greek island of Ikaria, longevity is the norm rather than the exception. It’s not uncommon to find elderly men and women who have easily crossed the normal life expectancy of the rest of Europe. In fact, one in three Ikarians ends up living well into their 90s, and many of them go on to become centenarians.

Not only do they have a long life expectancy, but the people of Ikaria are also healthier when compared to other Europeans – they have much lower rates of cancer and heart disease, are less likely to suffer from depression or dementia, are physically active into old age, and even maintain a healthy sex life. Over the years, several visitors have tried to uncover the Ikarian secret to good health and longevity, and have pinned it down to a series of factors, including the local diet and the locals’proclivity for afternoon naps.

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London’s First Clothing-Optional Restaurant Has a Waiting List of Over 15,000

A pop up restaurant in London is making waves nearly two months before its grand opening, thanks to its controversial ‘clothing optional’ policy. The Bunyadi, which all set to open in June for three months, will have two separate ‘clothed’ and ‘unclothed’ sections for patrons to choose from.

“The idea is to experience true liberation,” said Seb Lyall, founder of Lollipop, the company behind the venture. “People should get the chance to enjoy and experience a night out without any impurities: no chemicals, no artificial colors, no electricity, no gas, no phone, and even no clothes if they wish to. We have worked very hard to design a space where everything patrons interact with is bare and naked.” And of course, the staff will be in the nude as well, with certain body parts strategically covered up.

The unconventional dining concept has proved so popular that over 15,000 people have already signed up to be on the waiting list through the restaurant’s website.

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The PodRide – A Four-Wheeled Electric Bicycle Disguised as a Tiny Car

Swedish designer Mikael Kjellman has created a unique vehicle that looks like a tiny car, but has the internal workings of an electric bicycle. He calls it the PodRide bicycle car.

“I really like to bike, but where I live in Sweden, the weather is not always very bicycle-friendly,” Mikael explained. “So I designed and built a four-wheeled bike with full fabric body to keep dry and warm in all weathers. I have driven it to work every day for a year now and it has proven to be a very practical and comfortable little vehicle.”

The ‘bicycle car’ has several advantages over a traditional electric bicycle – it comes with a waterproof body, heated windscreen, soft seat with back support, studded tires for snowy roads, and air suspension. It also has some trunk space in the back, as well as functional headlights and a tow bar in case someone wants to add a bike trailer.

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