Unemployed Man Builds $31,000 Submarines in His Basement

In a world where Internet and Smartphone app startup companies are a dime-a-dozen, it’s not every day that you see a startup that makes submarines. And definitely not one that is run by one man, from his basement. Yet, that’s exactly what 37-year-old Zhang Wuyi has been doing after he was laid off from his job in a textile machine factory.

Wuyi, from China’s Hubei province, builds mini submarines in a makeshift workspace in the basement of a disused building. When he started off, he worked alone. Today, he has three orders under his belt and also employs ten workers. His submarine models are capable of diving up to 30 meters under sea level and travel at 20 kmph for 10 hours. They can seat two people and also contain oxygen tanks and video cameras. The walls are made of wrought iron. It takes Wuyi up to a month to build a submarine, and each one sells for about $31,000.

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Ilha de Queimada Grande – Brazil’s Scary Snake Island

An aerial view of the Brazilian island of Ilha de Queimada Grande, you would agree, looks breathtaking. It’s probably a place where you would love to spend an exotic vacation. But this is an excellent example that looks can be very deceiving. If you were to set foot on the island, you would always be no more than 3 feet away from your death. Because for every square meter of land on the island, there is a very deadly, very poisonous snake.

Ilha de Queimada Grande is located about 90 miles off the shore of Brazil. The island is, not surprisingly, devoid of any kind of human presence. The Brazilian Navy has forbidden people from visiting the island, except for a few scientists who need special approval. The reason – the presence of highly dangerous Golden Lancehead snakes. The lanceheads that occupy the island of Ilha de Queimada Grande can grow anywhere between half a meter to 2 meters long. The venom these snakes inject is so powerful that it can kill two men at once. This venom is fast-acting too, since it simply melts the flesh surrounding the bite. The scaly creatures breed all year round, producing 50 babies each time. With no enemies, the snakes have been able to take over the island and populate it quite freely. They survive mainly on migratory birds that use the island as a resting point.

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Eco-Otome – Japan’s Solution to Embarrassing Toilet Noise

The Eco-Otome is a Japanese gizmo that’s intended to make using restrooms other than your own less awkward. Basically it emits a soothing sound meant to cover any embarrassing toilet noises you might be making.

Ok, so this isn’t a very new invention, in fact it’s been around for around three years, but I thought it was worth a mention for its unique purpose. I mean leave it to the Japanese to come up with a technological solution to the problem of bathroom noises. Anyway, whether they’re sharing a bathroom with a roommate, or need to use the restroom at a party or at work, some people are always worried about a variety of bathroom noises that could put them in an embarrassing position if they’re heard by others. Sure, flushing helps, but you need to wait until the  water bowl is full until using it again, so it’s not full-proof. Luckily, the resourceful Japanese have come up with the perfect solution – introducing the Eco-Otome.

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At The Generous Store Chocolates Cost Good Deeds Instead of Money

If Charlie Bucket could win Willy Wonka’s entire chocolate factory for a good deed, why can’t we be awarded with at least a box of chocolates, right? Turns out we can! At The Anthon Berg Generous Store money is of no use, because all it takes to get some delicious chocolate is the promise of a good deed.

The pop-up chocolate store, located in the center of Copenhagen, opened its doors to the public last month. Inside, the boxes of candy are marked with unique price tags: ‘Don’t comment on your girlfriend’s driving for a week’, ‘Serve breakfast in bed to your loved one’ and ‘No talking behind your girlfriend’s back for a month’. The most popular of them all is ‘Help clean a friend’s house’. Hardly anyone touches the box that says ‘A week where you don’t lie to your father’.

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Controversial Cinnamon Challenge Becomes Internet Hit

It’s things like the Cinnamon Challenge that strengthen my belief that people will do the dumbest things if they think it’s cool. Because who in their right mind would want to stuff their face with a tablespoon full of cinnamon just for fun? The answer – thousands. And would you believe the Governor of Illinois is one of them? Yep, Gov. Pat Quinn took in a spoonful of that stuff on air, in response to a challenge. He followed his act with the words, “The will of the people. The law of the land.” I don’t know about you, but I’d think twice before giving him my vote. Right now, there are over 30,000 videos on YouTube tagged ‘Cinnamon Challenge’. The most popular ones have millions of views.

The Cinnamon Challenge is basically a dare to swallow a spoonful of cinnamon in powdered form, without water. It’s the latest rage and it has gone beyond viral. The challenge itself has been around for years, but the sudden spike in its popularity remains unexplained. It seems like a simple thing to do; just swallow the stuff and be done with it. In reality, however, it isn’t all that easy. The problem with cinnamon is that it does not break down easily. So the chances of it getting stuck in the throat are pretty high, causing gagging and even vomiting. Doctors have said that this could be very dangerous, because cinnamon can also prevent air from entering the lungs, which could lead to lung inflammation.

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Indian Man Bathes with Boiling Milk Once a Year

India is a land of ancient culture, with practices that date back thousands of years. It is hard to trace the origins of any particular ritual, let alone remember the significance behind them. With no logical explanation available, several Indian practices seem superstitious and sometimes even a tad foolish. However, this does not deter the people of India from participating in religious and cultural celebrations with gusto.

One such example is the festival of the nine evenings, Navaratri (Nava=9, Ratri=Evening), celebrated every year in the month of October. Dedicated to different versions of the Goddess, all 9 days are filled with festivities, good food, music, dance and religious ceremonies across the country. Living in India, watching the Navaratri for me is a part of normal life. But then I heard about this man who is certainly unusual, even for Indian standards. Every year, during Navaratri, he bathes with pots of boiling milk. And he comes out of the experience, unscathed.

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Mind-Blowing Charcoal Mural Is a Finger-Painting Masterpiece

Fingers are definitely not the weirdest thing we’ve seen artists paint with (just check out this tongue painter and the girl who paints with gravity) but I had no idea someone could use their fingertips to create such detailed work.

We first featured Judith Braun’s finger paintings a few months ago, but while her artworks were beautiful then, she hadn’t created anything as impressive as this latest charcoal mural. I mean, looking at the photos below, can you believe she painted exclusively with her fingertips? The 12-foot by 48-foot masterpiece was created using Braun’s signature technique, which basically involves her covering her fingertips with ground charcoal and guiding them across the canvas. Entitled Diamond Dust, this magnificent piece is Judith Braun’s largest site-specific project to date.

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Bacha Posh – The Cross-Dressing Girls of Afghanistan

Cross-dressing in most societies is something that most people aren’t comfortable with. But then there are places where the practice is accepted as a way for families to raise their social standing. One such place is Afghanistan, where women live such highly restricted lives that they resort to dressing like men. The cross-dressing is mainly reserved for little girls, whose parents dress them up like boys before sending them out into the world. They are called bacha posh (“dressed like a boy”).

‘Bacha posh’ is the name given to girls who don a boy’s costume. So a family could have daughters, sons and also bacha poshes. A bacha posh is accepted and enjoys all the freedom of a real boyin Afghan society. They have the right to go to school, to travel, to play sports and even to get a job. Inside the home and outside, the bacha posh would be treated like any other male would, even while being referred to in the third person. Among a group of boys, many would not even be aware of the presence of a bacha posh. Should the true gender of the child be discovered somehow, it would be ignored and the pretence would continue as before. Parents who have no sons prefer to convert one of their daughters into a bacha posh to raise their social standing. In a society where having a male child is of utmost importance and a matter of pride, bacha poshes fill in the son’s shoes perfectly.

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Who Needs an Education When You Can Eat Hot Coal

People will eat the weirdest things. In the past we’ve featured strange eating habits like munching on bars of soap, gobbling handfuls of sand and eating sponges, but Ambuli Abu, from Coimbatore, India, is the only man I know of who can actually eat red-hot coal.

I’ve seen people consume some of the hottest foods on Earth, but none can even hold a candle to Ambuli Abu, an Indian man who likes his food right out of the fire. The school drop-out has been making a name for himself by eating hot coal and light bulbs. It’s not the career everyone dreams of, but for Abu, this was apparently the best way to achieve his goal of setting a world record. In a video interview, the fire eater says he is aware that his mouth and stomach must be suffering as a result of his eating hot embers, and admits that it does cause him pain, but he tries to keep his heart strong in order to fulfill his dream of becoming a record setter. He adds that just the fact that he can do thins other cannot, keeps him going.

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English Students Pay University Loans by Renting Out Their Faces

Renting out body parts seems to be a trend that’s catching on fast. We first heard of it when it was used by this New Zealand woman on her backside, and then there was a German man who tried to rent out his face for tattooed ads.  The latest to join the bandwagon are a couple of British 22-year-olds, Ross Harper and Ed Moyse. Unlike the others however, they aren’t using tattoos. Their concept, called Buy My Face, is to sell their faces to a different ad campaign every day, which are painted on using face paint. The boys are trying to raise enough money to pay off their student debts, which amount to £50,000 ($80,000).  So far, they’ve managed to make £30,000 ($47,000).

The goal of Buy My Face isn’t only to get people to look at the advertisements that are printed on their faces. The advertising extends onto their website, which works by directing online traffic to the advertiser’s web page. Harper and Moyse paint ads on their faces and then photograph or film themselves doing funny things. Advertisers can pay for them to do several stunts, such as skydiving or plunging into cold waters. All this is put up on the website, along with the name of the day’s advertiser. When the duo started off on October 1st, their first ad went for exactly £1. But they’ve managed to sell their faces every single day since then, and today the rates have moved up to £400 a day.

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Controversial Guidebook Advises Muslim Men to Abuse Women

Wife beating in Islam is a widely discussed subject. In fact, it is the topic of several debates around the world, with people within the religion itself differing in their opinions. Some Muslims say it’s alright for a wife to be controlled through minor beatings, and others disagree. What the religion truly proposes is not exactly clear, but looks like people aren’t ready to change their minds about wife beatings anytime soon. Not with books being written that provide men with tips on how exactly to beat their wives. That’s right, there actually is a book called A Gift for the Muslim Couple that encourages wife beating as a method of control. News reports suggest that it was available for sale at a Toronto bookstore, but was ‘sold out’ pretty soon. It isn’t stocked anywhere online anymore, either.

The 160-page book, written by Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, and released in Canada, is reported to carry this in its opening pages: “It might be necessary to restrain her with strength or even to threaten her.” I’m supposing it won’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what the rest of the book is going to be like. On page 45, which apparently lists the rights of a husband, it says a wife cannot leave the house without his permission; she must fulfill his desires and not allow herself to be untidy. She must also beautify herself for him. I don’t really mean to disrespect the personal opinion of the writer, but doesn’t this just sound twisted? It doesn’t get any better after that. There’s more advice for men on how to carry out physical punishment. The book says that a man may scold his wife, beat her by hand or stick, withhold money from her or pull her by the ears. Oh, and there’s a disclaimer in place, that the husband should “refrain from beating her excessively.” Sounds like it might have been put there to avoid lawsuits in the future. Hazrat also has a very bizarre way of advising Muslim men to also be kind to their wives, saying that “the husband should treat the wife with kindness and love, even if she tends to be stupid and slow sometimes.”

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Chinese Artist Creates Transformers Theme Park

It might look like the set of a new low-budget Transformers movie, but Mr. Iron Robot is actually a newly-inaugurated Transformers-themed park in Jiaxing City, China’s Zhejiang Province.

49-year-old artist Zhu Kefeng and his team have spent the last 10 years building giant metal robots from recycled iron and steel parts. He started out by making a realistic model of a car, then opened his own studio and began creating more intricate sculptures. He soon started doing commission work for people who liked his art, and for large orders he even set up a recycle bin where people could donate discarded metal parts. Zhu started working on Mr. Iron Robot theme park in 2010, with the money he had raised for selling his metal sculptures and his apartment in Shanghai. He and his team of collaborators worked hard and managed to turn an old abandoned factory into a modern attraction featuring over 600 Transformers-inspired sculptures.

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India Introduces Stylish Stilettos for Men

Sleek stilettos, often considered the ultimate, or ‘queen’ heel, are all it takes to make a woman go weak in the knees. There’s nothing that lends a woman power and confidence than to be seen strutting down the street in a great pair of heels. The attraction that the perfect pair holds over a woman is normal, and quite understandable. But apparently now men want it too… According to The Times Of India, stilettos for men have recently been introduced in fashion circles around India. That is just weird!

I hope this is not men’s answer to women who have been borrowing from their wardrobe all these years. I mean, it’s nice to see a woman wearing pants or shorts, but a man in stilettos? But believe it or not, heels are indeed becoming the latest fad in men’s fashion. But we’re not talking about the common Indian man here. I can confidently say that if I went out on the streets of India and asked about a 100 men if they would like to be seen in a pair of stilettos, they would ‘flatly’ refuse. Some might even ask what stilettos are, others would just run away, but most would probably punch me right in the kisser. But that’s not how things stand with the men of India’s high society.

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Las Vegas Gun Store Offers Real Shotgun Weddings

Las Vegas is known for its bizarre wedding ceremonies, but Shotgun Weddings really do take the cake (pun intended). Generally, a shotgun wedding would refer to a ceremony that has been put together on a spur-of-the moment whim. But now the term has taken on a literal meaning, with the ‘Gun Store on Tropicana’ in Las Vegas actually offering wedding services with a shotgun based theme.

The Shotgun wedding ceremony is certainly unique – instead of the Wedding March, it’s just gunfire in the background as the couple walks down the aisle and exchanges vows. The maid of honor is conveniently substituted by a zombie poster hanging over the bride. There are very few guests, and the reception that follows  is celebrated on the shooting range with more gunfire (the couple goes crazy firing a few rounds at targets). Reactions to the shotgun wedding idea are quite varied. Some people call it different, some are actually jealous that they didn’t get to do it themselves. The concept is the brainchild of the store’s marketing director Emily Miller, who just walked into her boss’s office one day and said, “Let’s do weddings!”

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Indian Man Single-Handedly Plants a Whole Forest

It’s truly amazing when we get to cover news of people who single-handedly create something truly significant. Churches on a mountain side, for instance. Or in this case, an entire forest. Jadav Payeng, a man in his mid-fifties, has been instrumental in converting a sand bar in the middle of the river Brahmaputra in Assam, India, into a huge forest. His work of the past 30 years is being recognized by tourists and film-makers, the world over.

Mulai, as Jadav is known among locals, started work on the land in 1980. A scheme was launched at that time by the social forestry division of the district, involving the planting of trees on only 200 hectares. The project was completed after 5 years and all the laborers left, except Mulai. Dedicated to the forest, he stayed on and single-handedly looked after the trees, continuing to plant more of them. Eventually, the forest expanded to 550 hectares. According to Assistant Conservator of Forest, Gunin Saikia, this is perhaps the world’s biggest forest in the middle of a river. Mulai says there’s potential to extend this even further to 1000 hectares. Inspired, the department has planned to launch another plantation program this year.

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