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Artificial Intelligence Engineer Builds Himself a Robot Wife

Zheng Jiajia, a 31-year-old artificial intelligence expert from Hangzhou, China, recently made headlines after marrying 1-year-old Yingying, a “female” robot that he built himself.

Zheng graduated from Zhejiang University in 2011 with a master’s degree in artificial intelligence, and spent 3 years working for Chinese tech giant Huawei, before joining Hangzhou’s Dream Town, a base for internet and tech startups, to work on artificial intelligence. Last year, he started working on a smart humanoid robot that would end up becoming his wife.

Named Yingying, the female robot can allegedly say a few simple words, and is capable of recognizing Chinese characters and images. She weighs about 30 kilograms and is modeled according to the young engineer preferences in women.

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German Artist Manipulates Plant Roots to Grow in Intricate Visually-Striking Patterns

Inspired by Charles and Francis Darwin’s theory on plant intelligence, German artist Diana Scherer managed to successfully coerce the roots of various plants to grow in specific patterns. The results of her work are simply breathtaking.

In his book, The Power of Movements of Plants, Charles Darwin argued that while plants are not capable of moving from the place where they are rooted, their roots don’t just grow passively, but actively observe their surroundings, navigating in search of water and certain chemicals. He also refers to roots as plants’ brain-like organ, suggesting that they are actually a lot more intelligent than most people think.

Based on Darwin’s controversial “root-brain” hypothesis, Amsterdam-based artist Diana Scherer conducted an artistic experiment where she attempted to coerce plant roots to grow in intricate patterns, sometimes becoming interwoven into stunning living carpets.

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Meet the Female Mechanic Challenging the Male-Dominated Auto Repair Industry

Sick of being taken for a ride by male car mechanics whenever she went to an auto repair shop, Patrice Banks became a certified mechanic herself. The ambitious woman is now educating other women on car maintenance and running an all-female car repair business in Philadelphia.

Born poor to a single mother, Patrice Banks has done very well for herself. She was the first in her family to graduate from high school and after engineering at Lehigh University, she went on to work as an engineer in a cellular analysis lab at DuPont for over a decade. It’s safe to say that she was a very ambitious and confident woman, but there was always one thing that made her feel insecure – having to take her car to a repair shop. The mechanics would either try to overcharge her, be condescending or make her wait simply because she was a woman.

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London Artisan Shop Sells Chopped Tree Branches for Up to $22 Each

London-based Botanique artisan shop recently sparked a bit of controversy online after it was revealed that it is selling small tree branch fragments for up to £18 each.

Botanique has apparently been selling these decorative sticks for a while now, but they were brought to the attention of the media a few days ago, when BBC presenter Jeremy Vine tweeted a picture of them to his 600,000 Twitter followers. The store, located in Stoke Newington, east London, sources the sticks from a professional woodworker and sells them for £12 to £18 ($15 to $22) depending on size and shape.

Made from birch or holly, the sticks are planed and sanded at the back and have holes drilled in them for easy mounting on the wall. Some of them have small notches that can be used to hang coats on.

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This Edible Prosecco-Flavored Nail Polish Makes Nail Biting Hard to Resist

If you’re looking for a way to shake off that nasty nail biting habit, this ain’t it. If anything, this prosecco-flavored nail varnish will only make it worse.

Prosecco Polish, “the world’s first edible prosecco flavored nail polish”, was created last month, by UK-based company Groupon, in celebration of Mother’s Day. It’s made with real Prosecco – a cheaper alternative to champagne – and apparently smells and tastes just like the popular Italian wine. The lick-able golden varnish not only makes your nails look pretty, but also places the flavor of prosecco literally at your fingertips to enjoy without fear of a hangover.

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This Chinese Boy Band Is Actually Made Up of Androgynous Girls

One of China’s newest pop sensations, a group called Acrush, puts a new twist on the concept of “boy band”, as its five members are in fact androgynous women.

Acrush is set to release their debut music video at the end of this month, but the band is already causing a stir online with its unique concept. The group was recently showcased to the public in a “Husband Exhibition” – an event organized by social media giant Tencent to promote pop stars who appear on its online streaming site – and the group’s popularity simply skyrocketed. With no single to their name yet, the girls already have 900,000 followers on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter. That’s a pretty big deal, considering established stars like Katie Perry have around one million fans.

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Neglected Pony Hasn’t Had Her Hooves Trimmed in 10 Years

Horses need to have their hooves trimmed every few weeks, but Poly, a Shetland pony recently rescued by an animal shelter in Belgium, hasn’t had hers trimmed in over 10 years. Now, she may never walk normally again, due to damage to her joints.

As you can see in the gruesome photos below, Poly’s hooved had grown so much over the years that they eventually became thick keratinous spirals that made it impossible for the animal to walk properly. It’s hard to imagine how someone could ignore something like this for so long, but unfortunately, the pony’s owner was the only one who knew about it.

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Claw Machine Master Collects 15,000 Plush Toys in Just One Year

They say claw machines are rigged to prevent users from actually catching a prize, but one Chinese man seems to have learned their secret. In just one year, Chen Zhitong has amassed a collection of over 15,000 plush toys from claw machines.

When we first heard about Chen Zhitong, about a year ago, he was making headlines in China for his ability to control claw machines in his home city of Xiamen. He had already collected over 3,000 toys at the time, which is a lot more than most people catch in a lifetime. But our boy has been very busy this past year, and now his collection of claw machine toys stands at a whopping 15,000. That has to be some kind of record!

Chen’s reputation as a claw machine master has now transcended Chinese borders, and he was recently featured in a short documentary by Great Big Story. In it, he talks about how he chooses the claw machines he plays at, his relationship with claw machine operators and what he does with all the toys he wins.

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Beach Space Separators – A Polish Tradition

If you’re planning a vacation on the shores of the Baltic Sea, in northern Poland, you’d better buy or build yourself a space separator if you want to fit in. The bizarre accessory is apparently a must on Polish beaches, at least if you want to fit in with the crowd.

I was recently browsing through obscure Eastern-European pic dumps and news aggregators, as I usually do, when I came across a collection of strange beach photos where everyone had a cloth wall surrounding their little patch of sand. These things were everywhere, I had never seen anything like it before, and I was intrigued. Unfortunately apart from the title, “Polish Beach Introverts”, which hinted at a privacy-related purpose, there was no explanation as to why everybody was using them. So I started Googling all sorts of phrases that I hoped might shed some light on the mystery of Polish beach separators.

At first, I only found duplicates of the same collection of photos I had originally found, with no other information, but eventually I found a Russian site on Poland affairs that actually covered this “phenomenon” quite extensively.

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Belgian Cattle Breeder Treats His Cows to Four Liters of Beer a Day

Hugues Derzelle, a cattle breeder from Chimay, Belgium, believes that one of the secrets to great tasting, marbled beef could be beer, so for the past few months he has been giving some of his cows four liters of dark beer every day.

Derzelle says he came up with the idea after reading that Japanese Kobe beef producers massage their cows, play them soothing music and give them beer to drink. A quick Google search reveals that this is nothing but a myth, albeit a very popular one, but that doesn’t seem to have mattered very much to the Belgian breeder. Since November, he has been treating two of his cows to four liters of local Sara de Silenrieux dark beer, in the hopes that it would improve the marbling of their meat as well as the taste.

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These Photos Aren’t Censored, That’s Just an Object Painted with the World’s Blackest Black

People are freaking out over a series of photos of people holding something censored by what looks like a photoshopped black circle. Only that’s really just an object painted with Vantablack, the world’s blackest black.

Developed by UK-based Surrey NanoSystems three years ago, Vantablack has been fascinating both scientists and artists ever since. This amazing pigment is composed of a series of microscopic vertical tubes that deflect light between them, essentially trapping it. Vantablack apparently absorbs 99.96 percent of light that hits it, making any three-dimensional object coated with it look like a black two-dimensional flat surface. So the object in these photos could literally be anything and you could never tell unless looking it from an angle that reveals its texture and depth.

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This Cotton Candy Pizza Makes Pineapple Topping Seem Mighty Delicious

If you thought pineapple was the worst thing to put on a pizza, you were very wrong. A restaurant in Japan is offering pizza topped with cotton candy and seasoned with honey sauce. Sounds “devine”!

Schmatz Beer Dining, a German-themed restaurant in Tokyo, Japan, is changing pizza as we know it. Instead of classic ingredients like prosciutto, peppers or tomato sauce, it uses spun sugar as the main ingredient for one of its pies. And if you’re thinking that this is probably just a pizza-shaped dessert, you’re wrong again. The bizarre dish consists of a thin-crust pizza dough pie, cheese and cotton candy. The ketchup is replaced by a special honey-based ginger sauce that is poured over the cotton candy, melting the candy floss and allowing the sugar to really get into the pizza.

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The Anarchists Illegally Fixing the Streets of Portland

Sick of waiting for the local authorities to fix the streets and roads of their pothole-riddled city, a group of self-described anarchists decided to patch the pesky holes themselves, even if it means breaking the law.

The Portland Anarchist Road Care (PARC) was founded by a small circle of friends in response to the deteriorating road conditions in the Oregon city, which they believed made driving or cycling more costly and dangerous for citizens. They grew tired of waiting for the city to fix this pesky problem, and decided to do it themselves, using a well-known technique called cold patching. The anonymous anarchist have fixed potholes on three Portland blocks so far, but are constantly on the lookout for new crevices to fill.

“The roads in Portland were getting worse and worse, and like everyone else, we were just waiting for someone else to fix it,” a member of PARC told The Huffington Post. “We sort of reflected on the situation, and asked ourselves the questions made famous by John Lewis: ‘If not us, then who? If not now, then when?’ Two days later we were patching holes.”

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Artist Spends Hundreds of Hours Creating Photorealistic Pencil Drawings

Arinze Stanley is a talented young Nigerian artist whose works often leave people scratching their heads and asking themselves if they’re looking at a pencil drawing or a high-definition black and white photograph. Yes, his drawing skills are that good!

Arinze’s interest in art, and drawing in particular, was sparked at a young age, primarily by the fact that he was always surrounded by paper. His family ran a paper company, so he would often kill time by grabbing a piece of paper and trying his hand at drawing. But he only started exploring hyper-realism in 2012, and became a professional artist a year later. He has never taken any professional art classes, and claims that the level of detail he is able to produce is solely the result of years of practice. Looking at his fantastic artworks, it’s safe to say that he has come a long way in very little time.

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Cheapest House in San Francisco Costs $499,000, Is Uninhabitable

You know housing prices in San Francisco are absolutely insane when the cheapest house on the market costs half a million dollars and is virtually uninhabitable.

It’s no secret that buying a house in the Bay Area is next to impossible for the average person. According to Zillow real estate experts, the median listing price for a detached home in San Francisco is $1.15 million, and the median monthly rent is around $4,000. That’s a lot more than most people can afford, but if you keep an eye out, you can sometimes find better deals. Like this house in the Excelsior District of San Fran currently on sale for “just” $499,000. Half a million bucks is not pocket change, but compared to most of the houses listen on real estate sites, it’s practically a steal. The only problem is that you can’t really live in it.

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