It’s rather inconceivable that someone as talented and successful as New York fashion photographer Mark Reay might be homeless. Despite being handsome, well-groomed, and articulate – Mark didn’t actually have a home to go back to, after rubbing shoulders with the who’s who of the fashion world, for six long years.
Despite being allergic to cats, David Teie has actually made it his life’s mission to make music for felines. In fact, he’s raised over $200,000 just to be able to fund his mission!
If you’re wondering how music for cats is any different from human music, Teie explains that they’re worlds apart. “All of the music cats have ever heard was created by humans for humans from an age where they were worshipped as gods to a time where they were worshipped online,” he said in the opening of his Kickstarter video. “Cats have had to listen to music they often didn’t actually like. Until now.”
“This may sound like a gimmick, but it’s real,” he added. “When I invented species specific music in 2009, The New York Times called it the year’s number one idea. Making music for animals has become a mission for my life. I want to bring the beauty and comfort of music to as many species as possible.”
Grandfather-of-three Martin McCaskie is a true environmentalist – the 72-year-old has used the same Tesco plastic bag for groceries over 2,000 times – since 1981!
Martin’s never made a big deal of being thrifty, so his own family didn’t know about his little vintage keepsake until he pulled the bag out of his pocked last week at his daughter Helen’s house. They were surprised to see the ancient yet well-maintained bag that the shopping chain had produced over three decades ago to commemorate their golden jubilee. Helen posted a picture of the bag on Facebook, where it went viral.
Stock trading is a major trend among the people of Nanliu, a tiny village in northern China’s Shaanxi province. Lots of locals – even farmers – have preferred trading over their traditional jobs, earning the Nanliu the nickname ‘China’s stock trading village’.
Many of them made big profits this spring, thanks to China’s stock market hitting a seven-year high, and this inspired more from the community to come forward with their money. “It’s a lot easier to make money from stocks than farm work,” said apple farmer Liu Jianguo, who invested $8,000 into the Shanghai Composite.
That’s a huge chunk of his savings, but he was willing to take the risk. “It’s risky, you can earn $16,000 in ten minutes, and lose it all in the next. I’ve made some small profit and gained experience but I still feel anxious when my investments aren’t doing well.”
Entrepreneurs in Japan seem to be going out of their way to please women with a host of interesting services – rent-a-boyfriend, rent-a-crying-therapist, rent-a-crying-room, rent-a-solo-wedding, and now, they can actually rent a cuddling partner for the night!
Thanks to ‘Rose Sheep’, single Japanese women don’t need to worry about lonely nights or empty beds anymore. All they’ve got to do is call and order a ‘sheep’ – an attractive young man between the ages of 20 and 30 – to spend the night beside them. The service does not extend beyond cuddling, though. A bare-chested snuggle is just about as steamy as it can get.
Longevity is a topic of great interest to scientists and businessmen alike, many of them being focused on finding ways to prolong human lifespan by a few dozen years. But Los Angeles-based company Humai wants to take the idea to the next level – they’re trying to use artificial intelligence (AI) to bring people back from the dead and keep them alive forever! Many experts, however, smell a rat.
The concept of resurrecting people using AI seems taken from a sci-fi movie, but ‘Humai’ founder Josh Bocanegra has assured the media that he is quite serious about the business of resurrection. He even believes that it could become a reality within the next three decades. And his company’s mission statement is as straightforward as it gets: “We want to bring you back to life after you die.”
According to the Humai website, AI and nanotechnology can be used to “store data of conversational styles, behavioural patterns, thought processes and information about how a person’s body functions from the inside-out.” This data can be coded into multiple sensor technologies built into an artificial body that is powered by the brain of a real, deceased human. And as the brain ‘matures’, the company will restore it using cloning nanotechnology so it can always be brought back to life. Technically, a person could live forever this way.
Wonder Boy Gets Two College Degrees, Flies Airplanes, Writes Two Books, Works for NASA, All by the Age of 17
Seventeen is a confusing age for many, but Moshe Kai Cavalin seems to have it all figured out. The California teenager already has two college degrees to his name, he’s a published author, nearly a licensed pilot, and he works for NASA. That’s a lot more than most of us hope to achieve in a lifetime.
Moshe’s been an achiever all his life – he enrolled at the East Los Angeles College when he was only eight years old, becoming the youngest college student in the US. He graduated at age nine with a 4.0 GPA, and also wrote a bestselling autobiography that same year. But one college degree apparently wasn’t enough, so at age 15 he graduated from the University of California with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics.
The wonder kid was actually getting ready to earn a third degree this year – a master’s in cybersecurity at Boston’s Brandeis University – but he’s currently put that on hold for a couple of terms to work with NASA. He’s helping the space agency develop surveillance technology for airplanes and drones.
Despite our many technological advancements, the human brain is still a big mystery, as proven by the recently published case of a German woman who, although legally blind, has her sight miraculously restored at times. The 37-year-old suffers from dissociative identity disorder (DID), and apparently has perfect vision when she switches to eight out of her ten personalities.
The woman, only referred to by her initials B.T., first went to see German psychotherapist Dr. Bruno Waldvogel about 14 years ago. She was completely blind at the time and accompanied by a guide dog. She told the doctor that her vision had become severely impaired during an accident at age 20, after which she gradually became blind. Waldvogel checked her medical records, which clearly stated that she had been diagnosed with cortical blindness from trauma to the skull and brain. Her eyes showed no sign of physical damage.
Waldvogel eventually diagnosed B.T. with DID, previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder, which manifested itself through no less than 10 personalities of different names, voices, and genders. Some of her personalities spoke only in German, others used English. But a major breakthrough came after about four years of treatment, when Waldvogel was shocked to witness B.T. recognize a few words on the cover of a magazine. She had assumed the personality of a teenage boy at the time.
It seems a shame to throw away a perfectly good Starbucks cup after just one use, which is why a young artist from Ohio converts them into stunning works of art. For the past year and a half, Carrah Aldridge has been collecting her used cups and covering them with colorful designs and patterns using pens and markers.
“I got my inspiration from an artist by the name of Kristina Webb who drew on a cup and then I decided to try it out myself,” the 20-year-old wrote on Bored Panda. “To say the least, it turned out to be one of my favorite things to do and now I have a little collection growing.”
In the remote Balinese village of Bengkala every one of the 3,000-odd residents can fluently communicate in kata kolok, a centuries-old sign language, and people with speech and hearing deficiencies are always treated with respect.
That so many people would bother to learn sign language might seem strange, but there’s a good reason behind the unique tradition – the number of hearing and speech impaired in Bengkala is about 15 times higher than the world average and it’s believed to have been even higher in the past. So it’s only natural that, in time, body language took precedence over words, and villagers developed their own unique sign language which has been passed on for centuries.
The high incidence of deafness is apparently caused by the geographically-centric recessive gene DFNB3, present in the village for over seven generations. Parents with normal hearing may have a deaf child, and deaf parents are known to have children who can hear perfectly well. Either way, it seems to make no difference to the villagers, who have long learned to treat everyone the same, without any kind of discrimination.
Seventeen long years after witnessing the brutal murder of her husband Li Guiying’s struggles have finally borne fruit – she has managed to track down four of his five killer and provide enough evidence to have them locked up. 58-year-old Li doesn’t plan on stopping until she finds the last killer as well.
The determined widow’s sad story began in the winter of 1998. Li, her husband Qi Yuande, and their five children were a happy family living in Xiangcheng city, China’s Henan province. But things went wrong when an argument broke out with a neighbor named Qi Xueshan, who feared that she might start complaining about him to the local authorities. To ensure this wouldn’t happen, he invited the couple to his house under pretext of having a civilized conversation, but attacked them as soon as they arrived.
A group of Canadian kids are already spreading a bit of Christmas spirit in Halifax, Nova Scotia, by wrapping warm clothing around lamp poles for the city’s homeless to pick up and use. The unusual sight of warmly dressed poles caught recently the attention of locals, who stopped to click pictures to share on social media.
Every year, Tara Atkins-Smith collects warm clothing from her community, in order to give to the less fortunate. This year, she took to Facebook to call for donations and the response was overwhelming – their front porch was overflowing with bags of clothes. Since the family was traveling to Halifax on November 15 with their daughter Jayda and seven of her friends to celebrate her 8th birthday, Tara decided it was the perfect time to teach the children valuable life lesson.
Meet Aisa Mijeno, a Filipino architect and scientist who invented a revolutionary lamp that runs on a glass of saltwater instead of batteries. Her vision in creating the SALt (Sustainable Alternative Lighting) lamp was to “light up the rest of the Philippines sustainably,” by finding an environment-friendly alternative light source suitable for people in coastal areas. She came up with the idea after spending time with the locals of the Butbut tribe in the Kalinga Province of Philippines, who had no access to electricity.
The lamp can apparently run for eight hours on just two tablespoons of salt and a glass of water. “It is made of tediously experimented and improved chemical compounds, catalysts, and metal alloys that when submerged in electrolytes will generate electricity,” Mijeno explained. The idea behind it is the chemical conversion of energy, but while it works on the scientific principle of the galvanic cell, it makes use of a harmless, non-toxic saline solution instead of hazardous electrolytes.
Despite having lost everything, a Syrian refugee is doing his bit to return the kindness extended to him by German locals. For the past year, Alex Assali has been serving hot meals to the homeless in Berlin in order to “give something back to the people that helped him.”
Assali arrived in Germany in 2007, after fleeing Damascus on foot because his life was in danger for posting negative messages online about Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. He changed his name, adopted a new identity, and did his best to become not a burden but a blessing for his adoptive country. Since August last year, he has offering free food to those less fortunate than him.
A photograph of Assali standing on the side of a busy street, behind a table laden with hot rice, gravy, and bread, was recently posted to Facebook by his friend Tabea Bü. She revealed that Assali sets up a table outside Berlin’s Alexanderplatz station every Saturday and serves about 100 homeless people. The photo was shared thousands of times, and Tabea said they were overwhelmed with the positive comments.
It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but this cylindrical structure is an architectural marvel. It actually used to be an old grain silo from the 1950s, but it’s been transformed a cozy, well-equipped one-bedroom by architect Christoph Kaiser. He now lives in the silo-house – located in Phoenix, Arizona – with his wife.
The quirky 340-square-foot home has a very small carbon footprint, but not at the cost of modern comforts. Kaiser, who purchased the silo from a Kansas farmer and transported it to Arizona on a pickup truck, made all sorts of modifications to make it habitable. He added a ten-inch spray foam insulation between the silo walls and the interior walls, and painted the corrugated shell sheet white to reflect the heat of the desert sun.