The Inspirational Story of a Paralyzed Surgeon who Continues to Operate

Dr. Ted Rummel thought his life was pretty much over when he was left paralyzed from the waist-down in 2010. The exceptional surgeon had been diagnosed with a cavernous hemangioma – a blood filled cyst – in the middle of his spinal cord a year earlier. Neurologists told him the cyst couldn’t be surgically removed, as the procedure would paralyze him instantly. Instead he was told to rest, wait, and pray the cyst never ruptured.

Unfortunately for Dr. Rummel, the cyst did burst in September 2010, just a week after he performed a rotator cuff surgery on his wife Kathy – his last surgery for the next two years. He suffered a terrible back ache, followed by numbness and weakness in his legs. Within days, “a wave crashed over his lower body and took all feeling and mobility with it.” Dr. Rummel was paralyzed for life.

It’s sad that something so terrible should have happened to him, after he cured thousands of people in St. Charles County of pain and stiffness in their joints. In his best days, he had practiced over 1,000 surgeries per year in O’Fallon, Missouri.

Ted-Rummel-surgeon

Read More »

English Farmer Builds Incredible Hobbit House for Just 150 Pounds

At a time when housing rates are hitting the roof, an English farmer has gone and built a house for almost nothing. 59-year-old Michael Buck spent a measly £150( $250) to construct a small, yet cozy house in the garden of his Oxfordshire home.

The former art teacher drew plans for the house on the back of an envelope. He didn’t need any special planning permissions since it was classified as a summer home. Buck spent two years gathering natural and reclaimed materials for construction. It took him an additional eight months to construct it with his bare hands; he didn’t use any power tools at all.

To make the base, he learned the ancient technique of cob from a book. The technique comes from prehistoric times and involves a mixture of sand, clay, water and earth. Clay based subsoil is mixed with sand, straw and water and then ladled onto a stone foundation. Workers and oxen then trample upon the mixture – a process known as cobbing. The layers of cob gradually build up and harden over time.

For the 300 sq. ft. floor space, Buck rescued the floorboards from a neighbor’s unused skip. He retrieved the windscreen of an old lorry and converted the glass into windows. The walls are painted with a mixture of chalk and plant resin. The roof is a simple wooden frame thatched with straw from nearby fields.

cob-house

Read More »

The Unbelievably Cute Blacknose Sheep of Valais

The Valais Blacknose sheep are some of the cutest animals I’ve ever seen. On first glance, they don’t even look real; many people have mistaken them for well-crafted felt projects. I wonder why they aren’t more popular on the internet. They do have a Facebook fan page with over 3,500 likes, butI think they ought to be more well-known.

The Blacknose sheep originate in the Valais region of Switzerland. They are a dual-purpose breed, raised for wool as well as meat. Their most notable features – a black face, black ears, black knees and legs. The rest of their coat is stringy, white and unbelievably fluffy; you’d just want to cuddle up with them. But they’re a pretty tough breed.

The Valais Blacknose are a Heritage breed. These domesticated animals are well suited to live in the extreme climatic conditions of the high mountains and are good at grazing on steep, rocky slopes. Each sheep weighs 80 to 100 kilos and produces about 4 kilos of wool a year. Their earliest mention dates back to 1400 A.D., but they were first recognized as a separate breed in 1962.

Valais-Blacknose

Read More »

Guy Steals iPhone Sends Owner 11-Page Handwritten List of 1,000 Contacts

You’d have to agree that when you lose a phone, replacing the device isn’t as painful as rebuilding your list of contacts. That’s why this Chinese thief is so special – he copied over 1,000 contacts on to 11 pages by hand and sent them to the owner of the phone he had stolen.

The $440 iPhone in question belonged to Zou Bin, a barman from Changsha, capital of the Hunan province. Zou told local media that he was returning home wasted from his best friend’s bachelor party earlier this month, when the theft occurred. He had passed out in the taxi taking him home along with three other strangers. Zou isn’t certain which one of them was the culprit.

When Zou discovered that his phone was missing the next morning, he naturally was furious. The device contained more than 1,000 work related contacts that he could not afford to lose. So he did the first thing that came to mind – Zou sent threatening text messages to his own number from a friend’s phone.

contacts-list

Read More »

Detroit Homeowner Uses Dummies Dressed as Gang Members to Deter Real Criminals

Who needs live security guards when a pair of dummies can do the job? A Detroit homeowner from the city’s west side has been putting this theory into practice for the past few weeks, with excellent results.

Detroit’s news channel Local 4 reported the story in detail. While the homeowner preferred to remain anonymous, we do get to hear snippets of his voice during the video coverage. “This is my home, my castle,” he says. And he’s converted his castle into a fortress of sorts with a security system, sensor lights, bars on windows, double screen doors and two dogs. The icing on the cake: two security guards stationed at the front door 24/7. If you look closely, you’ll realize they’re just dummies (the kind used for CPR training) dressed as gang members.

The man says he got the idea after several break-ins occurred and he couldn’t afford insurance premiums. His insurance company actually told him that they see risk all around his home – vacant homes and constant crime. So he has been making efforts to minimize that risk. In perfect Home Alone style, he’s doing his best to outsmart burglars.

dummies

Read More »

Chinese Millionaire Builds Six European-Style Castles in China, Plans to Make it 100

59-year-old Liu Chonghua is the latest to join a string of wealthy Chinese businessmen with eccentric hobbies. Liu is spending millions of dollars building fake European castles in the megacity of Chongqing. And get this – he copies the designs out of a book of castle pictures he keeps in his office.

One of the castles Liu built is a gray stone structure resembling Britain’s Windsor Castle. The only difference – the Chinese version is surrounded by lush green paddy fields. Another one is a red brick fairytale structure with soaring spires, inspired by the Disney movie, Aladdin. He also has a white castle with candy-colored towers, similar to 19th century Bavarian ‘Mad’ King Ludwig’s hilltop fantasy – Neuschwanstein.

Recreating foreign designs on Chinese soil might involve architectural challenges, but Liu’s team has dismissed them. Ma Wenneng, former soldier and now a construction worker, says, “Actually, European castles are really easy to build.”

Chongqing-castles

Read More »

Mas Provencal – The Perfect Restaurant for Flower Enthusiasts

When you first step into Mas Provencal on the outskirts of Eze Village, you’re likely to mistake it for a greenhouse. Located close to the city of Nice in southeastern France, this restaurant has way more flowers than tables.

Mas Provencal’s interior décor is pretty special, perhaps even one-of-a-kind. Almost every square inch is covered with fresh flowers – roses, orchids, ivy, glads and more. There are plants everywhere and it takes some squinting to even spot the sign board. The large amount of flora either enthralls diners, or leaves them a bit overwhelmed. One tourist called the decorations “fabulously gaudy.” I don’t think I could have put it any better.

Inside the restaurant, each table is done up with elaborate center pieces made of flowers. Exotic trees adorn the passageways and you can spot a few carnivorous plants in the crowd. Antique knick-knacks are scattered everywhere. A large glass enclosed waterfall containing ferns is also part of the décor. The best part – diners can munch on grapes and cherry tomatoes hanging from the ceiling at arm’s reach.

Mas-Provencal-restaurant

Read More »

Ever Seen an Urban Road ERUPT Before? Well, You Have Now

Yekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth-largest city, is in the news for a very unusual reason – its roads are exploding!

A dashboard camera captured this video on the 21st of November. You can clearly see the road erupt into three large pieces, just as an SUV speeds up to a red light. The car with the camera slows down to stop and the SUV driver overtakes on the outside, only to be abruptly stopped by the road.

The video has been viewed over 40,000 times online. It has become a bit of a joke, considering how the SUV driver was deftly prevented from jumping the signal. One user on Live Leak commented: “In Russia cops don’t stop you for running a light, the road does.” Another said: “Car driver wanted to run the red light, red light did stop him immediately.”

Some viewers are having trouble believing the video: “Is this a new movie of Godzilla?” I do agree with that comment. The footage looks surreal, like it’s straight out of the next ‘end-of-the-world’ type disaster movie.

road-eruption

Read More »

Keep Away from Fire: Belarusian Artist Paints with Petroleum

A true artist can create outstanding art from almost anything, even ugly, greasy oil. Who would have ever imagined that petroleum could be used to paint breathtaking images? Belarussian artist Ludmila Zhizhenko, that’s who.

Ludmila was a designer at a petroleum company for years before she invented this new technique of painting in 2009. She would use watercolors earlier, but petroleum is now her material of choice. Ludmila’s paintings have are elegant, with an old-world charm. They resemble vintage, yellowed photographs from the last century. Photo artist Sergei Kholodilin says, “This is a synthesis of photography and painting.”

For her paintings, Ludmila uses petroleum produced in the Gomel region. To make one ‘heavy oil’ painting, she needs about 10 grams of the stuff. And there are only two types of petroleum she can make use of. Ludmila lets us in on a few of her trade secrets: “It is important not to stop putting stroke after stroke. Otherwise, if the oil dries out,  it will be very difficult to fix something,” she says. Due to the chemical composition of petroleum, she mostly paints outdoors.

petroleum-paintings8

Read More »

Australian Family Set New Guinness Record with 502,165 Christmas Light Installation

We love it when the holidays are around the corner; there are just so many odd stories to talk about! Our first Christmas story this season is here: an Australian family who put up over half a million Christmas lights in their Canberra home and set a new Guinness World Record.

This isn’t the first time father-of-three David Richards and his family have done this. In 2011 they set the record after putting up 331,038 lights. Last year a New-York family beat them with a whopping 346,283. The Richards wanted their title back so badly that this year they’ve installed 502,165 lights – that’s 31 miles of wire. They also have a glowing reindeer and loud music to boot.

Some of the Richards’ neighbours are very upset and haven’t spoken to the family since 2011. But most of them love the dazzle and come to visit from several miles away. David says, “I have always loved Christmas. Having the Christmas lights with the community coming in and sharing it is a time when you get to know people you probably should know better, I guess.”

most-Christmas-lights

Read More »

China’s Best Mao Zedong Impersonator Is Actually a Woman

57-year-old Chen Yan used to be an average, run-of-the-mill homemaker. The only noticeable thing about her: her striking resemblance to Chinese revolutionary Mao Zedong. Chen was teased mercilessly for this as a child, reducing her to tears. But in 2006 she made a decision that would completely change her life –  to embrace herself and her appearance. Chen is now a full time Mao impersonator, an extremely popular one.

Impersonating Chairman Mao isn’t exactly a piece of cake. It’s a demanding and controversial job, because female impersonators of Mao aren’t very common in China. To look the part, Chen has to touch up her face, wear a Zhongshan suit and arrange her hair like Mao’s trademark style. She has to walk on specially made 26cm stilts, camouflaged to look like a larger shoe size. A typical performance is about 40 minutes long – Chen waves to the crowds, smokes and stares solemnly into the distance. I must say, she does a damn good job of it. It’s almost impossible to tell there’s a woman behind the costume.

Mao-Zedong-impersonator

Read More »

New Scented Candles Will Make Your Home Smell Like KFC

Isn’t it wonderful when the delicious aroma of fried chicken wafts through your home? Fires up those hunger pangs? Leads you by the nose right to the kitchen, where you expect to sit down to a sizzling snack? But what if there was none?

With the new range of KFC-scented candles from Kentucky for Kentucky, you can experience a delectable aroma without the chicken, without the calories. The candles are meant to celebrate the fact that Kentucky is the first state to have ever fried chicken.

The Kentucky by Kentucky website proudly declares: “Our mission is to engage and inform the world by promoting Kentucky people, places and products.” The candles are a latest addition to this mission, available in three scents – Fried Chicken Actual, Ale 8 (Kentucky’s official soft drink) and Derby Actual (inspired by the famous Kentucky Derby).

Kentucky-by-Kentucky-candles

Read More »

Concussion Turns Ordinary Man into Musical Genius, Overnight

If getting hit on the head means that I’d get to be a kickass musician for the rest of my life, I think I would seriously consider it. It sounds impossible, but something of the sort happened to 41-year-old Derek Amato. He really didn’t have a choice about it, though.

Derek had no idea his life was about to change forever when he dove into the shallow end of a pool to catch a football at a party. He hit his head and had a concussion, resulting in Acquired Savant Syndrome – a rare condition where people display profound abilities (called savant skills) after suffering head trauma, abilities that they didn’t have at birth. In Derek’s case, the acquired ability is music.

Derek is one of only 30 people in the world with this rare condition and the only one to have acquired music as a savant skill. Before the fall, he just dabbled in guitar and had no idea how to read or write music. And now he can play eight different instruments with the ease of a professional musician. Watching him play on video, it’s pretty hard to believe this man has had no formal training in music at all.

derek-amato

Read More »

The Cotton Ball Diet – A Dangerous Weight-Loss Trend

I thought the Tapeworm diet was as bad as weight loss fads could get, but I was mistaken. Desperate dieters keep coming up with new, innovative methods to shed pounds. The latest trend is to eat cotton balls soaked in orange juice, lemonade or smoothies.

It’s all over the internet. Chat rooms, YouTube videos and blogs are describing to young women how the cotton ball diet is done. The trend is said to have caught on after model Bria Murphy (Eddie Murphy’s daughter) admitted to seeing models subjecting themselves to this diet. “I’ve heard of people eating the cotton balls with the orange juice. They dip it in the orange juice and then they eat the cotton balls to help them feel full,” Murphy told her interviewer on Good Morning America.

The idea behind the cotton ball diet is to feel full without having to gain weight. Some practitioners stick to just eating cotton all day. Others chow down on these fillers before a meal, so they can eat less. Dieters are able to swallow as many as five juice-dipped balls in one sitting, before they feel completely full.

Cotton-ball-diet

Read More »

Polish Designer Turns Cane Toads into Fashion Accessories

In a fairy-tale world, you could kiss a frog and turn it into Prince Charming. No such luck in the real world. If it’s any consolation though, a Polish designer is converting thousands of toads into highly desirable fashion accessories. I mean, who wants men when you can have designer purses, right?

The highly poisonous cane toads live in the South Sea Islands in Australia. They are considered an invasive species, which means they are a serious threat to the native biodiversity of the continent. Introduced to Australia from Hawaii in 1935, their main purpose was to control the native cattle beetle. The mission failed and cane toads began to multiply at an alarming rate – there are now over 200 million of them. The Australian army was deployed to get rid of them by the thousands.

Putting the two stories (of Prince Charming and the Unwanted Toads) together is Polish designer Monika Jarosz. It all started when a friend gifted Monika a stuffed frog from New Zealand. “It disgusted me, but ended up fascinating me,” she says. The more she stroked it, the more she liked the idea of creating something from similar material. Soon the concept was born – leather purses and bags with the toad skin intact, head included.

frog-skin-purse

Read More »

Page 33 of 319« First...1020...3132333435...405060...Last »