Filipino Man Turns His Home into a Public Library to Help Kids Learn to Read

Retired Filipino accountant Hernando Guanlao has found a wonderful way to spend all his free time – he’s set up a public library right outside his home and he regularly hands out books to poor children for free.

Hernando’s little library is very relevant to the society he lives in, where many children drop out of school to support their families. He says that he set up the library to honor his parents and the only inheritance they left him – an insatiable love for learning. “As a Filipino who didn’t have the opportunity to go to other places, I wanted to do something before I turned 70 that would help other Filipinos,” he added.  “And books are my means to do that, so I can bring people joy, and help them not feel left behind. It seems to me that the books are speaking to me. That’s why it multiplies like that. The books are telling me they want to be read… they want to be passed around.”

Readers are allowed to take as many books as they like, and return them whenever they please. According to Hernando, “The only rule is that there are no rules.”

hernando-guanlao2 Read More »

Antlerman’s Shed – Inside an Awe-Inspiring Building Decorated with Thousands of Deer Antlers

James Phillips, from Three Forks, Montana, has been collecting shed antlers for over half a century now. The 66-year-old takes long hikes in the foothills of the mountains, looking for antlers to take home. Over the last six decades, he has collected over 16,000 individual pieces that now cover virtually every inch of a specially constructed 30 x 64 foot building known as Antlerman’s Shed.

Antlerman recalls that his passion for collecting sheds began in 1958. “I, as a ten year old, took a short walk from my parents’ homemade trailer up a creek into the timber,” he wrote on his website, Antlerman.com. “I stumbled onto an old set of elk antlers and packed them back to camp. A few days later I hiked a little further and brought home a couple old white elk antlers. To this day, when I find a shed I get the same rush as I did then. Antler hunting is in my blood.”

antlerman-shed2 Read More »

Meet the Plus-Size Male Dancer Challenging Ballet Stereotypes

American ballet dancer Erik Cavanaugh is proving to the world that plus-size performers can be just as agile and graceful as their slim counterparts. His Instagram is filled with photographs and videos of himself performing ballet and other contemporary dance routines. He hopes to appear in music videos and on the Ellen Show, and his ultimate goal is to “change the mind and shape of dancers”.

Erik, 23, works at a pizza parlor by day and spends all his spare time dancing and choreographing. He learned the basics of dance at the Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts School when he was much younger, and was encouraged to post videos of his performances online by his dance coach at his alma mater, Slippery Rock University.

Some of his short video clips feature him pulling off incredibly difficult and impressive moves, like multiple pirouettes, set to contemporary music like Justin Bieber’s Purpose and Jordan Smith’s Settle. The New York Post featured a compilation of Erik’s moves in a Facebook video, which went viral, inspiring millions around the world.

Erik-Cavanaugh-dancer2 Read More »

Picnic with the Dead in an Idyllic Greek Village

The Pontics are a group of ethnic Greeks who prospered on the shores of the Black Sea between the years of 1914 and 1923. Over 350,000 of their population perished at the hands of the Ottomans, Kemalists and neo-Turks during the Greek Genocide, and those who remained were forced to leave their homeland to seek refuge in Greece. But even today, this small community manages to keep its age old traditions alive. One of their most notable customs is the yearly ‘Picnic with the Dead’.

Every year on the Sunday after Easter, also known as St. Thomas Sunday, several Pontic Greek families in the village of Rizana make their way to the local cemetery to picnic on the graves of the deceased. Many of them bring along folding tables and chairs, table cloths, traditional meals, vodka, flowers, and candles to set in the midst of the marble gravestones. No one is allowed to cry as the day is seen not as one of mourning, but of celebration in honor of the departed. Family members are seen smiling and greeting each other, “Christos anesti” (Christ has risen), while children laugh and play amidst the graves.

picnic-with-the-dead Read More »

Chinese Man Uses Single Bamboo Stick as a Raft to Cross Large River on His Way to Work

Who needs a boat when you’ve got incredible core strength and balance? Two simple bamboo poles will do if you’re anything like this 51-year-old Chinese man who is able to cross a large river standing on one pole and rowing with the other!

A video of Fang Shuyun’s unique commute has recently gone viral on Chinese social media and millions were left baffled by the ease with which the middle-aged man navigates the waters of Fuchun River, sailing smoothly and swiftly on a 23-foot bamboo cane. He was reportedly traveling at a speed of 100 to 164 feet per minute.

Fang, a native of Hangzhou city, first tried out the feat one night in 2014 after he missed the last boat ride home from work. He spotted a bamboo pole floating in the river and decided to use it to get to the other side. He failed in that first attempt, but came away with the feeling that he could complete the ride if he worked on his sense of balance. So Fang spent the past two years practicing, and it appears that he has finally managed to master the skill. “The leg you put forward carries the center of the body weight so you should use it to step on the bamboo pole evenly,” he explained, speaking to local media. “Then you use the big toe of your other leg to stop the stick from rolling in water. As long as you achieve a balance and stop the bamboo from turning, it’s possible to cross a river on a single bamboo pole given you’re fit enough.”

fang-shunyun-bamboo2 Read More »

Winery Claims to Turn water into Wine in 15 Minutes, without Using Grapes

A couple of wine experts from San Francisco are apparently able to perform a miracle otherwise credited to Jesus Christ himself – they claim they can turn water into wine in a mere 15 minutes! The synthetic wine, made without the use of grapes, is produced by combining water and ethanol with flavor-compounds that can mimic the taste of real wine.

Mardonn Chua and Alec Lee, founders of the start-up Ava Winery, said they were inspired to create the grape-free artificial wine after spotting a bottle of award-winning Chardonnay at a winery in California’s Napa Valley last year. They couldn’t afford the bottle of Chateau Montelena, but they got to thinking of ways to make wine that anyone can buy. “I was transfixed by this bottle displayed on the wall,” Chua said. “I could never afford a bottle like this, I could never enjoy it. That got me thinking.”

So they skipped the expensive step of growing and fermenting grapes, and instead started off with ethanol, the major component in most alcoholic beverages. Then they added compounds like ethyl hexanoate for that fruity flavor. Their initial attempts were disastrous, but they kept trying and eventually achieved some decent results, including a very close replica of the sparkling Italian white wine Moscato d’Asti.

synthetic-wine2 Read More »

German Artist Spreads Dust on a Sticky Canvas to Create Mind-Blowing Artworks

Tim Bengel, a young artist from Stuttgart, Germany, has returned to the childhood pastime of playing with sand for his latest art series. He uses only black and white sand on a sticky board to create spectacular paintings of people and places. 

Bengel, 24, starts off by covering a blank canvas board with a special type of adhesive that takes a long time to dry. He then sprinkles black and gold sand over the drying glue in the shape of the design he has in mind, and sometimes even adds individual grains of sand using a very fine scalpel. This ‘drawing’ stage can take him weeks to complete.

When the design is completed, he spreads white sand all over the canvas. Then, he shakes off all the excess sand in one sweeping motion to reveal the completed artwork underneath. The dramatic effect of this final step is well worth the hours of effort that he puts into each piece.

Tim-Benegel-art Read More »

This Bionic Arm Prototype Comes with a Phone Charger, Torch and Even a Drone

Four years ago, when London resident James Young suffered a freak accident that left him with an “ugly- peach-colored and obvious” prosthetic arm and leg, little did he know that he would soon become ‘part cyborg’ in a one-of-a-kind experiment that would give him a prototype bionic arm. His new, futuristic-looking arm feels realistic, and in some ways is even better than a real one. It comes equipped with several cool features like a torch, a USB port, a laser light, and even a drone!

James’s life would never be the same after that fateful day in May 2012, when he was about to board a Docklands Light Railway train in East London. He happened to be walking too close to the platform when he extended his arm to push the button to open the doors, and the momentum of the moving train made him spin and lose balance. He slipped and fell between two carriages. James has no memory of the incident, but he’s been able to piece everything together using CCTV footage.

“My friends looked round and couldn’t see me,” he said. “The train stopped and my friends got on it and pulled the alarm. Two men helped them to look for me. The guy who found me, David Kelly, climbed under the train and talked to me to keep me conscious.” James was then airlifted to the Royal London Hospital where he was kept in an induced coma for 12 days. His left arm was badly damaged, while his left leg was severed below the knee during the accident. Eventually, surgeons were forced to amputate his arm as well, and perform 12 other operations to rebuild his badly damaged face and body.

cyborg-arm Read More »

Startup Is All Set to Launch Special Ink That Makes Permanent Tattoos Temporary

Temporary tattoos have been around for a long time, but as any inking enthusiast would agree, they’re nothing compared to the real deal. And yet, there are times when tattoos don’t end up like you wanted them to, or you just get bored with them after a while. In such cases, getting a tattoo removed involves laser treatments that are both expensive and painful. But not anymore. It might soon be possible to temporarily get a permanent tattoo, thanks to this new type of tattoo ink developed by a group of engineering students.

The special ink has a huge advantage over regular tattoo ink – it can be removed from your skin through an extraordinarily simple and inexpensive process. You simply visit your tattoo artist and have them trace over the tattoo with a removal solution. Voila! It’s all gone. Or, you can just erase the part of it that you don’t like and turn it into a whole new artwork. The choice is yours.

The product is named ‘Ephemeral’, after the team of Chemical and Biomolecular engineering students who took part in the recent $200,000 Entrepreneurs Challenge held by NYU Stern’s Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The team comprised of five School of Engineering students and a sixth one from Stern won the grand prize of $75,000 for their unique invention.

ephemeral-tattoos Read More »

Man Who Got Breast Implants to Win Bet Finally Takes Them Out 20 Years Later

While some men work hard at the gym to get rid of their man boobs, this Canadian man actually paid for breast implants in order to win a $100,000 bet. And now, nearly 20 years later, 55-year-old Brian Zembic is finally thinking of having them removed.

It appears that Zembic, a professional gambler and magician, has always had a penchant for making outrageous bets. He’s done all sorts of crazy things in the past, like living in a friend’s bathroom for a month for $7,000, and sleeping under a bridge with $20,000 in cash strapped to his ankle for a week. But nothing tops the bet he made with a group of friends in 1997 that ultimately led him to getting silicone implants in his chest.

“It was about 1997-ish, I was in some restaurant in Europe and I was with two friends and his girlfriend at the time was flaunting her boobs and I said to my friend: ‘If I had boobs like hers I could get just as much attention as she would,’” Zembic said. And after made the bold statement, one of his friends asked him how much money it would take to actually have him go through with it. They finally settled on a $100,000 bet.

brian-zembic-implants Read More »

This Revolutionary Earpiece Translates Foreign Languages in Real Time

Translation technology has just reached a whole new level with ‘Pilot’ – the world’s first smart earpiece that can translate foreign languages in real time. So two people who speak different languages can actually understand each other using Pilot, and engage in a normal conversation.

Developed by New York-based Waverly Labs, Pilot is a three-part system – two small Bluetooth earbuds, one for each interlocutor, and a smartphone app doing the actual translation. So you and this other person speak normally – each in your own language – and the Waverly Labs app translates and sends a voice with the other person’s speech to the earpiece. There will obviously be some delay, so it’s not exactly real time, but it’s pretty close. The initial version will support a number of European languages (English, Spanish, French, Italian). Other languages, like Hindi, Semitic, East Asian, Arabic, Slavic, and African will be included in subsequent versions, but you’ll have to pay for them, unless you preorder the system.

pilot-translator-earbud Read More »

World’s Least Romantic Couple Spends Wedding Night Copying Chinese Constitution

In a blatant display of patriotism, a Chinese newlywed couple spent their first night of wedded bliss copying parts of the Communist party’s constitution, by hand. Most people would find this incredibly unromantic, but for Li Yunpeng and his bride Chen Xuanchi, there couldn’t have been a better way to kick start their married life. In fact, they viewed the task as a way of creating “beautiful memories” of their wedding night.

Both Li and Chen are government employees from China’s Jiangxi province. On Monday, photographs of their wedding night appeared in online newspapers, along with a brief account by their employers, the railway bureau of Nanchang city. “Laying down a sheet of paper and neatly copying down out the Party Constitution left blissful memories of their wedding night for these newlyweds,” the report read.

The photos later went viral on social media. The couple can be seen seated next to a double bed decorated with balloons, but they appear oblivious to the romantic decor, completely engrossed in transcribing parts of the 17,000-word, 11-chapter text. They apparently did it as a part of a government-backed challenge called ‘Copy the Communist party constitution for 100 days’.  The initiative was launched in March in a bid to raise awareness of party’s rules, its constitution, and the speeches of general secretary Xi Jinping. As reported by the Global Times, the challenge meant to target party members whose confidence in communism and socialism is beginning to crumble, and those who “advocate western values, violate party rules, work inefficiently, or behave unethically.”

worst-wedding-night Read More »

These Luxury Children’s Playhouses Cost Almost as Much as Full-Size Ones

Growing up, I would have accepted a dingy old shack for a playhouse and considered it the coolest place in the world. But these days it’s possible for kids to enjoy luxury playhouses that cost just as much as full-size homes, thanks to ‘La Petite Maison’, a  business run by American architect Alan Mower.

Working with interior designer Michelle Pollak, Mower creates what he claims are ‘the most luxurious playhouses in the world’. The structures are built using architectural stylings from around the world, including a Tudor-themed house, a Mediterranean playhouse, a San Diego villa, a saloon-like Tom Sawyer house, and more. Most of these houses have two floors and the interiors are decorated with bespoke furniture that would look great in any normal size house. Electricity and water are included, and air conditioning and heating cost extra.

Of course, these exclusive playhouses will cost you an arm and a leg. Or an hour’s earnings, depending on how rich you are. A basic model playhouse is priced at a $9,000, but the cost can go up to a whopping $75,000 depending on what extra features you opt for. But that’s nothing compared to what celebrity parents Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are spending on the playhouse they’ve commissioned Mower to build for their two-year-old daughter. It’s going to be a $146,000 mansion, complete with a walk-in closet, kitchen, a loft, a reading nook, and a living room with a functional fireplace.

La-Petite-Maison-playhouses Read More »

Self-Described Cyborg Can Sense Every Earthquake in the World

Meet Moon Ribas, a ‘cyborg artist’ who is able to literally feel every single earthquake that takes place anywhere on the planet. She senses the tremors through a tiny sensor permanently grafted under her skin near the crook of her elbow, and dances to these vibrations during her performances.

“I want to perceive movement in a deeper way,” Ribas said. “The planet moves, constantly shaking and moving every day. I thought it would be amazing to translate the massive and natural movements of the planet in a different way.” So she had a tiny magnet implanted near the crook of her elbow that allows her to feel the Earth’s vibrations in real time. Her choice of body hacking may not be as obvious as the antenna sticking out of the skull of Neil Harbisson, or these LED lights implanted under the skin, but its purpose is just as bizarre.

Ribas, a choreographer who studied movement at Dartington College in the UK, described the physical sensation near her elbow as being similar to having a phone vibrate in your pocket. Of course, the stronger the earthquake, the stronger the vibrations she feels. For instance, during the devastating 7.8 quake in Nepal last year, Ribas woke up in the middle of the night with strong vibrations coursing through her arm. “It felt very weird, like I was there,” she said. “I feel connected to the people who suffer through an earthquake.”

moon-ribas Read More »

Young Indian Beggar Has Several Bank Accounts, Gives Loans to Local Traders

He may not look it, but this young Indian beggar is actually richer than most of the nation’s middle class. Pappu Kumar has managed to make a small fortune during eight years of begging on the streets of Patna, in the state of Bihar. He reportedly has 500,000 rupees ($7,500) stashed away in four bank accounts, and property worth 1.25 crore rupees ($185,000). He even lends money to local businessmen on the side and earns money from the interest charged. But the 33-year-old still doesn’t want to quit begging.

Pappu was not exactly destined for the life of a beggar – he went to high school and even had plans to study engineering in college, but sadly, he suffered an accident that left him partially paralyzed. His father passed away soon after, and he was disowned by the rest of his family. Pappu was then left with no choice but to beg for his survival.

“I passed my intermediate examination with 57 percent marks and a major contributor to this was my mathematics subject where I obtained 72 marks, which was the maximum of all subjects,” he told local media. “My dream was to pursue an engineering course. I was even trying for this, but, in the meantime, I met with a serious accident leaving me paralyzed. I had no option but to turn to begging to eke out my living as my family disowned me after the incident.”

Pappu-Kumar-beggar Read More »

Page 33 of 446« First...1020...3132333435...405060...Last »