Man Sets New Guinness Record for Typing Sentence with His Nose in the Shortest Time Possible

For the likes of Mohammed Khurshid Hussain, from Hyderabad, India, having just one Guinness World Record isn’t good enough. The 23-year-old already held the title of fastest typist of the English alphabet on a keyboard – just 3.43 seconds –  but that was set using his fingers. Now he’s gone and done it with his nose.

Mr. Hussain set out to break the world record for nose-typing last Thursday. His mission: to type the sentence ‘Guinness World Records have challenged me to type this sentence using my nose in the fastest time’. The previous record holder was another Indian, Neeta, who finished the task way back in 2008, in 1 minute and 33 seconds.

That seems like a tough record to beat, but Mr. Hussain did it with a lot of time to spare. He typed the sentence in just 48.62 seconds, way ahead of Neeta. “If you want to set a record, every millisecond counts,” he said. “This time I typed with one eye closed, as it is difficult otherwise to locate the keys. This is my second attempt to break the record. Earlier last month, I typed the sentence with my nose in 53.44 seconds, for which I am yet to receive the certificate.”

nose-typing

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The Eerie Melted Bricks of Fort Zverev, in Russia

Fort Zverev, built in the 1870s by Russian engineer Konstantin Zverev, lies in complete ruins today. Nonetheless, it is as much of an attraction now as it was in its heyday. Located on an artificial island in the Baltic Sea, just north of Kronstadt, the fort is a derelict structure that can well be described as ‘hell on earth’. The rusting bunker hatches, water tubes and machine gun mounts scattered on the surface are hardly an indicator of what lies within.

Back when the fort was still in use, the Russians stored a type of fuel similar to napalm in the basement. Unfortunately, in 1970, an unexpected fire that started in the fort spread to the basement as well, causing an uncontrollable inferno. The incident was simply horrific – the burning fuel reached temperatures over 2000 degrees Celsius. It got so hot that the brick walls and ceiling literally melted and ran down like icicles.

Fort-Zverev

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Marksman Paralyzed from the Neck Down Fires a Rifle with His Tongue

Being paralyzed from the neck down doesn’t stop 53-year-old Victor Morris from doing what he loves – firing his rifle. He had a special rig designed that allows him to fire using one of the only parts of his body that still move on command – his tongue! A native of Aberaeron, in West Wales, the quadriplegic had a rugby accident 24 years ago that left him in his current state. In spite of this, he hasn’t lost his spirit. In fact, he has even managed to beat other able-bodied shooters in international competitions.

“I was desperate to shoot again but never thought I would. After the accident, the thought (that) I’d never be able to use the rifle again was always in the back of my mind,” he said. “It was a difficult thing to come to terms with. I’m so happy to be back doing something I love.” Victor’s love for shooting began when he was only 12 years old. He was competing by the age of 15, and represented Wales for 10 years in clay pigeon shooting contests. He was 29 when the tragic event occurred – while playing rugby for Lampeter against Llandarcy.

“I went into the scrum and the next thing I knew I heard a horrible sound – three cracks – then I blanked out for a second,” recalled Victor. “I came around and I remember being stretchered off. That was it. I was paralyzed from the neck down. It wasn’t painful, I just felt numb. I couldn’t feel a thing.”

Vic-Morris

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Stinky Candle Company Challenges Classic Scents with Unique Manly Aromas

Would you dare to buy candles that were labelled ‘Stinky’? Apparently, there are people who would! The Stinky Candle Company was set up by Jeff Bennett after he got sick of boring scents like vanilla, lavender and shea butter. He came up with 25 unique smells – including bizarre stuff like leather, pencils, wood, wet grass, money and even car exhausts.

The Chicago based inventor seems to have gone all out in choosing scents for his new collection. His range also includes food-inspired aromas like bacon, wine and fast food. The candles are priced between US $6 and $8. We’re not sure how well these candles are selling, but it doesn’t look like Jeff is too bothered about that. He’s more excited about the candles. Eventually, he aims at increasing the range from 25 to 200.

He spoke about his inspiration behind creating the candles: “A lot of people I knew really liked scented candles and they loved receiving them as gifts. I wondered why we only ever see the same fragrances in shops and thought it would be a fun idea to try and come up with some unusual ones.” So he got to work on the concoctions in his garage, sourcing specific odors from a fragrance house.

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Japanese Company Launches Pillow Specifically Designed for Pillow Fighting

Did you know that pillow fighting is actually a serious sport in Japan? And that there exists a pillow specifically designed to be used in official pillow fights? And that it is the ‘Officially Recognized Pillow by the All Japan Pillow Fighting Association’? I wish I’d known all this sooner. Perhaps I’d have considered moving to Japan to become a professional pillow fighter. Such a cool job.

The association even has official tournaments. Just last weekend, they had an All Japan Pillow Fighting Tournament in Ito City. The participating fee was $20 per team, and they all competed for a grand prize of $1,000. Japanese pillow fighting has its own set of rules: it’s a lot like dodge ball, but fluffier! Each team consists of five members, who have to remain within the team’s court (about 356 square feet) at all times. From the moment the whistle sounds, all they do is throw pillows like crazy, using blankets to shield themselves. Getting hit by a pillow directly sends a player out of the game.

Sounds all right so far, but this is where things get really bizarre. During the match, the referee calls out from time to time: “The teacher is coming!” One of the teams will have to take the cue and lie down immediately, pretending to sleep. One member from the opposite team can walk over and steal as many pillows as he can. Then the game resumes. Doesn’t it sound a lot like the crazy games we invented as kids?

pillow-fighting-Japan

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Hipster Wannabes Resort to Facial Hair Transplants to Get Coveted Look

In a bid to keep up with the hipster beard trend, New York men are opting for a bizarre form of plastic surgery – facial hair transplants. I didn’t even know this was possible, but apparently, the procedure results in a real-looking beard. You can crop it, shave it, or let it grow out, just like you would a natural beard.

Doctors in New York City who specialize in the surgery say that the number of male patients is growing by the day. These men are willing to shell out up to $7,000 for a full, pumped up beard. Dr. Jeffery Epstein, who has performed the procedure for over a decade, said that earlier he would see just a handful of patients a year, but now he’s doing three to four per week. “Whether you’re talking about the Brooklyn hipster or the advertising executive, the look is definitely to have a bit of facial hair.”

It’s not just beardless hipsters doing the rounds at plastic surgery clinics, according to Dr. Yael Halaas. Most of her patients are young, hip and fashionable, but she also gets men who have struggled to grow beards all their lives. Some of them are undergoing a gender transformation, a few have facial scarring, and others are Hasidic Jews who want denser side locks. “I get a lot of detail oriented people – artists, architects,” said the doctor. She also notes that the most beard-centric areas in the city are Williamsburg, Bushwick and Park Slope.

beard-transplant

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Guy Tattoos World Map on His Back, Colors Every Country He Visits

You need to have a map at hand when you’re making travel plans. Most people prefer packing one in their backpacks, but this one guy chose to put it some place he can never lose it – his back. Of course, he’d probably have to crane his neck to look at it in the mirror, but at least it isn’t going anywhere, right?

59-year-old Bill Passman is a travel nut. So far, he has been to at least half the countries in the world, and to keep track of every place he visits, he had the world map tattooed on his back, and very time he visits a new country, he has it colored by a tattoo artist. So far 60 different countries are colored on his back, and the rest are waiting to be filled.

Surprisingly, the lawyer from Louisiana only began travelling recently – at age 51, when he got his new passport. His first trip out of the country was to Tanzania and he has never looked back since. In 2010, he quit his job in order to travel full time. That was the year he got the tattoo as well. He travels most of the year, only returning home for about three months. While his adventures have taken him to all the seven continents (yes, even Antarctica), his favorite place is Guatemala.

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Kids Get a Taste of the Tough Life at Hungarian Military Summer Camp

Summer camp in the town of Mogyoród, Hungary plays out slightly differently than what most kids are used to in other parts of the world. Hundreds of children between the ages of 11 and 22 gather at the camp each year, to experience the tough military life for a week. These kids are actually attracted to the military way of life and volunteer to sign up for the camp. It’s not surprising, actually, given the fact that militarism is dominant in Hungarian society.

At the Military Traditional Association, the kids live in tents, receive military training from experienced, active soldiers and learn all about the Order and the Homeland. They stay up all night on guard duty, learn how to fire AK-47s (with blanks, of course) and are put through stimulation tear gas attacks. Intense physical exercise, educational behaviorism and screamed orders is what the week is all about.

Zsolt Horvath, head of the military summer camp, said: “We give them real military training at a basic level. They have endurance tests, running sessions in the morning, fitness exercises. Throughout the day they listen to trainers from various army units who teach them exercises.” Discipline is paramount at the camp – any misbehavior is punishable with push-ups. Both practical and theoretical training are imparted, hoping to groom future members of the Hungarian army.

Mogyorod-military-summer-camp

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Man Says He Has Survived on Pizza Alone for 25 Years

They say junk food can kill you. But then you get to hear stories of people who eat nothing else and are doing just fine. Like this one guy who has been eating pizza exclusively for the past 25 years. Dan, a 38-year-old woodworker from Maryland, hates veggies so much that he won’t even use them as pizza toppings. The only spice he can tolerate on his pizza is oregano.

“I’m not just talking about a slice of pizza every day,” he said in an interview. “I usually eat an entire 14” pizza, and I only eat cheese pizza. I never get sick of it. If I go to one pizza shop or another brand, it’s like eating a completely different meal.” Dan made his bizarre food choice when he was just 15 years old. That’s when he decided to go vegetarian for ‘ethical reasons’. “I still loved the taste of meat, and I still love it to this day, but due to my beliefs, I gave it up. That was about 23 years ago. I also hate vegetables.”

My guess is that Dan’s body can metabolize food like crazy. How else can a person eat just pizza (essentially bread and cheese) for years and still stay so slim? But Dan’s weight is no indicator of his health. The man suffers from type 1 diabetes and his blood sugar drops quite frequently. It gets so bad at times that he blacks out on the kitchen floor in his underwear. One time, he blacked out while driving his new car home.

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Italian Architect Builds Fantastic Airships That Actually Fly

Luigi Prina might be 83 years old, but he still has the imagination of a child. The Italian architect’s studio is filled with miniature flying ships of all shapes and sizes, suspended from the ceiling with nylon strings. And here’s the special part – some of the ships really do fly. When Luigi twists the propeller and lets the toys go, they whizz around the room in loops and circles.

Luigi has been obsessed with ships ever since he can remember. He began building model ships at a very young age. When he was 16, he won a national aircraft modeling competition. The judges were particularly impressed by his superior craftsmanship – and also his age. “When I went to collect my prize, they asked me: ‘Why didn’t your father come to collect his prize?’ ‘What do you mean my father, I am Luigi Prina!’ They were quite upset by this,” said Luigi.

But it wasn’t until 50 years had passed that Luigi was inspired to make his model ships fly. “I met Eugenio Tomiolo, a Venetian painter and boat builder,” he said. “And then I said to him: ‘Do you want to bet that I can make the boats fly for you?’ And I made the first boat. I made it fly in his studio. He had painted his ceiling like a sky with clouds. When the ship began to go around the ceiling it seemed as if the clouds were moving.”

Luigi-Prina-airships

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Japanese Attend Crying Seminars to Improve Physical and Mental Health

I’ve heard of laughter therapy for relieving stress, but I didn’t know the reverse existed as well. In Japan, people gather in groups to let the boo-hoos out. These ‘crying seminars’ are conducted by Takashi Saga, who calls himself a ‘tears sommelier’. “Selecting wines that matches food is similar to my job,” he said. “I introduce books, movies and videos that touch the people’s emotion.”

“Crying doesn’t have a good image in Japan,” Saga added. “People believe you should not cry in front of people, that it’s weak.” So twice a month, Saga organizes a ‘ruikatsu’ – a crying for joy seminar. When people get emotional and cry, he believes that life’s burdens, tensions and frustrations melt away. “Laughing can only release stress at that moment. But studies show the stress release from crying lasts for a week. Crying is better for your physical and mental health.”

It turns out that Saga might actually be right. Some scientific studies have proven that when we cry for emotional reasons, our tears contain the same kind of hormones released by the body during physical stress. Most people start his sessions with a poker face and a ‘try and make me’ kind of attitude. But the activities that Saga plans for his class always ensure that no one leaves dry-eyed.

crying-seminars-Japan

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Facing Your Fears – Guy Tattoos Spider on His Face to Combat Arachnophobia

Now here’s a guy who literally ‘faced’ his fears. To deal with his morbid fear of spiders, Eric Ortiz got a black widow spider tattooed on his face.

You’ve got to be either really gutsy or really stupid to put something so huge and permanent on your face. I’m not sure which one Ortiz is. The 24-year-old from Deltona, Florida, said: “Everybody fears spiders. That’s why I got it. Just to, like, make me know, that that’s what I fear, but not to fear it. You know what I’m saying?”

I’m not too sure I know what he’s saying. How can putting a spider tattoo on your face make you less scared of spiders? Well, it’s his face and if it works for him, who am I to judge? But a lot of people are judging Ortiz for his rash decision. “Everybody looks at it like, ‘Damn spider’ ‘cause if you’re going around your house, you know what I’m saying, you see those spiders, you’re going to jump, so putting one on my face, I say you know what, I’m going to see what people think.”

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The Ringing Rocks of Pennsylvania – A Famous Geological Oddity

If you strike a rock, you’d expect to hear a dull ‘thud’. Or maybe a ‘chink’. Definitely not a ringing sound. So you’d be surprised to know that ringing rocks actually do exist. Nestled in the midst of the 128-acre Ringing Rocks County Park in Pennsylvania, is a field of unique boulders. Spread out across seven to eight acres, the boulders produce a distinctive metallic ‘clang’ when struck with a hammer or another piece of rock. Native Americans have known about the rocks for centuries, and passed on their knowledge to the first White settlers in the mid-1700s.

The sound produced by the rocks is so unexpected that it could get you wondering if they are really made of stone. They actually sound hollow and metallic. The strange phenomenon has baffled scientists and geologists for years. Several experiments have been conducted on the ringing rocks, but the exact reason for the unusual sound remains unknown.

Richard Faas, a geologist from Pennsylvania, tested a few of the rocks in his lab in 1965. He discovered that when struck, each individual rock produced low frequency tones that aren’t audible to the human ear. The tones from multiple rocks interact with each other and it’s the collective sound that we get to hear.

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Homeless Man Uses His Last Few Coins to Buy Lottery Ticket, Wins $2.79 Million Jackpot

Now this is what you call a dream-come-true. No, scratch that. It’s more like the ‘wildest’ dream-come-true. When László Andraschek used his last few coins to purchase a lottery ticket, I’m sure he had no real hope of winning the jackpot – a whopping 600 million forint (US $2.70 million) – but it actually happened. The 55-year-old Hungarian went from being a homeless tramp to a millionaire, overnight.

For seven long years, Andraschek lived in a homeless shelter in the city of Győr. “It all happened to me, I remember it, but I don’t miss it,” he said about his experience of being homeless. He was also a recovering alcoholic at the time. “I had drunk myself out of the family by the age of 31. I was the last child at home and spent all my wages on drink. I worked on-and-off as an agricultural repairman. I lived the typical life of an alcoholic and I thought it was all right.”

It came to a point where Andraschek’s siblings were fed up of him and asked their mother to kick him out. This was in 1989; at age 31, Andraschek had become completely destitute. He tried to hang himself, but the rope snapped and he ended up losing a foot. “Even losing a foot didn’t make me mend my ways because I would blame everyone around me, anyone but myself.” In 1991, he registered himself as homeless.

László Andraschek2

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The Town That Hanged an Elephant – The Chilling Story of Murderous Mary

It’s hard to tell if the photograph is fake or real. Either way, the story of Mary – the only elephant in the world to have been hanged – will send chills down your spine. Cruelty towards animals is by no means rare, but stories like these seriously leave you wondering if there is any hope for us humans.

Mary’s fate was sealed on a cold afternoon in February 1916 when Charlie Spark’s traveling circus arrived in the small town of Kingsport, Tennessee. She was the star of the circus – she could pick out 25 tunes on musical horns using her trunk. She was also the champion pitcher of the circus’ baseball team. As a promotional activity, the circus conducted a parade along the main street that day. Mary, or ‘Murderous Mary’ as she would later be known, was ridden by 38-year-old Walter Eldridge.

Eldridge happened to be a drifter – he had only joined the circus the day before and had no experience of handling elephants. But that was no concern; he would do fine as long as he could wield the ‘elephant stick’ – a long rod with a sharp spear at the end. The elephant stick is a notorious instrument that evokes extreme fear out of tortured creatures. To make an elephant perform tricks, it first has to be broken down into subservience. And that’s where the stick comes in handy. Trainers repeatedly poke the giant creatures until they bleed profusely. Ultimately they will do anything the trainer asks, in order to avoid the stick.

Mary was obviously trained with the stick too. She would do as Eldridge ordered as long as he held it – or so he thought. Unfortunately, on that fateful afternoon, Mary happened to be suffering from a painfully abscessed tooth. She stopped during the parade to chew on a piece of watermelon rind and Eldridge jabbed her to keep moving, catching her on the exact spot of the infection.

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