Snoopybabe, the Cute Flat-Faced Cat Taking the Chinese Internet by Storm

Do you think mastering social media is hard? Apparently, it’s so easy even a cat can do it. Snoopybabe is China’s new internet sensation with 275,000 followers on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter and 190,000 fans on Instagram.  Hailing from the Sichuan Province, Snoopybabe, an American short-hair and Persian crossbreed, has taken the Chinese interwebs by storm with his cute short snout, innocent brown eyes and charming outfits.

His owner, Miss Ning started posting pictures of Snoopybabe a while back to show him off to her friends. She did not expect the huge attention the two-year old cat attracted. As she posted more videos and pictures of him in different poses and dressed in colorful clothing accessorized with elegant neck pieces, his popularity grew exponentially. He soon reached the same popularity level as already well-established felines such as Tardar Sauce aka Grumpy Cat or Maru. These adorable kitties have become irresistible even to big cat food companies such as Friskies which named Grumpy as their spokescat this month.

Snoopybabe

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The Final Countdown – Creepy Death Watch Counts Down to Your Death

If you’re 30 and still living with your mom, unmotivated to go out and get a job or a girlfriend, here’s a quirky but effective way to encourage you to go out and live your life while you still can – The Tikker, or “death watch” counts down how much time you have left until you kick the bucket. Remember the website that did the exact same thing? Well, this is the 2.0 portable version.

Calling it “The Happiness Watch”, its inventor Fredrik Colting explains that he wanted to find a way to determine people “to cherish the time and the life that we have been given, to honor it, suck the marrow from it, seize the day and follow our hearts. And the best way to do this is to realize that seconds, days and years are passing never to come again.” Here’s how the watch works. To set up the Tikker, you first need to fill out a questionnaire with information about your medical history, weight, lifestyle details such as if you drink or smoke and how often you exercise. You are also asked to give information about any diseases that may run in your family. All these are factored in and you are given a score representing your entire lifespan including the years you have already lived. After your current age is deducted from this score, the countdown begins.

Tikker-watch

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Martha Mason – The Woman Who Spent 61 Years Immobilized in an Iron Lung

Martha Mason was an extraordinary human being who spent over 60 years of her life in immobilized in an Iron Lung after becoming paralyzed in her childhood years as a result of polio. Despite her seemingly desperate situation, Martha lived a fulfilling life, graduating from high-school and college with the highest honors, hosting many dinner parties and even writing a book called  “Breath: Life in the Rhythm of an Iron Lung”, in which she portrayed the challenges and joys of her life.

Martha was born on May 31, 1937, in Lattimore, a small town about 50 miles from Charlotte. Her story took a tragic urn when she was only 11 years old, after the death of her brother Gaston who had suffered from a terrible condition which left him paralyzed before eventually killing him. After his burial, young Martha realized she had also contracted the dangerous viral illness but kept it to herself as not to distress her parents even more. “I knew that I had polio. I didn’t want anyone else to know,” she wrote in her book. “The day before I had heard Mother talking to a friend about the iron lung Gaston had been in. . . . I knew I wouldn’t have that difficulty because I had excellent lungs.” But soon she  too found herself  immobilized in the iron lung, dependent on it to do the breathing for her. “Iron lung” is only a colloquial term used to describe a pressure ventilator, a type of medical device which helps paralyzed people breathe by decreasing and increasing air pressure inside of a large iron tank. Ms. Mason has lived almost her entire life in such a tank with the pressure contracting and expanding her lungs when her weak muscles couldn’t. Doctors told Martha’s parents to take her home and make her happy for a year, as that was how long she had left to live. She outlived them both thanks to an avid curiosity and a desire to learn about the world.

Martha-Mason

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Stink Yourself Slim – The Disgusting Fragrance That Will Keep You Away from Food

Like most people concerned about their eating habits and trying to lose weight, Alex Fontaine, an award-winning businesswoman, had tried virtually every diet ever invented. From hypnotherapy, acupuncture to “a flotation tank with whale music – which was lovely, but still didn’t do the trick,” you name it, she had tried them all, but with no real results. There had been no way of stopping Alex from reaching into her desserts cabinet and devouring everything in sight, until a party where she had a strong aversion to the bad smelling food she was served. Having rediscovered her brain’s behavior of associating food with smell, Alex managed to create an odor so foul that will instantly make you lose your appetite. With her Stick Yourself Slim fragrance and her beloved Sally the Skunk always by her side, Alex lost 10 kg and now wants to share her weight-loss philosophy with the world.

As you probably already guessed, the key ingredient of this perfume is the foul stench! It works by using the cool ability our brain has of associating bad odors with food that has gone bad. Our hunter gatherer ancestors often used this ability to determine which fruits and meats were safe to eat. Although we no longer use our olfactory system to determine how fresh and edible a morsel is, odors still govern our food likes and dislikes as well as determine our cravings for meals without even being hungry. With this principle in mind, Alex believes that with bad smells we can train out brain to reject fattening foods by making them seem undesirable.

stink-yourself-slim

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Man Claims Diluted Venom Injections Have Made Him Immune to Snake Bites

Tim Friede, an unemployed factory worker and snake enthusiast, is a strong believer in the saying “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”.  In an attempt to build immunity to venoms and poisons, he has been injecting himself with diluted venom proteins from some of the deadliest snakes on Earth. He claims that as much as 100 snakes have sank their poisonous fangs into his flesh, including a black mamba which can kill a person in under 20 minutes.

His experiments aim to prove that humans can become immune to poisonous substances by gradually exposing the body to snake venom. Each time he injects the venom, his body produces more and more antibodies to eliminate the harmful substance. By doing this, he hopes to generate the necessary research needed to create a stronger and more efficient antivenin. “I hope through developing my own resistance to poison some solid groundwork can be laid to build a vaccine for the 125,000 people that die from snakebite every year,” Tim explains. So far he’s proven that his body can indeed withstand toxic quantities of snake venom. Numerous pictures and videos show him being bitten by the lethal serpents with him surviving every time. His trials do have some side effects including life-threatening allergic reactions that cause the bitten hand to swell up and deep puncture marks left by the sharp fangs.

Tim-Friede-snakes

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San Antonio Prison – Venezuela’s Paradise for Incarcerated Criminals

The San Antonio prison on Venezuela’s Margarita Island is not your typical penal institution. Whilst in other penitentiaries the inmates are forced to obey strict regulations harshly imposed by armed guards, in this atypical slammer, it’s the prisoners who make the rules. From cooking their own food to watching TV, surfing the web on their laptops and managing illegal businesses on their cellphones, the San Antonio inmates are free to go about their day as they please. The only thing they can’t do is leave. Any attempt to escape can result in instant death courtesy of the sharpshooters up in the prison’s watchtowers. But thankfully, most of the prisoners are so happy here that a potential escape is the last thing on their minds.

At San Antonio, prisoners enjoy many privileges, have jobs and make real money. Some are barbers, some sell drugs while others manage the local cock fight club which generates a decent gambling revenue. There is even a guy who photoshops pictures of inmates leaning against a Hummer, using his own digital camera and laptop. Other lazy folk lie around in their air conditioned cells watching TV in the company of their wives or girlfriends who are free to come and go as they please. To the men’s satisfaction, a 54-unit women’s annex was built in 2009 which naturally caused the number of romantic liaisons between inmates to increase. The inmates’ children can also use the prison as a playground and spend the day swimming in one of the prison’s four pools. On weekends, the prison is even open for any visitors who want to have a good time of excess and depravity in its Reggaetón clubs. This really is a prison unlike any other.

San-Antonio-prison

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Incredibly Detailed Portraits Created Exclusively with Black Ink Dots

Armed with nerves of steels, artist Pablo Jurado Ruiz creates incredibly detailed portraits by adding thousands of tiny ink dots to a white canvas. Talking about his creative approach, he explains: “With a creative concept based primarily on human representation, I try to tell stories through a minimalist and subtle vision. My current work is focuses on a simple but realistic drawing and worked in an impressionist technique, complex and very accurate as pointillism or stippling art. “

Born in 1973, in Malaga, Spain, Pablo fell in love with graphics at a very early age, after discovering American and European comics. Later, while studying art history and artists like Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Georges Pierre Seurat, Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, he became fascinated with painting. Today, Pablo Jurado Ruiz is known for his ultra-realistic portraits done with techniques like pointillism and stippling. The Spanish artist uses countless black dots on a white piece of paper to create amazing works of art inspired by his favorite themes: love, disappointment, nature and childhood.

Pablo-Jurado-Ruiz-art

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Being Homeless Ain’t Cheap: Guy Offers Three-Day Homeless Experience for $2,000

“You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” One man took this saying literally when he decided to give the ultimate homeless experience to anyone curious to see what  it’s like to live on the streets of Seattle and willing to pay $2,000 for it.

Mike Momany was a freelance computer programmer conducting his business from an RV when he began to notice that living in Seattle was becoming a luxury. Inspired by the ever-rising costs of the big cities and the minimalist movement, he took two months off in the summer of 2013 to see what it was like not having  a roof over his head. After experiencing life as a homeless himself,  Mike decided to allow other privileged people who still had a home do the same by giving them a three-day “Course in Applied Homelessness”, as he calls it. Before the start of the actual homelessness course, Momany insists upon a preliminary interview to assess his and the participant’s compatibility and to make sure that the person knows exactly what they’re getting themselves into. If all goes well, the tour begins with different activities planned for each of the three days. On the first day, the participant will be given a new persona along with a disguise tat will give them that genuine homeless look. They will then cruise around town vising all the “favored homeless spots” before retiring for the night in a homeless shelter. The shelter Momany is currently working with does not allow ladies, making him unable to share the lifestyle with women (he plans on changing this soon). For the second day, he suggests trying “panhandling or sleeping on a park bench” to get a real feel of how people view the homeless. After some more sightseeing, it’s time for free meals and after trying the Fare Start chef program, the tour ends with a night stroll until 3 a.m. and cocktails in the morning to discuss and celebrate having gone through the homeless experience.

homelessness-experience

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Lethal Alkaline Lake in Africa Turns Animals into Stone Statues

When photographer Nick Brandt first visited Lake Natron, in Northern Tanzania, he was shocked by the macabre animal statues he saw aligned across its shoreline. He later found out something even more shocking – those were real animals calcified by the lake’s alkaline water.

Natron, which gives the lake its name, is a naturally occurring compound found in volcanic ash. It’s the same mineral the Egyptians used to preserve their mummies. The lake’s alkalinity is similar to that of ammonia, with a pH between 9 and 10.5, and the temperature of the water can reach 60 °C. No animal can withstand this caustic environment and venturing into the acidic environment is usually fatal. As soon as birds and bats plunge into the waters of lake Natron, the minerals start turning their flesh into stone and preserving them exactly as they were in their final moments. Flamingos sometime use the predator-free salt islands that sometimes form on the lake for nesting, but it’s a risky gamble, as the photos below clearly show. Only invertebrates, a few algae invertebrates and some fish that live near the edges of the lake can survive this environment.

Lake-Natron

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These Fish Are So Delicious You’ll Soil Yourself, Literally

Buttery and succulent, the related oil fish (Ruvettus pretiosus)  and escolar (Lepidocybium flavobrunneum)) are considered to be two of the most palatable fish in the world. But before you run out to your local fish market in search of these delicacies, you’d better stock up on toilet paper because you’re going to spend a lot of time in the restroom after your scrumptious meal.

With such a large number of species in danger of  being over-fished and others posing health risks due to their high mercury content, the seafood industry needs alternatives that taste great, are cheap, sustainable and healthy to consume. The oilfish and escolar seem perfect choices, and although they’ve been popping up in restaurants and fish markets around the world, there is one dirty little secret that those who sell them sometimes forget to reveal – they cause explosive, oily, orange diarrhea. I know it sounds bad, but there is a way to avoid this embarrassing and highly uncomfortable side effect. The fish are safe to eat if they are consumed in portions smaller than six ounces, but most people are either unaware of the consequences or they just can’t help themselves because they are so damn delicious, so they go for full servings. People who actually went through this kind of ordeal have reported the oily discharges are almost impossible to control and often lead to embarrassing accidents.

oilfish

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Ghost Singles Is a “Real-Life” Dating Site for Ghosts

Are you one of those people who spent all their lives searching looking for their soulmates, but failed to find them? Don’t let death get in the way of finding that perfect someone. Sign up on Ghostsingles.com, a new and improved dating website where life and its troubles are issues of the past and death is only the beginning.

Believe it or not, now that you’re a ghost, you have a real shot at love. Instead of worrying about serious issues like lack of time for a real relationship and financial problems, all you need to think about these days are questions like “does my butt look too transparent” or “if a person died in the 1850s and I died in the 1920s, does that make them too old for me?” You can meet other single and lonely dead folks through GhostSingles.com, a fantastic website dedicated to all the ghosts out there, no matter what century they died in. If you’ve ever dreamed of dating someone like Marylin Monroe, Marie Antoinette or even Cleopatra, this is your chance.

Ghost-Singles

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Software Developer Teaches Homeless Man How to Code and Build an App

One day, Patrick McConlogue announced that he was going to teach a homeless man JavaScript and help him code his own app. Patrick, a 23-year-old software programmer, passed a certain homeless man every day while on his way to work and decided to run the idea by him to see if he was going to be the one.

“The idea is simple,” Patrick wrote on his website. Without disrespecting him, I will offer two options:

1. I will come back tomorrow and give you $100 in cash.

2. I will come back tomorrow and give you three JavaScript books, (beginner-advanced-expert) and a super cheap basic laptop. I will then come an hour early from work each day-when he feels prepared-and teach him to code.”

Sure enough, the ambitious homeless man, named Leo,  decided he wanted to learn how to code,  thinking that the money could be easily spent in a week while the knowledge would be a great asset to him in the future. “He told me I could have a laptop and learn how to do something and I figured it could turn into something more,” Leo said. “It’s not like I don’t have the time to learn to do it.” Leo has been homeless for two years after he lost his job as a life insurance agent and came home only to find out that his rent went up as a consequence of luxury condominiums being built near his apartment. Despite his bad luck, Leo cared to mention that he was not unhappy or desperate when Patrick offered to teach him. Even though he believed “coding was something that went over like, a dessert” most likely thinking it meant “coating”, the man wanted to diversify his abilities so that he could once more be able to sustain himself financially.

homeless-programmer

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The Voynich Manuscript, Also Known as World’s Most Mysterious Book

Featuring rudimentary depictions of plants illustrated in aged colors and written in a language system that has yet to be deciphered, The Voynich Manuscript is the world’s most mysterious book.

In order to pay for the restoration of their college, the Italian Jesuits of Villa Mondragone gave Wilfrid Voynich, an antique book dealer, an old manuscript written in an odd language that no one was able to identify or understand. With this valuable acquisition, Voynich also received a list of its ownership history dating back to the 17th century, which made the book even more impressive. Its description read: “The codex belonged to Emperor Rudolph II of Germany (1576-1612) who purchased it for 600 gold ducats and believed that it was the work of Roger Bacon. It is very likely that Emperor Rudolph acquired the manuscript from the English astrologer John Dee (1527-1608). Dee apparently owned the manuscript along with a number of other Roger Bacon manuscripts”. The book remained in Voynich’s possession from 1912 to 1969, before being added to the collection at Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Apart from the undecipherable text, Voynich’s manuscript contains colorful botanical illustrations which are very similar to what we know from modern science, but which do not entirely resemble any distinguishable plant. There are also other cosmological and astrological depictions, as well as some drawings of naked women bathing together in small receptacles. This has led some scientists to believe that the book is sectioned into several chapters including: botanical, astrological, medical, biological, cosmological and pharmaceutical.  Despite several attempts to decipher the manuscript, the meaning of the text itself or the the lovely naked ladies remain a mystery to this day.

Voynich-manuscript

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The Blooming of the Tisza – A Stunning Natural Phenomenon

Named after the river on which it takes place every year from late spring to early summer, the Blooming of the Tisza is an incredible natural phenomenon that attracts tourists from all around the world to Hungary. As millions of long-tailed mayflies reach sexual maturity, they shed their larvae skin and burst from the river in search of a mate before dying just a few hours later.

There are around 2,000 species of mayfly worldwide. Measuring up to five inches from their head to the end of their appendages, Tisza’s Palingenia longicauda, also known as the long-tailed mayfly, is Europe’s largest. Mayflies live most of their lives as larvae in large colonies on the bottom of rivers. After three years, they shed their larvae skins and emerge from the water as sexual mature adults. Because they have a limited amount of time to reproduce -about three hours – as soon as they are able to fly, they prowl for potential mates. Males try to pass on their genes to the next generation at any cost, often forcing themselves on the females, and even clinging to them when they are still in larvae form. This mating frenzy lasts for three or four days, during which time the whole area around the Tizsa river becomes engulfed in a seemingly impenetrable humming fog.

Tisza-mayflowers

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A Feast for the Eyes – The Beautiful Glass Gem Corn

Few cereals can be described as stunningly beautiful, but the multi-colored Glass Gem Corn is definitely one of these rare exceptions. Also known as Rainbow Corn, these unique strain of corn features kernels of many different colors that sparkle like tiny pieces of blown glass.

The story of Glass Gem corn began with Carl Barnes, a part-Cherokee farmer from Oklahoma who noticed that every once in a while some of his corn cobs had strangely-colored kernels, and dedicated his life to creating the agricultural wonder you see below. Nobody knows exactly how many years Barnes spent worked on the unique cereal, how many successive seasons he carefully chose, saved, and replanted these special seeds, but one thing is for sure – his painstaking efforts had a truly mind-blowing result, a new breed of corn that most people consider a work of art rather than a cereal.

Glass-Gem-Corn

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