Singaporean Man is Crazy About Dolls, Has 9,000 of Them

Jian Yang, a 33-year-old man from Singapore, has enough dolls to open a museum or at least a super awesome girls’ playhouse. The “toy nerd”, as Yang describes himself, has no less than 9,ooo dolls: 6000 of them are Barbie dolls, and the 0ther 3,000 are other types of girly dolls, such as Bratz Girls and Monster High. His huge collection is valued at about $500,000.

Yang’s passion for dolls began in his childhood days, when he wanted a doll but wasn’t allowed to have one. As he recalls, “before I knew anything about social norms, I was a boy that watched this on TV, liked it and wasn’t allowed to have one. As I grew older, got my own allowance, that’s where I started getting the freedom to buy whatever I wanted”. Step by step, a simple wish became a “crazy obsession”. His friends support him, his family have understood and learned to accept his passion, but his love life is affected, since his girlfriends see the the doll collection as the competition. As Yang confesses, “I’ve also got the ex-girlfriends who get insecure about this kind of stuff … They look at dolls and go ‘OK, that’s the competition’, which is quite troubling but it’s a reality”.

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How Do You Stop a 400-lb Running Back? You Don’t!

At 6’4”, (190 centimeters) and 400 lb (181 kilograms), Tony Picard, a senior at the White Swan High School in Yakima, Washington, is not only the biggest running back in high-school football, but probably the biggest in the history of pro football, as well.

Just like the famous William “Refrigerator” Perry, who played for the Chicago Bears during the 80′s and 90′s and is known as one of the biggest players to ever play pro football (6’2” and 335 lbs.), Tony “The Tone” Picard started out as an offensive lineman, but after his coach noticed his unusual speed, he was reinvented as an unlikely running back. His qualities for the position became evident at a football camp a couple of years ago, during a game of basketball. “He was so agile and making shots from way out there,” White Swans coach, Andrew Bush, recalls. “I said ‘I’ve got to use this somehow.’” He gave Picard just two instructions: average 4 yards per carry and don’t fumble. In the first 10 games of this season, the Tone has averaged 5 yards per carry. “Most teams will sacrifice five guys to stop him: four linemen and a middle linebacker. That leaves three guys on each side to stop the rest of our team,” the coach says. “Everything else opens up: our outside running, our play action, and our entire passing game. We average about 450 yards as a team offensively.”

Tony-Picard

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Tree Shaping – The Art of Turning Young Trees into Living Works of Art

Who said you need to chop the wood off trees to make sculptures? Tree shaping is an art form that makes use of living trees to make wonderful creations. Also known as Biotecture, Grown Furniture or simply tree sculpting, the technique involves growing and shaping the trunks of trees and other woody plants by grafting or pruning. The trunks or branches are grown into ornamental or useful shapes.

Tree branches and trunks have the unique ability to unite together by grafting. The new shapes are retained when fresh layers of wood grow over the older ones. So a tree sculptor winds two or more parts of a tree together by cutting off the bark and then binds the wounded parts together so that the contact is secure. This promotes the tree parts to grow together. These stems and branches need to be wound together for at least a year depending on the amount of resistance they need to overcome. Additional layers of wood grow during this time, acting as a natural cast and retaining the new desired shape. Once the shape is able to hold itself, the bracing is removed. The techniques used by artists vary between Instant Tree Shaping, also known as Arborsculpture (mature trees bent into the desired shape and held until cast), Aeroponic Culture (the use of living, air-suspended roots to make bridges) and Gradual Tree Shaping (trees are grown from saplings for the specific purpose of creating a design).

Arborsculpture

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Over One Million Starlings Leave Rome Covered in Bird Droppings

With nothing to scare them away, starlings are definitely leaving their mark on Rome, this year. The chirping black birds flock from northern Europe to Italy’s capital, which they prefer because of its warm Mediterranean climate. They’ve been spending their winters here for a long time, but until now, authorities have been able to keep them from covering the ancient capital in a disgusting layer of droppings. This year, financial cuts have left locals at the mercy of these tiny but numerous guano bombers.

The first documented time when starlings overwintered in Rome was in 1926. If at first they settled on the outskirts of the city, little by little they moved further into it, drawn by the heat radiating from the buildings. More than 1,5 million starlings are now nesting in Italy’s capital city and doing their business pretty much everywhere. The birds, which arrive in Rome in two waves, one in October and the other in January, have the habit of leaving the city at daybreak to fly over to the olive groves in the city suburbs. After spending the entire day eating olives, they fly back to the city, where they leave their greasy, stinky business on cars, buildings, statues and streets. Because of the heavy bird droppings, the Lungotevere, one of Rome’s greenest boulevards, had to be closed because of the high risk of accidents not only for pedestrians, but also for vehicles.

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Sport Scientist Loses 24 Pounds in 24 Hours, Proves Rapid Weight Loss Is Possible

Ross Edgeley may become everyone’s new best friend after he recently demonstrated that gaining weight doesn’t have everything to do with fat. The 28-year-old sport scientist and writer did an experiment to prove that “your nutrition and self esteem shouldn’t be governed by the weighing scales if you’re on a diet. So many people are slaves to the scales and have their self-esteem and nutrition governed by them. I hope this experiment will create a healthier relationship between people and the weighing scales and people will realize weight can fluctuate based on many factors, not just fat”.

The scientist’s extreme experiment had him trying to lose 14 kilograms in no more than 24 hours. Keep in mind that this was a dangerous experiment that was done under the doctors’ strict supervision, so DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. Edgeley’s main goal was that of losing as much water as possible. “As much as 50 per cent to 70 per cent of our body weight is made up of water. So weighing 95kg that means in theory 47.5kg of my body is water weight. Cutting too much water could be fatal since it’s needed for your vital organs to function and even maintain a healthy blood volume, but cutting a lot of water from the body through sweat suits, diuretics and not drinking any that day would dramatically reduce my weight”, he explains. To force the water out of his system, he began his 24-hour experiment by taking a very hot bath with Epsom salt baths. He drank a bit of water spiced with diuretics (vitamin C, dandelion root, caffeine), he didn’t include carbs nor salt in his diet (salt is known to retain water), he took saunas and went to the gym. By doing that, he managed to lose the 12 kilograms and feel a little light-headed as a result. Since the lost weight was just water, he put it back in just a couple of hours after he had reached his target.

Ross-Edgeley

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Feast Your Eyes on the Most Amazing Wood Carving Ever Created

China has a long-standing tradition in wood carving. For centuries, its chisel-wielding masters have been turning bland pieces of wood into awe-inspiring masterpieces, but none as impressive as the mind-blowing creation Zheng Chunhui. This talented Chinese artist spent the last four years painstakingly carving a detailed replica of Along the River during the Qingming Festival, a famous traditional Chinese painting, into a 12-meter-long tree trunk. The breathtaking beauty of his work simply cannot be expressed into words, you just have to see it for yourself.

As you can imagine, Zheng Chunhui needed mountains of patience to complete his wooden masterpiece, but it was all worth it. Apart from the praise of everyone who got to see the artwork up close at its recent unveiling, the Chinese artist was also honored by the Guinness Book of Records with the new world record for the longest wood carving. It measures 12.286 meters long, 3.075 meters high and 2.401 meters wide.

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Living in the 18th Century – Woman Shuns Modern Technology for Victorian-era Lifestyle

While some people want to make the most of technology by adding more and more fancy gadgets to their daily lives, others simply prefer going back to the basics. Meet Sarah Chrisman, a 33-year-old Seattle resident who decided to ditch almost every aspect of modern life, from cooking to clothing, and embrace a Victorian-era lifestyle.

Although she has liked the stories from the Victorian age ever since she was a little girl, the big change took place just 4 years ago, when Sarah received a unique birthday present from her husband. “I have always loved the Victorian era, ever since I was a little girl. My first corset was given to me by my husband on my 29th birthday, and unexpectedly, I really thoroughly enjoyed it.” The feeling she had when wearing the corset determined her to change her lifestyle entirely: Sarah now wears custom-made Victorian clothes, tries not to use any appliances that didn’t exist in the Victorian age (such as the now mundane washing machine), gave up her car for a 100-years-old bike, she uses old fashioned cleaning methods instead of modern detergents and cooks using the recipes found in 19th century women’s magazines. That’s right, this modern-day Victorian woman enjoys the 1889 edition of Cosmopolitan, and because she considers her lifestyle very exciting, she even wrote a book, “Victorian Secrets. What a Corset Taught Me About the Past, the Present and Myself”.  She also studied the Victorian age etiquette.

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Real-Life Legolas Uses Ancient Techniques to Shoot Arrows Even Faster than Tolkien’s Elven Archer

The bow was once a feared weapon used with deadly accuracy by master marksmen, but after the invention of gun powder and firearms, most ancient archery techniques were forgotten, and the lethal art became nothing more than a sport. Few people know this, but despite technological advancements, all of today’s archers are actually slower and less accurate than those of old  All except one – Lars Andersen, a Danish artist who, thanks to his intense study of ancient archery and unique skills, could challenge even the mighty Elven archer Legolas to a test of speed and accuracy and probably best him. This guy is so incredibly good with the bow and arrow he doesn’t even compete in archery tournaments. They’re just not challenging enough for him.

Lars can shoot 10 arrows in just 4.9 seconds, which makes him the fastest archer in the world today, but that’s probably the least impressive feat he’s capable of. The man has studied countless books on ancient archery and learned that the Saracens who fought against the Crusaders in the Middle Ages were tested to see if they could shoot 3 arrows in 1.5 seconds. Today’s experts were convinced such a thing was simply impossible, but Lars believed that if the books were indeed correct, then there must be something wrong with modern archery techniques. After 3 years of training, he was able to master the ancient techniques described in the books and proved that firing 3 arrows in less than 1.5 seconds was very much possible. As the legend himself explains, “I discovered historical texts that [described] Saracens who fought with the Crusaders had a series of tests which had been preserved. For example, one test required, at a 60-bow distance, to shoot three arrows so quickly that the last shall be in the air before the first has hit. That is three arrows in one-and-a-half seconds. That motivated me to accomplish it”.

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Nothing Says “I Love You” Like Cold Hard Cash – Chinese Man Offers Baskets Full of Money as Engagement Gift

A wealthy Chinese suitor has attracted accusations that he is buying a wife rather than marrying one, after he gave his future bride 18 baskets full of money, as an engagement present. According to Chinese media, the baskets were stacked with 8.88 million Chinese yuan ($1.45 million) and weighed over 102 kilograms.

When it comes to romance, nothing says “I love you” like stacks of beautifully-decorated money. At least that’s what Meng Huang, the son of a rich construction magnate in China, seems to think. The 27-year-old filled 18 traditional gift baskets with cash and employed 18 people to deliver them to his bride-to-be’s home, as a token of his love for her. “This is how we do things here,” Huang said. “She is worth the whole world to me and I wanted to prove that with a world gift of cash”. The eccentric gift arrived at its destination in a fleet of luxury vehicles lead by a Maserati sports car, where it was gladly accepted by the bride’s family. The stacks of red 100 yuan bills depicting Communist founding father, Mao Zedong, were decorated with red ribbons and neatly arranged in the gift baskets for everyone to see. The sum, 8.88 million yuan was obviously not accidental, but carefully chosen, as the word for “eight” is linked with the meaning “wealth” in Chinese.

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Mystery Surrounding Death of Man Who Opened Pandora’s Box

The death of 37-year-old Jason Airey is wrapped in mystery, as the man fell unconscious after allegedly opening a box with “Pandora’s Box” written on it. In Greek mythology, Pandora’s Box was actually a jar that contained all the evil in the world, and hope.

According to the parents of the deceased, nothing seemed out of the ordinary on the day of the tragedy, May 2nd 2013. Their son came back to their house in Carlisle, Cumbria, after he had gone shopping. As Jason Airey’s father, Dennis, recalls, “he was just his normal self. I think he had enjoyed himself in town. He had been shopping and said he was going upstairs to get changed”. As Jason never returned downstairs, his mother, Anne, went to his room to see if everything was alright and found him lying unconscious. Dennis remembers that his wife “ went upstairs and came back down saying something was wrong. She couldn’t wake him”. He rushed to his son’s room and every parent’s worst nightmare materialized before his eyes. “I got hold of him and his shirt was clammy. His face was blue. I could feel a faint pulse on his neck”. The grieving parents, both in their 60s, did everything they could to save their son’s life. Dennis performed CPR and the paramedics spent an hour doing everything to keep Jason alive before taking him to the hospital. Unfortunately, he died 2 days later at the Cumberland Infirmary.

Pandoras-box

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Meet Martin Strel, the Extraordinary Man Who Swims the Entire Length of Rivers

“Daredevil”, “human fish”, “the hero in a speedo” or “the craziest man in the world” – however you’d like to call him, he is the greatest endurance swimmer in the world! Meet the man who swims entire rivers, Martin Strel.

The now 58-year-old Slovenian Martin Strel has broken the Guinness World Record for long distance swimming multiple times. The first was in 2000, when he swam the length of the Danube river, 3004 kilometers (1867 miles), in 58 days. A year later, in 2001, he broke another record by swimming 504 kilometers (313 miles) non-stop, in 84 hours, also on the Danube. In 2002, Strel changed continents and went to North America, where he became the first person to swim the entire length of the Mississippi river (3797 kilometers/ 2360 miles) in 68 days, thus breaking another Guinness World Record. In 2003, he swam the length of the Parana River (1930 kilometers/1200 miles) in South America, in just 24 days. In 2004, Strel became the first person to swim the length of the Yangtze river (4003 kilometers/ 2488 miles), in 51 days. It took him almost 3 years to prepare for the longest and most dangerous river in the world, but in 2007 he succeeded in breaking the record again: he swam the 5268 kilometers (3274 miles) of the Amazon river, in South America, in 66 days. Strel dedicated his most important and most difficult swim to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s and to the preservation of the rainforest.

Martin-Strel

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Ordinary Miracle – Russia’s Fairy-Tale School

The Secondary School no.5, in Yoshkar-Ola, Russia, may be called “Ordinary Miracle”, but there is certainly nothing ordinary about the way it looks. Unlike most bland communist era schools around the country, this particular learning institution looks like something out of a children’s fairy-tale. And that’s exactly what makes it so popular.

Ordinary Miracle was built 12 years ago, by Sergey Mamaev, one of Russia’s most successful businessmen, who wanted to fulfill his wife Tatiana’s dream of teaching in a school where children actually wanted to go. She just didn’t find all the official-looking buildings used as schools throughout Russia suitable for molding young minds, so she came up with a more appealing design inspired by fairy-tale castles. Construction began in 1998, and in just three years time, the entire complex was completed and opened for business. Parents have to pay a tuition of 2,000 rubles ($61) per month, to have their children educated in this unique setting featuring a state of the art kindergarten, elementary and middle schools, cafeteria, swimming pool, gym and more. Mamaev’s investment in Ordinary Miracle is being praised on Russian sites as an example for other wealthy businessmen.

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Pensioner Has Been Drinking Nothing but Coca Cola for Over 40 Years

A promise made to his mother determined 75-year-old Pero Ajtman to drink only Coca Cola for the last four decades. The Croatian gave his word not to drink alcohol ever again, so he replaced wine and spirits with the popular fizzy drink.

“My mum didn’t like me drinking when I was a young man as she was very religious. She made me promise never to drink again and Coca-Cola was the only thing that tasted as good as wine so I started drinking that”, Pero Ajtman explains. The pensioner from Croatia’s Karanac village told reporters that drinking several glasses of the sugary soft drink every day has kept him from going back to his boozy ways. ”Now I have a glass in the morning, before and after lunch, with my dinner and then before I go to bed. I never drink anything else,” the man swears. Doctors generally advise against drinking large quantities of carbonated sugary drinks on a regular basis, as it can have a devastating effect on our health, but 75-year-old Pero says he has yet to experience any serious problems. He does admit to being hooked to it now, saying “Coke is my drug now, and I’ll drink it till I die”.

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Real-Life Magneto Claims to Use Telepathic Powers to Manipulate Metal

Superpower or just super-sticky skin? Miroslaw Magola, from Germany, claims he can manipulate metal objects with his telepathic powers. The 55-year-old says that he began to master the ability of manipulating objects with his mind after he studied the phenomenon of psychic energy. “I found out I could train myself to manipulate lifeless objects as I studied for my degree in the early ’90s,” Magola says. “I have since spent years perfecting the technique and exploring further into human magnetism.”

Magola doesn’t want to stop at simply making objects stick to his body as if they were glued onto it, because he believes he can use his powers for the benefit of humankind. “I am determined to develop my unique powers further in the future and I’m currently working with telepathy and healing to see how psychokinetic energy can be put to a use that will benefit mankind.” This real-life Magneto doesn’t claim he is one of a kind. On the contrary, he says there are many others who can control this kind of power. “Magnetic people prove with mind power they are capable of lifting objects of different materials off the floor without aid. This can be done with the head or palms of the hands to hold objects vertically, horizontally or in circular movements. Some magnetic people are also capable of lifting objects from the floor with the palm of a gloved hand or even with talcum powder on the skin.” As expected, people are either plain skeptical or too inquisitive when it comes to Magola’s powers, but his answer to either of them is that what draws the line between a person with real magnetic powers and a fake one is the ability to defy the laws of gravity.

Miroslaw-Magola

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Alina Kovaleskaya – Ukraine’s Newest Real-Life Doll

It’s official, Ukraine is the land of real-life Barbie dolls. After the now-famous Valeria Lukyanova and Anastasiya Shpagina, it’s now time for another Ukrainian real-life doll to take center stage – meet 20-year-old Alina Kovaleskaya.

Hailing from Odessa, the same city as the above mentioned internet stars, Alina Kovaleskaya  has managed to attract a decent online following after uploading a series of photos of herself in doll form. That means laying on several layers of makeup, especially around the eyes, to make them look abnormally large and posing as a lifeless toy. It’s now a well-known recipe used by all of the seven (yes, seven) human barbie dolls in Odessa who all use the same tricks, hold photo-shoots at the same locations around the city and sometimes even appear in each other’s photos. Although accused of being yet another clone of the internationally-famous Valeria Lukyanova, Alina, however, claims to be different from all other Barbie imitators. She says she resembles the popular doll naturally, with her big eyes, small nose and small plump her lips. And yet it’s obvious she uses tons of makeup to enhance her features, just like every other human doll we’ve ever features, from KotaKoti to Vanilla Chamu. Although no self-respecting barbie wannabe would ever admit to it, there are some who accuse her of also using photo manipulation software like Photoshop.

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