Manipur, the Indian State Ruled by Korean Pop-Culture

Despite being a part of India, the northern state of Manipur can culturally be described as Korean. Ever since local authorities banned Bollywood movies and Hindi TV channels in a bid to “stamp out Indianisation”, a vast majority of the local population have turned to Korean pop-culture. They are now big fans of Korean films and music, and have adopted various elements of Korean culture. 

It all started with Airarang TV, a 24-hour network from Seoul, being broadcast in Manipur. As the channel grew in popularity, so did the demand for more programming from Korea. It wasn’t long before Korean cinema caught on as well, with pirated DVDs flooding Manipur’s markets.

To understand the Manipuri fascination with Korean pop culture, it make sense to first look at why the ban on Indian cinema was imposed in the first place. “Since the late ’90s, the people of Manipur are facing a cultural forbiddance imposed by a radical, fringe institution in the name of preserving the local culture,” writes Mahitha Kasireddi, in an opinion piece in the Indian online publication, Youth Ki Awaaz.

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Texas Industrial Worker Has Welding Down to an Art

There are plenty of artists out there who use welding as a part of their creative process, but none that I can think of actually make the welds their artworks.

That’s what makes Scott Raabe so special. The Texas-based industrial welder is so good at what he does that his welding works are pieces of art in their own right. I’m not an expert, but I’m pretty sure pipe welding isn’t supposed to be this visually appealing. However, there’s something about the seemingly perfect way Scott weaves the welding beads between two pieces of metal that makes you want to stare at his works for hours on end.

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Chinese Millionaire Gives Up Fortune, Lives in Isolation for Two Years to Become Buddhist Monk

We thought Indian millionaire Bhanwarlal Raghunath – who gave up his fortune to become a monk – was one of a kind, but we were wrong. Meet Liu Jingchong, a rich Chinese businessman who has also renounced his wealth for monkhood.

Jingchong, 39, was bitten by the spiritual bug in 2012, after a freak car accident. “It is true that I earned a lot of money and I can’t say I hated my life,” he told the media. “I would say that I even loved it, but all that changed when friends of mine and I had a car accident in a remote part of the country in northwestern China’s Qinghai province.”

“We needed to get a new car and not all of us were fit to travel immediately,” Jingchong recalled. “But as I was relatively okay, I stayed in a hotel where about the only thing to do was read a book on Buddhism. I have to say it changed my life.”

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Turkish Couple Spend Wedding Day Feeding 4,000 Syrian Refugees

Instead of splashing out on a fancy wedding last week, a Turkish couple chose to share their special day with 4,000 Syrian refugees instead. After exchanging vows in their hometown of Kilis, near the Syrian border, they went on to feed thousands of refugees through the Turkish charity Kimse Yok Mu (KYM).

KYM has been offering hot meals to Syrian outcasts who fled the nation’s bloody civil war and are now struggling to fulfill their basic needs. Having seen these people suffer at close quarters, it only made sense for Fethullah Üzümcüoğlu and Esra Polat to allocate a portion of their wedding budget to the charity. The thoughtful couple contributed to the cost of the food being served that day, and arrived at the venue to help serve the food themselves with their guests in tow.

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Man Celebrates His Birthday for 46 Hours by Flying Back in Time

Time travel is technically possible, by just hopping on flights and traveling across time zones. A German man recently decided to take advantage of this fact to bag the Guinness Record for the world’s longest birthday. Of course, the longest birthday isn’t necessarily the most fun, given that he spent almost all of it sitting in a plane seat, eating airline food!

Sven Hagemeier enjoyed a 46-hour long 26th birthday last year, by flying from Auckland, New Zealand, to Brisbane, Australia, gaining two hours. Then he took a flight to Honolulu, Hawaii, which is 20 hours behind. He actually only spent 13 hours and 10 minutes in the air, but his birthday lasted 46 hours, if you add the time he gained by flying across the International Date Line.

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Animal-Loving Homeless Man Dedicates His Life to Helping Stray Dogs

In spite of being homeless himself, a California man named Steve has made it his mission to take care of stray dogs. He has adopted 50 canines in the past 14 years, tended to their daily needs and sometimes even finding new homes for them. Steve has never abandoned any of the dogs in his care, not even when he had to move to another state.

This year, Steve decided that he’d had enough of California. He believed that a change of scene might help him get back on his feet, so he started to think of moving to Indiana to meet an old friend who had offered him help. He had a distance of 2,000 miles to cover, with nothing but a bike, but he couldn’t think of leaving his beloved dogs behind. So he put the 11 dogs currently in his care in a shopping cart and attached it to the back of his bike. He only had $6 in his pocket at the time.

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Obsessed Cristiano Ronaldo Fan Spends Thousands to Look Like His Idol

Star footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has millions of fans all around the world, but none as dedicated as 17-year-old Shanta. The Danish teenager has spent thousands of dollars in a bid to emulate his idol.

For starters, Shanta goes by the last name ‘Ronaldo’. He copies the ex-Manchester United player’s fashion sense, wearing clothes as similar to Ronaldo’s as possible, buying all his football shirts and getting the same haircuts. He has also made five trips to Madrid this year alone, just to meet Real Madrid’s star.

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This 87-Year-Old Woman Loves Painting Houses and She’s Incredibly Good at It

They say age is just a number, and Agnes Kasparkova, a grandmother from the Czech village of Louka, in South Moravia, is a perfect example. At age 87, the adorable artist still spends most of her free time doing what she likes most – hand-painting her neighbors’ houses with traditional motifs.

Agnes Kasparkova retired from her work in agriculture 30 years ago, and has been painting houses ever since. Despite her frail hands, she manages to brighten up every building she works on with intricate ultramarine designs. “I’m just doing what I like,” she says, humbly. “I try to help decorate the world a bit.”

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Bubble Fingernails – The Crazy Fashion Trend Taking Over the Internet

Some fashion trends are so odd that they leave you wondering how they ever caught on. Take this latest ‘bubble nails’ craze – bulbous acrylic fingernails painted in a variety of colors and patterns.

The technique has apparently been around since 2009, but has only gained popularity recently, after a series of photos went viral on Instagram. Due to the growing demand, beauticians are having to teach themselves the art, through trial and error. They start by placing a ball or multiple balls of acrylic at the center of the nail, and builds it out by adding layers. Then, they paint it as per the customer’s choice.

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This Woman Has Been Crying White “Crystals” for 20 Years and Nobody Can Explain Why

Laura Ponce, a nursery school teacher in Lins, Brazil, suffers from a strange condition that causes her to cry ‘crystal’ tears. The white plaques start off as soft blobs inside her eyes, but they harden when she blinks in an attempt to expel them, finally emerging as solid white crystals.

This happens to her for weeks at a time, with a new plaque forming as soon as she expels another. It gets so bad at times that she has to take time off work, to remove as many as 30 plaque membranes from her eye in a day. “A clot starts to swell then I have to open my eye to take out the membrane,” she explained. “When it dries it hardens, it gets really hard, it hurts a lot.”

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Indian “Road Doctor” Has Been Using His Own Pension Money to Fix Potholes

Meet Gangadhara Tilak Katnam, the man who single-handedly fixed over 1,000 potholes in his hometown of Hyderabad, India. The 66-year-old pensioner has made it his mission to fix the city’s roads, earning himself the nickname ‘road doctor’.

Since 2011, the former railway engineer has been driving around the city every single day, looking for abandoned tar and gravel on roadsides. He collects the unclaimed material and uses it to fill potholes, at times spending his own pension money to do it. Tilak, who calls his work ‘Shramadaan’ (offering physical help), doesn’t confine himself to his neighborhood – he patches up every pothole he can find in the city.

“After working for the South Central Railway for 35 years, I retired in October 2008 and spent some time off in 2009, also traveling to the US to meet my son,” Tilak told the local media. “In January 2010, I came back and settled down in Hydershakote, in Hyderabad and took up a job as a consultant in a software agency.” It was during the course of commuting to this job that Tilak found his calling.

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Legendary Oakland Biker Gang Regularly Holds Fight Club-Style Events

The East Bay Rats, a legendary motorcycle club in Oakland offers an innovative solution to barroom brawls – Fight Parties. Since 1996, the club has organised Friday Fight Nights – putting potential troublemakers (and anyone else who volunteers) in a boxing ring at the clubhouse and giving them a chance to work the violence out of their system.

According to East Bay Rats founder Trevor Latham, everybody has a violent streak in them and Fight Nights give people a safe space to test the limit of their courage. “Why not?” he asked. “The worst that can happen is you get a bloody nose.”

Over the years, Friday Fight Nights have become insanely popular, with the courtyard around the ring jam packed with spectators. Everyone who wants to fight gets a chance – it’s usually guys vs. guys and women vs. women, but you don’t have to be a professional fighter to get into the ring.  Participants range from bartenders and photographers, to bodybuilders, college students, lab technicians or musicians. That’s what this tradition is all about – real fights between real people.

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No Humans Allowed – Wacky Japanese Cafe Caters Exclusively to Stuffed Toys

Joining the ranks of Tokyo’s eccentric pet cafés and restaurants is Yawarakan’s, a place that exclusively caters to stuffed animals. It sounds like a hoax – who would spend money on serving real food to a bunch of toys, right? Well, you’re wrong. This is actually a thing in Japan, and apparently business is going great.

According to the restaurant’s owners, 85 percent of Japan’s adult female population owns at least one stuffed animal. 60 percent of these women actually decorate their beds with the cuddly toys. So they decided to find a way to tap into this market. They figured, if people are treating stuffed animals like real humans, then why not send the soft toys on vacation? So they created a café along the lines of a bed-and-breakfast, where the customers are all toys.

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Artist Creates Intricate Human Figures and Faces Out of Folded Fabric

Benjamin Shine is a British artist who specialises in using the folds of fabric to create detailed human figures and faces. We’ve featured some of his incredible celebrity fabric portraits in the past, but his latest series of artworks is even more impressive.

Called The Dance, Shine’s latest exhibit is on display at the Canberra Centre in Australia. It consists of two realistic human faces – one male and one female – constructed from over 2,000 meters of tulle. Surrounding the two faces are a series of dancing figures, silhouetted within the flowing fabric.

At first glance, the tulle sheets in Shine’s work seem haphazardly suspended, but he actually spent two-and-a-half months painstakingly folding, pleating, ironing and hand-sewing the netted fabric. He kept at it until each lifelike feature emerged out of the clouds of pink, purple, and blue. He later created contrasts using backlight, to highlight intricate details.

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Swedish Airport Installs Climate Simulator of Cities Around the World

Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport offers a weather service quite unlike any other. Instead of doling out boring reports, it actually lets people feel what the weather is like in various cities around the world before actually flying there.

Yvonne Boe, communication manager at Swedavia – the company that manages Sweden’s airports – describes the unique Climate Portal as an “experience for all your senses which replicates the weather live from all over the planet, a direct link to the whole world. It’s also a preview of where you’re going, so you know if you need that warm sweater or an extra pair of sunglasses before boarding.”

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