Japanese Boy Missing for Three Days After Parents Left Him in Woods as Punishment

Rescue teams have been scouring the thick woods of northern Hokkaido, Japan, for the past three days in search of a young boy who had been abandoned there by his parents, as punishment for being naughty.

7-year-old Yamato Tano-oka was first reported missing on Saturday, when his parents alerted the police saying that he had become separated while they were out walking through the forest, looking for wild vegetables. However, a day later, during questioning, one of the parents admitted that Yamato had been left alone in the bear-infested woods on purpose, as a form of punishment for misbehaving. Although the police has yet to confirm the exact reasons for this punishment, local media reports that he had been throwing rocks at passing cars and people.

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Every Year This Man Organizes a Very Popular Conference about Boring Things

Most conferences tend to be boring, although not intentionally so. But there is one event that is deliberately dedicated to all things dull and tedious – the ‘Boring Conference’ hosted every year at London. Believe it or not, it’s a sell-out event where attendees are treated to talks on all sorts of boring things like paper bags, toilet roll quality control, lamp posts, and bricks.

How did such a thing as a Boring Conference come to exist, you ask? Well, it all started in 2010, when the man in charge of organizing an even called the Interesting Conference canceled the whole thing, saying that he was too busy. James Ward, an English book author and marketer, replied to the announcement, saying that he liked boring things and that they should be celebrated too. His social media post got a lot of people interested in a possible event about boring things and he started getting questions about where to buy tickets for it. That year, Ward organized the world’s first Boring Conference.

This year’s Boring Conference, held at London’s Conway Hall on 7 May, was the sixth consecutive event in the last six years and all 425 tickets were sold out in just a few days. Ward always opens up the event himself, because he likes to “set the bar low”. If people start with poor expectations, then the show can only improve, he says. Last year, he spoke about postcard photos of the old Post Office Tower.

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Coca Cola Japan Launches “Sleep Water” It Claims Could Help You Sleep Better

Capitalizing on the Japanese work culture that makes insomniacs of employees,  Coca Cola Japan has recently released a new beverage that the company claims can help people get a better night’s sleep. Aptly named ‘Glaceau Sleep Water’, the drink is perfect for those who have trouble nodding off every night and are desperate to experience deep, uninterrupted sleep.

Sleep Water is apparently enriched with a special ingredient called L-Theanine, an amino acid that is believed to decrease anxiety and stress while improving relaxation. Theoretically, this should result in better quality sleep, so it should work even for people who don’t have time for a full eight hours of slumber. The company claims that only a few hours of Sleep Water-induced rest are more than enough to feel rejuvenated the next morning.

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World’s Proudest Grandma Plasters Grandchildren’s Photos on Virtually Everything

Grandmas are usually proud of you even if you so much as sneeze, but this North Carolina woman has taken granny-love to a whole new level. 66-year-old retiree Carmen Baugh is so enamoured with her grandkids that she’s converted her living room into a shrine of sorts, with their photographs plastered across the wallpaper, curtains, and even cushions.

Carmen got the idea to do up her home with her grandchildren’s faces when she moved from Charlotte to Raleigh. She looked at lots of different wallpaper and curtain samples before deciding to design her own. “My grandson and granddaughter are my pride and joy so why not decorate my home with their faces on?” she asked herself.

So instead of just using framed photos of her grandkids, she decided to have a specially-made wallpaper featuring over 30 different photographs of theirs. And she liked it so much that she went on to design a similar fabric for her curtains and cushions, and then used it to make herself a top as well! 

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South-Korean Technology Addicts Participate in Bizarre Space-Out Competition

A strange ‘space-out competition’ recently saw 60 South Koreans in the country’s capital of Seoul put aside their smartphones and tablets and simply sit on the ground in a public park, thinking and doing nothing for 90 minutes. The person measured as having the most stable heart rate at the end of that period was judged the winner.

With more than 80% of its 50 million-strong population owning a smartphone, South Korea is considered one of the world’s ‘most wired’ countries. National statistics show that users spend an average of four hours a day tweeting, texting or playing video games on their handhelds, and about 15% show symptoms of addiction. This growing fixation with technology and the internet is seen as a serious problem, so to give people a chance to disconnect, if only for a short time, and promote a life free of information overload, a group of artists came up with the Space Out Competition.

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Amazing Human Being Has Laid Over 550 Unclaimed Bodies to Rest in the Last 60 Years

Mithalal Sindhi, from the Indian city of Ahmedabad, is not a rich man, by any means. He has been living on the streets for the last six decades, earning a modest living by selling Bajra (pearl millet) from his pedal rickshaw. Most of what he makes, Mithalal spends on performing the last rites for unclaimed dead bodies that no one else takes responsibility for. He is without a doubt one of the most kindhearted people we have ever written about.

During the partition of the British Indian Empire, 15-year-old Mithalal moved from Pakistan to Bombay, with his family. He did a number of odd jobs to make ends meet and survive in the big city, but in 1957, he moved to Ahmedabad where he started a small fruit selling business using what little savings he had. It was during this time that he met Nyaldas Sindhi, a vegetable vendor, with whom he became very close friends. They would eat lunch together and even sleep next to each other on the footpath, at night. Their friendship came to an abrupt ending in just two years, after Mithalal tried waking his friend one morning, but he didn’t respond.

Devastated by Nyaldas’ death, the young fruit vendor realized his friend had no close families or relatives to take care of the last rites. Mithalal asked the Mukhya (Leader of Vegetable Market) for help, but he refused, telling him it was not his concern. No one was willing to take responsibility for his friend, so he stepped up and had his body cremated near Callico Mill. It was this experience that made him realize that there were so many people dying every day in Ahmedabad that had no one to perform their last rites. He decided he was going to be the person to do it.

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Aptly Named Rollercoaster Restaurant Delivers Your Food via Tiny Rollercoasters

British theme park Alton Towers is giving fast food a whole new meaning with its-newly opened ‘Rollercoaster Restaurant’ where dishes are delivered to patrons via – you guessed it – tiny rollercoasters. For an attraction famous for its adrenaline pumping rides, this is the perfect eatery.

When you enter the Rollercoaster Restaurant, an employee will seat you at your table and explain how to use a tablet to order food, which will travel to your table via a 26-foot rollercoaster with two gravity-defying loop-the-loops. But here’s the catch – you share a rollercoaster with three other tables, so there’s no way of telling whether the dish on the way is the one you ordered or not.

Once it makes its way down to the bottom, the dish will plant itself on a massive lazy suzan, along with a flag displaying the table number. If it happens to be yours, you can simply rotate the lazy susan towards your table and help yourself. Thankfully, the food arrives in closed containers and drinks arrive in bottles to avoid spillage, while hot beverages like tea and coffee are served the regular way – by hand.

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Car Chased by 20,000 Bees for Two Days After Hive Queen Gets Stuck in Trunk

A woman in the UK was left baffled by a swarm of about 20,000 bees that latched onto the back of her car and refused to budge for over 28 hours. The mystery was eventually solved when she discovered that they were actually following their queen, which had gotten stuck in the trunk of the car!

It all started last Sunday, when Carol Howarth, 65, parked her silver Mitsubishi Outlander in the town center at Haverfordwest, in Pembrokeshire, Wales, during a shopping trip. While she was away, thousands of bees began to gather around the car, much to the amazement of passersby. A rescue squad of three beekeepers and a national park ranger were called in to capture the bees in a special box and by the time Carol returned to the car, the situation was under control.

She was thankful for their help, but her tryst with the bees was far from over. Little did she know that as she drove back home, the rest of the swarm was following her . “The next day I realised that some of the bees had followed me home,” she said. “There were a lot less than the first swarm.” So she called the beekeepers once again and they arrived at her home on Monday evening.

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This Home Appliance Store Lets You Try Every Product Before Deciding to Buy It

California-based retailer Pirch is setting a new standard in shopping for home appliances by allowing customers to test products first hand in its stores – right from turning on a kitchen stove to standing under a fully functional showerhead. What’s more, shoppers are greeted with fresh coffee and complimentary snacks as they look around.

The idea is to get customers to spend a long time in their stores, and it seems to be working. According to Pirch CEO Jeffery Sears, shoppers are now spending an average of two hours and 11 minutes at each of their locations. And of course, they’re buying stuff too. Some of Pirch’s eight stores across the US are reporting sales over $3,000 per square foot, a number surpassed only by Tiffany’s and Apple shops.

“We know that when people walk through the space they’re just stunned and they start to dream,” said Sears, who co-founded Pirch with James Stuart in 2009. “Water runs, the chefs are cooking and people are learning. Pretty soon you just simply say, ‘My house sucks.’”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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