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The Chinese Town Where Crickets Are Worth Much More Than Gold

Cricket fighting has been popular in China for thousands of years, and with the country in full economic boom, fans of the “sport” are investing more money into it than ever before. One town in particular has built an entire industry around the genetically-superior crickets living in the surrounding fields, and for good reason, as the best specimens can reportedly sell for up to 50,000 yuan ($7,661).

The tradition of cricket fighting can be traced back to the Tang dynasty (618-904), and the crickets found in the fields around the town of Sidian, in China’s Shandong province, have long been renowned for their large size and aggressiveness, both very important features among enthusiasts of the sport. It is said that several of China’s emperors favored Sidian’s crickets for their high win rate, and today’s rich spend absurd amounts of money for exceptional specimens that can give them an edge against their rivals.

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Japanese Company to Sell Robot Dog That Faints If Your Feet Smell Bad

A Japanese company has created an adorable robot dog that can tell you how bad your feet smell, by using a powerful sensor embedded in its nose. If your feet don’t have bad odor, “Hana-chan” will happily wag its tale, if it detects moderately smelly feet, it will start to bark, and if they really stink, it will just fall over like the smell caused it to faint.

Foot odor is a big deal in Japan, where it is customary for people to take off their shoes whenever they enter someone’s home. In fact, subjecting others to foul bodily odors can even be considered harassment in Japan, so it’s no wonder that some of the most brilliant minds in the country’s tech industry have been dedicating their talent to tackling this issue. Panasonic recently unveiled a high-tech deodorizing coat hanger, Konika Minolta developed a pocket-size device that monitors body odors and alerts the user when they start to smell, and, last year, gadget maker Thanko started selling clip-on armpit fans designed to keep people’s armpits nice and dry. Now, we have Hana-chan, a robot dog capable of telling people if their feet stink.

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“Birdman of Gujarat” Has Been Feeding Around 3,000 Birds Every Day, for 17 Years

Harsukh Bhai Dobariya, of Gujarat, India, is very popular with birds. Every day, between 2,500 and 3,000 parrots and sparrows visit his 4-acre farm to feed on tasty millet cobs and build their nests away from predators. Nicknamed “The Birdman”, Dobariya has spent the last 17 years of his life looking out for the birds and transforming his land into a safe ecosystem for them.

It all started in the year 2000, when Harsukh Bhai Dobariya suffered a leg fracture on his property in the Junagadh district of Gujarat, and had to spend most of his time in bed. After a neighbor came to buy some pearl millet from him, he had the idea to hang a millet cob on his balcony, which soon caught the attention of a parrot. The next day, two parrots came to feast on the delicious treat, then three, four, and within a month, there were already 100-150 parrots and sparrows visiting him every day.

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Belgian Winemaker Creates White Wine That Tastes Like Beer

Having trouble deciding between white wine and beer? Thanks to artisan wine maker in Belgium, you can now have both in the same bottle.

49-year-old Filip Decroix, an experienced winemaker from Ypres, has spent the last year trying to perfect the formula for his “Steenstraetse Hoppewijn”, a sparkling white wine with a beer-like bitterness created by combining Chardonnay with Belgian hops. Decroix claims that he set out to create a wine that Belgians, known mostly for their beer, would appreciate and after having it tested by expert sommeliers, he is sure it will be a big hit.

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New Grumpy Cat Has Been Stuck in an Animal Shelter for Over a Year

They say you can’t judge a book by its covers, and that definitely applies Shamo, a gray cat at the Rencontrer Mignon animal shelter, in Tokyo, but people are apparently finding it hard to look past her perpetually grumpy face.

Rescued from the city animal care center, over a year ago, so she could have a better chance of being adopted, Shamo has been having trouble finding a forever home mainly due to her permanent scowl. However, her deceptively angry look is apparently just a facade, as her profile page on the shelter website and her Twitter account clearly state that she is a gentle creature with an endearing personality.

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Russian Family Comes Home to Find Asphalt Road Where Their House Used to Be

A family of migrant workers from Russia’s Nizhny Novgorod region, recently returned to their native village of Zavod after a month of work to find their house partially demolished and an asphalt road passing through their property.

The Udalov family spend most of their time away from home, working in the nearby city of Nizhny Novgorod, but they always look forward to spending their short vacations at their quaint property in Zavod. Unfortunately, they no longer have a house to come back to, after authorities took the liberty to tear down part of it in order to make room for an asphalt road. No one contacted them about the project, so they just came back after a month to a partially demolished house and their belongings spread on the side of the new road traversing their yard.

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Swiss Cocoa Company Creates Naturally Pink Chocolate

Ever since Nestlé introduced white chocolate, 80 years ago, chocolate has been available in only three main varieties – dark, milk and white. Well, it’s apparently time to add a fourth type to the list – Ruby pink chocolate.

Zurich-based Barry Callebaut, the world’s largest based cocoa processor, has apparently spent the last 13 years trying to produce naturally pink chocolate out of ruby cocoa beans. This cocoa variety grows in different parts of the world, including Ecuador, Brazil, and the Ivory Coast, but the Swiss company is the first to actually convert it into pink chocolate, through a sophisticated process.

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Artist Creates Life-Size Chinese Vases Out of Folded Playing Cards

65-year-old Zhang Kehua, a retired mason from Qianjiang, China, has a very unique skill – he can assemble realistic Chinese vases out of thousands of folded plastic playing cards.

We’ve seen people create all kinds of impressive structures by expertly stacking playing cards, but what Zhang Kehua does is on a whole other level. The Chinese retiree has taught himself several methods of folding plastic playing cards so that they can be assembled into life-size vases that even feature traditional decorative patterns. His creations are so flawless that seen from a far, you could swear that they are made of porcelain.

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23-Year-Old Woman Memorizes IKEA’s New 328-Page Catalogue in a Week

Most people could probably spend a whole year just looking at IKEA’s 2018 catalogue and still not remember all the details in its 328 pages. But then again, Yaanja Wintersoul is not most people, she is a two-time World Memory Champion so she only needed one week to accomplish the seemingly impossible task.

23-years-old Yaanja Wintersoul says that there’s no such thing as a photographic memory, and that it’s all about training your brain to memorize tiny details that most of us forget almost instantly. She knows what she’s talking about, too. Not only has she won the World Memory Championship twice, set a the world record for the the largest number of names and faces ever memorized by a person, but she’s also become IKEA’s “human catalogue”, memorizing most of the details in the company’s 328-page 2018 catalogue in only a week.

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Peruvian Diver Left Looking Like a Balloon After Rising From the Depths Too Fast

Alejandro Ramos Martínez, a seafood diver from Pisco, Peru, recently made international headlines after a terrible accident left him looking like a human balloon. He apparently rose from a depth of 30 meters too fast, which caused the nitrogen in his blood to form giant bubbles that adhered to his muscles, leaving him looking deformed.

Martínez’s unusual case was featured on Peruvian TV show “Cuarto Poder”, where doctors were left stunned by the horrifying effect of the nitrogen pods on the man’s physical appearance. Decompression sickness, also known as ‘the bends’, causes nitrogen to come out of solution and form bubbles in the blood and tissues. In mild cases, symptoms include unusual fatigue, dizziness, nausea and joint pain, but in rare cases it can also cause paralysis or even death. The deforming effects it has had on this Peruvian diver are believed to be unique

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Cleverly-Designed Mirrored Tableware Tricks You into Eating Less

Nutritionists claim that portion size control is one of the keys to losing weight and staying in shape. Using smaller dishes is probably the most popular way to control the size of your meals, but a couple of London-based art students may have come up with an even more effective one – using mirrors to make tableware look twice as full.

Saki Maruyama and Daniel Coppen, collectively known as Studio Playfool, have come up with an ingenious tableware design that relies on mirrors to trick your eyes into seeing more food than is actually available. Named Half/Full, their recently unveiled tableware set was apparently inspired by the threat of future food shortages on a global scale, and is therefore designed to “future proof appetites”.

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Thai “Runaway Bride” Cons at Least 8 Men by Marrying Them and Disappearing with the Dowry

Police in Thailand are looking for a serial scammer who has apparently married at least eight men in the last two years, disappearing from their lives completely right after collecting the dowry money from their families.

The real-life “runaway bride”, 32-year-old Jariyaporn “Nammon” Buayai, had apparently been called out as a scammer on social media a long time ago, but she only appeared on the radar of law enforcement a few days ago, after one of her victims filed a formal complaint against her. Prasarn Tiamyam, 32, claims that he recently saw a Facebook post warning Thai men to stay away from Nammon, and recognized her as the woman he married two years ago, after she told him she had gotten pregnant. She had disappeared days after the wedding, with a dowry of THB 200,000 ($6,000) and never came back.

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UCLA Researcher Grows Colony of 200-Plus Hummingbirds Outside Her Office

Melanie Barboni, an assistant researcher at UCLA’s Earth, Planetary and Space Science department, is known as an expert in geology and volcanic activity among her colleagues, but those who haven’t worked with her before know her only as the “hummingbird whisperer”. She has always been fascinated by the tiny birds, and after moving to Los Angeles, she has nurtured a colony of over 200 hummingbirds right outside her office window.

Growing up in Switzerland, a country with an almost non-existent population of hummingbirds, Melanie Barboni admired the colorful birds in books, but dreamed of one day seeing them up close, so when she learned that her next job assignment would lead her to Los Angeles, California, where hummingbirds live all year round, she was overjoyed. She has spent the two years since developing a colony of 200-plus hummingbirds right outside her office window, by hanging four nectar-filled feeders for them. Melanie has gotten so close to her hummingbirds that she “cannot go to a place where they are not there”.

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Amateur Food Artist Decorates Smoothie Bowls Using Only Natural Ingredients

Vegetable smoothies are not exactly everyone’s favourite treat, but one amateur artist has come up with a way to make them more appealing – by decorating them with intricate designs, using only natural ingredients.

Hazel Zakaryia‘s edible artworks may not make her smoothies tastier, but they definitely make them prettier to look at. Using only wood skewers and a kitchen knife, she painstakingly paints over the thick fruit and vegetable base with edible “paints” made from ingredients like turmeric, blue matcha, milk, cream and and butterfly pea powder. The results are so impressive that it’s hard to believe Zakaryia is not a professional food artist, but a market analyst who likes to spend her free time entertaining her artistic side.

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Serbian Barber Trims Celebrity Portraits on Customers’ Heads

Mario Hvala, a barber from Novi Sad, Serbia, recently made international headlines for trimming a detailed portrait of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on the back of a client’s head, but that was only his most recent achievement. He has been creating “hair tattoos” for the last eight years, and there’s nothing he can’t trim on the scalps of his customers.

33-year-old Mario claims he started doing hair tattoos eight years ago, while working in Slovenia. A customer had asked him for two straight lines on his head, but the hairstylist was feeling adventurous, so he proposed a more intricate design, and the guy went home with a tarantula design on his head. Inspired by the success of his first attempt, Hvala kept honing his skills, and upon his return to Serbia, four years ago, he quickly made a name fr himself at the House Damian hair salon, in Novi Sad, carving all kinds of design and celebrity portraits on customers’ heads.

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