This Revolutionary Earpiece Translates Foreign Languages in Real Time

Translation technology has just reached a whole new level with ‘Pilot’ – the world’s first smart earpiece that can translate foreign languages in real time. So two people who speak different languages can actually understand each other using Pilot, and engage in a normal conversation.

Developed by New York-based Waverly Labs, Pilot is a three-part system – two small Bluetooth earbuds, one for each interlocutor, and a smartphone app doing the actual translation. So you and this other person speak normally – each in your own language – and the Waverly Labs app translates and sends a voice with the other person’s speech to the earpiece. There will obviously be some delay, so it’s not exactly real time, but it’s pretty close. The initial version will support a number of European languages (English, Spanish, French, Italian). Other languages, like Hindi, Semitic, East Asian, Arabic, Slavic, and African will be included in subsequent versions, but you’ll have to pay for them, unless you preorder the system.

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World’s Least Romantic Couple Spends Wedding Night Copying Chinese Constitution

In a blatant display of patriotism, a Chinese newlywed couple spent their first night of wedded bliss copying parts of the Communist party’s constitution, by hand. Most people would find this incredibly unromantic, but for Li Yunpeng and his bride Chen Xuanchi, there couldn’t have been a better way to kick start their married life. In fact, they viewed the task as a way of creating “beautiful memories” of their wedding night.

Both Li and Chen are government employees from China’s Jiangxi province. On Monday, photographs of their wedding night appeared in online newspapers, along with a brief account by their employers, the railway bureau of Nanchang city. “Laying down a sheet of paper and neatly copying down out the Party Constitution left blissful memories of their wedding night for these newlyweds,” the report read.

The photos later went viral on social media. The couple can be seen seated next to a double bed decorated with balloons, but they appear oblivious to the romantic decor, completely engrossed in transcribing parts of the 17,000-word, 11-chapter text. They apparently did it as a part of a government-backed challenge called ‘Copy the Communist party constitution for 100 days’.  The initiative was launched in March in a bid to raise awareness of party’s rules, its constitution, and the speeches of general secretary Xi Jinping. As reported by the Global Times, the challenge meant to target party members whose confidence in communism and socialism is beginning to crumble, and those who “advocate western values, violate party rules, work inefficiently, or behave unethically.”

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These Luxury Children’s Playhouses Cost Almost as Much as Full-Size Ones

Growing up, I would have accepted a dingy old shack for a playhouse and considered it the coolest place in the world. But these days it’s possible for kids to enjoy luxury playhouses that cost just as much as full-size homes, thanks to ‘La Petite Maison’, a  business run by American architect Alan Mower.

Working with interior designer Michelle Pollak, Mower creates what he claims are ‘the most luxurious playhouses in the world’. The structures are built using architectural stylings from around the world, including a Tudor-themed house, a Mediterranean playhouse, a San Diego villa, a saloon-like Tom Sawyer house, and more. Most of these houses have two floors and the interiors are decorated with bespoke furniture that would look great in any normal size house. Electricity and water are included, and air conditioning and heating cost extra.

Of course, these exclusive playhouses will cost you an arm and a leg. Or an hour’s earnings, depending on how rich you are. A basic model playhouse is priced at a $9,000, but the cost can go up to a whopping $75,000 depending on what extra features you opt for. But that’s nothing compared to what celebrity parents Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are spending on the playhouse they’ve commissioned Mower to build for their two-year-old daughter. It’s going to be a $146,000 mansion, complete with a walk-in closet, kitchen, a loft, a reading nook, and a living room with a functional fireplace.

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Self-Described Cyborg Can Sense Every Earthquake in the World

Meet Moon Ribas, a ‘cyborg artist’ who is able to literally feel every single earthquake that takes place anywhere on the planet. She senses the tremors through a tiny sensor permanently grafted under her skin near the crook of her elbow, and dances to these vibrations during her performances.

“I want to perceive movement in a deeper way,” Ribas said. “The planet moves, constantly shaking and moving every day. I thought it would be amazing to translate the massive and natural movements of the planet in a different way.” So she had a tiny magnet implanted near the crook of her elbow that allows her to feel the Earth’s vibrations in real time. Her choice of body hacking may not be as obvious as the antenna sticking out of the skull of Neil Harbisson, or these LED lights implanted under the skin, but its purpose is just as bizarre.

Ribas, a choreographer who studied movement at Dartington College in the UK, described the physical sensation near her elbow as being similar to having a phone vibrate in your pocket. Of course, the stronger the earthquake, the stronger the vibrations she feels. For instance, during the devastating 7.8 quake in Nepal last year, Ribas woke up in the middle of the night with strong vibrations coursing through her arm. “It felt very weird, like I was there,” she said. “I feel connected to the people who suffer through an earthquake.”

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Young Indian Beggar Has Several Bank Accounts, Gives Loans to Local Traders

He may not look it, but this young Indian beggar is actually richer than most of the nation’s middle class. Pappu Kumar has managed to make a small fortune during eight years of begging on the streets of Patna, in the state of Bihar. He reportedly has 500,000 rupees ($7,500) stashed away in four bank accounts, and property worth 1.25 crore rupees ($185,000). He even lends money to local businessmen on the side and earns money from the interest charged. But the 33-year-old still doesn’t want to quit begging.

Pappu was not exactly destined for the life of a beggar – he went to high school and even had plans to study engineering in college, but sadly, he suffered an accident that left him partially paralyzed. His father passed away soon after, and he was disowned by the rest of his family. Pappu was then left with no choice but to beg for his survival.

“I passed my intermediate examination with 57 percent marks and a major contributor to this was my mathematics subject where I obtained 72 marks, which was the maximum of all subjects,” he told local media. “My dream was to pursue an engineering course. I was even trying for this, but, in the meantime, I met with a serious accident leaving me paralyzed. I had no option but to turn to begging to eke out my living as my family disowned me after the incident.”

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World’s First Underwater Music Band All Set to Make a Splash

‘Between Music’, the world’s first aquatic music band, are all set to perform their very first underwater concert – ‘Aquasonic’ – at Rotterdam on 27 May. The Danish ensemble will be playing specific instruments and even singing inside water tanks, using special techniques that they developed over 10 long years of experimentation.

The story of this unique musical group began when lead singer and composer Laila Skovmand decided to find a way to sing underwater. Her first experiment involved singing while submerging her mouth in a kitchen bowl filled with water. While she was able to produce sounds, she was also generating a lot of bubbles that added ‘pop’ sounds to the music. But she was determined to find a way to sing underwater, so she kept trying new things.

After a lot of trial and error, Laila finally came up with a technique that involves holding an air bubble in her mouth and singing through it while submerged in water. She has to rise to the top once every minute to breathe in fresh air and start with a new bubble, but otherwise, she claims it works. “There is also a technique where I switch between singing on the exhale and inhale,” she says. “But it can be hard to control.” Due to the small amount of air in a bubble, the underwater singer can only produce short tones, preferably high ones, because lower tones tend to sound nasal. 

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Rare Genetic Condition Allows 53-Year-Old to Run 350 Miles without Stopping

Most athletes would agree that lactic acid build-up in the muscles is the bane of all long-distance runners – but not American jogger Dean Karnazes. The 53-year-old has a rare genetic condition that rapidly flushes lactic acid from his system, allowing him to run indefinitely without ever experiencing a cramp or a seized muscle. The extreme runner has completed a marathon to the South Pole at -25C, and completed 50 back to back marathons in 50 days. He’s also jogged a whopping 350 miles in just 80 hours and 44 minutes, without any sleep!

When people exercise, glucose is converted into energy and a by-product of this reaction is lactic acid. As it builds up in the muscles, it causes cramps and fatigue, and signals the brain to stop. But in Dean’s case, he never receives those signals because lactic acid never builds up in his muscles. So he’s able to run for long distances over very long periods of time, giving him an edge in some of the toughest endurance competitions in the world.

“At a certain level of intensity, I do feel like I can go a long way without tiring,” Dean said, speaking to The Guardian. “No matter how hard I push, my muscles never seize up. That’s kind of a nice thing if I plan to run a long way. To be honest, what eventually happens is that I get sleepy. I’ve run through three nights without sleep and the third night of sleepless running was a bit psychotic. I actually experienced bouts of ‘sleep running’, where I was falling asleep while in motion, and I just willed myself to keep going.”

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Guy Builds Giant Portrait of His Crush with 840 Rubik’s Cubes, Gets Rejected

In a bid to get the attention of his crush, a young man from China spent three nights arranging 846 Rubik’s cubes to create a giant 2.6m x 1.3m pixelated portrait of her. Sadly, the grand gesture got him nowhere – the gift was eventually rejected by the girl of his dreams and he now has no idea what to do with it.

Tong Aonan, a 27-year-old mechanic from Shenyang, spent two whole months mapping out the portrait design before he actually got to work on the project. He also spent $460 on the Rubik’s cubes, and solved each one of them to fit his design. He then stacked the cubes in a wooden frame one by one to make the actual portrait, which he gifted to his crush. And she refused to accept it.

Surprisingly, Tong isn’t taking the rejection too seriously. “I’m not giving it too much thought,” he said. “I simply wanted to surprise her and tell her I like her… but I was rejected.” Not everyone is able to share his nonchalance though – lots of people online are leaving comments about ‘feeling his pain’ and questioning her for rejecting him.

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Indian Man Spends 40 Days Digging a Well after His Wife Is Denied Access to Drinking Water

Determined to provide his family with drinking water after they were refused access to a local well, this Indian man spent 40 days digging up a 15-ft well in his hometown of Kalambeshwar village, in the state of Maharashtra. Under normal circumstances it would have taken four or five people to complete such a task, but Bapurao Tajne managed to do it all by himself.

Tajne, a daily-wage laborer, is a member of the village’s Dalit community, which has long since been discriminated against by people from ‘upper’ castes. In this case, Tajne’s wife Sangita went to draw water from a well in the village, but was insulted by the owner of the well and asked to stay away from it. Incensed by the incident that took place in the midst of the severe water crisis Maharashtra, Tajne decided to dig Sangita her very own well, so she would never have to suffer this kind of humiliation.

Using tools that he bought from the nearby Malegaon city, Tajne started digging and kept at it for six hours a day – four hours before his regular job and two hours after. Given that three existing wells had already gone dry in the village, it seemed like a foolhardy initiative, and the other villagers discouraged him and even made fun of his stubbornness. No one stepped forward to help him and even his wife stayed away for fear of being ridiculed. But Bapurao didn’t give up – he kept on digging until, on the 40th day, he finally struck water.

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Awesome Dad Builds DIY Artificial Pancreas for His Diabetic Son

When little Andrew Calabrese’s pancreas gave out at age three, leaving him with a lifelong diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes, his parents Heidi and Jason wanted to do everything possible help him through the life altering disease. While Heidi set-up a support group to connect with other families battling the illness, Jason, a software engineer, devoted his time to building a device that could help regulate his son’s insulin levels.

He eventually succeeded in building an artificial pancreas system using OpenAPS (Open Artificial Pancreas System), a free online project that makes APS technology widely available to anyone who wants to save lives and reduce the burden of Type 1 diabetes. Developed by 27-year-old Type 1 diabetic Dana Lewis in December 2014, OpenAPS provides “a safety-focused reference design, a toolset, and an open source reference implementation that can be used by any individual – or any medical device manufacturer.”

Using these instructions, Jason spent two months learning how to hack an old insulin pump to automatically keep blood glucose (BG) levels in a safe range – both overnight and in between meals. He added a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) that would provide BG data to the pump, and command it to adjust the temporary basal rates accordingly. After ensuring the device’s safety, and getting their doctor’s approval, Andrew finally began using OpenAPS to keep his insulin levels in check. In fact, the third-grader even carries it to school in his backpack. “OpenAPS is there when I can’t be,” Jason said. “It’s cut the time Andrew spends below 80 mg/dL in half.”

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10-Year-Old Girl Does 2,110 Sit-ups in 90 Minutes, Sets New National Record

While most adults struggle to keep their bulging bellies under check, 10-year-old Kyleigh Bass, from Kansas City is putting grown men to shame with her rock solid abs – she recently broke the national record by completing a whopping 2,110 consecutive sit-ups in a mere 90 minutes.

Kyleigh had initially set herself a goal of 2,002 ab-crunches – one over the previous Project Fit America record of 2,001. It was no easy feat, and for a moment it even looked as though she was going to throw up, but she somehow worked through the nausea and surpassed her goal, breaking the record by no less than 109 sit-ups.

“I wanted to break this record because I am a very competitive person and I like to be at the top,” said Kyleigh, who was trained by her PE teacher Bill Lentz at Foxhill Elementary. She had worked hard all through the winter, focusing on strengthening her core muscles. But during the challenge on 7 May, she suffered severe stomach pain and nearly threw up. Her parents, who were taking turns to hold her feet the whole time, encouraged her to keep going.

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Philadelphia Library Lets Job Seekers Borrow Ties for Their Interview

Just as a library responds to the reading needs of a community, a ‘tiebrary’ caters to people who are in dire need of a tie but can’t afford to buy one. Housed by the Paschalville Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia, the tiebrary stocks 48 pieces of neckwear in various colors and patterns, ranging from traditional ties to bright and trendy cravats. Anyone with a library card is welcome to checkout a tie for up to three weeks at a time.

The tie-lending initiative was started mainly to help out the vast population of unemployed men, particularly in southwest Philadelphia, where the Paschalville Branch is located. The neighborhood is marked by its high rates of poverty and unemployment, and is home to several immigrants and former inmates in dire need of a job. So this local library is trying to do its bit to help the community.

“It’s an illustration of libraries really responding to the needs of their communities,” said Nate Eddy, librarian and strategy coordinator for the Free Library of Philadelphia. “People still associate libraries with quiet places to check out a book, but we’re so much more than that.”

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The Inspiring Story of a Man Who Became a Top Bicycle Repairman after Losing Nine Fingers and Both Legs

23 years ago, Yue Jin lost both his legs and nine of his fingers in a freak accident. He thought his life was over, but somehow found the strength to start over and today he is one of the most sought-after bicycle repairmen in Jilin City, northern China.

In 1993, while he was cutting firewood in the mountains of Jilin province, Yue Jin accidentally fell into a deep valley and almost died. His injuries were so severe that doctors had to amputate both his legs and all but one of his ten fingers. For a man who made his living with his hands, it was almost a death sentence. And it was even more devastating considering Yue had also lost his wife just three days after childbirth, leaving him to take care of their daughter. After the accident, he couldn’t see any other way to do that than go out and beg for a few coins and some food, so he left his daughter in the care of some neighbors and ventured out on to the streets.

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The Photo-Like Pencil Portraits of Shinichi Furuya

It never ceases to amaze me the kind of amazing things talented people can create using only the simplest of materials. Case in point, artist Shinichi Furuya, who uses pencils and paper to make these stunningly-realistic portraits of Japanese celebrities.

The level of detail in Shinichi Furuya’s artworks is so breathtaking that it’s hard to believe they are only pencil drawing. But even more unbelievable is the fact that Furuya is just an amateur artist. He describes himself as a “middle-aged businessman who wasn’t able to become a professional illustrator” and says that creates these masterpieces in his free time. So this guy couldn’t find a job as an illustrator?!? There must be something very wrong with the world…

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This Tasty New York Doughnut Is Made with Bone Marrow

The last ingredient you would expect to find in a delicious doughnut is bone marrow, but that’s apparently the secret behind this popular treat served at a New York doughnut shop.

The doughnut market has become very competitive in recent years, and businesses have to come up with something really special to get an edge. Some rely on crazy combinations to create hybrids like the popular Cronut, others cover their doughnuts with extravagant decorations like edible gold and sugar diamonds – see Donutopia, the $100 doughnut – and a few go the bizarre route. The treat we’re talking about today falls in the latter category.

The Doughnut Project, a fancy bakery in New York city, partnered with local butcher shop Hudson & Charles to create what we believe is the world’s first bone marrow doughnut. That sounds pretty disgusting, but the experienced bakers claim that bone marrow actually makes their hand-crafted, yeast-raised doughnuts more delicious. The chocolate pastry cream filling is whipped with roasted bone marrow that apparently enhances its richness and gives it a velvet-smooth texture. The unique treat is also glazed in clementine and sprinkled with orange-infused chocolate shavings.

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