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The Epic Tale of a Refugee Cat from Iraq That Got Lost in Greece and Reunited with His Family in Norway

In a miraculous turn of events, a refugee cat that got separated from his family while fleeing Iraq has not only survived the treacherous sea voyage to Lesbos, but has also been reunited with his owners, now living in Norway.

Kindness towards animals is not new to the people of Lesbos – we’d previously written about a café in the Greek island that opens its doors to stray dogs at night. So when volunteers found the poor, frightened cat all alone in November last year, they took him in, naming him Dias and deciding to care for him until his real owners could be found.

A few volunteers recalled that there had been a refugee family that was separated from their pet cat on reaching Lesbos a week earlier, so they began their hunt by putting up posters at reception centers all over the island. They also set up a Facebook page called ‘Reunite Dias’ to help spread the word. In the meantime, Dias was left in the care of volunteers Amy Shrodes and Ashley Anderson, who had been working with refugees on the island.

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World’s Loneliest Chimp Hugs Human Visitors after Years of Isolation on Tiny African Island

After three years of isolation on a remote island, Ponso the chimp finally received a visitor this year – Estelle Raballand, director of the Chimpanzee Conservation Center. The lonely chimp’s happiness was obvious from his ear-to ear-grin and the way he almost immediately hugged Estelle when she reached out to him.

Ponso’s tragic story began thirty years ago, when he was abandoned off Africa’s Ivory Coast along with 65 other chimpanzees. These chimps, most of which were captured in the wild, were used by the New York Blood Center (NYBC) for hepatitis research. During the testing phase they were reportedly biopsied, anesthetized, and chained by their necks to jungle gyms. After the tests were complete, the lab left the chimps on various remote islands with no natural source of food, occasionally dropping off supplies.

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Texas Family Has Ordinary-Looking Barns Converted Into Epic Country Houses

‘Barndominiums’ are becoming a major home improvement trend in North Texas, thanks to Morton Buildings, a construction company that specializes in converting ordinary barns into luxurious dwellings. They started in the year 2000, and they have since transformed thousands of barns and sheds across the US into beautiful mansions.

Paul and Judy Pogue, from McKinney, Texas, are the proud owners of two of the most amazing barndominiums made by Morton – one in their hometown and a 10-bedroom one in Oklahoma. The one in McKinney, a 6,600 square-foot steel structure, looks rather boring from the outside, but the inside is simply breathtaking. The old barn is finished with hard wood walls and floors, leather furnishings, chandeliers, a bar, kitchen, and all the other comforts of a luxury home.

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The Brutal Colombian Prison Where Inmates Carry Firearms but Guards Do Not

La Modelo prison in Botogá, Colombia, is notorious for the free reign that its 11,000 odd inmates enjoy. The prisoners completely run the show, with easy access to guns and grenades, while the prison guards do not carry any weapons inside the premises.

The inmates frequently resort to violence in order to settle disputes between the left-wing rebels and the right-wing government supporters and paramilitaries that inhabit the north and south wings of the prison, respectively. The rivalry between the two sections has lead to several killings, all of which were carried out in the central area in between the two wings. Members of the guerrilla movement FARC who are imprisoned in the north wing actually carry out their military drills within their section of the establishment. Ammunition is smuggled into the prison and sold at about $1,000 per gun, thanks to the cooperation of corrupt officials.

Guns aren’t the only perks that the inmates enjoy. They use cell phones freely and have access to satellite communication, which allows them to carry on with their criminal activities in the outside world, like drug dealing, kidnapping, and extortion. They even have restaurants inside the prison, one of which is sponsored by FARC and provides free food to left-wing rebels. Other restaurants are run by individual inmates, who pay taxes to the gangs every month. But the most baffling of perks enjoyed by La Modelo inmates is ‘Ciambiazo’ or ‘big change’, in which a prisoner can change places with a visitor from the outside for only 2,000 to 2,500 dollars.

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Florida Teen Arrested for Running Fake Medical Practice, Seeing Patients

18-year-old Malachi Love-Robinson, from West Palm Beach, Florida, was arrested last week for pretending to be a medical doctor. The teenager had opened a medical practice of his own in a professional medical building at 4700 North Congress Ave., where he swindled patients for thousands of dollars before he was caught and arrested.

Interestingly, this isn’t the first time Love-Robinson has tried posing as a doctor. In January last year he was caught impersonating a gynecologist in an exam room at St. Mary’s Medical Center. Then 17, he happened to be wearing a coat with the clinic’s logo, a face mask, and a stethoscope. The staff at the clinic were flabbergasted and later recalled seeing him roaming the halls for at least a month before the incident.

“I’ve been in practice for 36 years, this is the first time something like this has happened,” Dr. Sebastian Kent, OB GYN at the center, told the Sun Sentinel. “It’s strange. Very, very strange.”

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Can Dogs Fly Planes? New Reality Show Wants to Find Out

You might think it ridiculous and even dangerous to put dogs behind the yoke of a plane and let them try to fly it, but that won’t stop some people from trying. Case in point, Dogs Might Fly, a new TV show from the UK that plans to train some dogs to fly a plane.

While the internet has plenty of videos of dogs driving cars, planes are an entirely different matter. The sheer number of things that could go wrong makes it sound like a foolhardy exercise, but it’s a risk the makers of the show are willing to take in a bid to demonstrate that dogs have “distinct personalities and incredible levels of intelligence.”

“People give up on them too easily and this series will show us why we shouldn’t,” presenter Jamie Theakston told The Telegraph. “They are just as deserving and just as intelligent. Even if a dog has been deprived of human contact or has been badly treated, it is just as able and motivated to initiate a new relationship with a human very quickly.”

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Georgian Shop Has iPhones Blessed by Priest to Increase Sales

A mobile phone store chain in Georgia is experiencing a boost in iPhone sales after arranging for a priest to bless the entire Apple stock at one of their stores in Tbilisi. According to iPhone+ store manager Georgiy Machavariani, the holy ceremony has mollified fears and concerns that people have about iPhones being the “device of the devil”.

“We have a lot of customers that restrain from buying an iPhone for the sole reason that it is a so-called device of a devil,” he said. “In order to tackle this concern, we decided to sanctify our shop and have the phones blessed.” I guess the fear he is referring to has to do with the Apple logo, which people are probably associating with the forbidden fruit eaten by Adam and Eve.

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Woman Lives in Small Bathtub for a Month in Protest of Orca Being Kept in Captivity

New Zealander Danielle Daals is taking up a 30-day ‘Living like Lolita’ bathtub challenge in Miami to protest the captivity of a killer whale named Lolita. For the next one month, the 29-year-old activist will sit in a bathtub from 10am to 7pm outside Miami Seaquarium, in order to represent Lolita’s plight. Since 1970, the 22-foot whale  nicknamed ‘the world’s loneliest orca’ has been confined to a 60x80x20 foot pen, the smallest whale enclosure in North America. 

Daals, who has a permit to protest outside the park’s private property, will also carry a poster with a picture of Lolita and the words: “Swims 100 miles per day; confined to equivalent of a bath tub.” She hopes that her campaign will be effective in freeing the 3.2-ton whale from captivity and reuniting her with her pod of extremely rare and endangered Southern Resident killer whales near Puget Sound, off the coast of Seattle.

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Voluntary Castaway – Student with No Survival Training Spends 19 Days Alone on Remote Island

Japanese student Reikko Hori is in the news for choosing to be a real-life castaway on the uninhabited island of Amparo in Indonesia. After 19 days of complete isolation, during which her only companions were a spear and a magnifying glass, the 22-year-old claims to have returned to normal life with a newfound appreciation for civilization.

The paid experience was arranged by Docastaway, a tour company that specialises in holidays in remote islands across the world, with packages that include varying levels of comfort. Hori, a self-described loner, chose ‘adventure mode’, the most extreme category, therefore becoming the first female voluntary castaway in history.

But the company was worried about her choice because she had no survival training whatsoever and was completely unprepared to live all by herself in the wild. According to their official website, Hori wouldn’t answer any questions or respond to their emails during the preparation phase a few months before the actual experience. She apparently wanted to survive in the wild as naturally as possible, with very little interference from experts.

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Isolated Town Is Desperate to Find a Hairdresser after Years of Cutting Their Own Hair

Fed up of DIY haircuts, the residents of Norman Wells, an isolated town in northern Canada, are desperately looking for a professional hairdresser. They’ve been cutting their own hair for the past two years and frankly, they’ve had enough of it.

Located near the southern edge of the Arctic Circle, with a population of about 800 people, Norman Wells has always been a small community with more pressing small-town problems. Food products need to be flown in, prices are higher, and sometimes the residents need to go without supplies because the planes don’t come in.

But they never realised that something like the lack of professional hairdressing could be a nightmare until their hairstylist moved out due to the lack of housing in town. “It’s been a long struggle for us,” Nicky Richards, the town’s economic development officer in charge of the hairdresser recruitment effort, told The Guardian. “We just don’t have anyone. It’s something that people down south don’t ever think about because they don’t have to worry about it.”

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Caring Husband Creates Giant Scented Flower Garden to Make His Blind Wife Smile Again

Over 7,000 people visit this beautiful phlox moss garden in Shintomi Town, Japan’s Miyazaki Prefecture on any given day in the months of March and April, drawn both by the beauty of this scented purple carpet and the touching story behind its very existence.

The story of this popular tourist spot can be traced back to 1956, when Mr. and Mrs. Kuroki, a newlywed couple, purchased a plot of land in Shintomi. They built a house and a dairy farm on it and worked hard for several years, tending to a herd of 60 cows. They hoped to take a trip around Japan when they eventually retired, but things didn’t quite turn out as they had planned.

At age 52, after 30 years of marriage, Mrs. Kuroki developed an eye condition and went blind a week later. Devastated at the prospect of living with a disability, the poor woman grew depressed and shut herself from the world, choosing a life of seclusion. Mr. Kuroki was saddened to see his normally cheerful wife in so much pain. Because she couldn’t travel across Japan as they had always planned, he wanted to find a way to bring the whole of Japan to her.

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Sunglasses-Wearing Cat Becomes Internet Superstar

Meet Bagel, a.k.a ‘Sunglass Cat’, who became a social media sensation because of an eye condition that requires her to wear sunglasses at all times. Her shades are decorated with stick-on jewels, giving her a cool vibe that has earned her a reputation as one of the internet’s coolest cats. 

The Los Angeles feline was born without eyelids and her eyes are unable to produce tears. She was rescued from a shelter by Karen McGill when she was a two-month-old underweight kitten. Karen had to nurse her back to health, feeding her by hand every thirty minutes. Later, Bagel got three surgeries for her eye condition, and Karen still needs to apply drops to her eyes several times a day.

To protect Bagel’s sensitive eyes from harsh sunlight and dust, Karen came up with the idea of putting shades on her all the time. Over time, Bagel has come to associate her glasses as a means of comfort and protection. Without shades, her eyes are at a constant risk of being damaged due to cornea damage. Karen removes the jewel-lined glasses from time to time so Bagel can wash her eyes, but the keeps them on at all times in public. The cat also has allergies and cannot regulate her body temperature, which is why she is seen wearing clothes in a few photographs.

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These Gravity-Defying Sneakers Simulate the Feeling of Walking on the Moon

Thanks to these new sneakers, you don’t need to wait for space tourism to take off to experience walking on the moon. Aptly named ‘MoonWalker’, these shoes rely on magnets to allegedly simulate walking in a low-gravity environment. 

On their Indiegogo campaign page, startup Moonshine Crea reveals that the ingenious shoes are made from an “incredibly durable yet soft and breathable” synthetic fabric on the outside, while the inside is made of a DuPont Tyvek synthetic polyethylene used by NASA in space station modules. The sole, made of memory foam, is designed to perfectly fit the unique shape of each wearer’s foot.

So far the shoes seem like regular sneakers, but what sets the 20:16 MoonWalkers apart are the two special layers hidden beneath the memory foam, which are embedded with the world’s most powerful magnets . According to the company, “each layer is made up of powerful N45 magnets that are strategically placed so the north poles face each other. This creates a repellant force, which leaves you light on your feet and happy as an astronaut.”

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Compassionate Chinese Couple Have Been Taking Care of a Homeless Person for Over Three Decades

While some of us find it difficult to host guests for a few weeks, this Chinese couple have generously shared their home with a mentally ill homeless person for the past 35 years.

When Xue Shunlu and his wife Li Huannv first found Xue Zhen on the streets of Fenglingdu, in China’s Shanxi Province, the poor man was in a terrible state – he was unable to talk or defend himself from bullies on the street. So the couple rescued him and took him to their house in a neighbouring village in Yuncheng city.

Although they lived in a small house and barely earned enough to support themselves, the kind couple didn’t hesitate to share everything they had with a total stranger. They told him to treat the house as his own and spent their free time teaching him to cook, clean, and take care of himself. They even allowed him to share Xue Shunlu’s family name.

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Woman Has Pet Cat Stuffed So She Can Take It with Her Everywhere

An Argentinian woman found it so hard to part with her recently deceased pet cat that she had its body stuffed by a taxidermist just so she could keep carrying it with her everywhere she goes.

Daniela Cardone and her stuffed cat Matute shot to fame a few days ago, when she posted some pictures of their trip to Lujan city, in the Buenos Aires province, on Instagram. Speaking to reporters, the former model said she simply couldn’t bear to part with Matute after he died around a month ago, so she sought out someone to help her preserve his body. She strongly believed that his soul was still around her, and it didn’t make sense for her to dispose of his body.

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