Grieving Mother Dedicates Her Life to Planting Millions of Trees in Memory of Her Son

Meet Yi Jiefeng, a Shanghai woman who has helped plant millions of saplings in Inner Mongolia, over the past 12 years. Her goal is to reforest the arid Alashan Desert while keeping alive the memory of her son who passed away 16 years ago.

In the year 2000, Yi’s only son, Yang Ruizhe, was killed in a road accident in Japan, and the tragic incident left her a shattered woman. But she eventually found a way to deal with the grief by devoting her own life to fulfilling her son’s dream. Ruizhe had told her about his plans to plant trees in northern China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous region in order to stop the advancing desert, so Yi decided to fulfill his dream herself. “He was fond of nature since he was a little boy,” she said. “He was concerned about natural things such as wind, rain, plants, and animals.”

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The Cat Boat – Amsterdam’s Floating Sanctuary for Cats

The Cat Boat is one of Amsterdam’s most peculiar attractions. It’s essentially a sanctuary for cats, but what makes it special is that the rescued cats all live aboard a quaint little houseboat that bobs along the Herengracht canal. Although it wasn’t intended to be a tourist attraction, Cat Boat regularly receives about 4,500 visitors a year, most of whom are tourists missing their own cats while on vacation!

The origins of the Cat Boat can be traced back to 1966, when a kind woman named Henriette van Weelde took pity on a stray feline and her kittens and allowed them into her own home. Henriette soon became well known in the neighborhood for her kindness; people would regularly drop off rescued cats at her doorstep and she wouldn’t hesitate to take them all in.

This went on for about two years, after which Henriette simply didn’t have enough room to house more cats. So she came up with a solution – she put them all on an unused houseboat on the nearby Herengracht canal. The feline sanctuary was something of a ‘pirate’ ship for about two decades, operating without the knowledge of the authorities. But in 1987, it finally got a permit and was officially christened ‘de Poezenboot’ (the Cat Boat).

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This Guy Let a Monkey Design His Massive Back Tattoo

In a video titled Dancing Monkey With Pants, German artist Jan Schekauski is seen with a monkey walking all over his bare back, dabbing colorful patterns with its paint-soaked feet. It appears to be a fun project, but then Jan does something bizarre – he proceeds to make the monkey’s artwork permanent, by having a tattoo artist ink it onto his skin!

If you’re wondering what a monkey-made tattoo might  like, well, it’s actually pretty decent. The splotches of color make for a rather pleasing pattern, sort of like abstract, free-form painting that is meant to capture the emotional state of the painter. In this case, it’s quite evident that the monkey was enjoying himself.

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Couple Quit Successful Careers to Operate Pizza Boat in the Caribbean

Plenty of people have quit their jobs to start a career in the food industry, but Tara and Sasha Bouis are a bit different. The young couple abandoned their successful careers to set up a food boat called ‘Pizza π’ – the marine equivalent of a food truck – and serve pizza in the middle of the ocean!

“Pizza speaks to everybody,” said Tara, 32, who used to be an elementary school teacher. “Food trucks had become a part of everyday life – food boats had not. We knew that the concept was strange but we thought it could work, because the food is very recognisable.”

Sasha, 38, an MIT graduate who worked as a computer programmer at Standard & Poor’s, was fed up with his job and was looking for other interesting careers even before he met Tara. “I thought I was living the dream but quickly got tired of it,” he told Bloomberg Business. “I was walking farther and farther away from my office on my lunch break, and I walked past a sailing school and thought, I wonder if I could get a job there?”

That was 10 years ago, in 2005, and Sasha ended up quitting his job and moving to Puerto Rico to work on sailboats. Then he moved to the British Virgin Islands (BVI) to teach sailing at a summer camp. That’s when he met Tara, who happened to be working there as a special-education elementary school teacher that summer. The couple fell in love, settled in the Virgin Islands, and married in 2012.

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Chinese Women Are Going Crazy Over This $1,400 Camera That’s Literally Made for Selfies

Casio’s latest offering, the Exilim EX-TR70, is priced at a whopping $1,399! That’s rather steep for a compact camera, but the price tag is justified by its unbelievable selfie-friendly features. Targeted mainly at Chinese women who are obsessed with taking photos of themselves and sharing them online, the camera is expected to earn the Japanese company a $403 million profit this year.

The new TR70 is a third generation Exilim, a line of unusually shaped cameras that are specifically made for selfies. Right from the physical features to the UI, these cameras are streamlined to help the user click the perfect pic of their face every time. The hinged frame helps the device support itself, so it can easily be placed on any surface to face the subject. It offers several ways to actually click a picture, including squeezing the body, using the ‘selfie pad’ on the side, using a countdown self-timer, placing the hand on a certain part of the frame to be detected by the camera, and by touching the 3” LCD.

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Dutch Family Is Living in Giant Greenhouse for Three Years as Environmental Experiment

Since June last year, a Dutch family has been living in a wooden cabin in Rotterdam that’s built inside of a large greenhouse. Inhabited by botanical stylist Helly Scholten, her husband, their two teenage daughters, and their pet dog, ‘Concept House’ presents the perfect example of sustainability in the modern world. Not only does it reduce energy costs by trapping heat, it also allows the Scholtens to grow their own food in a rooftop vegetable garden.

Helly, who decorates photo shoots and events with plants and flowers, had always dreamed of living off-grid in an environmentally friendly home. But she wanted the home to be located in Rotterdam, the second-largest city in the Netherlands. That was next to impossible, given that the city has long since embraced modern architecture.

She had almost given up on her dream, but in an incredible stroke of luck, Helly found out that a group of students at Rotterdam University were building experimental houses, one of which was inside a greenhouse. This was exactly what Helly wanted, so she didn’t waste any time contacting the head of the project. “We met a professor at the university’s Sustainable Building Technology program and he said he was looking for a ‘test family’ for a new sustainable home,” she said, speaking to NY Times. “We applied on the spot.”

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Man in a Wheelchair Travels 2,800 Km in Epic Journey Across China

While most people view wheelchairs as a symbol of disability and confinement, this young man from China is proving the opposite – over the past couple of years he has been using his wheelchair to fulfill his lifelong dream of backpacking across the country.

29-year-old Quan Peng began his epic journey from Beijing on August 31, 2014, spending a whopping 566 days on the road before reaching Fuzhou city last Thursday. So far he’s traveled a total of 2,800 km spanning the length and breadth of the nation, but his trip is far from over. He still plans to cover another 1,700 km to Sanya, in China’s southernmost province of Hainan, before calling it a day.

“This is the fifth province and 22nd city I’ve passed through during my trip,” Quan told local media after reaching Fuzhou. “My fate deprived me of my freedom. I have to get it back by any means necessary. Along with wanting to see the world with my own eyes, I also am making this trip so that people will see the importance of having barrier-free facilities.” In each of the cities he has visited, Quan made it a point to document the type of facilities available for disabled people like himself. Sadly, he reports that in most places such conveniences are non-existent.

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Danish Artist Travels the World Building Thousands of Scrapwood Birdhouses for Urban Birds

Thomas Dambo, an artist from Denmark, is using his sculpting skills to help thousands of urban birds around the world. Fueled by the belief that humans should coexist peacefully with other species, he makes use of scrap wood to build houses for birds everywhere he goes.

“Over the last 7 years I have made more than 3500 birdhouses in various projects all over the world,” Dambo wrote on Bored Panda. “Birds are some of the few animals still living in our cities, and I began this project because I thought that it was important to make sure that they can continue living here. It’s about creating a shelter for birds and also about reminding us that it’s important to leave room for birds in the urban world.”

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Swedish Scientists Want to Find Out if Cats Meow with an Accent Based on Where They Live

A cat with an accent sounds like a character in a whimsical children’s tale, but Swedish scientists are trying to figure out if domestic cats actually do have differing ‘dialects’ based on their geographical location. They also want to understand if the owner’s voice might have a role to play in the way cats’ meow. If they’re successful, the team of scientists from Lund University hope to put together a ‘dictionary’ of cat sounds.

“It seems that cats can consciously vary their intonation or melody constantly, perhaps to convey a certain message, perhaps to alter or increase the urgency of a message, or emotions,” said Susanne Schötz, a reader in phonetics and head of the project. “We want to find out to what extent domestic cats are influenced by the language and dialect that humans use to speak to them, because it seems that cats use slightly different dialects in the sounds they produce.”

The project, titled ‘Meowsic’ (short for ‘Melody in Human-Cat Communication’), will be carried out over the next five years. Schötz explained that she and her team will use phonetic analysis to compare cat sounds from two parts of Sweden – Stockholm and Lund – with differing human dialects, and figure out if the cats from these regions also have different dialects. They will focus on intonation, voice, and speaking style in the human speech that is addressed to cats, and also cat sounds that are addressed to humans.

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Dog Owner Dyes Dogs to Look Like Pandas, Sparks Controversy

A dog owner from Singapore has stirred up controversy by dyeing her three pure-bred Chow Chows to resemble pandas. The white fur dogs now have dyed black patches around their eyes, on their ears, and all over their bodies, making them look more like mini pandas than canines.

and her dogs began to gain popularity after many Singaporean residents spotted them around town and posted photographs of them online. About a month ago Jiang decided to make the most of the publicity and started a service called Panda Chow Chows that allows people to rent out her dogs for photo shoots. A Facebook post made by her husband reads: “Meet the cutest and most adorable dogs in Singapore. The Panda Chow Chows! Toudou (Potato), Yumi (Sweetcorn) and DouDou (Bean). Very proud of my wife Meng Jiang launching her new venture.”

The couple revealed that they brought the three dogs with them from London, when they moved to Singapore in October last year. They started by dyeing only one of the dogs, Yumi, because they thought the puppies were looking more and more like pandas as they grew older. “Yumi loved it and TouDou and DouDou were really jealous of her, so we tried it with them and they all had a new level of energy after it was done,” Jiang told Channel News Asia.

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Canadian Cyclist Rides His Bike around Town to Create Artistic GPS Doodles

Stephen Lund, a cyclist from Victoria, Canada, follows a rather unusual method while deciding his biking routes. Instead of going for the shortest route on the map to get from point A to B, he charts a complicated course that traces out brilliant doodles on street maps and records his artworks with a GPS app.

Some of Lund’s GPS doodles include simple messages like ‘Happy Birthday’, while others feature more complex drawings of animals, fictional characters, and pop icons. He’s been doing this for the past one year, creating a bizarre collection of GPS art work on an app called Strava.

Lund started the extraordinary project on January 1, 2015, as a way to wish people a ‘Happy New Year’. But he kept going after that first doodle, creating a total of 85 works over the course of the year – all of which are posted on his website, gpsdoodles.com. He begins each project by creating a doodle on a map of Victoria that he’s built into Photoshop. He then uses Google maps to find the best route that would follow the shape of his drawings.

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World’s Largest Rattlesnake Roundup – How to Turn Slaughtering Thousands of Snakes into a Yearly Festival

For the past 59 years, the residents of Sweetwater, Texas, have been coming together during the second weekend of March to celebrate the ‘World’s Largest Rattlesnake Roundup’, a four-day event that features the beheading and skinning of thousands of rattlesnakes in front of a live audience.

Annual rattlesnake roundups are common in several areas of the rural Midwest and Southern United States, but the event at Sweetwater is considered by far the largest of them all. Launched in 1958 by the Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees), it used to be the most effective way to control the region’s heavy snake population responsible for the death of cattle and humans alike.

And while the festival’s original premise might not be relevant anymore, the event still manages to draw up to 30,000 visitors each year, including out-of-state snake hunting teams and tourists from other countries. Just last year , a whopping 3,780 pounds – that’s tens of thousands – of rattlesnake were netted and thrown live into a pit, from where they were taken out and killed, one at a time.

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Roadside Education – Indian Factory Worker Opens Street School to Teach Slum Kids

For the past 15 years, factory owner Kamal Parmar has been running an after-school program for slum kids in Ahmedabad, India, helping them with basic skills like reading and writing and even preparing for their school tests. 

Parmar’s story begins one afternoon 15 years ago. He was standing outside his metal fabrication workshop, near the slums of the Bhudarpura neighborhood, when he met a few kids returning home from the local municipal school. They were ecstatic about the end of their exams, which they claimed to have aced, so he decided to stop them and ask them a few questions. That’s when he made a shocking discovery – the students, even the older ones, did not know how to read.

“I took their exam paper and asked a few questions to some of them,” he says in a 2014 documentary titled Footpath School. “But none of them knew any answers. I thought to ask a few others. I asked them to read, but they did not even know how to read. Surprised, I asked them what did they write in their exams. All they knew was identifying the alphabet. And that left me thinking that something should be done for these children. And that is how, 15 to 17 years back I started this school.”

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Forget Protein Shakes, ‘Barbell Brew’ Contains as Much Protein as a Sirloin Steak

You don’t need to give up six-packs to get a six-pack anymore, thanks to ‘Barbell Brew’, a new alcoholic beer that contains over 21.8 g of protein per serving. That’s roughly the same amount of protein you would get out of a sirloin steak, so you can happily swap those disgusting protein shakes for this new, delicious brew!

If you suspect that Barbell Brew might be just another health drink hidden in a beer can, worry not. With an alcohol content of 3.6 percent, it’s perfect for a beer buzz while also getting your share of muscle-pumping proteins. What’s more, it tastes great, it’s gluten free, and it only has 92.4 calories – that’s 33% less than what you’d get from regular beers, and even less than most light beers.

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Mexican Farmer Builds Aztec Pyramid, Claims Alien Instructed Him to

Raymundo Corona, a farmer from Mexico, has gone and built a 22-foot Aztec pyramid in the desert, 74 km from the Mexico-US border. When people asked him why he went through the trouble of building a pyramid in the desert, he said he was simply following the instructions of an alien who paid him a visit three decades ago. 

Speaking to a local newspaper, Corona described the alien as a tall man with honey-colored eyes and white hair, by the name of Herulayka. He apparently came from a planet called Nefilin, which Corona says is 20 times the size of Earth and is located in the constellation of Orion.

The Mexican farmer added that Herulayka warned him that he would be taken for a drunk or a drug addict if he ever built the pyramid, but his conviction was so strong that he went ahead and did it anyway. He really believes that the alien paid him a visit in 1984, when he was 33 years old. His wife was pregnant at the time and about to give birth to their baby girl when he first saw the strange man in his dreams.

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