X

The Balinese “Deaf Village” Where Everyone Knows Sign Language

In the remote Balinese village of Bengkala every one of the 3,000-odd residents can fluently communicate in kata kolok, a centuries-old sign language, and people with speech and hearing deficiencies are always treated with respect.

That so many people would bother to learn sign language might seem strange, but there’s a good reason behind the unique tradition – the number of hearing and speech impaired in Bengkala is about 15 times higher than the world average and it’s believed to have been even higher in the past. So it’s only natural that, in time, body language took precedence over words, and villagers developed their own unique sign language which has been passed on for centuries.

The high incidence of deafness is apparently caused by the geographically-centric recessive gene DFNB3, present in the village for over seven generations. Parents with normal hearing may have a deaf child, and deaf parents are known to have children who can hear perfectly well. Either way, it seems to make no difference to the villagers, who have long learned to treat everyone the same, without any kind of discrimination.

Bengkala-village Read More »

Chinese Widow Spends Seventeen Years Putting Four of Her Husband’s Five Killers in Prison

Seventeen long years after witnessing the brutal murder of her husband Li Guiying’s struggles have finally borne fruit – she has managed to track down four of his five killer and provide enough evidence to have them locked up. 58-year-old Li doesn’t plan on stopping until she finds the last killer as well.

The determined widow’s sad story began in the winter of 1998. Li, her husband Qi Yuande, and their five children were a happy family living in Xiangcheng city, China’s Henan province. But things went wrong when an argument broke out with a neighbor named Qi Xueshan, who feared that she might start complaining about him to the local authorities. To ensure this wouldn’t happen, he invited the couple to his house under pretext of having a civilized conversation, but attacked them as soon as they arrived.

Li-Guiying-widow Read More »

Kids Place Warm Clothes on Street Posts for the Homeless to Pick Up

A group of Canadian kids are already spreading a bit of Christmas spirit in Halifax, Nova Scotia, by wrapping warm clothing around lamp poles for the city’s homeless to pick up and use. The unusual sight of warmly dressed poles caught recently the attention of locals, who stopped to click pictures to share on social media.

Every year, Tara Atkins-Smith collects warm clothing from her community, in order to give to the less fortunate. This year, she took to Facebook to call for donations and the response was overwhelming – their front porch was overflowing with bags of clothes. Since the family was traveling to Halifax on November 15 with their daughter Jayda and seven of her friends to celebrate her 8th birthday, Tara decided it was the perfect time to teach the children valuable life lesson.

clothes-for-the-homeless Read More »

Filipino Entrepreneur Creates Revolutionary Lamp That Runs on Saltwater

Meet Aisa Mijeno, a Filipino architect and scientist who invented a revolutionary lamp that runs on a glass of saltwater instead of batteries. Her vision in creating the SALt (Sustainable Alternative Lighting) lamp was to “light up the rest of the Philippines sustainably,” by finding an environment-friendly alternative light source suitable for people in coastal areas. She came up with the idea after spending time with the locals of the Butbut tribe in the Kalinga Province of Philippines, who had no access to electricity.  

The lamp can apparently run for eight hours on just two tablespoons of salt and a glass of water. “It is made of tediously experimented and improved chemical compounds, catalysts, and metal alloys that when submerged in electrolytes will generate electricity,” Mijeno explained. The idea behind it is the chemical conversion of energy, but while it works on the scientific principle of the galvanic cell, it makes use of a harmless, non-toxic saline solution instead of hazardous electrolytes. 

Aisa-Mijeno-saltwater-lamp Read More »

Syrian Refugee Feeds Berlin Homeless as Way to Give Back to German People

Despite having lost everything, a Syrian refugee is doing his bit to return the kindness extended to him by German locals. For the past year, Alex Assali has been serving hot meals to the homeless in Berlin in order to “give something back to the people that helped him.”

Assali arrived in Germany in 2007, after fleeing Damascus on foot because his life was in danger for posting negative messages online about Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. He changed his name, adopted a new identity, and did his best to become not a burden but a blessing for his adoptive country. Since August last year, he has offering free food to those less fortunate than him.

A photograph of Assali standing on the side of a busy street, behind a table laden with hot rice, gravy, and bread, was recently posted to Facebook by his friend Tabea Bü. She revealed that Assali sets up a table outside Berlin’s Alexanderplatz station every Saturday and serves about 100 homeless people. The photo was shared thousands of times, and Tabea said they were overwhelmed with the positive comments.

Alex-Assali Read More »

Architect Turns Old Grain Silo into Amazing-Looking Home

It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but this cylindrical structure is an architectural marvel. It actually used to be an old grain silo from the 1950s, but it’s been transformed a cozy, well-equipped one-bedroom by architect Christoph Kaiser. He now lives in the silo-house – located in Phoenix, Arizona – with his wife.

The quirky 340-square-foot home has a very small carbon footprint, but not at the cost of modern comforts. Kaiser, who purchased the silo from a Kansas farmer and transported it to Arizona on a pickup truck, made all sorts of modifications to make it habitable. He added a ten-inch spray foam insulation between the silo walls and the interior walls, and painted the corrugated shell sheet white to reflect the heat of the desert sun.

grain-silo-home Read More »

Woman Takes Revenge on Cheating Husband by Selling Their House While He Is Away on Business

42-year-old Laura Arnolds came up with the perfect plan to get back at her husband for cheating on her – she sold the house while he was away on a business trip! When Craig Arnolds returned, he was utterly bewildered to find his locks changed and six students in his living room.

It all started when Laura found a message on her husband’s phone that he’d accidentally left behind when he left for a business trip to the US. The rather ‘steamy’ message from an American woman about what Craig could expect once he reached New York clearly implied he was being unfaithful.

Laura was obviously upset, but instead of blowing up at him she decided to get even. Lucky for her, her parents had taken over the mortgage of their Warwickshire property, so she was able to sell the house within a fortnight through a website that specializes in selling houses fast, to a group of students at the University of Warwick. She then packed her bags and left.

house-sold Read More »

Man Generates Almost No Garbage in Two and a Half Year Trash-Free Experiment

Darshan Karwat, a post-doctorate at the University of Michigan, is making headlines for having maintained an incredibly frugal and sustainable lifestyle during his student years. The man gave up fast food, new clothes, and even toilet paper, until he got to a point where his trash for an entire year fit in just two plastic bags!

Karwat, who is originally from India, started the trash-free experiment when he lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and managed to keep it going for two and a half years. In the first year, he produced only 7.5 lbs of trash, and in the second year, he brought that number down to a meager 6 lbs, which is a mind-blowing 0.4 percent of the 1,500 lbs of yearly trash produced by the average American.

Looking back, Karwat says that his inspiration to start the project came from an episode of the radio show The Story, on which he heard of a British couple who lived trash-free. “I walked home from my laboratory at the University of Michigan and told my roommate Tim that I thought I could do better – I’d live trash- and recycling-free and that I’d start soon,” Karwat wrote in an essay for The Washington Post. “And just like that, I began an experiment in individual activism in the face of large environmental problems.”

darshan-karwat Read More »

Russian Tax Collectors to Be Given Money-Scented Soap to Make Them More Enthusiastic about Collecting Taxes

In a bid to make Russian tax collectors more interested in their jobs, a local government has come up with a rather bizarre scheme – providing them with money-scented soap! The idea is that the special odor will stimulate and inspire tax collectors to love and enjoy collecting money.

The idea is the brainchild of Aman Tuleyev, governor of the Kemerovo Oblast region in Central Russia. He seems to strongly believe that by using cash-scented toiletries, the smell of money will linger around tax collectors all day, thus making them love it and increasing their tax collection rate.

The concept isn’t new though, as money-based perfume and soap have been around since at least 1998, when an Austrian artist managed to bottle the smell of cash. In 2011, a Japanese study found that having employees smell money all day long is a great way to improve their productivity.

money-soap Read More »

Meet Fray Tormenta, the Wrestling Priest Who Inspired Nacho Libre

It’s a little known fact that Nacho Libre, a character played by Jack Black in the 2006 eponymous movie, is actually based on a legendary real-life Mexican wrestling priest. In the film, Nacho Libre is the undercover identity adopted by Black, a monastery cook, in order become a luchador, a masked lucha libre wrestler. The idea of a priest donning a lucha libre mask is rather outlandish, but Sergio Gutierrez Benitez, a.k.a Fray Tormenta, actually did that in real life!

Born in 1945, Benitez is a Catholic priest who runs a home for orphans. As he struggled to support the kids, he decided on a rather radical means of raising money – becoming a wrestler. He designed his own red-and-yellow lucha libre mask (yellow for liveliness he must display in the ring, and red for the blood he must spill on behalf of the orphanage), and adopted the name ‘Fray Tormenta’.

Fray-Tormenta Read More »

Couple Keep Long-Distance Relationship Alive with Touching Photo Collages

Long distance relationships are hard, but a Korean couple have found a creative way to deal with physical separation. Danbi Shin and Seok Li are both artists, and they’re working on a cool photo-collage project that bridges the distance between them.   

Despite the 14-hour time difference between New York and Seoul, where Danbi and Seok live, they photograph themselves doing similar things simultaneously. Then they merge the two pictures, careful to ensure accuracy and symmetry, to make a single image. They also try their best to find similar scenes in totally different environments, and later post the collages on Instagram, where they collectively go as ‘ShinLiArt’.

Danbi-Shin-Seok-Li Read More »

Ford Creates “Drug Driving Suit” That Simulates Drug Impaired Driving

Ford has come up with an ingenious way of showing young people the dangers of driving while under the influence of drugs. They’ve built a ‘drugged driving’ simulation suit that accurately replicates the effects of being high. Driving while wearing the suit will now be a compulsory module in the company’s worldwide driver education program, ‘Ford Driving Skills for Life’.

The suit, developed in collaboration with scientists from the Meyer-Hentschel Institute in Germany, is specially engineered to simulate distortion of the senses. It comes with padding, ankle weights, goggles, and headphones, all of which create the effect of reduced mobility and vision. So anyone wearing the suit will experience slower reaction time, distorted vision, and poor coordination. The goggles create tunnel vision while the headphones play random distracting sounds. Knee and elbow bandages slow limb movement, a neck brace limits head movement, while tremor generators make the hands shake uncontrollably.

Ford-drug-driving-suit Read More »

Woman Who Set Out to Find Doppelganger Online Meets Her Third “Twin Stranger”

They say we all have seven doppelgängers scattered across the world, but you’d be lucky to meet just one of them in your lifetime. However, one Irish woman has had the good fortune of meeting not one, not two, but three other women who look almost exactly like like her. And she’s now made it her mission to find the other four!

Niamh Geaney launched a project called ‘Twin Strangers’ – a website where people can upload their photographs and find their lookalikes for a small fee. She wanted to find her own doppelgänger within 28 days, and was amazed to discover Karen Branigan, a spitting image of herself, living just an hour away.

Photographs of Karen and Niamh went viral and nobody, including them, could get over the coincidence of two unrelated people resembling each other so closely. “For the duration of our encounter, I pretty much stared at her,” Niamh later said. “I couldn’t get over her face. And some of the expressions she would pull I think to myself or say aloud, ‘Oh my God, that’s my face.’ I can’t remember the number of times I said ‘this is so freaky’. It was truly amazing.”

twin-strangers Read More »

Former Chinese Millionaire Left Penniless After Pouring All His Fortune into Rescuing Dogs

At age 29, Wang Yan has earned and lost more money than most people would in a lifetime. He used to be a millionaire businessman with a successful steel factory in Changchun, in China’s Jilin province. But now he doesn’t have a penny to his name, having spent his entire fortune rescuing dogs from being butchered!

Yan was compelled to help dogs after he first witnessed their plight in 2012. He was searching for his own missing pet dog when he someone suggested he try searching at a butcher’s shop. His dog wasn’t there, but he hung around for a week and saw how the other dogs were being brutally killed. Deeply disturbed, he vowed to buy every single dog from the butcher, just so he could save them from a horrible death.

Chinese-dog-lover4 Read More »

You Can Now ‘Freck Yourself’ with These Fake Freckles Cosmetics

There was a time when freckles were considered unsightly, but they might just become the ‘in’ thing when this new cosmetic fake-freckle kit hits the market!

Called ‘Freck Yourself’, the kit comes with a set of 72 self-adhesive stencils and a rollerball containing skin-pigmenting formula. Users need to place the stencil on the spot where they want freckles, and then roll the formula all over it. The result is a sun-kissed look that is guaranteed to last for two days with one-time use, or up to six weeks with everyday use.

Freck Yourself is the brainchild of Los Angeles-based Remi Brixton, who always wanted to have freckles her whole life. “There is nothing more beautiful to me than bare skin and fresh freckles,” she said in a promotional video. “To me, they’re a mark of rebellious dreamers, wild adventures, and unapologetic beauty.”

Frek-yourself-freckles Read More »

Page 80 of 468« First...102030...7879808182...90100110...Last »