For the Past 7 Years, 100% of Seniors at This School Have Been Admitted to College

Urban Prep Academy, an all-male charter high school in Chicago, has set the bar really high for learning institutions in the US. Despite getting most of its students from the Windy City’s lowest income neighborhoods, it has managed to achieve and maintain a 100 percent graduation rate for nearly a decade. But even more impressive is the fact that every senior in the past seven years has gone on to attended college on a scholarship.

Most recently, the entire class of 2016 celebrated ‘College Signing Day’, with each student announcing the college or university he has chosen to attend. The class has collectively received over 1,500 college admissions, with over $15 million in scholarships and grants. “It’s a great day,” said senior Rudolph Long, speaking to CBS Chicago. “I feel great. We all made it. We all come from good environments so to see us all going to college is nice.”

The all-African-American, all-male charter high school’s unprecedented success has been attributed to its unique mission – to elevate the students’ self esteem while focusing on test scores as well. While most successful schools have stringent admission criteria, Urban Prep makes no distinction between applicants. Any Chicago resident is welcome to apply. A lottery selects 450 students out of approximately 1,500 applications each year, to attend Urban Prep’s three campuses in Englewood, West, and Bronzeville.

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Woman Sues Starbucks for $5 Million for Putting Too Much Ice in Iced Drinks

Putting too much ice in iced drinks could potentially cost businesses millions of dollars, as Starbucks is learning the hard way. Chicago resident Stacy Pincus has filed a $5 million class action lawsuit against the coffeehouse chain for filling coffee cups with too much frozen water.

Pincus is alleging that although the company sells beverages in Tall, Grande, Venti, and Trenta sizes, there’s so much ice in them that customers are only getting half the amount they actually pay for. In addition, she’s accusing the chain of charging more for iced drinks than for hot drinks, which she believes is a huge rip off. The lawsuit mentions that in 2014, iced tea was actually the most profitable product on the Starbucks menu.

“In essence, Starbucks is advertising the size of its cold drink cups on its menu, rather than the amount of fluid a customer will receive when they purchase a cold drink – and deceiving its customers in the process,” the court documents filed by Pincus states. They also mention that while the Venti is supposed to be 24 ounces, the actual amount of the drink served is as little as 14 because “large pieces of ice take up more space.”

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Taiwanese Restaurant Charges $300 for a Bowl of Beef Noodle Soup

Beef noodle soup might not be the most glamorous dish you could order at a restaurant, but a serving of the comfort food can certainly leave you feeling satiated. Is it worth a whopping $300, though? Because that’s what a bowl of the ‘world’s best noodle soup’ costs at this popular Taiwanese restaurant.

In case you’re wondering, the soup doesn’t contain bizarre ingredients like diamonds or dirt, and it isn’t infused with healthy stuff like collagen or anthocyanin. It’s a simple beef bowl recipe, albeit one that Chef Wang Cong-yuan has spent the past 26 years researching and perfecting. The special beef noodle soup is currently served at his small 40-seat restaurant, Niu Ba Ba (Daddy Cow), in Taiwan.

“From the age of forty, I have focused on making a good bowl of beef noodles,” Wang said. “It’s quality over quantity. My ultimate goal is to make the world’s best beef noodle soup.”

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Twin Sisters Sleep with Plush Toys, Sell Them on Instagram for $333 a Piece

A pair of identical twin sisters from Los Angeles have come up with a bizarre way to make money – they’re ‘sleeping’ with superhero figurines and then selling each one for a whopping $333. In a bid to boost sales, they’re also posting highly suggestive photographs on Instagram of each night spent with a figurine.

Allie and Lexie Kaplan, 22, are working in collaboration with ‘The Most Famous Artist’ Matty Mo, who rose to fame after making $50,000 in one weekend by selling cash on Instagram. The figurine collection, named ‘The Boys Toys’, features seven fictional characters – Batman, Mario, Pikachu, Yoda, Chewbacca, The Hulk, and Darth Vader. The sisters revealed that they purchased the figurines for a total of $130 from LA’s Toy District and are selling each one for $333. According to The Most Famous Artist online shop, they are all sold out.

“Each ‘Boy Toy’ is signed on the tag and includes a signed Certificate of Authenticity sealed with kisses and a framed picture of us with the ‘Boy Toy’. And yes they smell like us,” the twins wrote on Instagram. “We are taking over @themostfamousartist this week to launch our new project ‘Boy Toys’. We slept with each one of them and have the pictures to prove it. This week we are going to tell you all about each ones dirty little secrets.”

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Chinese Shepard Has Been Living by Himself in Abandoned Village for the Last 10 Years

Living by yourself can be scary and daunting, but this Chinese man has managed to survive in complete isolation for 10 long years. Liu Shengjia was recently discovered living all by himself in the completely abandoned village of Xuenshanshe, in northwest China’s Gansu Province, after his mother and brother’s death over a decade ago.

Xuenshanshe village was once home to about 20 families, but was slowly abandoned by its residents as resources became scarce. Families ended up moving away to towns and cities in search of work, and those left behind eventually passed away. By 2006, he was left alone to take care of his bedridden mother and younger brother, both of whom died within a year, making him the only inhabitant of the village. Anyone else in his position might have left for better prospects, if only for fear of losing their mind to loneliness, but Liu stayed behind and made a life for himslef.  “In the beginning, I wasn’t able to sleep at night while listening to the howling of wild dogs,” he admitted, speaking to the People’s Daily. “But after I started to tend a few sheep and they’ve become my companions, I slowly got used to living alone.”

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Man Builds House with Hole in the Floor Over Pond So He Can Fish Every Day

Oklahoma native Paul Phillips loves fishing so much that he dug up his own pond and built a house over it. This allows him to engage in his favorite hobby on all three sides of the porch, but the real highlight of the place is the secret fishing hole inside his living room. The unusual trap door arrangement allows him to relax in his rocking chair and fish indoors to his heart’s content!

When he started constructing the house in September 2014, Phillips began attracting the attention of neighbors who were completely fascinated by his idea. It eventually got covered by local media and his love for fishing made international headlines. Speaking to News On 6, he explained that the project came about solely because of obsession with catching fish. “I love to fish, I fish every day,” he said.

But it wasn’t until he experienced an unpleasant interruption while engaging in his beloved hobby that he actually came up with the idea for a house built over a fish pond. He happened to be fishing at Lake Oologah one day when a man came over and told him and told him that it wasn’t allowed and he had to stop. This irritated him to no end and that’s when he decided to build his own fishing-paradise. He thought to himself: “One of these days I’ll have a place of my own where nobody can tell me I can’t fish there.” Phillips got to work soon after the incident – he rented a bulldozer, dug up a large pond, and later built a 1,850 square-foot house off to one corner of the pond. The carpenter who worked on the house, Randy Aschlerman, said he’d never built anything like it before, but it turned out to be one of the most fun projects in his career.

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Japanese Home Gardening Pod Lets You Grow Vegetables Indoor

Many of us living in tiny apartments can only dream about growing vegetables in our own backyards, but thanks to Foop, an ingenious home gardening pod developed by Japanese company C’estec, we can now grow veggies in the comfort of our own home.

Foop (a combination of the words ‘food’ and ‘people’) is a small-size hydroponic agriculture kit that allows users to grow plants in water instead of soil. Its designers claim that you can use Foop to grow small crops of popular vegetables, including lettuce, arugula, basil, parsley or shiso, all of which can be raised from seeds and will develop faster than non-hydroponic plants.

The elegantly-designed wooden frame of the Foop is is produced by craftsmen from Hida, in Gifu Prefecture, one of Japan’s most famous woodworking regions, but the device also comes with a clear acrylic cover that lets you check the progress of your crops. There are no buttons or switches visible on the Foop, because all the settings – temperature, humidity, light, water levels, etc. – are done via a smartphone app. The Foop will also regularly send notifications regarding the state of your indoor garden and alert you when the crops are ready to be harvested.

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The Photo-Realistic Drawings of Flavio Apel

Take a look at the photo below. Can you believe this is not a photograph, but an (almost) pixel-perfect pencil rendition of a stock photo? Neither could eye (pun intended), but it’s true. This is the kind of work Italian artist Flavio Apel is capable of.

Apel says his passion for drawing started out as a simple hobby, which makes his amazing artworks that much more impressive. He definitely became quite serious about drawing at some point in his life, because he is currently able to draw human eyes and skin to perfection. From the tiniest of wrinkles to the slim veins in the eyeball, Flavio’s works seem flawless black-and-white photographs and you probably need an expert to tell them apart.

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American Artist Creates Disturbingly Realistic Celebrity Masks

Denver-based visual artist Landon Meier started making realistic latex masks as a hobby, but some of his creations got so much attention that he eventually built a business around them. Today, his aptly-named company Hyperflesh is renowned for making some of the most accurate Halloween masks in the world.

Landon’s rise to fame came in 2011, when he created a set of three hyper-realistic baby masks made of extra thick latex. Photos of the eerie masks worn by a muscular male model spread on the internet like wildfire and Hyperflesh saw its business skyrocket almost instantly. In a matter of days, the talented artist went from 25 orders a month to 25 a week, and had to hire extra help just to keep up with demand. It’s worth mentioning that at $350 a piece, Meier’s hand-crafted baby masks were definitely not cheap, but they still appealed to a lot of people, who either wanted to wear them in Halloween costume competitions or just add them to their mask collections.

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Drink or Fail – Chinese Students Forced to Down Hard Liquor to Pass Exam

A college professor in China has been suspended after giving his students a rather controversial test during their final exam. In a bid to prepare them for real life, he asked his students to gulp down glasses of baijiu, a Chinese liquor, grading them based on how much they were able consume.

“You’re all going to do sales jobs after graduation, drinking baijiu is the thing you must learn!” Gu Ming told the students of his Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) class at Guizhou Anshun Vocational Institute. He had poured the alcohol into dozens of plastic cups and laid them out on the desk in his office, asking his students to drink up.

“Those who ‘ganbeied’ (finished) a full glass of liquor get a full 100 mark for their exam, half glass gets 90 marks, and a sip gets 60,” one of Gu Ming’s students later posted on Chinese social media website Weibo. “Those who do not drink at all will fail.”

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Hikaru Dorodango – The Delicate Japanese Art of Making Perfect Shiny Spheres Out of Dirt

Hikaru Dorodango, which translates to ‘shiny dumpling’, is a relaxing Japanese art that involves crafting shiny spheres from dirt. That might sound super simple, but it actually takes years to perfect and several hours to manipulate the dirt. It’s all worth it in the end though, because, in the hands of a true master, the end results are nothing short of mind-blowing.

To make a shiny Dorodango, you start by packing mud into your hand and squeezing out all the moisture. You then press into into the shape of a sphere and spend the next two hours rubbing on more layers of increasingly finer dry dirt. Once this is complete, you pack the dumpling in a plastic bag for three or four hours and later polish it with a cloth and varnish until it shines.

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Afghan Teacher Turns His Bicycle into a Mobile Library to Give Isolated Children a Chance to Read

In a nation ravaged by war, where children have little to no access to quality literature, a school teacher is trying his best to make a difference. Saber Hosseini, who teaches children in the city of Bamiyan, central Afghanistan, has converted his bicycle into a mobile library which he rides to remote villages.

“I came up with the idea for this project six months ago. I talked about it to friends in literary circles, who donated money and got some of their friends abroad to donate as well. I started alone with 200 storybooks for kids, and started riding to remote villages throughout Bamiyan province. Soon, I recruited more volunteers – now there are 20 of us, and we have a collection of about 6,000 books.” Most of these books are imported from Iran.

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French Engineer Converts Old Cars into DIY Poor Man’s Teslas

French engineer Marc Areny didn’t let his financial status get in the way of owning a Tesla – he simply built a DIY version for himself.

A resident of Romania since 2011, Marc was driven by the idea of making “an electric car that anyone could afford, not just elites.” So he started off with Romania’s national car, the low-cost 2005 Dacia Logan by Renault, and got rid of all the parts that worked on petrol. Instead, he replaced them with batteries and an electric motor. The result was a reliable and fast vehicle that does the job pretty well, albeit without all of Tesla’s bells and whistles – touchscreens and other gizmos.

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Unique ‘Pay as You Trash’ System Helps South Korea Cut Food Waste

In a bid to control the nation’s growing problem with food wastage, the South Korean government has started a unique initiative – ‘Pay as You Trash’. Residents are required to separate their food waste from the rest of their trash and dump it separately in a centralised bin. And in order to access the bin, they actually need to pay by the kilo!

As of now, the South Korean government has three methods in place to charge citizens for the food thrown away. One is through an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) card – when users tap this card – embedded with their personal tag – over a specially designed food waste bin, the lid will open, allowing them to dump their waste. This waste is automatically weighed and recorded in the user’s account. The user needs to settle this bill on a monthly basis. Each RFID bin costs 1.7 million won ($1,500) and can cater to 60 households.

The second billing method is through pre-paid garbage bags. These specially designed bags are priced based on volume. For instance, in Seoul, a 10-liter garbage bag costs around 190 won (less than $1). There’s also a bar code management system in place, in which residents deposit food waste directly into composting bins and pay for it by purchasing bar code stickers attached to the bin.

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Introducing Anti-aGin – The World’s First Anti-Aging Gin

Alcohol generally does nothing good for the skin, but the makers of this new brand of gin are claiming otherwise. Aptly named ‘Anti-aGin’, the 40 percent spirit supposedly contains several skin-boosting ingredients like collagen and other antioxidants, giving it anti-aging properties. So with Anti-aGin, you don’t need to worry about your drinking habit showing up on your skin.

Created by UK-based Warner Leisure Hotels, in collaboration with contemporary food design company Bompas & Parr, the age-defying gin has been distilled with pure collagen – the glue that holds our skin together. As we grow older the collagen level in our skin declines, leading to wrinkles and sagging, so the supplement present in the gin is meant to reverse that.

The beverage also contains antioxidant rich ‘skin-healing’ ingredients like green tea for detox, witch hazel oil to kill bacteria, gotu kola that helps reduce cellulite and sun damage, chamomile for healing and relaxation, and burdock to repair cracked skin. Other ingredients include angelica root, coriander, liquorice, and cardamom.

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