French Students Invent Car That Runs for 2,000 Miles on a Single Liter of Fuel

The Microjoule is an extremely fuel efficient car that can travel over 2,000 miles on just a single liter of fuel. That sounds ridiculously unbelievable, but it’s true. The carbon fiber vehicle is built to accommodate just one person at a time, lying down, which is a weird way to travel, but who cares, when it covers a 200-mile journey for just 20 cents?

The Microjoule is the brainchild of a group of French students at the La Joliverie College in Nantes, western France. They built the superlight vehicle (35 kg) as a part of the 2003 Shell European Eco-Marathon Contest to find the world’s most fuel efficient vehicle. Needless to say, they won, beating 200 other teams competing in the event.

The judges at the contest tested the car on a track in Rotterdam, the Netherlands – they calculated that the car could do 2,072 miles (that’s 3,300 kilometers) per liter of fuel or 9,400 miles per gallon. Which means that driving the Microjoule once around the world would only cost about $26.

Microjoule

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South Korean Model Goes under the Knife to Look Like Supermodel Miranda Kerr

It seems like the Koreans are always in the news for their outrageous plastic surgeries. The latest to get on board is young South Korean model Hong Yuh Reum, who completely changed her face to resemble her idol – supermodel Miranda Kerr.

Reum was recently featured on a Korean TV show called Alien Virus, which features all sorts of unusual guests. She admitted that Kerr was her only inspiration for going under the knife. “It really struck me when I first saw her in a magazine,” said Reum. “She has a baby face but she’s very sexy. I knew I wanted to be like her!”

Hong-Yuh-Reum

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Man Spends 13 Years Turning Boring Hedge into a 150-Foot-Long Dragon

One day, 13 years ago, when retired fan maker John Brooker realized that his hedge was way too boring, he decided to do something about it. Since then, he has been sculpting it into a wonderful, mystical creature – a gigantic 150-foot long, 20-foot tall dragon, complete with a massive pair of wings and six sets of legs.

The dragon topiary – with its bulging eyes, flaring nostrils and crested back – is truly one-of-a-kind. Mr. Brooker, now 75, said: “I was standing at my kitchen sink one day and thought the hedge was boring so decided to do something with it. I think the dragon came from my days in the Army. I did two tours in Malaysia so the dragon must have been in my subconscious.”

dragon-hedge

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Who Needs a Car When You Have a Drivable Suitcase?

If you thought suitcases with wheels were handy, wait till you check out this new invention. It’s an electric suitcase that not only has wheels, but is also equipped with a small motor – so instead of carrying or dragging it, and you actually get to ride it wherever you need to go. Getting by in an airport will seem a breeze with this bad boy. You just sit on it, start it up, and go!

The 15-pound, battery-operated, drivable suitcase is the brainchild of Chinese amateur inventor He Liangcai. On a full charge, the suitcase can transport two adults at 12 mph for a distance of up to 37 miles. It also has GPS navigation and a burglar alarm.

drivable-suitcase

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Legally Blind Football Player Signs with Top College Team

17-year-old Aaron Golub from Newton, Massachusetts, is legally blind. His right eye does not function at all, and he has very little vision in his left. But what he lacks in vision, the boy makes up with sheer determination. He recently achieved his lifelong dream – a chance to play football at university.

Getting a spot on a college football team is no joke, a lot of kids with perfect vision can’t make it. But Aaron, a senior at Newton High School, has gone and done it despite all the odds against him. Through sheer hard work, he’s managed to secure a preferred walk-on spot at Tulane University, one of the top college football teams in the United States. He has been signed on as a long snapper, a position that requires tremendous speed and accuracy.

While most people believe you need natural talent to be good at sports like football, Aaron was quite mediocre when he first started to play. According to his coach Chris Rubio, “He was very, very, very, we’ll say ‘average at best’ when he started. But the kid is just so determined. You tell him what to do, and consider it done.” For several years, Aaron relentlessly practiced snapping a ball into a target every morning before school and on weekends.

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Expert Glassblower Creates Amazingly Realistic Large-Scale Glass Flowers

Jason Gamrath is a master glassblower from Seattle. His work primarily involves creating enormous, yet incredibly life-like orchids and carnivorous flowers using his expert glass blowing techniques. Through his art, he wants to help people appreciate the minute details of the plant kingdom on a magnified level.

Jason’s glass orchids are gigantic – each one is bigger than a human head. But Jason doesn’t compromise on detailing. The colors are vivid and all the features of real flowers are accurately represented on his glass replicas. “The purpose of creating this series on a macro scale is to bring to light the beauty that exists within the micro scale of nature,” he said. He wants to force people to notice the details that they’re prone to miss while ‘walking around as a big person’.

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Londoner Straps Seven Cameras on His Bike and Helmet, Plays Vigilante Traffic Cop

It’s hard to picture a superhero on a cycle, but after watching self-styled ‘Traffic Droid’ a.k.a. Lewis Dediare in action, I have to admit it’s actually doable. Dressed from head to foot in black lycra, with seven video cameras mounted on his cycling helmet, Lewis rides around the streets of London with a single mission – to fight a ‘war of attrition’. You see, the man has taken it upon himself to rid the streets of ‘idiot’ drivers who are a threat to cyclists like himself.

Among the 39-year-old’s other weapons are a camera mounted on a three-foot pole protruding from his bicycle, and a measuring tape. The tape is used to measure the distance that larger vehicles maintain from him on the streets. If it’s anything different from the prescribed amount, he admonishes the drivers and shows them a ‘red card’.

Traffic-Droid

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Real Estate Magnate Hides Envelopes of Cash around San Francisco as a Way of Giving Back to the Community

A mysterious San Francisco philanthropist has found a unique way of giving back to the community –  leaving hidden cash all over the city.

According to a Bay Area online magazine called The Bold Italic, an ‘anonymous real estate magnate’ emailed them to “say that they’d launched a campaign just last night where they’re hiding cash all over San Francisco, including outside our office.” The email stated that the gesture would continue indefinitely, with no commercial interest whatsoever.

“There is nothing commercial about this,” wrote the benefactor. “It is a social experiment. Our Twitter page will show people where the money is hidden. There are a few hundred dollars hidden last night already, and this will continue. We have two $100 bills hidden and some $20s.”

hidden-cash

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Surreal Animal Portraits Expertly Painted on Wild Turkey Feathers

If you thought painting bird feathers was difficult, wait till you check out this super-talented artist who paints on bird feathers. That’s right, Connecticut-based Brenda Lyons paints the most stunning animal portraits using moulted turkey feathers as a canvas, as a part of her ongoing series called ‘Painted Feathers’.

I seriously appreciate the kind of work Brenda does, because I can’t even hold something so delicate without eventually destroying it. And to actually apply acrylic paints directly on these feathers to create something so beautiful – it just blows my mind.

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Elderly People in China Are Committing Suicide to Make Sure They Get Buried in a Cemetery Instead of Cremated

Many cultures view old age as a time for peaceful reflection and a preparation for the final journey of life. However, a few elderly people in China are being forced to hasten the process of ‘passing on’. Dozens have been voluntarily taking their own lives for a chance to be buried in a cemetery, before a government ban on burials takes effect.

The authorities of China’s Anhui province plan to close all cemeteries after June 1, simply because there isn’t any space left. The public was informed of the new rule on April 1: “Before June 1 people can still consign their bodies for burial, but after that the only option offered will be cremation.” The announcement has caused quite a stir among the elderly residents, especially in rural areas.

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Chilean Finger Painter Creates Mind-Blowing Masterpieces in under Three Minutes

43-year-old Fabian Gaete is an artist who specializes in finger painting. He’s so good at his craft that he can actually create small finger oil paintings of breathtaking landscapes in under three minutes.

Fabian currently works his magic on the streets of Puerto Montt, Chile, where his ‘live creations’ are sold at six euros each (or 10 euros for three). He moves around with a large black suitcase filled with oil paints and glass panels. As soon as he receives a request for a painting, he quickly uses his fingers to fill the panels with mountains, trees, rivers, waterfalls and more. In no time at all, the painting is completed, sealed and handed over to its new owner.

Fabian-Gaete-finger-painting

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Korea’s Most Popular Fermented Fish Dish Smells Like a Public Toilet

Fermented foods aren’t exactly famous for their alluring smell and flavor, but South Korea’s popular ‘hongeo’ has just got to be the worst of the lot. It’s definitely classified as one of the grossest foods in the world, even for ‘foodie daredevils’ who like trying out weird dishes.

What makes hongeo so bad? Well, for starters, it’s made from a fish called skate, which just like sharks, has no bladder or kidneys. Its digestive waste simply oozes out of its skin in the form of uric acid. That’s why sharks and skates need to be eaten fresh. But the Koreans seem to enjoy defying the norm in this case.

What they do is leave dozens of fresh skates (a cartilage-rich fish that resembles a stingray) stacked up in a walk-in refrigerator. Then they wait, sometimes as long as a month, for the fish to acquire a distinct ‘aroma’, reminiscent of a public urinal. When the smell reaches its worst, the skates are ready to be taken out, sliced up and served raw.

Hongeo-stinky-food

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Brown Moor Frogs Turn Blue During Mating Season

The moor frog certainly cannot turn into a prince with true love’s kiss. But this seemingly uninteresting amphibian is capable of something quite spectacular – it changes color from a boring brown to an azure blue, just to be able to distinguish between genders during mating season. The ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures are really quite unbelievable – it looks they’re two different frogs.

A fully grown adult male moor frog is up to seven centimeters long and reddish-brown in color. But every year, between March and June, the frog exhibits chameleon-like tendencies. During this period, the frogs emerge from their winter hibernation and are naturally in the mood to procreate. They populate the ponds in the lowlands of Central and Southern Europe, completely filling the air with their mating calls. The sounds they create are similar to the noise of air released from a bottle under water.

Blue-Moor-Frog

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Izhikhothane – South Africa’s Bizarre Money-Burning Sub-Culture

Izikhothane, which loosely translates to ‘brag it’, is a South African subculture of youths who dress themselves in designer clothes they can barely afford. They arrive in minivans at public spots and participate in elaborate dance-offs against rival gangs. During these performances, they indulge in burning wads of cash, destroying their clothes and spilling expensive food and alcohol on the streets. Why, you ask? To show off, obviously.

“To be Izikhothane, you have to be like us. Buy expensive clothes, booze, fame, girls, driving, spending. And when you are dressed in Italian clothing it shows that you’re smart,” said one gang member. In a nation where almost 50 percent of youths are unemployed, this sort of blatantly extravagant act is rather surprising. Most of the Izikhothane are funded by their working class parents with modest incomes.

There’s also a huge generation gap between these youths and their parents. Most of the Izikhothane belong to a generation that grew up after the end of white minority rule, unlike their parents. According to one kid, “Being born free means we can shop where we want and the country is no longer under oppression. We can express our views without being imprisoned.” Some use the extravagance as a means to escape their poverty, and for others it is just a culture of bling.

Izikhothani

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Chinese Monk Who Has Been Praying for Up to 1,000 Times a Day for 20 years Leaves His Footprints Ingrained in Wooden Floor

HuaChi, a simple monk from China, has achieved something that only few are able to – he has left a mark in this world, quite literally. The pious man has knelt to pray in the exact same spot for nearly 20 years now. He’s performed the ritual so many times that his footprints are deeply ingrained in the wooden floor of his temple, in the monastery town of Tongren, in Qinghai Province.

The highly disciplined monk follows a never-changing routine – he arrives at the temple steps every day before sunrise, places his feet on the footprints and prostrates a few thousand times in prayer. Having done this for two decades, the wood beneath his feet has softened considerably, transforming into perfect footprints that are 1.2 inches deep.

When Hua Chi was younger, he would prostrate 2,000 to 3,000 times a day. “But I have grown older, so in recent years I have only done around 1,000 each day,” he said. Sometimes, during winter he can only manage 500. But even that is seriously impressive; I couldn’t imagine doing a handful of prostrations without exhausting myself. After completing his prayers, he walks around the temple as well.

Hua-Chi-footprints

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