Portuguese Man Buys Tiny Island, Successfully Establishes His Own Kingdom

While this American searched the entire African continent for a piece of land to call his Kingdom, Renato Barros managed to establish his own country much closer to home. The 56-year-old Portuguese citizen purchased a small island on Funchal harbor, in Maderia, Portugal. He named it the Principality of the Pontinha, and anointed himself Prince Renato II.

Pontinha is actually just the size of a one-bedroom house, and has only four citizens – Barros, his wife, and his son and daughter. In addition to his Portuguese passport, Barros holds a passport for Pontinha with the number 0001. An art teacher by profession, he’s also taken on the roles of policeman, gardener, caretaker, and member of the royal family of his very own country.

“I am whatever I want to be – that’s the dream, isn’t it,” he said. “If I decide I want to have a national song, I can choose it, and I can change it any time. The same with my flag – it could be blue today, red tomorrow. Of course, my power is only absolute here, where I am the true sovereign.”

Barros got a chance to buy the island fourteen years ago, when it was owned by a wealthy British family who wanted to sell it for 25,000 Euros ($31,000), because it was of no use to them. Nobody wanted to buy it, but when Barros heard of the opportunity at a party, he decided that it was just the thing for him. There was only one snag – he didn’t have the money.

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Sticky Art – A Giant Human Head Covered in Thousands of Pieces of Used Chewing Gum

Canadian novelist and artist Douglas Coupland organised a colorful, albeit sticky, art project in May this year – he invited people to stick chewed up wads of gum on a seven-foot fiberglass statue of his own head.

Located on Howe Street outside Vancouver Art Gallery, the aptly named ‘Gumhead’ statue was a part of Coupland’s ‘everywhere is anywhere and anything is everything’ exhibition. By the time it was taken down on September 1, the statue was covered in gum to the last inch. And it had all melted thanks to the summer heat, resulting in a sweet sticky mess that attracted wasps and bees.

Coupland called it a total success, describing Gumhead as ‘ugly-beautiful’. “At first the added gum looked like jewels against the black,” he said. “And then the Excel chewing gum van parked beside it during the Jazz Festival and took the whole head to the next level. And then we had a heat wave and the gum started to weep. And now it has a 24-hours cloud of bees and wasps around it. It’s a dream.”

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Real-Life Truman Show: Finnish Man Broadcasts Every Minute of His Life via Webcam

48-year-old Ari Kivikangas is into life-casting, which basically means he’s constantly broadcasting his day-to-day life webcam. But unlike other vloggers who try to come up with entertaining things to do and say on camera, Ari makes no effort to seem interesting. Surprisingly, that’s what draws more people to his UStream channel, because it makes him look authentic.

Ari, or ‘Cyberman’, as he has come to be known online, claims to be online 24/7, except for a few rare breaks when he’s out picking up his epilepsy medicine or spending time with a female friend. Apart from that, he films pretty much everything he does – like a self-enforced Truman Show of sorts. His viewers apparently find all of this fascinating, especially because he doesn’t seem to care what other people think of him.

“I started about four years ago,” Ari explained. “I was stuck at home for three months and had a lot of time on my hands but nothing to do, so I started doing this. I’m epileptic and I don’t work any more, so I’m always home. I’m online 24/7.”

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8-Year-Old ‘Human Calendar’ Can Accurately Calculate Any Day-Date Configuration until 2068

At first glance, Aryan Parab looks like a regular eight-year-old kid; he likes going to school and playing football with his mates. But ask him a few questions about future dates and you’ll realize that he’s actually a mathematical genius with superhuman computational skills. The boy can work out the day on which any date falls, up to the year 2068, within seconds – faster than his friends can open their iPhone calendars!

Aryan lives in Mumbai, India, with his parents who work as software engineers. He discovered his unique skill earlier this year when he was talking about birthdays and found that he could accurately predict the days of his friends’ birthdays several years into the future. His unique talent has now made him popular as a child prodigy and he regularly entertains audiences with his precise predictions.

His third-grade teachers say that Aryan is also brilliant with numbers. According to his grandfather Suryakant Bhosle, “He loves numbers, and is constantly playing around with dates in his head and coming up with statistics. He is gaining more insight over time, and locks himself up in his room during summer vacation to draw calendars.”

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Artist Creates Amazingly Realistic Food Hats

Israeli artist Maor Zabar’s creations look deceptively delicious, but they are meant to be worn not devoured. He uses felt, plastic and wire to create incredibly realistic models of delicious dishes and incorporates them into fashionable headgear. Some of his clever designs include a berry pie beret, an outdoor picnic fascinator, and even a salad sombrero.

36-year-old Zabar began designing the hats a couple of years ago, when he was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. “When I discovered I had Crohn’s disease, I was forced to start a special diet and was unable to eat many of the foods I have always loved,” he revealed. “So instead of eating them, I created them out of felt and fibers and made them into beautiful fascinators.” And although he’s cured of his illness now, he still loves adding new designs to his Food Hat Collection.

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Blood Sport, an Immersive Gaming System That Takes Some of Your Blood Whenever You Die in a Video Game

Blood Sport is a new gaming system that’s all set to revolutionize the way we donate blood. While traditional blood donation methods can be ‘draining’ to say the least, the makers of Blood Sport have designed a fun process that involves playing video games. You’ll be so immersed in the game that you’ll hardly notice the blood being taken from you every time you lose a life

Blood Sport is the brainchild of Canadian inventors Taran Chadha and Jamie Umpherson, who are well-known for gaming-related projects like Shoot the Banker, Surrogaid and Prank House. Now, with Blood Sport, they’re “taking the consequences of the gaming world and having them affect you in real life. So every time you get hit in the game, blood will be intravenously drawn from your arm.”

Their new idea, they say, is stupidly simple. “Nowadays, most video game controllers rumble when you get shot in the game,” they explained on their Kickstarter page, through which they’re trying to raise $250,000 CAD (US $222,700). “That rumbling means that an electrical signal is being sent to the controller to let you know you’ve been hit. All we’re doing is re-routing that same electrical signal and using it to turn on the blood collection system.”

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Man Wants to Live as Somebody Else for 28 Days Using Virtual Reality Headset

British performance artist Mark Farid wants to spend one month living as another person. He has set up a Kickstarter campaign to fund the project, called “Seeing-I”, and if he succeeds in collecting $235,000, he plans to wear a virtual reality headset through which he will experience life through another person’s eyes and ears for 28 days.

According to the campaign page, “For 24 hours a day for 28 days, artist Mark Farid will wear a Virtual Reality Headset through which he will experience life through another person’s eyes and ears – this person will be referred to as ‘the Other’. Mark has had no previous relationship with this person; he is only aware that the Other is a heterosexual male, who is in a relationship. The Other is required to wear a pair of glasses that covertly capture audio and video. This footage will then be watched back by Mark, who will inhabit a space consisting of only a bed, a toilet and shower area. This area, as well as Mark will be on constant display to the audience.”

So whatever the Other experiences in life, Mark will too – like being stuck in a doctor’s waiting room for hours, partying on a weekend, and even going to the loo, of course. The only human contact that Mark will have is one hour per day with a psychologist, who will observe and listen to him without saying a word.

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New Realistic Barbie Doll Features Normal Proportions, Acne, Cellulite and Stretch Marks

Believe it or not, folks, a normally-proportioned Barbie doll has finally hit the market. The doll, called Lamilly, was created in the image of the average young American woman – fuller, rounder, with acne, cellulite, stretch marks, and more!

Lammily is the brainchild of artist and researcher Nickolay Lamm, who had always been frustrated with the unrealistic proportions of Barbie dolls. One day, he decided to create a fun, appealing doll with natural makeup and a casual wardrobe.

“I feel that, right now, dolls are very ‘perfect’ looking, when, in real life, few of us have perfect skin,” he told reporters. “So, why not give dolls a ‘real treatment?’ Things like acne, stretch marks, and cellulite are a natural part of who we are.” Lamm wanted little girls to get used to the idea that these things are normal and not ‘flaws’ to be ashamed of.

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Woman Opens Professional Cuddling Shop, Struggles to Keep Up with Demand

This Oregon woman is paying her bills by cuddling with people all day. It might not sound like much of a career choice, but believe it or not, Samantha Hess is making a decent living out of hugging. Within a week of opening her store – ‘Cuddle Up To Me’ – she has already gotten requests from a whopping 10,000 customers!

Samantha charges her clients (who must be above 18 years of age) $1 per minute of cuddling in one of four themed rooms at her store. She also provides remote services by travelling to locations of her clients’ choice. She calls it a method of self-taught therapy through which she helps people feel loved and get comfortable with the physical touch. The snuggles are strictly platonic, of course, and she signs an agreement with her customers to be clean, courteous and to keep their clothes on at all times.

“There are no upgrades, no additional services,” the 30-year-old insisted. “I’m not interested in that. It’s about making people feel worthy of who they are today. I love knowing that people know that they are accepted, and they aren’t going to be alone anymore.”

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Body Modification Enthusiast Transforms Himself into Human Platypus

After modifying his face for seven long years, 26-year-old Russian Jenya Bolotov has finally fulfilled his life’s ambition of becoming a human platypus. He has managed to stretch eight parts of his face by a total of nine inches – including his ear lobes, nostrils, septum and his top and bottom lip.

“I love platypus – the way they look and even the word ‘platypus’ itself,” he explained. “I like the way my stretched face and lips now look like a platypus bill.” Jenya added that all the modifications now make him feel whole, and this is what he’s always wanted to be like.

He further revealed that he used to be very quiet as a child and didn’t fit in with the people around him. In order to feel genuinely happy, he knew that he had to change himself and live differently. And when he came to know about body modifications at the age of 10, he was instantly intrigued.

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Meet Slavik, the Most Fashionable Homeless Man in Ukraine

55-year-old Slavik, a homeless man from the Ukrainian city of Lviv, is making waves online with his outrageous fashion choices. Although he appears disheveled, he puts together stylish outfits using the various articles of clothing that he picks up from the city’s trash bins and homeless aid centers. He changes clothes at least twice a day and never wears the same outfits. He also styles his hair and beard to match each ensemble, and even shaves his armpits!

Slavik’s unique grooming routine was introduced to the world by Ukrainian photographer Yurko Dyachyshyn. Yurko was drawn to Slavik while working on a project in the city center; he noticed Slavik approaching strangers asking for spare change. Soon, he began photographing the homeless man’s sartorial choices, paying him roughly $1 per meeting.

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Dubai Is So Rich It Pays People Two Grams of Gold for Every Kilo of Body Weight They Lose

A weight loss contest held in Dubai this summer promised to pay all its participants two grams of gold for every kilogram of body weight lost. The initiative was dubbed ‘Your Child in Gold’ and followed last year’s ‘Your Weight in Gold’ contest organized by the Dubai Municipality. Over 7,500 winners were declared this year, which will collectively be awarded 40kg of gold worth Dh6 million (over $1.6 million).

“This year the priority was given for families as they will get double rewards than individual participants when they participate with their family members,” the official Dubai Municipality website declared. “Each family is allowed to participate with two of their children below 14 years old.”

Families that enrolled with their children were given the chance to win double the reward – two grams of gold per kilo of body weight lost. Over 28,000 Dubai residents enrolled in the month of July. Funnily, a lot of them had to be turned down because their kids weren’t actually overweight.

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Oscar, the Nursing Home Cat Who Can Sense Death Coming

Meet Oscar, a cat with a supernatural ability to feel when people are about to die. In over 50 documented cases, Oscar, who lives in a nursing home , has curled up beside patients in their final hours, seeing them through to the ‘other side’.

His unique story was revealed by Dr. David Dosa, a geriatrician and assistant professor at Brown University, who claims Oscar’s predictions have rarely been wrong in the past six years. In fact, he has even proved medical staff wrong at the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Rhode Island, where he was adopted seven years ago as a kitten.

Dr. Dosa first told the world about Oscar’s rare gift in an article in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2007. Since then, the cat has accurately sensed even more deaths, convincing the geriatrician that it wasn’t just a series of coincidences. Dr. Dosa eventually wrote a book about his experiences with Oscar at the nursing home. It’s called ‘Making rounds with Oscar: The extraordinary gift of an ordinary cat’.

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Artist Paints Famous Landmarks with Bicycle Tire Tracks

Thomas Yang’s art is simple, minimal, and brilliant. The Singapore-based designer/illustrator couples his artistic talent with his passion for cycling to produce ‘bike print illustrations’ of world famous landmarks with bicycle tire tracks.

Thomas calls the series ‘100 copies’, because it is limited to, well, 100 prints per piece. The series consists of illustrations of some of the world’s most notable architectural landmarks, made using only the bike tires coated with black pigment.

Some of the most popular works in the series include illustrations of the London Bridge, the Eiffel Tower, and the Empire State Building. Each piece comes stamped with a quirky name and edition number, along with its own special bike-themed description.

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A Leap of Faith: NFL Star Player Gives Up His Career to Farm Sweet Potatoes for the Needy

Many would call former NFL Star Jason Brown crazy for giving up his career for a dream, but he is convinced it was the right thing to do. The 31-year-old, who was once ranked one of the best players in the league and was offered a $35 million contract to play for the St. Louis Rams, gave it all up to start a farm near his home in North Carolina. He now spends his time growing sweet potatoes and distributing the crop among the poor.

When Brown first decided to make the move back to his home county of Louisburg, his agent told him that he was making the biggest mistake of his life. But he was convinced that this was the right thing to do. “I looked right back at him and I said, ‘No, I’m not. No, I’m not,’” Brown said.

“God revealed to me that he had something greater in store for me and that my family should move back to my home state of North Carolina and start a farm,” Brown wrote on his website. “This really caught us by surprise because we knew nothing about farming. Yet, out of obedience, we started looking for available farmland.”

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