102-Year-Old Student Proves You’re Never to Old to Learn

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Ma Xiuxian never had the opportunity to attend school, as a child, but she is making up for that in her later years.

The 102-year old Chinese woman, from Jinan, Shandong province, began working at a cotton mill, at the age of 13, and married when she was only 18. She gave birth to nine children, seven of which attended universities. Her children remember Ma Xiuxian and her husband made great sacrifices, in order to support their studies, but never got the chance to fulfill her own dream, of going to school, for the first time.

After being interviewed by a local newspaper, and revealing her dream, on March 31, Ma Xiuxian was invited to the Weishan Road Elementary School, to attend her first class. Equipped with a schoolbag and a large magnifying glass (for reading), Ma entered the class in the applause of her primary school classmates. The 102-year-old student commented she was very proud to be able to go to school, and that she will study hard to bring her contribution to the motherland.

Photos by QUIRKY CHINA NEWS/REX FEATURES

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Chinese Seamstress Works with Her Feet

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Born without arms, Liu Jianming has learned to sew using her feet, ever since she was a teenager. and still creates beautifully embroidered works of art.

The old seamstress could never afford to rent or buy a shop, to work in, so she spends her days working on a street corner, in the Chinese city of Kunming, Yunnan province. What other seamstresses struggle to do with their hands, she accomplishes with only her feet, and while there are those who doubt her abilities, they become believers, once they see her at work.

But as she’s getting older, her job becomes more and more difficult. Her feet are just as nimble as they’ve always been, but her eyesight isn’t what it used to be. Still, Liu Jianming continues to sew, as it’s her only way of supporting herself.

Photos by europics via austriantimes

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Watch Out, Here Comes the Monkey Police

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Santisuk a 5-year-old pig-tailed macaque is a proud member of the Thai police, doing his best to keep the streets crime-free.

Well, maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit, since Santisuk is really just a mascot for the police force of Saliburi district, Thailand. He was found injured, a while back, and has since then been adopted by local policemen. Every day he puts on his “Monkey Police” uniform and accompanies his colleagues on patrols. He doesn’t do arrests or stakeouts, but he does sit on top of the police car drawing attention and improving police image, in locals’ eyes.

You could say Santisuk is the best PR guy police could ever hire. And he enjoys every minute of his job, especially when he receives tasty treats.

Photos by Damir Sagolj/REUTERS via Daylife

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Tuban – The Earth-Eating Village of Indonesia

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In Tuban, a village in the East Java  province of Indonesia, earth is used to make “ampo” a creamy snack believed to have medicinal properties.

According to Rasima, the ampo cook of Tuban, there is no real recipe to making this bizarre snack. All she does is look for clean, gravel-free soil, in the village’s rice paddies, pound it into a solid block, using a stick, and scrape rolls out of it,with a bamboo dagger. The rolls of soils are then baked and smoked for an hour. Rasima then takes the earthy snacks to the village market, where she earns about $2, to supplement her family’s income.

Tuban is the only earth-eating village on the planet. There are people, around the world, who enjoy eating sand, or kaolin, but not baked soil. Villagers believe ampo is a natural pain-killer, and that it makes babies’ skin softer, if eaten by their pregnant mothers.

As for the taste of ampo, “it’s nothing special, it feels cold in my stomach” says one of the Tuban locals, who has been eating ampo, ever since she was a child.

via REUTERS

Photos by REUTERS via Daylife

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Dress Made from One Million Meters of Human Hair Showcased in Vietnam

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A unique tunic-like dress, made out of countless human hairs, was presented by a model, in the center of Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi.

Human hair appears to be a popular material fro Asian artists. After a Chinese hairdresser recreated Tiananmen Square out of human square, and made a hair sculpture of Barrack Obama, Kim Do, a Vietnamese hairdresser creates a tunic made from hair.

Material for the dress was gathered from 54 different people across Vietnam, including popular local artists like Le Dung, Thanh Lam, Hong Nhung or Ha Kieu Anh. The 1 million meters of hair were then died and sewn into a dress, using a needle. On the front side of this unusual garment, you can see the shape of a dragon, made from long brown hair.

Kim Do’s hair dress comes with a hat, also made from hair and decorated with the design of Vietnam’s Turtle Tower.

via 24h.com.vn

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Mallakhamb – Extreme Indian Pole Dancing

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Modern pole-dancing may be attractive to look-at, but in terms of difficulty, it’s nothing to the old Indian sport of Mallakhamb.

Mallakhamb originated in Maharastra, India, during the 12th century, as a form of training for wrestlers. The word “Malla” means wrestler, while “khamb” translates as pole. This old art had almost been lost throughout the centuries, but it’s become increasingly popular, in recent years, mainly due to the efforts of coaches like Uday Deshpande.

The sport of Mallkhamb has athletes climb up a wooden pole, 55 cm in diameter,at the base, and 35, at the top, and perform various poses and feats. The pole is most often made of teak, because of its sturdiness, and before exercises begin, it’s rubbed with castor oil, to prevent friction.

Even though Mallakhamb is yet to be recognized as an official sport, in India, it has been embraced by visually-impaired boys. This art is about feeling and understanding the strength and balance of one’s body, and that’s why blind Mallakhamb athletes are just as good as those with perfect eyesight.

Mallakhamb

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100-Year-Old Chinese Woman Grows Horn in Her Forehead

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Zhang Ruifang, a 100-year old woman, from China’s Henan Province, has a strange horn coming out of the left side of her forehead.

This reminds me so much of the horned lady, but Zhang’s horn is much more…horn-like. The 1-century-old woman says her bizarre horn started growing last year, and now measures between 5 and 6 cm in length. Although the horn causes her no pain, I can only imagine how unhappy this poor woman is with her situation.

Photos via ImagineChina

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Pig Beauty Contest Held in China

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The Pig Contest of Guanshan Village, Guangdong Province, China, is a centuries old tradition dating back to the Qing Dinasty.

Hundreds of thousands of tourists, from all over China, travel to Guanshan, every year, to take a look at the hundreds of pigs on display at the Pig Contest. This year, around 500 oinkers were sacrificed, cleaned up and set on display to be admired by passers-by.

After the most handsome pig is allected, the festivities end in a gargantuan feast, when the tasty participants are sliced up and served to the public.

Photos via Xinhua

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Bamboo Keyboards and Mice Are the New Rage in China

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Apparently, one of the globe’s biggest polluters has found an environment friendly alternative to plastic keyboards and mice.

Bamboo keyboards and mice are not exactly new on the market, and I’m sure you’ve come across all sorts of wooden peripheral concepts online. Jiangxi Bamboo Technology Development Co. Ltd., the only bamboo peripherals manufacturer in China, says their products have become increasingly popular at a national level, after they’ve been successfully exported to markets in Europe and America.

Production of bamboo keyboards and mice began in 2008, but until early 2009, they’ve only been shipped to foreign countries. But ever since franchised stores opened in Shanghai and Ningbo, China can’t get enough of its environment-friendly peripherals.

Judging from the photos, the Chinese aren’t stopping at just bamboo keyboards and mice, they’re taking it a step further, with bamboo encased LCD displays.

via Gadgetonian (photos by ImagineChina)

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Make Your Own Edible Insects with GUMMIX

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Produced by Japanese company Megahouse, the GUMMIX kit allows kids and grown-ups to make their own jelly insects, as pranks or food decorations.

GUMMIX is part of the Megahouse 2010 Shokking lineup, and consists of special gelatin powder and insect molds. It’s as simple as it is fun. Just mix the gelatin with fruit syrup, ketchup or soy sauce, depending on what you’re trying to achieve, and pour the mixture into the molds.  When the jelly starts to harden, attach the limbs with the included tweezers, and there you have it, an edible bug.

The GUMMIX insect kit comes with a mixing cup, recipe cards, and 4 moulds of a beetle, a crawfish, a stag beetle and a sow bug. It costs 3675 yen ($40) and you can purchase 3 extra moulds, for 1570 yen each ($17).

via Gigazine

Gummix-kit

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Two Indian Workers Weave the World’s Longest Doormat

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Two workers of Travancore Cocotuft Ltd. have spent months creating the world’s longest doormat hand-woven from coconut coir.

The giant mat is just 1.2 meters wide and 30 mm thick, but has a length of 101.6 meters and weighs 999 kg. Impressive numbers, but the most impressive thing about this mat is that it was handmade by just two workers. They spent 111 man days, over a period of 4 months, inserting 4,70,000 coir tufts between alternate wefts of coir yarn.

Although Guinness Book of Records is already considering declaring it the world’s longest hand-woven doormat, it serves a higher purpose. Cocotuft Chief Executive Officer P. Mahadevan says it was created to emphasize the miserable conditions of workers in the coir industry, who are paid much less than the minimum wage fixed by the Indian Government.

longest-doormat

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Chinese Use Fire as Medicinal Treatment

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Oddly enough, setting a man on fire isn’t necessarily a bad thing, on the contrary, it’s actually considered curative.

Although I wasn’t able to learn much about this strange medical procedure, fire treatment is apparently very popular during the winter months, in Chinese traditional hospitals. People believe this will keep them safe from illnesses like the flu and common cold.

The piece of cloth is sprinkled with flammable substance, probably alcohol,then set on fire and put-out with another cloth. It isn’t painful at all, and according to a video I found on Youtube, fire treatment is also a great way to lose weight.

Photos via ImagineChina

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Japanese Invent Bionic Potato-Chip Grabber

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Yup, leave it to the Japanese to invent something completely useless, yet totally cool. This time it’s a grabbing device for potato chips.

Potato chips may be delicious, but you can’t really enjoy them without getting grease all over your fingers and then the keyboard. Well the Japanese have finally come up with a solution to this pressing problem. Potechi ( a Japanese neologism derived from the English “potato chip”) is an ingenious device manufactured by Takara Tomi, that grabs potato chips, so you don’t have to.

Featuring groundbreaking technologies like NBCS (No Broken Clutch System), NTTS (No Touch Table System) and FECS (Finger Easy Cleaning System) allows you to gently pick up potato chips without breaking them. Simply press the button and let Potechi do the rest of the job for you.

The ingenious Potechi chip grabbing tool is available in japan, for just $7. Come on, a clean keyboard is worth at least that much.

Japanese-chip-grabber

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Chinese Sculptores Create Avatar Mud Figures

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Avatar fever is infecting everyone these days and a big country like China wasn’t going to be spared.

15 talented sculptors spent 10 days working on two 3-meters-tall sculptures from James Cameron’s blockbuster movie. One of them is of Corporal Jake Sully and the other of his main Na’Vi squeeze, Princess Neytiri. The Avatar mud sculptures were carved in a studio in Wuhan City and are meant to keep the Avatar craziness going even longer

Photos via ImagineChina

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China Opens Chocolate Theme-Park in Beijing

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Located inside the Olympic Stadium, in Beijing, the World Chocolate Dream Park is an Asian version of Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, in real life.

Announced last year, as a way of pleasing the increasing number of Chinese chocoholics, the World Chocolate Dream Park is finally open to the public. As promised, the chocolate theme-park features a number of China’s historical and cultural symbols, including a 12-meter-long  chocolate replica of the Great Wall, an army of 560 terracotta soldiers of Emperor Qingshihuang made of chocolate, and a traditional Chinese painting of Panorama Along the Upper River During the Qingming Festival, in original size.

The chocolate terracotta army was announced as life-size, back in 2009, but the miniatures aren’t too shabby. According to a Chinese official, many European chocolate makers wanted in on the project, considering it’s a great way to advertise chocolate to a huge market that’s just discovering it.

Photos via Xinhua

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