Young Vietnamese Woman Mysteriously Ages Overnight

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Nguyen Thi Phuong is only 26, but judging by her wrinkled and saggy skin, you could easily mistake her for a 70-year-old.

The young woman from Vietnam suffered an allergic reaction in 2008, and after taking some prescribed medication  the skin her face, hands and body started to wrinkle and become saggy, giving her the appearance of an old lady. It all started after Thi Phuong ate some seafood. It gave her such a bad rash that she used to scratch even in her sleep, so to alleviate the symptoms, her husband, Nguyen Thanh Tuyen, bought her some medication. It didn’t work, so she visited a local doctor who prescribed pills for dermatitis, which only made things worse, causing her face to swell up and hives to erupt all over her skin. She stopped taking them after a week and put her hopes in some Chinese practitioners in her town, in the Giong Trom district of Vietnam’s Ben Tre province. They cured her itching and hives, but her skin was becoming saggy.

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Bian Lian – The Ancient Chinese Art of Face Changing

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Bian Lian, or Face Changing, as it’s known in the western world, in an old dramatic art associated with Chinese opera from the Sichuan Province. It is considered a part of China’s cultural heritage and is the only art form to be ranked as a level two national secret.

The skill and speed with which Chinese artists change their beautifully-painted masks has captured audiences’ imagination for centuries. Performers gracefully raise their hands, turn their heads and swing their arms, each time boasting a new mask. The secret of how they manage to change from three to twenty masks during a single performance without anyone realizing the trick has fascinated people since it started being practiced, during the Qing dynasty, around 300 years ago. It is said Bian Lian actually started out as a survival technique. People painted all kinds of designs on their faces to frighten wild animals, but as time went by it became a dramatic art performed on stage. Another legend tells of a people’s hero, a Chinese version of Robin Hood who stole from the rich and gave to the poor, who whenever cornered by guards would change his appearance to confuse them and escape.

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Nothing Says “I Love You” Like a Creepy 3D Mask of Your Face

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Just in case you’ve always wanted a gift that would creep the heck out of your family and friends, but you never really found it, I’m here to tell you your wish has come true. A Japanese company is making incredibly detailed 3D replicas of human faces and selling them as gifts.

REAL-f is a unique company that specializes in 3 Dimensions Photo Forms, which in colloquial terms translates as 3D masks and busts of anyone willing to pay for them. That doesn’t sound weird or impressive at all, but the guys at REAL-f claim their proprietary technology allows them to replicate every detail of the human face, including skin pores, blood vessels and the iris. The Japanese startup first takes photos of the subject from multiple angles, generates a 3D image on the computer and imprints it on vinyl chloride resin stretched over a mold. The result is as impressive as it is unsettling, and words simply don’t do these things justice, just take a look at the photos below…

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Vietnamese Man Still Sleeps with His Dead Wife

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Le Van, the man who made headlines two years ago after it was discovered he had been sleeping with his dead wife for five years, has confirmed he is still sleeping with his beloved, and authorities can’t do anything to stop him.

The story about Le Van’s bizarre sleeping habit broke out at the end of 2009. Vietnamese papers posted photos of a man sleeping with a human-shaped gypsum statue that contained the body of his dead wife. we covered the story and you can read about it here, but long story short, the man couldn’t cope with the loss of his soul mate so he dug up her remains, put them inside the statue and continued sharing a bed with her. It was one of the strangest news of 2009, but I was sure that once word got out, local authorities would somehow convince Le Van to bury the remains of his beloved wife. I was wrong.

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Superman Fan Undergoes Plastic Surgery to Look Like His Favorite Superhero

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Herbert Chavez, a Superman fan from the Philippines, is so obsessed with the Man of Steel that he underwent several plastic surgery procedures just to look like his favorite superhero.

According to a video report by Bandila News’ Marie Lozano, 35-year-old Herbert Chavez has dramatically altered his appearance to look more like Superman. Unfortunately, the report is in Filipino and I’m not very good at that, but the guys at Real Self Blog translated some of it and managed to uncover that Chavez first went under the knife in 1995 and he’s had several other procedures since then. He had a chin augmentation to get Superman’s cleft, rhinoplasty to get Christopher Reeves nose, silicone injections for more plump lips and even thigh implants for a more muscular look. Examining the before and after photos, they speculate he may also have had eye surgery, cheek augmentation and jaw augmentation.

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Japanese Restaurant Serves World’s Largest Sushi Portions

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A restaurant in Japan’s Aichi Prefecture has become famous for serving arguably the world’s largest sushi dishes, up to 20 cm in diameter and nearly 6-kg-heavy.

The Umewaka Restaurant in Anjo City, Japan is unlike any other sushi restaurant in the world. Here the world-renown Japanese delicacy doesn’t come in bite-size servings, unless your name is Francisco Domingo Joaquim and you have the world’s largest mouth. At Umewaka, everything from the futomaki roll to the nigri zushi comes in super-sized servings no one man could hope to finish in one sitting.

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The Tipat War of Bali Is What I Call a Real Food Fight

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Every year the men of Kapal Village, in Bali, celebrate the rice harvest by throwing rice cakes at each other in one of the largest traditional food fights in the world.

Also known as the Aci Rah Pengangon ritual, the Tipat War is preceded by a collective prayer in the inner court of Kapal Village’s Pura Desa (the village temple). Here local men give thanks for the bountiful rice harvest and relax before the upcoming food massacre. After praying, dozens of bare-chested men start the first rice cake fight right in the middle of the temple courtyard. They are divided into two groups and throw tipat (cooked rice wrapped in a square shaped woven coconut leaf) at each other. This fight lasts for only five minutes and is a preliminary event to the full-scale war that is about to take place in the village street outside the temple.

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Breast Slapping – A Thai Beautician’s Alternative to Plastic Surgery

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If you’re serious about making some changes to your appearance but are to afraid to go under the knife, you might want to book a flight to Thailand and give Khemmikka Na Songkhla’s government-approved slapping techniques a try.

I know what you’re thinking – yet another breast-enlargement scam, I was inclined to think that as well, but after doing some research on Khemmikka Na Songkhla’s slapping treatments I found the Thai Health Ministry conducted a six-month study on them and acknowledged her technique as a viable alternative to plastic surgery. The 44 -year-old Bangkok beautician is the only person in the world who knows the secrets of breast, face and buttock slapping, which she inherited from her grandmother. Now, she’s selected planning to select 10 people to pass on her knowledge to, but not for free. Khemmikka is charging 10 million baht ($330,000) for the body-sculpting course, 8 million baht ($260,000) for the breast slapping course, and 5 million baht ($165,000) for the face slapping course. Four people have applied for her courses, so far.

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Chinese Pharmaceutical Factory Looks More Like the Palace of Versailles

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This is what you’d expect to see in the lavish Palace of Versailles built by Louis the XIVth, but it’s actually the inside of a pharmaceutical company in Harbin, northeast China.

Citizens of Harbin were outraged to see what the state-controlled Harbin Pharmaceutical Group spent their funding on rather than solving more pressing issues, like the factory’s sewage problems, but representatives of the company said the recently emerged photos are part of a smear campaign. They claim the photos show the museum, which takes up three floors in the same building as the factory, where the company showcases local art. Now I’m not an expert on Chinese art, but those gold-tinted walls and lavish chandeliers look pretty European, and some of those rooms look an awful lot like conference halls…In fact, photos of the museum on the company’s website showed white-painted walls, brown wooden floors and none of the opulence in the photos.

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Chinese Mother Theresa Has Adopted 80 Children in 22 Years

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In Yaopu village, Shanxi Province, Li Yanping is known as a one-person orphanages who has taken care of 80 abandoned children over a period of 22 years.

49-year-old Li Yanping lives in a modest 40-square-meter country house and barely survives on a meager income, but that hasn’t stopped her from taking care of dozens of abandoned children, most of them mentally or psychically handicapped.  Born in 1964, in Mu village, Li married at the young age of 21 and soon had her first baby. Her story as a modern-day Mother Theresa began in 1989, shortly after her natural child was born, when her husband found a toddler abandoned on their doorstep. After examining it more carefully, the two realized the child suffered from deformities, but they took it in, fed it and took care of it, despite their financial shortcomings. But they could only take care of two babies for a while, and when milk shortages and lack of money became too much too handle, they made a desperate decision to give their own healthy son up for adoption. They figured someone would adopt a healthy baby, whereas the disabled child had almost no chance of survival.

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Chinese Couple Convert Cargo Truck into Mobile Home

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Unable to buy a real house, a young couple in Kunming, China, have opted to convert a small cargo truck into a comfy mobile home.

It’s hard to imagine someone living comfortably in the back of a truck, but the high housing prices in China have forced young people to be resourceful and find all kinds of original alternatives. Last year, a young Chinese student from Beijing built himself a sustainable egg-house from bamboo and insulating materials, and now a young couple have turned a cargo truck into an 8.5-square-meter living space.

It’s not the spaciest home ever built, but it features just about everything anyone needs to live a decent life, including a small kitchen with a sink and electric stove, bunk-beds, refrigerator, flat screen TV and even a computer. The only thing that isn’t shown in the photos is also one of the most important – the toilet, but, even if they haven’t improvised one on their truck, I’m sure they have some way of dealing with personal hygiene.

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Chinese Inventor Takes Off in Home-Made Flying Saucer

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Shu Mansheng, a Chinese farmer with no mechanics or electronics educations has managed to pilot a flying saucer he himself built.

The simple fact that he only has a basic school education hasn’t stopped Shu Mansheng from fulfilling his dream of building his own flying machine. He taught himself everything he needed to know about mechanics and electronics and finally completed a successful flight in his own flying saucer. I say finally because this isn’t the first time the resourceful farmer tried his luck in aviation. Last year, on April 30, Shu completed his first home-made aircraft and though he managed to take it off the ground, he got injured on the second trial flight.

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The Disappearing Tattooed Faces of Burma’s Chin Province

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For generations, the village women of Burma’s Chin Province have tattooed their faces as a symbol of strength and beauty, but this tradition is dying out as a result of globalization. Luckily, photographers have traveled to Burma to capture the beauty of these tattooed-face women before there aren’t any left.

According to Chin elders, the practice of tattooing women’s faces started a long time ago, to prevent women from being taken away by the Burmese kings, who had heard about the beauty of Chin women and teenagers. They would come to villages across the province and just pick out the girls they wanted to take away with them. With no other means to defend themselves, the village elders, who were also women, began tattooing the girls’ faces, thus taking away their beauty.

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Chinese Man Builds 600,000-Cigarette-Pack Fort

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Wang Guanyi, a 46-year-old cigarette pack collector from Longnan, China, has recently built a fort model using 600,000 empty cigarette packs.

Wang is a famous person in his home city because he usually greets everyone with “hello, do you smoke? do you have cigarette packs?” He says he has been fascinated with cigarette packs ever since he was a little boy, and collected his first one off the street, when he was just seven years old. He was first attracted by the bright colors and nice images on the packs, and kept collecting them until he reached an impressive 600,000. As you can imagine, every corner of his house was filled with them, but just when he was running out of space, he saw a TV show about a man who had built a house out of wine bottles, and was inspired to do the same thing with his cigarette pack collection.

It took him about a month to finish his 30-foot fort-like building made with 600,000 colorful cigarette packs. It was 6.06m long, 4.68m wide and 1.68m wide, and won Wang Guanyi a certificate from the China Record Office for the world’s largest cigarette pack structure. Unfortunately, he had built his unique fort on rented space, and since the costs were apparently too high for him to handle, he was forced to tear it down as soon as his record was acknowledged.

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Chinese Craftsman Builds Functional Bicycle from over 10,000 Popsicle Sticks

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A craftsman from Kaiyuan, northeast China, has created a rideable bicycle using more than 10,000 wooden popsicle sticks.

It took him four long months to finish it, but 35-year-old Sun Chao doesn’t regret one second of the time he put into the world’s first popsicle stick bicycle. At 1.5m long, 0.55m wide, 0.95m high and 25 kg heavy, it’s smaller than the average bicycle, but works just as well. Sure, those wooden wheels don’t provide the comfort of air-inflated ones, but Sun Chao rode it for 20 minutes, when he unveiled it in the city square, on June 1, and he didn’t complain. It’s worth noting he is 90 kg heavy, but the popsicle stick bike easily handled the weight. The only metal parts used on this unusual bicycle were the chain and bearings.

Sun Chao says he first became interested in working with wooden popsicle sticks 12 years ago, after seeing a guy make a ship model from them and giving it to his girlfriend, on TV. He was so inspired he started making a small desk lamp from popsicle sticks. Since then he’s made all kinds of stuff from them, including photo frames, building models, tissue boxes, but nothing nearly as impressive as this working bicycle. Just in case you were wondering, he didn’t actually buy 10,000 ice-creams, only the sticks.

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