Unconventional Church Uses Heavy Metal Music to Preach the Word of God

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Some misguided people still consider heavy metal to be ‘”the devil’s music”, but a Church in Sao Paolo, Brazil is actually using it as a way to spread the word of God. Crash Church is an evangelical church attended by heavy metal fans looking to worship God through music.

Located in a large garage, Crash Church looks more like an underground rock concert venue than a Christian place of worship. The “parishioners” look just as unusual, dressed in dark colors and sporting tattoos and piercings. Pastor Antônio Carlos Batista doesn’t wear any religious garments, opting instead for jeans, t-shirts and sneakers. His arms are covered with colorful tattoos inspired by the Christian faith, and about a dozen piercings and earrings decorate his ears. He reads the Gospel from behind a medieval-looking pulpit, while the congregation follows along on their cellphones, on TV screen showing the passages being read, or on regular bibles. Batista uses everyday jargon to explain the religious texts, and performs heavy metal songs between sermons.

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Putting Faith in a Piece of Rope at Brazil’s Largest Religious Festival

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Every year, in the second week of October, millions of Roman-Catholic devotees from all over Brazil descend on the city of Belem to attend Cirio de Nazaré, the country’s largest religious festival, and to touch a 400-meter-long piece of rope believed to have the power to heal the sick.

Cirio de Nazaré has been celebrated intermittently in Brazil since 1793. The event revolves around a small statue of Nossa Senhora de Nazaré (Our Lady of Nazareth), an artifact supposedly sculpted in Nazareth that is believed to have performed miracles in medieval Portugal, before being lost in Brazil. Legend has it that a cattleman found it in a canal during the 1700’s, but every time he took it out of the water, it would disappear, only to be found again in the original place it was discovered. The people of Belem believed that it was Our Lady’s wish to remain there, so they built a church there, which would later become today’s Nazaré Basilica.

The celebration lasts two weeks, but the climax of the event is on the first Sunday, when the small statue is taken from the city’s Catedral da Sé to the Nazaré Basilica, on a flower-bedecked carriage pulled by thousands of devotees. The night before the procession about 15.000 devotees queue in front of the cathedral to secure a place near the 400-meter-long piece of rope used to pull the carriage through the city. Men and women align on two separate lines, and by 10 a.m. on Sunday, the human density around the rope reaches an incredible 10 people per meter.

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Tombs with a View at the World’s Tallest Vertical Cemetery

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With the remains of around 100 billion dead people currently buried or otherwise stored on this planet, it’s no surprise that we’re running out of space for final resting places. The phrase “six feet under” just isn’t sustainable anymore, so architects are now looking to the sky as an alternative to sprawling ground cemeteries. High-rise cemeteries are becoming increasingly popular all over the world, and the Memorial Necrópole Ecumênica, in Santos, Brazil, is the highest of them all.

When Pepe Altstut inaugurated the Memorial Necrópole Ecumênica cemetery, in 1983, it was only a very small building, but the demand for above-ground tombs with a view was so great that he kept expanding until his cemetery became the tallest in the world. Today, it measures 108 meters tall, features 25,000 storing units (tombs, if you will), several wake rooms, crypts, mausoleums, a peacock garden with its own small waterfall and even a chapel and snack bar on the roof.

While few regular cemeteries can be considered tourist attractions in their own right, the Memorial Necrópole Ecumênica is actually one of the most visited landmarks in Santos, and acknowledged as such by the local tourism board. Altstut himself admits that his cemetery is incredibly popular with tourists, and attributes it to the structure’s notoriety as the tallest cemetery on Earth. People from all over the world reportedly come to Santos to see the necropolis where people pay big money for tombs with a view.

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Loyal Dog Refuses to Leave Hospital Where His Owner Died Eight Months Ago

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Ever since his owner was taken to the Ruth Cardoso Hospital in Santa Catarina, Brazil, a young black dog named Negão has been patiently waiting outside the building for  him to walk out. Even though the man died of sepsis soon after his admission, the story of Negão’s loyalty has touched the heart of millions around the world.

It all started late last year when the dog’s owner, a homeless man, was taken to the hospital after developing an infection that would later prove fatal. Medical staff reported that Negão ran alongside the ambulance all the way to the hospital, watched his favorite human be carried inside and waited outside for his return. He has been waiting outside the building ever since, not knowing that the eagerly awaited reunion with his owner will never happen. Every time an ambulance arrives, the dog’s ears perk up and he follows it to see if it is carrying his master, as it did many months ago.

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Brazilian Company Launches Maternity Clothing Imbued with Mosquito Repellent to Combat Zika Virus Scare

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Megadose, a Brazilian company that designs maternity clothes, has released a new line of anti-Zika apparel. These clothes are made of a special fabric that is infused with a natural mosquito repellent called citronella and are designed to help pregnant women avoid contracting the dreaded Zika virus.

Ever since the Zika outbreak spread across the Pacific to the Americas and reached pandemic levels in 2015, people in these are being regions are being asked to cover up well and use mosquito repellents at all times. There is no vaccine or medication to prevent getting infected, so the only way to stay safe for now is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.  

While Zika fever itself has mild symptoms and is treated by rest, it can cause birth defects to the fetus if contracted by pregnant women. In fact, the governments of some countries like Colombia, Ecuador, and El Salvador have recommended that women postpone getting pregnant until more discoveries are made about the risks. But for those who are already pregnant, Megadose is trying to provide a viable solution.

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Patagonian Penguin Always Returns to the Human Who Saved His Life 5 Years Ago

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João Pereira de Souza, a retired bricklayer from Rio de Janeiro, shares a heartwarming bond with a Magellanic penguin native to South America’s Patagonian region. For the past five years, the bird seems to have altered its natural migratory pattern just to be able to visit de Souza several times a year.

The unlikely friendship began in 2011, when de Souza found the bird, nicknamed Jinling, soaked in oil on the beach near his house. He brought the penguin home, cleaned him up, and offered him a meal of cool sardines and a shady spot to rest. Since then, Jinling has never stayed away from de Souza for too long.

Even though the kindhearted man tried to get the penguin reacquainted with the open sea after he got better, the bird just kept coming back. He even took him out in a boat, far from land and turned him loose in the ocean, but by the time he got back home, Jinling was already waiting for him.

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One-Year-Old Brazilian Boy Bites Venomous Pit Viper to Death

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Vipers are usually the ones who do the biting, but a one-year-old boy from Brazil gave the venomous snake a taste of its own medicine, biting it on the head and killing it.

17-month-old Lorenzo was playing with the family dog in the garden of his home, in the town of Mostardas, Brazil’s Rio Grande do Sul state, when he apparently came face to face with a pit viper. His mother Jaine Ferreira Figueira, who was doing some work inside the house, heard some noises and turned around to go check on the boy, only to see him in the room with a snake in his mouth and blood on his clothes. She instinctively shouted for her husband Lucier. They quickly got in their car and took Lorenzo to the Sao Luiz hospital, some 175 km from Porto Alegre, but not before putting the snake in a jar, so doctors could identify it and administer the right anti-venom.

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The World’s Newest Human Ken Doll Actually Looks Plastic

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Brazilian model Mauricio Galdi is the newest addition to the growing band of surgically-enhanced men branded ‘Human Ken Dolls’. After a total of eight procedures in the past decade, his face now looks like that of the popular plastic doll.

Mauricio, 27, claims that he wasn’t actually aiming for the ‘Ken’ look, but now that the media’s given him the title, he doesn’t mind cashing in on the publicity. “I never sought out to be the Brazilian human Ken,” he said. “It was something that came to me, television sought to give me that title.”

We find that kind of hard to believe though, given the fact that he’s been obsessed with dolls since childhood. Growing up in a middle class household in Sao Paulo, Mauricio confessed that he often felt jealous of little girls because it was socially acceptable for them to play with Barbie and Ken. “I saw them playing with dolls and I wanted to do the same,” he admitted, “but I never did for fear of prejudice.”

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In This Brazilian Town Dolphins Have Been Helping Locals Fish for Over a Century

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Fishermen from the Brazilian town of Laguna have developed a unique symbiotic relationship with dolphins: they rely on the intelligent creatures to help them catch fish! Studies have revealed that there’s a particular group of about 20 bottlenose dolphins that work alongside the fishermen, while the rest of the local dolphins prefer to look for food on their own.

The dolphins work together to herd groups of mullet towards the fishermen. They then use head- or fin-signals to alert the fishermen as to when and where the nets should be thrown. The system works well for both parties: neither could survive without the other. The fishermen get to catch all the fish they need, while most of the stray fish that manage to escape the nets swim right into the dolphins’ mouths. The water is so murky near Laguna that the fishermen could never catch fish as efficiently without the dolphins’ help. That’s why they only fish when the marine mammals show up.

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Brazilian Bodybuilding Enthusiast Injects His Muscles with Dangerous Oil, Achieves Horrifying Results

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Brazilian body builder Romario Dos Santos Alves was so desperate to emulate the Incredible Hulk that he actually injected his arms with a potentially lethal combination of oil and alcohol. The 25-year-old risked his life in the process, and almost had both arms amputated. His grotesquely swollen muscles have earned him cruel nicknames like ‘beast’ and ‘monster’.

Romario, a former bodyguard and father-of-one, said that he became obsessed with the drug when he first moved away from his hometown to Goiania city. “I saw some really big guys in the gym with huge arms and I started to make friends with them,” he told reporters. “They introduced me to synthol and I got excited about the results – I lost control.”

“If you take it once, there will definitely be a second time – it’s addictive,” he added. And that’s exactly what happened to Romario. Impressed with the initial results, he soon began using the substance frequently. He even tricked his wife Marisangela Marinho into injecting the drug in places that he couldn’t reach. “I told her there was no problem with it – that it left the body after a short time.” ..

Brazilian Football Club Employs Fans’ Mothers as Stewards in Effort to Curb Violence

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In a bid to curb violence among football fans, a Brazilian club employed the hooligans’ own mothers as stewards for a match held last Sunday. Sport Club do Recife hired and trained around 30 mothers for the derby against known rivals Nautico. The moms were put to work patrolling the pitch and were dressed in orange vests with the words ‘Segurança Mae’ on the back, Portuguese for ‘Security Mom’.

In recent years, the city of Recife has become one of Brazil’s footballing hotbeds, with hooligans causing problems at almost every match of their home team. “The idea was to make the most fanatical supporters aware and help in some way to bring peace to stadiums,” said Aricio Fortes, vice-president of Ogilvy, the PR company that came up with the idea. “At the end of the day, no one wants to fight in front of a mother, especially his own.”

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Every Day This Nice Old Man Is Visited by a Wild Hummingbird

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Every day, 83-year-old Joao Silvestrini has the most unusual visitor – a hummingbird! It flies in and out of the kitchen window of his Brazil home several times a day, stopping for a chirpy chat and a drink of sugar water.

The story of the unusual friendship between man and bird has become popular on Facebook, after Joao filmed the bird and posted the video online, last month. The footage shows the tiny bird flying around Joao’s head and waiting patiently until he offers it the daily dose of sugar sweetened water.

Joao is a bachelor and a retired ornithologist; he wakes up at 5.30 every morning to open the kitchen window and wait for his little friend. Before long, the bird arrives in search of water and continues the routine several times during the day. “When he wants water, he is flying around me, he will not let me use the computer,” Joao laughed.

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Bachelors Wanted in Brazilian Town Made Up Entirely of Women

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UPDATE: Apparently, Noiva de Cordeiro isn’t exactly the bachelors’ paradise it was made out to be by Western media. According to a recent article in the Brazilian newspaper O Globo, the Belo Vale town isn’t that much different from any other rural settlement. Most of the women shown in the photos working in the field and doing chores are apparently happily married, and the population is made up of both men and women, in equal proportion. It’s just that the majority of men work in the city during weekdays, so they’re left tending to their homes and crops.

Unfortunately it’s been again confirmed that if something sounds too good to be true, it generally is. 

Noiva do Cordeiro, a picturesque Brazilian town in the hills near Belo Vale, is one of the very few all-female settlements in the world. Its 600-odd female residents are mostly between the ages of 20 and 35. They all live by a strict set of rules that allows only women to dominate society – but now they’ve extended an invitation to potential male suitors.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that the men they choose are welcome to live with them. All men – including husbands and sons above the age of 18 – are banished from Noiva do Corderio. They have to work away from home and can only visit during the weekends. Girl-power rules in this rural community, and women are in charge of every aspect of life including farming, town planning and religion.

It’s a interesting way of life, but the residents of Noiva do Cordeiro believe that it’s the best way to live. “There are lots of things that women do better than men.” said resident Rosalee Fernandes, 49. “Our town is prettier, more organised, and far more harmonious than if men were in charge.”

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Brazilian ‘Human Ken’ Launches His Own Doll

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20-year-old Brazilian Celso Santebanes has spent over $50,000 to transform himself into a real-life Ken doll. The young model is so obsessed with dolls that he even behaves like one. And now he’s actually giving the real Ken a run for his money by releasing his own line of figurines called ‘Celso Dolls’.

Celso Santebanes recently shared pictures of himself and his namesake toy on Instagram. “I went to the city to become a model,” he wrote. “I never expected to have a toy myself. I dreamt of becoming a human puppet, but having one in my image was completely unexpected.”

Celso, who has been a doll enthusiast all his life, said that he grew up with a shelf full of dolls. He claims that his family told him he looked like a doll himself since the age of 13. He’s been obsessed with being the perfect human puppet ever since, and his own personal transformation began after he won a modelling contest at age 16.

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The Confederate South Still Lives, in Brazil

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The Americana municipality, in São Paulo, Brazil, is home to a very unique subculture – the Confederados. The members of this culture are the descendants of 10,000 Confederate refugees who chose to leave the United States after they lost the American Civil War. Today, the Confederados make up 10 percent of Americana’s population; they’ve managed to preserve the unique culture and traditions belonging to the Confederate South of the 19th century.

When the war ended in 1865, many former Confederates were unwilling to live under the rule of the Union. They were unhappy with the destruction of their pre-war lifestyle that included slavery. So when Emperor Dom Pedro II of Brazil sent recruiters to the Southern States of Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina and Texas to pick up experienced cotton farmers, many disgruntled Southerners jumped at the opportunity.

Slavery was still in existence in Brazil at the time, which greatly attracted the Southerners. Combined with their humiliating defeat at the hands of the Union, many felt that moving out of America was the only option available to them. Dom Pedro, who wanted to encourage the cultivation of cotton, made an offer they could not refuse – he offered them a package of tax breaks and grants, as well as a section of the Brazilian forest that they could call home. It was more than they could ever ask for – a chance to start over and create a new community with Southern values.

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