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Dutch Family Is Living in Giant Greenhouse for Three Years as Environmental Experiment

Since June last year, a Dutch family has been living in a wooden cabin in Rotterdam that’s built inside of a large greenhouse. Inhabited by botanical stylist Helly Scholten, her husband, their two teenage daughters, and their pet dog, ‘Concept House’ presents the perfect example of sustainability in the modern world. Not only does it reduce energy costs by trapping heat, it also allows the Scholtens to grow their own food in a rooftop vegetable garden.

Helly, who decorates photo shoots and events with plants and flowers, had always dreamed of living off-grid in an environmentally friendly home. But she wanted the home to be located in Rotterdam, the second-largest city in the Netherlands. That was next to impossible, given that the city has long since embraced modern architecture.

She had almost given up on her dream, but in an incredible stroke of luck, Helly found out that a group of students at Rotterdam University were building experimental houses, one of which was inside a greenhouse. This was exactly what Helly wanted, so she didn’t waste any time contacting the head of the project. “We met a professor at the university’s Sustainable Building Technology program and he said he was looking for a ‘test family’ for a new sustainable home,” she said, speaking to NY Times. “We applied on the spot.”

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Australian Couple Experience Life with Almost No Money for a Year

In this day and age, living without money sounds almost impossible, but that’s exactly what this Australian couple has been doing for almost a year. It’s been anything but easy, but they’ve somehow made it work.

Rachel Newby, 24, and Liam Culbertson, 26, have come up with innovative ways of making it through the year without any cash. They built themselves a new home on a friend’s plot in West Gippsland, a rural region in Victoria. The house is made entirely out of scrap timber and recycled materials. They grow their own food, and at times, don’t hesitate to dive into dumpsters for leftovers. They also help out local farmers in exchange for fresh produce and yarn.

“We enjoy the feeling of being able to choose what we do regardless of money,” said Rachel. “We don’t have to worry about rent or plane tickets or food or fancy clothes. Effectively, all of our time is free time because we get to decide how we spend it.”

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World’s Most Exclusive Site Can Only Be Accessed by One Person per Minute

With his online experiment, Reddit user Justin Foley is demonstrating the power exclusivity. He’s proving how people will fall for pretty much anything – or nothing – by merely tagging it ‘exclusive’.

Foley set up a portal called ‘mostexclusivewebsite.com’, consisting of just a few lines of text and a counter. Access is granted to only one person at a 60-second interval. With the click of a button, you will be added to a virtual line of over 2,500 people (at the time of this writing), waiting to gain access. If you close the website window, the ticket is lost.

“The internet was designed to be open and accessible; what if I made a design that was the antithesis of one of the defining qualities of the internet?” Foley told The Washington Post. He added that about one in nine people are making it inside the website – the rest leave before their number is called. And Wired.co.uk explaines why: “The website is simple, and the concept both alluring and incredibly frustrating.”

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Real-Life Dr. Frankenstein Who Has Completed Over 1,000 Head Transplants on Mice Hopes to One Day Do Them on Humans

In 2013, Chinese surgeon Xiaoping Ren conducted a historic surgery: he basically sliced the head off one mouse and attached it to the body of another. Believe it or not, the grotesque creature he had created actually survived for a few minutes – it opened its eyes, and even managed to breathe on its own. The operation was hailed a success, and since then, the eccentric doctor and his team have conducted head transplants on over 1,000 mice!

With each operation, Dr. Ren has tried to perfect his procedure by using tiny tubes to carry oxygenated blood from the mice’s brains to their new bodies. After over 1,000 transplants, the results are not very encouraging – after the procedure, the mice open their eyes, breathe on their own and even show signs of movement, but so far, every one of them has died within a day. That sounds scary and even unethical, but Dr. Ren is so motivated by his modest success that he wants to continue experimenting on other creatures. According to a Wall Street Journal report, he’s planning to conduct head transplants on monkeys next, hoping to create the first head-transplanted primate that can live and breathe on its own, ‘at least for a little while’. Read More »

Researchers Create Eye-Drops That Let You See in the Dark

A team of California scientists, or ‘biohackers’ as they call themselves, claim to have discovered a way for people to achieve night-vision without the use of special goggles. They recently conducted an experiment called Science for the Masses(SftM), in which they injected a volunteer’s eyes with a special liquid solution that gave him superhuman night-vision.

After receiving the injection, the volunteer – researcher Gabriel Licina – could supposedly see up to a distance of 50 meters in almost total darkness for several hours, and could spot people running among trees in dark conditions. In comparison, people who weren’t treated with the solution did not fare as well.

The mystifying solution apparently contains a substance called Chlorin e6 (Ce6), which is found in some deep-sea fish. It has light-amplification properties, and has also been used in cancer treatment research. By combining Ce6 with insulin and saline, the team was able to produce a solution that can improve vision in the dark.

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German DJs Grow Boobs for 24 Hours to Experience Life as Women

In an attempt to understand what women go through every day, a couple of German radio DJs recently had their chests injected with a saline solution to emulate female breasts. John and Rasheed, who are actually well-know in Berlin for their strange experiments, underwent a one-hour procedure with cosmetic surgeon Mark Wolter to get temporary boobs for 24 hours.

“Mom, I’m sorry,” said Rasheed, just before he and his colleague were strapped down for the procedure. John had brought along his wife and her bikini for support.

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NASA is Paying This Guy $18,000 to Lie in Bed for Three Months

When Andrew Iwanicki lost his job in August, he probably expected to be spending a lot of time in bed. Little did he know that he’d actually be paid to do it. The very next day, he received an offer to join a NASA study that required him to lie in bed for three months straight, in exchange for a whopping $18,000!

“My bed is in the NASA Flight Analog Research Unit in Houston, Texas, where I’m being paid $18,000 to lie down for 70 days while NASA researchers study me,” he wrote. “I have been in this bed for three weeks now, and I will be here for seven weeks more.”

Andrew explained that the study – CFT 70 (Countermeasure and Functional Testing in Head-Down Tilt Bed Rest Study) – is part of a three-year effort to learn about bone and muscle atrophy in space. The team of NASA researchers have studied 54 people so far, and Andrew is the last participant.

“I had applied to the study a year earlier on a whim, assuming I’d never be chosen from the pool of 25,000 applicants and I’d never be able to halt my hectic life for 15 weeks,” he explained. But as fate would have it, he suddenly found himself with an empty schedule and an offer in hand.

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Dutch Woman Uses Facebook to Deceive Family and Friends She Is on Trip to South-East Asia without Even Leaving Amsterdam

25-year-old Zilla van den Born managed to fool her friends and family into believing that she was on a five-week vacation in South-East Asia, when, in reality, she was at home in Amsterdam the whole time, clicking seemingly authentic holiday photographs and putting them up on Facebook to create the illusion!

Zilla devised the elaborate lie as a part of her University project through which she wanted to show how Facebook status messages and photographs are not accurate indicators of real life. “I did this to show people that we filter and manipulate what we show on social media,” she explained. “Thereby we create an online ideal world which reality can no longer meet. My goal was to prove how common and easy it is to distort reality.”

“Everybody knows that pictures of models are manipulated. But we often overlook the fact that we manipulate reality also in our own lives,” she added, wisely.

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Japanese Researcher Uses Controversial Experiments to Prove Our Thoughts and Intentions Can Alter the Physical World

Self-help gurus have been telling us about the power of positive thinking for years. Now, the results of an experiment might just prove that they were right all along. Dr. Masaru Emoto, a researcher and alternative healer from Japan, has researched the effects of positive and negative thoughts on materials such as water and cooked rice. The results are pretty amazing.

Dr. Emoto shot to international fame in 2004, when he was featured in the documentary film What the Bleep Do We Know. In that film, he demonstrated through experiments that human thoughts and intentions could cause a great deal of change to the molecular structure of water. His discovery was path breaking, given the fact that human bodies are made of almost 70 percent water.

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Young Russian Spends Eight Months Living Alone Like in the Early Middle Ages

24-year-old Pavel Sapozhnikov is putting himself through one of the most epic socio-psychological experiments in history. He is trying to replicate the lifestyle of his Russian ancestors from around the year 1100, and practicing an ascetic lifestyle with very little human contact for the entire duration of the experiment.

The project began in September 2013 and should run on until May this year. The essence, according to Pavel, is to live on the replica of an ancient farm, devoid of any modern conveniences or communication. “I live alone in the past,” he wrote.

‘Project Hero’ is the brainchild of Alexei Ovcharenko, from the event management agency ‘Ratobor’, which translates as ‘A Mighty Man’. Ratobor, founded in 2006, has conducted several projects and events exclusively based on historic experiences. They proudly declare on their website: “We often do not agree with the vision of the customer and dictate what the event should be. But in our history, we haven’t received any negative reviews about the quality of our corporate programs.”

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Made in France: French Patriot Uses 100% French Things for Nine Months

When the economy is in the toilet and employment rates are going down, some patriots concerned about their country’s welfare adopt various strategies to tackle the undesirable situation. One French documentary-maker named Benjamin Carle is currently staging a nine-month “economic patriotism” experiment by eating only French food and using French-made products exclusively.

Carle says he was inspired to start his experiment after seeing France’s minister for industrial renewal, Arnaud Montebour, in a Breton shirt on the cover of Le Parisien magazine as a sign of supporting the French industry by purchasing items made in France. Although not particularly patriotic, the young documentary-maker agreed to participate in the “Monsieur Made-in-France” television program in an attempt to inspire others and together raise employment rates in their country. As a journalist, he was intrigued but what seemed to be a great idea at first proved to be a hassle considering that most of his furniture and other household items such as the fridge, washing machine and furniture were all foreign and had to be discarded. He also had to give up some of his favorite clothes because they had been ordered from English or American websites. Moreover, he indulged in eating various kinds of exotic fruits and vegetables, regardless of the season, and enjoyed drinking his morning cup of coffee, pleasures he had to renounce for the whole nine months. Even his favorite music, by artists like David Bowie, Radiohead and The Smiths was replaced with French hits, and instead of Hollywood blockbusters Benjamin began watching French movies.  After eliminating all things not French, his small but expensive Parisian apartment contained only a chair, a table and Loon the cat, thankfully born in France but named after The Who’s British drummer Keith Moon “the Loon”.

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Art Students Swallow Pieces of Film to Become Human Cameras

The next time you look in the mirror and ask yourself “what am I?”, a correct answer could be: a living, breathing camera. Last year, two art students, Luke Evans and Joshua Lake, conducted an unusual experiment in which they swallowed several pieces of film to capture the digestive system at work. Their art project was aptly named “I Turn Myself Inside Out”.

At first glance, the artworks of Kingston University students Luke Evans and Joshua Lake look like a collection of specimens captured under a microscope, when in fact they are stills of their digestive systems doing what they do best, process stuff. The two young artists said “we wanted to bring our insides out” so they swallowed several piece of 35mm photographic film and let their bodies do the rest. They’re no doctors, so they didn’t know for sure if this would affect their health in any way, but as a precaution they put the film inside brightly colored capsules to avoid damage to their colons (those things have sharp edges). After eating the film, the two Graphic Design & Photography students waited for nature to take its course and hoped for the best. When the time came, they did their “business” in a bag, took it to a dark room and started looking for the capsules. Luckily, their bright color made them easy to spot. After retrieving the film strips, they scanned them with an electron microscope which revealed some interesting images of their insides.

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Private Zoo Owner Plans to Spend a Year Living with Lions

Alexander Pylyshenko, the owner of a private zoo in the Zaporozhye region of Ukraine, has announced he plans to spend a year caged with two full-grown lions, in order to raise funds for a  proper care center for big cats.

If this story sounds familiar to you, it’s probably because this wouldn’t be Alexander Pylyshenko first such attempt. Back in 2011 he set a new Ukrainian record, after he spent 35 days caged with two lions, during which time he even helped the female deliver her cubs. From the moment he set foot into the cage, the feline lover started living as if he was a lion himself. That meant sharing the raw meat the lions were fed with and sleeping on hay beds. He even built a toilet and shower inside the enclosure so he wouldn’t be forced to leave the cage at any moment. This time however, he plans on living with male Samson and lioness Katya for a full year, so he needs to plan accordingly. Alexander, who has studied lions his whole life, decided to spend time with his two fanged pets both inside their metal cage and in his nearby country house, where he’ll be able to cook. The Ukrainian beast-master says that although his lions consume between 5 and 10 pounds of meat per day, depending on the season, Katya has developed a taste for his cooking and enjoys mushroom soup and tomatoes with mayonnaise.

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Gallium – The Rare Metal That Melts in Your Hand and Attacks Other Metals

Remember those liquid metal Terminators from the Arnold Schwarzenegger movies? What if I told you that kind of material isn’t just the fruit of someone’s sci-fi imagination, but a real metal? It’s called Gallium and it has some pretty cool properties.

So what makes gallium so special? Well, first of all, the brittle metal has a melting point of just  29.76 °C (85.57 °F), so if you hold it in your hand long enough it will become liquid. That alone is pretty cool, but this rare metal has a few other amazing properties. For example, it “attacks” other metals, like aluminum. As you’re about to see in one of the videos below, just a drop of liquid gallium weakens the structure of a Coke can to the point where it can be pierced with the slight press of the thumb. Gallium infiltrates the aluminum structure, compromising its integrity and making the can feel like tin foil instead of metal. Another interesting experiment involving gallium is called the “beating heart”, in which the amazing element is made to look like an alien life form. When submerged in sulfuric acid and a dichromate solution, gallium looks like an organic beating heart, due to the gallium sulfate which increases surface tension.

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Man Wears Empathy Suit for Nine Weeks to Experience Pregnancy

In a bizarre attempt to experience “the one thing unavailable to men as parents”, writer Benjamin Percy wore an empathy suit complete with a fake belly, for nine weeks. You’d think the efforts of a man trying to go through the hardships of pregnancy would be applauded by women, right? Well, no…

Although fully aware that he couldn’t go through all the stages of pregnancy or experience all the nasty symptoms, Percy thought that by wearing an empathy suit for a condensed pregnancy period of nine weeks would be “a way for me to alter my point of view, deepen my empathy, help me overcome my mouth-breathing-caveman deficiencies.” He may never be able to go through child birth, but he wanted to know what it felt like to carry carry one with him wherever he went. To aid him in this “pregnant man” project, the noted fiction and non-fiction writer used a special suit designed by the Japanese scientist Dr. Takayuki Kosaka of the Kanagawa Institute of Technology. It was made of thick nylon, had a fake belly and fake boobs, but instead of adjusting his wardrobe, Benjamin opted to wear the unusual accessory over his regular clothes. As the weeks passed, he added extra weight to the belly, to match the growth of his imaginary baby. It was a unique experience, but a lot of women aren’t exactly impressed with his stunt.

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