UK Company Is Growing Furniture by Molding Trees into Chairs, Tables or Lamps

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Money might not grow on trees, but it seems that furniture does! Gavin Munro, a UK-based designer, has come up with a brilliant alternative to chopping beautiful trees and converting them into furniture. He simply molds young saplings to take the shape of any piece of furniture he wants. Once matured, the trees are ready to be harvested and used with no cutting, sawing, or assembling required.

Munro, who runs a company called ‘Full Grown’, said he wants to “rethink our relationship with trees and time.” His idea is to get rid of environmentally unfriendly practices involved in the mass manufacture of furniture, and replace it with a much easier process.

“When you look at it from a manufacturing point of view and from a design point of view, it actually makes total sense. Why would you grow trees, chop them down with all the faff?” he questioned. “Why don’t you just grow the shape you want and it is eminently scalable? You can make thousands of these in the same way as you can make 10, but each one is unique.”

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Meet India’s Moonwalking Traffic Cop

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Kunwar Ranjeet Singh, a self-confessed Michael Jackson fan, is also India’s most fascinating traffic cop. Drawing inspiration from his idol, he ‘moonwalks’ his way through his daily duties in one of the busiest intersections of the city of Indore, in central India.

The ‘dancing cop of Indore’ has actually come up with several routines to help manage traffic on the often chaotic streets, and the moonwalk is one of them. “Instead of walking back I do the moonwalk which sometimes amuses commuters,” he said. “That, in a way, encourages people to follow traffic rules.”

Singh apparently wanted to be a dancer, but chose to become a traffic cop after he lost two close friends to road accidents. He’s been controlling Indore’s traffic for the past six years now, and he’s found a way to incorporate his love of dancing into the job. He believes it’s is a great way to remain stress-free in the midst of chaos, and to really make a difference. “One should leave an impact in whatever he or she does and I bring the same while I am signalling people on the roads,” he said.

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Family Builds Glass Greenhouse around Their Home to Warm It Naturally

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Even though the average temperature in Stockholm, Sweden, is at a frigid 27 degrees Fahrenheit, Marie Granmar, Charles Sacilotto and their young son enjoy a cozy atmosphre all year round. The young couple have managed to harness the power of the sun by encasing their home in a giant glass greenhouse.

Aptly named ‘Naturhus’ (Nature House), the unique abode is located on the Stockholm archipelago and consists of an old summer house encased in glass. Marie and Charles were originally looking for an empty lot to build a house from scratch, but they eventually settled on repurposing this old summer house for year-round living, by building a greenhouse around it.

“This is a summer house,” Marie explained. “It was not really made for year-round living, but that was part of the idea, that you could actually put the greenhouse around the summer house and actually live in it with nice comfort all year round.” Charles, an engineer by profession, designed and made the necessary modifications himself, drawing inspiration from the work of Swedish eco-architect Bengt Warne, who just happens to be his mentor.

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Japanese Company Wants to Sell You These Awesome Levitating Bonsai Trees

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Bonsai – the art of growing miniature trees in shallow pots – is pretty cool in itself, but a Japanese company is taking it to the next level with ‘Air Bonsai’an invention that has the miniature trees levitate and rotate about half an inch above their pots.

Considering how mindblowing the effect is, it’s easy to mistake Air Bonsai for an optical illusion, but it is in fact quite real. Hoshinchu, the company developing the product, apparently wanted to incorporate elements of our galaxy into the idea of miniature plants. So their creation consists of two main components – ‘little star’ and ‘energy base’.

The little star is a levitating moss ball that you can transplant any bonsai plant into. It also has a rotating mechanism that runs on an AC adaptor. The energy base is made of Imari, a traditional Japanese porcelain art. It conducts magnetic energy that makes the plant float. The system is similar to the one used in OM/ONE speakers. “Each Air Bonsai is unique,” the page states, “ranging from elegant flowering plants, bold ‘matsu’ (pines), to delightful mosses.”

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Japanese Taxi Drivers Report ‘Ghost Passengers’ in Area Hit by 2011 Tsunami

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In a chilling turn of events, some taxi drivers in Japan are claiming to have picked up ‘ghost passengers’ in the aftermath of the tsunami that devastated the nation in March 2011. As many as seven of the 100 drivers interviewed by Yuka Kudo, a student of sociology at Tohoku, admitted to having encountered phantom fares.

Kudo conducted the interviews as a part of her graduation thesis, traveling to the coastal town of Ishinomaki every week for a year to speak to taxi drivers waiting for fares. She asked over 100 drivers the same question: “Did you have any unusual experiences after the disaster?” Many of them ignored her, some even got angry, but seven drivers agreed to describe their strange encounters.

One driver recounted a particularly unsettling story – in the summer of 2011, a woman dressed in a coat climbed into his taxi near Ishinomaki station. She said, “Please go to the Mianmihama Station.” When he pointed out that there was nothing left standing in the district, she asked him in a shivering voice, “Have I died?” The driver immediately turned around, only to find the back seat empty.

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This Photo of a Potato Sold for over $1 Million

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If you thought spending money on painted firewood logs was ridiculous, you’re not going to be able to wrap your head around this: a man in Paris recently spent a whopping €1,000,000 (over $1 million) on a photograph of a potato, making it one of the top 20 most expensive photos ever sold!

To be fair, it wasn’t any ordinary potato portrait – it was clicked by Kevin Abosch, the hottest photographer in the world right now, according to Business Insider. His claim to fame includes photographing major Silicon Valley bigwigs like Sheryl Sandberg, Eric Schmidt, and Jack Dorsey. Some of his other famous subjects include Johnny Depp, Steven Spielberg, Dustin Hoffman, Dennis Hopper, and Malala Yousafzai.

Irish-born Abosch is also apparently obsessed with potatoes – he’s taken tons of photographs of the starchy tuber set against his trademark black backdrop. “Kevin likes potatoes because they, like people, are all different yet immediately identifiable as being essentially of the same species,” his studio said in a statement. “He has photographed many potatoes. This is one of his favorites.”

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Bionic Filmmaker Replaces One of His Eyeballs with a Small Camera

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Rob Spence, a Toronto-based filmmaker, is so dedicated to his craft that he’s replaced one of his eyeballs with a camera-eye. Before you become too horrified, you should know that he hasn’t taken out a real eyeball, just a fake one that he’s had since he was a kid.

43-year-old Spence – who calls himself an Eyeborg – lost sight in one eye in a freak accident at age nine – he was shooting a pile of cow dung and badly injured his eye when he held the shotgun incorrectly. Since then, he’s lived with a fake eyeball in his right socket. But he recently thought it would be more interesting to remove it and replace it with a camera of his own invention.

The camera-eye looks like a regular prosthetic, but it isn’t connected to an optic nerve so Spence cannot actually see with it. It is equipped with a micro radio-frequency transmitter and whatever the eye can ‘see’ is played on a handheld monitor. The camera can be switched on and off with a push of a button.

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Bizarre Skin Condition Turns Man into ‘Human Suction Cup’

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Jamie ‘Canhead’ Keeton, a.k.a the ‘human suction cup’, can stick cans, bottles and other inanimate objects on to his skin. And he does it without using any external adhesives, because his skin’s pores are magically able to “suck up things” and make them stick!

Things have always been sticking to Keeton, but as a kid living in Florida he used to climb pine trees, so everyone thought it was because of the pine sap. He first discovered his sticky ability about 20 years ago, after shaving his head for the first time. “It was a hot day, and I was trying to cool my head down by holding a soda pop to it,” he said. “But then the team hit a home run and I let go of my soda to try and grab the ball, but I missed. Then I was like, ‘Where’s my drink?’”

The can, it turned out, was stuck to the back of his head horizontally, and the drink was pouring out of it. “Everyone was laughing,” he recalled.

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Japanese Researchers Creates Electric Fork That Alters the Taste of Food

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Did you know electricity can alter the way we taste food? Proving this fact is a revolutionary electric fork designed by Japanese researchers that can make any dish taste salty, thus acting as a substitute for the popular seasoning.

According to Hiromi Nakamura, a Post Doc Research Fellow at Tokyo’s Meiji University, the technology can be very useful for people on special diets. Patients with low blood pressure, for instance, can easily go on a low-salt diet and still enjoy delicious food. And with the fork, there’s absolutely no risk of over-salting your food. Luckily, the voltage is so small that there is no risk of electrocution either.

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The World’s Smallest Nightclub Is the Size of a Phone Booth

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‘Teledisko’, the world’s smallest disco, is probably the most exclusive party place you can find. Started by German telecommunications company Deutsche Telekom, the nightclub – a repurposed phone booth located in the Berlin’s trendy Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district – can only accommodate two people at a time.

The coin-operated entry ensures that no one but you and your chosen friends can  access the bright yellow party booth. Inside, Teledisko has all the trimmings of a proper nightclub – a smoke machine, stroboscope, light effects, a disco ball, dry ice, and a touchscreen that lets you select and play your favorite music. The cramped interiors might prevent you from taking selfies, but the booth comes with a built-in camera that takes pictures and records videos of your unforgettable night.

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This Virtual Tour Lets People Experience Dementia

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In a bid to raise awareness about dementia, UK based healthcare training institute Training2Care has started a new initiative – the Mobile Virtual Dementia Tour.

Feared more than cancer, dementia is a general term referring to the decline in mental ability, marked by memory disorders, personality changes, and impaired reasoning. Sadly, it only receives a tenth of the funding of cancer. Which is why Glenn Knight, chief executive of Training2Care, hopes that more hospital trusts will host the tour and raise awareness about the condition.

The Virtual Dementia Tour isn’t new – it’s been in the US for a decade, and is currently available in 17 countries around the world. It’s been in the UK for two years now, but this is the first time a mobile version is being made available to the public. The tour is designed to take away all the primary senses, allowing participants to experience the troubling states that people with dementia go through every day.

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Man v Fat – A Football League For Overweight Men Looking to Shed Some Pounds

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There’s a special football league in England dedicated to helping men keep up their weight-loss resolutions each year. Aptly named ‘Man v Fat’, the league caters exclusively to overweight men with a body-mass index (BMI) of 30 or above. Teams win points for matches won, as well as pounds lost during the 14-week competition.

Based in Solihull, in the West Midlands, the league was started two years ago by 37-year-old Andrew Shanahan. Andrew said he came up with the idea because he was sick of traditional weight-loss classes filled with women. “There was no help for me, and all the classes seemed tailored to women’s needs. I remember going to a Weight Watchers meeting and I was the only guy there. It was embarrassing and I was so out of my depth. The leader was talking about when you’re on your period you can go up or down in weight and I just thought, that’s not my issue. That’s really not what’s affecting me.”

“I started Man v Fat because I was morbidly obese and experienced first-hand the difficulties men face during weight loss,” he said. “I was 17 stone in 2013 and now I’m just over 12 stone, but I was shocked at how little support blokes get for weight loss.”

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Lose to Win – California City Motivates Locals to Lose Weight with $3,500 Cash Prize

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In a bid to get residents interested in a healthy lifestyle, municipal officials in Lynwood, California, have a yearly program in place called ‘Cash for Chunkers’. Participants are divided into teams of four, and for 12 weeks they compete to see who can lose the most weight. This year, the winning team gets to take home a cash prize of $3,500.

Lynwood has a serious weight problem – one in five adults here are obese – but instead of taking restrictive measures like banning sodas or raising taxes on fast food, local authorities decided to motivate people to shed some pounds by offering them cash prizes.

Cash for Chunkers is self-funded, with a $25 entry fee per participant, and a $1-fine per pound gained during the 12-week period. The program is meant to get the people of Lynwood to eat healthy and exercise regularly. To help participants do better, it includes motivational discussions and classes on nutrition, cooking, and exercise. The teams also meet up every Saturday for a weighing session. “If they fail, they later return because they know we’re going to help them here and we’re going to work as a community,” said Mark Flores, director of Lynwood’s Recreation and Community Services Department.

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Dishwasher Cooking is Actually a Thing

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Believe it or not, you can actually cook meals in a dishwasher. It sounds kinda gross, but it’s a surprisingly popular cooking technique and actually produces decent results!

Dishwasher cooking has apparently been around since the 1970s, but the trend ‘caught steam’ in 2013, after Italian food writer Lisa Casali, a self-proclaimed dishwasher-cooking expert published a book on the subject. Cucinare in lavastoviglie (Cooking in the Dishwasher) was a big hit, and Casali also posted a series of videos online demonstrating how the technique works.  “It’s an easy technique within everyone’s reach and you can gain great advantages from it,” she says in one of her instructional videos. “All you need is a dishwasher and the will to experiment.”

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7-Year-Old ‘Bionic’ Girl Is Immune to Pain, Hunger and Fatigue

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Meet Olivia Farnsworth, a British girl who doesn’t feel any pain and never feels the need to eat or sleep. At age seven, she’s able to go for days without sleeping and eating, and comes away from terrible injuries with nonchalance. In fact, she was recently run over and dragged down the street by a car, but she casually walked away from the accident without shedding a tear!

Olivia has doctors baffled. They know she suffers from a condition caused by something called chromosome 6 deletion, but this is the first time they’ve witnessed anyone displaying three rare symptoms at once. According to her mother Niki Trepak, the little girl has no sense of danger because she literally cannot feel pain, and neither does she feel the need to sleep or eat. Her doctors have nicknamed her ‘bionic girl’, while her mother says she’s “made of steel.”

“She got run over and dragged down the street by a car and she didn’t complain,” Niki said, shortly after the accident. “It was horrendous, I don’t think it’s something I will ever get over. I was screaming and all my other children were screaming as she ran out. But Olivia was just like, ‘What’s going on?’ She just got up and started walking back to me.”

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