Thriving Bottle Garden Hasn’t Been Watered in Over 40 Years

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David Latimer is one of the world’s few proud owners of an entirely self-sustaining bottled garden. Looking at pictures of the lush green bottle, you’d think that growing it involved a lot of hard work. But the truth is that David hasn’t even watered it in over 40 years. It’s just been sitting under the hallway stairs in his home and it’s doing extremely well on its own.

The story of his this amazing experiment began in 1960, on Easter Sunday, when David decided that it would be fun to start a bottle garden. Since they were a bit of a craze back then, he wanted to see for himself what the fuss was all about. So out of idle curiosity, he got himself a 10-gallon globular bottle, poured some compost at the bottom and used a piece of wire to carefully lower a seedling in. Then he put in just about a quarter of a pint of water, and believe it or not, he only watered the plant once more in 1972. Never again after that. It has been alive and kicking for the past 54 years.

The plant that David placed in the bottle is an indoor variety of perennial spiderworts that also go by the Latin name of Tradescantia. The bottle itself is tightly sealed; David only needs to rotate it around often so it grows evenly towards the light. “Otherwise, it’s the definition of low-maintenance,” he said. “I’ve never pruned it, it just seems to have grown to the limits of the bottle.”

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Chinese Farmer Builds Realistic Space Shuttle Replica on Top of His House

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We’ve heard so many stories about the Chinese building temples, mountain villas and even entire farms on their rooftops that we’ve honestly lost count. And now we have a new one for you – a crazy man in Guangdong province who put a replica of a spacecraft on the roof of his home.

63-year-old Meng Ni had dreamed of becoming an astronaut ever since he was a little kid. But growing up in the remote village of Xiapu, Jiexi County, he realized early-on that there was little hope of his dream coming true. So he quickly decided to follow in his family’s footsteps and take up farming. Eventually, his farmlands grew in size and he sold them to the government for a small fortune.

But over the years, Meng never gave up on his dream. After considerable success as a businessman, he decided sell a part of his estate to build a life-size replica of a space shuttle on his roof. Although the structure does not have the NASA logo, it does carry an American flag on the side for an authentic appearance. And it’s possible to enter the craft as well; it offers a breathtaking view of the surrounding countryside.

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8-Year-Old Brazilian Miracle Worker Allegedly Cures People of Cancer and HIV

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8-year-old Alani Santos is a special little girl – she claims that she can channel the power of Jesus Christ to cure people of various illnesses. Hundreds gather at the San Gonzalo church just to get a glimpse of the miracle child and be healed by her touch. Incidentally, Alani’s father is a pastor at the same church. Pastor Aduato Santos, a reformed car thief, has fondly given his daughter the name ‘missionarinha’ or ‘little missionary’.

Some of Alani’s healing sessions have been taped and uploaded on YouTube. One of the videos shows her healing a man who had been suffering from HIV for seven years. As the man stands with his head bowed, the pastor tells him: “You’re next. When the little missionary touches you, something will happen. You will be cured. You will feel the warmth.” As soon Alani puts her hand on the man’s head, he collapses on to the floor. The healing is then complete.

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University Lecturer Claims to Have Photographed Tiny Fairies Flying in English Countryside

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This could be one of the most significant discoveries in human history. Or one of biggest hoaxes. John Hyatt, a 53-year-old professor at Manchester Metropolitan University, claims to have taken photographs of tiny fairies in the English countryside. His pictures show tiny winged humanoid creatures floating flying in swarms. The professor is now on a mission to get more and more adults to believe that the fairies are real, and ‘bring a bit of a magic into their lives’.

Hyatt is the director of the Manchester Institute of Research and Innovation in Art and Design (MIRIAD) at the Metropolitan  University. He is believed to have snapped the pictures while he was out photographing the Lancashire landscape over the past two years. The photographs are now on display in a special exhibition called Rossendale Fairies at the Whitaker Museum in Whitaker Park, Rossendale. Hyatt insists that they are 100 percent real and not Photoshopped. The pictures have gone viral ever since he released them to the public. People all over the world are quite baffled over his claims, and some are beginning to believe him.

“It was a bit of a shock when I blew them up, I did a double take,” he said. “I went out afterwards and took pictures of flies and gnats and they just don’t look the same. People can decide for themselves what they are.” Hyatt, a former member of The Three Johns punk band in the ‘80s and ‘90s, said that the message to people is to approach these creatures with an open mind. “I think it’s one of those situations where you need to believe to see,” he admitted.

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Man Shuns Solid Food to Live on Beer for 40 Days

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For many Christians, Lent is a time to abstain from the things they love. But for people like Chris Schryer, it’s just the opposite. He’s giving up everything else except what he loves most – beer. The 33-year-old web designer from Toronto has shunned all solid food  and has been living on beer since March 5. In fact, he believes that what he’s doing is a real test of spiritual discipline.

“Without being dramatic, it definitely is not fun,” said Chris. “It’s challenging. Every meal time there’s a challenge. I look pretty healthy now, but by the end of the 40 days my wife figures I’ll look like a castaway on account of my bushy beard.”

For the past few weeks, Chris has been having a bottle of strong beer for breakfast. At lunch, he guzzles another beer and dinner consists of a large 650 ml bottle. He also has a mid-afternoon ‘work beer’. To avoid getting dehydrated, he keeps up a steady intake of watered down juice and other clear liquids. His rules are simple: ‘No dairy, no ‘nectars’, no protein shakes or smoothies.” He takes a multivitamin and his health is constantly being monitored by his family doctor.

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You Know China’s Smog Issue Is Serious When People Line Up to Sample Free Bags of Fresh Air

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It’s no secret that China is one of the most polluted countries in the world. But things have gotten so bad that a few cities actually have free ‘fresh air stations’, stocked with individual bags of fresh air that users can breathe out of. These stations have become so popular that they are crowded with visitors lining up for just a whiff of fresh, clean air.

One of the stations is located in Zhengzhou city in central China’s Henan province. According to sources, Zhengzhou is one of the most polluted cities in China, with an AQI (Air Quality Index) of 158. In comparison, Bakersfield (the most polluted city of America) has an AQI of just 45. The air at Zhengzhou’s station is sourced from Laojun Mountain, a scenic spot in Luanchuan County consisting of 80 percent green land. Photographs show large crowds of locals waiting patiently at the station. When it’s their turn, a uniformed air hostess hooks them up to oxygen masks.

Feng Lin, a 75-year-old user, said: “The air is really good, but the time is too short. I had to stop too soon but it was really great until then.”

“I felt my baby move right when I breathed in,” said one pregnant woman. “I would love to walk in the mountain’s forests after my child is born.”

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Chinese Woman Has Been Wearing Her Wedding Dress Every Day for the Last Ten Years

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A 47-year-old Chinese woman is so happy to have found true love that she hasn’t taken off her wedding dress for the past ten years. You might think that’s crazy, but wait till you hear everything she’s been through. At age 18, Xiang Junfeng was kidnapped from her hometown and sold to an elderly man. She was forced to marry him and lived for 15 years in captivity before she found the courage to run away.

A native of Jimo, in China’s Shandong Province, Xiang was sold to a man in the neighboring city of Linyi. He ended up using her as a slave, putting her to work in the fields. After several years of living in captivity, she managed to escape by running to Liujiazhuang village where a local woman helped her. Eventually, the woman turned out to be Xiang’s savior in more than one way. She introduced Xiang to her own brother, Zhu Zhengliang, and the couple tied the knot in 2004. This event made poor Xiang so happy that she’s refused to wear anything but her wedding attire ever since.

Although she got married with just the one dress, Xiang later had three more made – one for each season. “I bought one and made the other three,” she said. “I had only ever known a violent and abusive man and I avoided men until I met my new partner who brought me truly out of my shell and treated me so differently. I couldn’t believe it when he asked me to marry him.”

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French Artist to Live inside Grizzly Bear Carcass for Thirteen Days

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Abraham Poincheval, a performance artist from France, specializes in confining himself to the smallest possible spaces for long periods of time. A couple of years ago, he spent a whole week buried in a tiny underground hole in a bookstore, with just a pile of books for company. Now he has fashioned a new task for himself – he’s spending nearly a fortnight (1 to 13 April) crammed inside the carcass of a grizzly bear, in a space measuring only half a square meter. He won’t be coming out at all, not even to eat, drink, sleep or relieve himself. Two cameras will be on him at all times, recording the whole experience.

The bear itself was excavated by Abraham and has been partly reconstructed to support the project, using plywood, plaster, foam and polystyrene tubes. The bizarre installation is completely covered with the bear’s original skin and fur. When empty, the entire structure weighs 115 pounds. Inside it is a semi-upright chair on which the 42-year-old artist will be spending all his time. Rubber exercise bands will help him get some movement and he has some room by his feet for a stretch. There’s also a kettle and an odd assortment of foods that only a bear could appreciate – frozen dried fruits, insects and worms. Too bad the bear isn’t Winnie the Pooh, or Abraham could have had some honey as well.

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New York Man Turns Line Sitting into a Prosperous Business

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They say good things come to those who wait. But here’s the loophole: what if you could pay someone to do the waiting for you? Same Ol Line Dudes (SOLD Inc.) is a new service in New York that helps people get in line for the latest, hottest and trendiest new products. At $25 for the first hour and $10 for every half hour after that, I think it’s pretty legit. If I could avoid waiting in line and still get to buy the new iPhone or enjoy a cronut, I’d definitely be willing to pay for it.

The idea for the business came to Robert Samuel after he made $325 selling two spots in a line for the iPhone 5 launch last year. That’s when he realized that he could cash in on people’s fear of missing out on new things. “It’s a phenomenon,” he said. “I did an interview with German Public Radio a while ago and I explained FOMO: fear of missing out. Especially in New York, you have friends and you’re hanging out and it’s like, ‘Did you see that new exhibit at MoMA? Do you know what a cronut is?’ People want these things like it’s the end of the world. When I show up to their offices with a sleeping bag in one hand and the cronuts in another, they know they’re getting their money’s worth.”

There have been services like this in the past, but they weren’t exactly ethical. Like these guys who would buy cronuts in bulk and sell them on Craigslist at a higher price. But Robert makes sure he plays by the rules. He has a few super-rich clients. When one of them wants cronuts for his out-of-town guests, Robert gets to the bakery hours ahead of time. He’s always properly equipped – a portable charger, two iPhones, an iPad mini and handwarmers are always at his disposal. A lawn chair, the MetroCast and HBO Go make sure that waiting in line is never a boring experience.

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14-Year-Old’s Simple Idea Could Save US Government $400 Million on Official Documents

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Suvir Mirchandani, a 14-year-old student from Pittsburg, has figured out a way to do something that financial experts have been struggling with for decades – substantially reduce Government spending. And we’re not taking about a few dollars here and there, we’re talking millions. $400 million, to be precise. To save all that money, Suvir suggested that the US government simply switch fonts from Times New Roman to Garamond when printing official documents. Because each character is printed lighter and thinner in Garamond, it uses 25 percent less ink, saving a lot of money in the process.

Suvir came up with the brilliant idea while working on a science fair project at his school – Dorseyville Middle School. He was looking for a way to use computer science to promote environmental sustainability. After a lot of research, he decided to figure out if there was a way minimize the use of paper and ink. “Ink is two times more expensive than French perfume by volume,” the whiz-kid pointed out. So he collected random samples of teachers’ handouts at his school and studied the most commonly used letters: ‘e, t, a, o and r’.

The study included four different typefaces: Garamond, Century Gothic, Times New Roman and Comic Sans. Suvir measured how often the letters were used in each of these fonts. Then he used a commercial tool called APFill Ink Coverage Software to figure out how much ink was used for each letter. He printed out enlarged versions of the letters, cut them out on cardstock paper and weighed them to verify the data. He performed three trials per letter and graphed the ink usage for each font. The results of the analysis were astounding – he found out that Garamond’s thinner strokes could help his school district reduce ink consumption by 24 percent, saving about $21,000 a year.

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The Most Connected Man in the World Uses 700 Sensors and Systems to Record Every Detail of His Existence

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They say meditation can make you self-aware, but it looks like technology can do the job too! 45-year-old American software developer Chris Dancy, the world’s most connected human being, uses a range of sensors, devices, services and apps that gather real-time data about his activities and the environment around him. A total of 700 systems monitor his every mood and move, and being ‘the most quantified human’ has helped him know himself better than ever before. “I spent the last four years connecting all the devices that I wear to all the smart technology in my home, and piping all that data through to a single online platform, so I can search my entire life. I call it my ‘inner-net’,” he said.

Dancy doesn’t just stay connected for fun, he puts all the data to good use. By constantly monitoring his movements and eating habits, he has managed to lose 100 pounds. “I now know what to drink, what to eat, when to sleep and when to actually make myself get up. Very simple things like that,” he said. “It’s body and mind hacking. Just like we hack computers and any type of data, your body and your mind is the greatest information system humanity has ever known and understanding it makes it hackable.”

“When I touch something, I try to make sure it’s a something that I can get information out of so I can track, then search it, visualize it and share it with people who might want that piece of it,” Dancy added. He got the idea to stay connected after realizing that he was putting a lot of information online and if one of these services went out of business, relevant information would be lost. “It really started with me having a desire to digitally collect what I was creating.”

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Zombie-Inspired Beer Is Brewed with Actual Brains

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As the season finale of the popular TV show The Walking Dead approaches, Philadelphia’s Dock Street Brewing Co. is celebrating with its own version of a ‘zombie’ beer brewed with actual brains. Don’t freak out just yet, though, those are smoked goat brains, not human.

The brewery’s website reads: “Presenting the Brainy Dock Street Walker: Quite possibly the smartest beer you’ll ever drink. Get a taste and watch the finale at Dock Street on March 30th, 7pm.”

“More often than not, monotonous Monday cleaning rituals (labors of love for brewers everywhere) were spent recapping the previous nights’ twists, turns, narrow escapes, or untimely goodbyes,” said the brewery in a press release. “Dock Street wanted to brew a special tribute to the show. Dock Street Walker’ (7.2 percent ABV) is an American Pale Stout, brewed with malted wheat, oats and flaked barley for a smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Fuggle hops provide delicate, earthy notes, while the cranberries create a sinister, bloody hue and a slight tartness. The pre-sparge-brain-addition provides this beer with intriguing, subtle smoke notes. In true walker fashion, don’t be surprised if its head doesn’t hang around forever.”

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Teenager Claims Selfie Addiction Nearly Ruined His Life

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19-year-old Danny Bowman is England’s and perhaps the world’s first self-confessed selfie addict. It might seem funny, but this addiction is every bit as serious and dangerous as any other. In fact, the young boy almost lost his life over his obsession of taking the perfect selfie photograph.

Danny used to spend about 10 hours taking over 200 selfies on his iPhone, every single day. At one point, his addiction got so bad that he stopped going to school and didn’t leave his house for six months. He even lost almost 30 pounds trying to make himself more photogenic. When his parents tried to stop him, he turned aggressive. And in a final, drastic attempt to cure himself of his disease, Danny overdosed on drugs.

“I was constantly in search of taking the perfect selfie and when I realized I couldn’t, I wanted to die,” he said. “I lost my friends, my education, my health, and almost my life.” Fortunately, Danny was saved by his mother Penny, before the his selfie addiction claimed his life. He is now being treated for technology addiction, OCD and Body Dysmorphic Disorder, which is an excessive anxiety about personal appearance.

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Flight of the Living Dead – The Tiny Fly That Turns Bees into Zombies

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Human zombies might be a figment of the imagination, but ‘zombie bees’ actually exist. They are ‘created’ when regular honeybees get infested with a particular type of parasite. The bees begin to display highly erratic and bizarre behavior that’s very zombie-like. These infested bees were first discovered in 2008 in California by John Hafernik, a professor of biology at San Francisco State University.

Ever since the initial discovery, zombie bee-sightings have been reported in Oregon, Washington State, California and South Dakota. According to Professor Hafernik, “They fly around in a disoriented way, get attracted to light, and then fall down and wander around in a way that’s sort of reminiscent of zombies in the movies. Sometimes we’ve taken to calling it, when they leave their hives, ‘the flight of the living dead.’”

The culprit here is the Apocephalus borealis, a parasitic fly that is known to implant its eggs in ants. The fly larvae live off the ants’ brains, dissolve their connective tissues and eventually finish off the ants. Researchers now have reason to believe that the flies have found a new home for their eggs – European honeybees that are common in the United States. The flies lay their eggs in the bees that eventually hatch, wreaking havoc in their hosts’ bodies.

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Chinese Grandmother Carries Handicapped Granddaughter on Her Back Every Day So She Can Attend School

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There’s nothing quite like a grandparent’s love, and this sweet story from Yibin City in China’s Szechuan province proves it. Even though 14-year-old Fang Mei Qiu is handicapped, she doesn’t miss a day of school. And she’s always on time! All thanks to her 66-year-old grandmother who actually gives the girl a piggy back ride every morning. Together, they cover four kilometers of mountain roads on foot each day to and from school.

Fang Mei was born with abnormal kneecaps that aren’t able to support her weight. So she can’t stand for more than a few minutes without excruciating pain, let alone walk to school. She is constantly in need of help to move around. Sadly, her father left when she was just a baby and her mother remarried soon, leaving Fang Mei in the care of her grandparents. And what loving grandparents they’ve turned out to be! While the grandfather is too old and sick to do much, the grandmother takes care of the small family’s needs.

Grandma wakes up at 5 am each morning and prepares for the day ahead. At 7 am, they begin their journey to school with Fang Mei on grandma’s back, stopping to rest at least five times during the trek. It takes them one-and-a-half hours to cover the two-kilometer journey on foot. And they are never late – grandma makes sure they reach school by 8.30 am every single day. They’ve been doing this for five years now, covering over 4,000 kilometers so far.

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