Georgian Shop Has iPhones Blessed by Priest to Increase Sales

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A mobile phone store chain in Georgia is experiencing a boost in iPhone sales after arranging for a priest to bless the entire Apple stock at one of their stores in Tbilisi. According to iPhone+ store manager Georgiy Machavariani, the holy ceremony has mollified fears and concerns that people have about iPhones being the “device of the devil”.

“We have a lot of customers that restrain from buying an iPhone for the sole reason that it is a so-called device of a devil,” he said. “In order to tackle this concern, we decided to sanctify our shop and have the phones blessed.” I guess the fear he is referring to has to do with the Apple logo, which people are probably associating with the forbidden fruit eaten by Adam and Eve.

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Woman Lives in Small Bathtub for a Month in Protest of Orca Being Kept in Captivity

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New Zealander Danielle Daals is taking up a 30-day ‘Living like Lolita’ bathtub challenge in Miami to protest the captivity of a killer whale named Lolita. For the next one month, the 29-year-old activist will sit in a bathtub from 10am to 7pm outside Miami Seaquarium, in order to represent Lolita’s plight. Since 1970, the 22-foot whale  nicknamed ‘the world’s loneliest orca’ has been confined to a 60x80x20 foot pen, the smallest whale enclosure in North America. 

Daals, who has a permit to protest outside the park’s private property, will also carry a poster with a picture of Lolita and the words: “Swims 100 miles per day; confined to equivalent of a bath tub.” She hopes that her campaign will be effective in freeing the 3.2-ton whale from captivity and reuniting her with her pod of extremely rare and endangered Southern Resident killer whales near Puget Sound, off the coast of Seattle.

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Voluntary Castaway – Student with No Survival Training Spends 19 Days Alone on Remote Island

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Japanese student Reikko Hori is in the news for choosing to be a real-life castaway on the uninhabited island of Amparo in Indonesia. After 19 days of complete isolation, during which her only companions were a spear and a magnifying glass, the 22-year-old claims to have returned to normal life with a newfound appreciation for civilization.

The paid experience was arranged by Docastaway, a tour company that specialises in holidays in remote islands across the world, with packages that include varying levels of comfort. Hori, a self-described loner, chose ‘adventure mode’, the most extreme category, therefore becoming the first female voluntary castaway in history.

But the company was worried about her choice because she had no survival training whatsoever and was completely unprepared to live all by herself in the wild. According to their official website, Hori wouldn’t answer any questions or respond to their emails during the preparation phase a few months before the actual experience. She apparently wanted to survive in the wild as naturally as possible, with very little interference from experts.

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Isolated Town Is Desperate to Find a Hairdresser after Years of Cutting Their Own Hair

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Fed up of DIY haircuts, the residents of Norman Wells, an isolated town in northern Canada, are desperately looking for a professional hairdresser. They’ve been cutting their own hair for the past two years and frankly, they’ve had enough of it.

Located near the southern edge of the Arctic Circle, with a population of about 800 people, Norman Wells has always been a small community with more pressing small-town problems. Food products need to be flown in, prices are higher, and sometimes the residents need to go without supplies because the planes don’t come in.

But they never realised that something like the lack of professional hairdressing could be a nightmare until their hairstylist moved out due to the lack of housing in town. “It’s been a long struggle for us,” Nicky Richards, the town’s economic development officer in charge of the hairdresser recruitment effort, told The Guardian. “We just don’t have anyone. It’s something that people down south don’t ever think about because they don’t have to worry about it.”

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Sunglasses-Wearing Cat Becomes Internet Superstar

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Meet Bagel, a.k.a ‘Sunglass Cat’, who became a social media sensation because of an eye condition that requires her to wear sunglasses at all times. Her shades are decorated with stick-on jewels, giving her a cool vibe that has earned her a reputation as one of the internet’s coolest cats. 

The Los Angeles feline was born without eyelids and her eyes are unable to produce tears. She was rescued from a shelter by Karen McGill when she was a two-month-old underweight kitten. Karen had to nurse her back to health, feeding her by hand every thirty minutes. Later, Bagel got three surgeries for her eye condition, and Karen still needs to apply drops to her eyes several times a day.

To protect Bagel’s sensitive eyes from harsh sunlight and dust, Karen came up with the idea of putting shades on her all the time. Over time, Bagel has come to associate her glasses as a means of comfort and protection. Without shades, her eyes are at a constant risk of being damaged due to cornea damage. Karen removes the jewel-lined glasses from time to time so Bagel can wash her eyes, but the keeps them on at all times in public. The cat also has allergies and cannot regulate her body temperature, which is why she is seen wearing clothes in a few photographs.

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These Gravity-Defying Sneakers Simulate the Feeling of Walking on the Moon

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Thanks to these new sneakers, you don’t need to wait for space tourism to take off to experience walking on the moon. Aptly named ‘MoonWalker’, these shoes rely on magnets to allegedly simulate walking in a low-gravity environment. 

On their Indiegogo campaign page, startup Moonshine Crea reveals that the ingenious shoes are made from an “incredibly durable yet soft and breathable” synthetic fabric on the outside, while the inside is made of a DuPont Tyvek synthetic polyethylene used by NASA in space station modules. The sole, made of memory foam, is designed to perfectly fit the unique shape of each wearer’s foot.

So far the shoes seem like regular sneakers, but what sets the 20:16 MoonWalkers apart are the two special layers hidden beneath the memory foam, which are embedded with the world’s most powerful magnets . According to the company, “each layer is made up of powerful N45 magnets that are strategically placed so the north poles face each other. This creates a repellant force, which leaves you light on your feet and happy as an astronaut.”

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Compassionate Chinese Couple Have Been Taking Care of a Homeless Person for Over Three Decades

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While some of us find it difficult to host guests for a few weeks, this Chinese couple have generously shared their home with a mentally ill homeless person for the past 35 years.

When Xue Shunlu and his wife Li Huannv first found Xue Zhen on the streets of Fenglingdu, in China’s Shanxi Province, the poor man was in a terrible state – he was unable to talk or defend himself from bullies on the street. So the couple rescued him and took him to their house in a neighbouring village in Yuncheng city.

Although they lived in a small house and barely earned enough to support themselves, the kind couple didn’t hesitate to share everything they had with a total stranger. They told him to treat the house as his own and spent their free time teaching him to cook, clean, and take care of himself. They even allowed him to share Xue Shunlu’s family name.

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Woman Has Pet Cat Stuffed So She Can Take It with Her Everywhere

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An Argentinian woman found it so hard to part with her recently deceased pet cat that she had its body stuffed by a taxidermist just so she could keep carrying it with her everywhere she goes.

Daniela Cardone and her stuffed cat Matute shot to fame a few days ago, when she posted some pictures of their trip to Lujan city, in the Buenos Aires province, on Instagram. Speaking to reporters, the former model said she simply couldn’t bear to part with Matute after he died around a month ago, so she sought out someone to help her preserve his body. She strongly believed that his soul was still around her, and it didn’t make sense for her to dispose of his body.

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Guy Gives Up Lucrative Career to Build Whimsical Treehouse in the Middle of Nature

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Unhappy with his high flying career in fashion, New Yorker Foster Huntington gave it all up to live life on his own terms. He is now in the news for building ‘Bro-topia’, an outlandish dwelling made up of two treehouses connected by a swinging rope bridge, on a grassy hilltop in southwest Washington state. 

It all started in 2011, when Foster quit his job at Ralph Lauren, sold all his belongings, and lived in a mobile van for months. He was working as a men’s fashion designer and although he initially found the job exciting and challenging, Huntington realized he didn’t care that much about clothing. “I remember looking at photos of bush pilots in Alaska and their ruggedly stylish world and thinking: ‘I can take photos. I don’t want to live my life in the city. I want to go do something else,’” he told New York Times.

So he pursued photography for a while, making money creating photo books, but in 2014 he decided that he wanted to spend his time fulfilling his childhood dream of building an epic tree house. So he pooled his life savings, got a few friends on board, and started working on the project on his family’s property in Skamania, Washington.

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Whole Class of First Graders Learn Sign Language to Communicate with Deaf Classmate

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A school in Sarajevo is making headlines for not only accepting a deaf student, but also teaching his entire class sign language to allow them to better communicate with him.

The heartwarming story began in September last year when Mirzana Coralic requested the primary school in her neighborhood to enroll her six-year-old son, Zejd, who has a hearing disability. The teacher, Sanela Ljumanovic, accepted almost immediately, but on the first day of school, she noticed Zejd sitting all by himself, unable to communicate with any of his school mates.

Sanela, determined to find a solution, tried developing a few tricks and signs of her own. But a parent of another child came up with an even better idea – getting the whole class to learn sign language along with Zejd. So they got sign language teacher Anisa Setkic-Sendic on board, and three months later, Zejd was happily able to communicate to all his classmates about regular things like homework and games.

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Indian Police to Use Slingshots and Chilli Balls as Crowd Control Weapons

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In a bid to better control unruly crowds that gather during protests, police in northern India have decided to replace their modern arsenal with rudimentary weapons like slingshots and chili powder balls. The decision was made after they realised that these “non-lethal” options might prove to be more effective than water cannons or tear gas.

“It is much better than firing plastic bullets that can cause bad injuries,” said Anil Kumar Rao, the Inspector General of Police in the state of Haryana’s Hisar district. “It will be used only in emergency cases so that we can manage minimum collateral damage.”

Police officers are currently being trained in the use of these “specially designed” locally made slingshots, learning to fire plastic balls filled with chili powder as accurately as possible. And if chili doesn’t prove effective enough, they plan to switch to marbles.

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“Most Frugal Woman in the UK” Lives on Just $3,500 a Year

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Meet Ilona Richards, a retired truck driver who is well known as ‘Britain’s most frugal woman’. Some of her tips for simple living include scouring supermarkets for discounted food, having guests bring their own tea bags, saving ink by making your handwriting smaller, a weekly bath to save water, and flushing the loo only once a day with old bathwater.

Richards prides herself for her frugality in nearly every single aspect of life, managing on only £2,400 of her state pension of £10,000 a year. She detests wastefulness, so she tries to make everything last as long as it possibly can. She can make do with a bottle of dish soap for an entire year, but that’s probably because she hardly does any cooking. She’s a vegetarian, because it’s cheaper, surviving on a vat of vegetable stew made from expired produce. She makes it last an entire month.

There are plenty of other examples of thriftiness all around her kitchen. For starters, she doesn’t use her kettle to make tea. “I usually heat up my cup of water in the microwave,” she said, speaking to Daily Mail. “It takes two cups to cover the kettle element and I only need one, so why waste it?” Her oven has been broken for ages, but she hasn’t had it fixed because she has no use for it.

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Man Avoids Traffic Jams for 15 Years by Rowing to Work

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In a bid to avoid traffic jams, a librarian from Bladensburg, Maryland, has come up with a really unique way of commuting to work – he’s been rowing his way to work in downtown Washington for the past 15 years.

71-year-old Gabriel Horchler says he looks forward to rowing his 21-foot Vespoli fiberglass racing shell to work in the morning just as much as he did when he first started in the year 1997. He got the idea when he was stuck on his motorcycle in the middle of heavy traffic, and he turned his eyes to the Anacostia River that runs parallel to the freeway. That’s when it hit him – why not use the river instead?

So he did just that, and now, 15 years later, his routine is pretty much set in stone. The river doesn’t exactly flow right outside his home, so he has to first take a 15-minute bike ride to reach his rowing shell at the Bladensburg Waterfront Park. He then rows about five miles downriver. In the last leg of the journey, he gets off the boat and onto another bike before arriving at the Library of Congress in Washington. The entire trip takes him 90 minutes from start to finish. He takes the metro back home from work, and the next day, the routine is reversed – he takes the metro to work and rows back home.

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Mercy Bus – Mobile Church Offers Confession and Blessings on the Go

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The Catholic Diocese of Salford, in North West England, has come up with a unique initiative to reach out to the masses – a church on wheels. Aptly named the ‘Mercy Bus’, it’s an actual double-decker bus that will tour Greater Manchester and Lancashire throughout Lent, offering people sermons, blessings, and Confession.

Father Frankie Mulgrew, the brains behind the mission, revealed that Pope Francis was his inspiration when he came up with the idea last summer. The Bishop of Salford, John Arnold, was looking for innovative ideas while making plans for the Year of Mercy. Fr. Frankie thought it would be great to have holy doors all over the diocese, and a mobile holy door that would move around the city. The idea kept evolving until, eventually, the Mercy Bus was born.

“We were inspired by the Pope who, when he was a cardinal in Argentina, would celebrate open-air Masses in the poorest areas of his diocese,” Fr Frankie said.

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Google Engineer Turns His Bathroom Mirror into Futuristic High-Tech Device

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When you’re an engineer at Google, you really don’t need to wait around for someone else to invent the products you want to use. Max Braun, for instance, went ahead and made a smart-mirror for his bathroom, using simple, easily available supplies. The otherwise rudimentary accessory has now become a notification center of sorts, displaying the time, date, weather forecast, and latest news headlines.

Remember the smart mirror that greeted Arnold Schwarzenegger and showed him his daily schedule in the 2000 sci-fi flick The 6th Day? Well, like other futuristic inventions showcased in movies, it has become a real thing. And it turns out that all there is to it is the smart use of a two-way mirror, a display panel and a controller board among a few other secondary components and arts & crafts supplies. Braun has provided links to all the supplies he used, and also a brief description of the build process, but in a nut shell the display behind the two-way mirror is connected to an Amazon Fire TV Stick, using a mini controller board. The Fire TV Stick runs the software, while the board is also connected to a power button and green LED.

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