Russian Powerlifter Climbs Mount Elbrus with 75 Kilogram Barbell on His Back

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Lots of mountain climbers have scaled Mount Elbrus – Europe’s highest peak (5642 m) – but no one has quite managed to do it like Russian powerlifter Andrey Rodichev. He recently became the first person in the world the climb the mountain while carrying a 75-kg barbell on his back!

That’s a decent load for most people to lift even at the gym, but Rodichev managed it in the most grueling of conditions. What he’s essentially done is combine two very different sports – trekking, which requires amazing endurance, and powerlifting, which requires short bursts of pure muscle power. While the former requires lighter body weight, the latter demands that athletes bulk up. By fusing the two, Rodichev managed to set a new athletic standard.  

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Quirky ‘Arse Bombing’ Sport Is All About Making a Splash

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A cannonball splash is the easiest (and most fun) way to dive, but did you know it’s a legitimate sport as well? It’s officially called ‘splashdiving’, but fans lovingly refer to it as ‘arse bombing’!

While regular divers are judged on how smoothly they land in the water, in splashdiving it’s the exact opposite that counts – points are awarded for the size of the splash created on impact. That sounds painful, but leading competitors say it doesn’t really hurt as much as you’d think. “The pain is minimal,” according to the reigning arse-bombing world champion Rainhard Riede from Bavaria.  And in the words of arse-bomber Lukas Eglseder, “You get used to it.”

Splashdiving has its own set of rules, and believe it or not, competitors can choose from 13 different styles of diving. The classic ‘arse bomb’ involves landing bum first with the knees tucked into the stomach. Other techniques include ‘the cat’, ‘the chair’, and ‘the plank’. Contestants are required to announce their moves in advance, and are given four chances to make a big impression.

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Meet Baddie Winkle, the Internet’s Coolest-Dressing Octogenarian

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Lots of people believe in dressing for their age, but Tennessee-based Helen Van Winkle does not subscribe to such hogwash. The 87-year-old sports outrageously loud outfits with peculiar prints and posts photographs of herself on her Instagram account – ‘Baddie Winkle’. With over 1.5 million Instagram followers, she has become the internet’s most popular grandma. Her account is followed by celebs like Miley Cyrus, Nicole Richie, Beyoncé, Drake, and Rihanna. She was even photographed with Cyrus at the MTV Video Music Awards a few weeks ago.

“I don’t feel old,” she told online magazine Refinery29. “I have never felt old. I think you can dress any way you want to.” At age 87, it looks like she’s got more spunk in her than most kids one quarter her age!

But believe it or not, the spirited Winkle was a mess a few years ago, after the deaths of her husband and her son. “You don’t know what’s going to happen to you,” she said of her loss. “I blamed God forever. I cried all the time because I couldn’t come to terms with it.”

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Guy Quits Job to Train for Breaking World Record for Most Selfies in an Hour

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When 24-year-old Bhanu Prakash, from Hyderabad, India, realised that his job was eating into his precious selfie-time, he decided to quit working altogether. He now spends all his time taking pictures of himself, and training to break the world record for most selfies in an hour. The record currently belongs to American football player Patrick Peterson, who managed to click himself 1,449 times!

Bhanu, who studied pharmacy in college, was working as a research assistant at a hospital in Hyderabad. He was already into the selfie trend big time, ever since his brother got him a smartphone with a front-facing camera, three years ago. “Almost the first thing I did when I got the phone in my hands was click a picture,” he recalled.

But his obsession reached new heights in May this year, when he overheard a conversation between a few kids on a bus – they were talking about Dwayne Johnson’s feat of clicking 105 selfies in three minutes. “It immediately struck me that it was a guy who did this,” Bhanu said. “I mean, people keep saying selfie is a very girly thing, but here Dwayne Johnson was doing it. And I knew I was up for it now.”

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Believe It or Not, the Last Audio Cassette Factory in the US Is Doing Better Than Ever

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I haven’t seen audio cassettes in use in over a decade, so it’s pretty shocking that a company is still making a profit manufacturing them. In fact, National Audio Company (NAC) – the last audio cassette maker in America – has had its best year since it opened in 1969!

The tapes are apparently high on nostalgic value, and that’s why they’re still flying off the shelves. And NAC’s stubbornness in not quitting when the other manufacturers did has finally payed off. “You can characterise our operating business model as stubbornness and stupidity,” NAC president Steve Stepp said. “We were too stubborn to quit.”

“Probably the thing that really enlarged our business at a faster pace than anything is the retro movement,” he added. “There’s the nostalgia of holding the audio cassette in your hand.”

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No Man’s Land – Kenya’s Women-Only Village

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Umoja is literally a no man’s land in Kenya – a matriarchal refuge where men are not allowed. The village, founded 25 years ago by Rebecca Lolosoli, is meant to be a safe haven for women and girls who want to escape abuse in the otherwise patriarchal society of the Samburu people, in northern Kenya.

Rebecca, a member of the Samburu tribe, now serves as the chief matriarch of ‘Umoja Usau Women’s Village’. Having witnessed occasional violence as a child, she slowly came to the conclusion that some of the traditional Samburu practices were inherently abusive towards women. So she began to speak out against these practices, in favour of widows, orphans, and victims of rape, female genital cutting, and forced marriage.

Rebecca’s outspoken attitude was met with a lot of resistance. Things got out of hand when she spoke up for a few women who were raped by British soldiers training nearby. Men in her village beat her up, and her husband did not protest on her behalf. So in 1990, she led a female exodus and started her own village.

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Chinese Primary School Replaces Nap Time With Meditation Session

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Most people will agree that nap time is one of the best things about kindergarten – which is why a Chinese primary school was severely criticized for trying to replace afternoon naps with meditation. The pilot meditation program at Shishan Shuben Primary School, in China’s Guangdong Province, ran for only two days before it was scrapped following a backlash. Parents apparently hated the idea, and the media reacted negatively to it as well.

According to news reports, notices were sent to parents before the new semester, informing them that the school was going to do away with mid-day naps and introduce guided meditation instead. When school started, the students were each given a piece of newspaper to sit on. They were then made to watch tutorial videos on how to meditate, featuring the school’s headmaster, Mr. Wu. Unfortunately, Wu’s directions did not have the intended effect – most of the students slept anyway. “He just keeps talking all the time and some of them have been falling asleep,” one little kid said.



Scientist Hasn’t Bathed in 12 Years, Uses Bacteria Spray to Keep Clean

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In a bid to prove that showering is overrated, an American scientist hasn’t had a bath in 12 years. Instead, he sprays his skin with a mist containing live bacteria, which he claims has kept him clean all these years!

Dave Whitlock, a chemical engineer and MIT graduate, says that there is no basis for assuming that bathing is a healthy practice. “No one did clinical trials on people taking showers every day,” he said. “I have not taken a shower in 12 years.” In fact, he says that the chemicals in our soaps and shampoos have destroyed all the friendly bacteria that once inhabited our skin and kept us clean.

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Strange Condition Causes 30-Year-Old Man to Look Decades Older

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Although he’s only 30, Yuan Taiping from Chongqing in southwest China, looks like an 80-year-old man. He suffers from a bizarre medical condition that’s caused his skin to age prematurely. He’s visited numerous doctors, but no one has been able to find him a cure so far.

Yuan, who works as a manager at a construction company, looked normal until the age of 20. But then he noticed changes on his face and body – he developed oedemas on his arms and legs and deep lines on his face. At first he thought it was due to stress, but when wrinkles appeared on his forehead, he realised that something wasn’t right. So he decided to get medical help, but in spite of visiting countless hospitals and taking lots of medication in the past decade, nothing has worked.

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Pregnant Woman to Have Dolphin-Assisted Birth in the Ocean So the Baby Can Speak ‘Dolphin’

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UPDATE: The whole story below is nothing but a Big Media fabrication. Unfortunately, we fell for it being true without doing proper research, and for this we apologize to both Dorina Rosin and you, the readers. In a post on her blog, Dorina clarifies everything in great detail, but long story short, she never intended to have a dolphin-assisted birth, and actually had the baby on dry ground, assisted by a human midwife. The only support provided by the dolphins was a spiritual one. Dorina says she has always been aware of the dangers posed by a dolphin assisted birth, especially in the ocean, and has been upset by all the negative feedback she has gotten as a result of this FALSE story spreading on the internet. It’s truly unfortunate and unfair, as she seems like a decent, down-to-earth person who really didn’t deserve this. Again, you have our sincerest apologies!

A Hawaii couple might be taking their quest for a natural childbirth too far – they’ve decided to deliver the baby in the ocean, surrounded by dolphins! Dorina Rosin and her husband Maika Suneagle claim to be “dolphin people” and believe that their baby will be able to “speak dolphin” after the birth.

It sounds bizarre, but as it turns out, dolphin-assisted births are really a thing. The trend has been around for a few years now, and it appears to be gaining popularity. The idea apparently sprung from immersion or water births that are quite popular the world over. But couples aren’t satisfied with just water any more – they want to be surrounded by friendly dolphins as well.

According to the Sirius Institute in Hawaii, which runs a dedicated dolphin-attended birth centre, the idea is quite “reasonable”. Their website states: “Since birthing in water is beneficial, and dolphins are able to heal or improve a wide range of medical conditions, it is reasonable to suppose that their presence at water births could be beneficial.”

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You Can Rest in Peace on the Moon for $12,000

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You might not make it to heaven in the afterlife, but you sure can go as far as the moon. Celestial funerals are now a possibility, thanks to San Francisco startup Elysium Space. For a ginormous fee of about $12,000, the company will privately transport your cremated remains to the moon!

Founded by former NASA engineer Thomas Civeit, Elysium boasts of bringing space and funeral experts together to provide the unique service. “Families now have the historic opportunity to commemorate their departed loved ones every night through the everlasting splendour and soft illumination of the Earth’s closest companion: the moon,” they stated in a press release.

Although the company was founded in 2013, the service only offered in August of this year, after Elysium managed to seal a deal with space logistics company Astrobotic Technology. They’re currently taking orders, and the first batch of ashes will travel to the moon on Griffin Lander spacecraft – Astrobotic’s inaugural lunar mission – in 2017.

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How Big Busted Mannequins in Venezuela Are Changing the Country’s Perception of Beauty

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With one in three Venezuelan women opting for breast enlargement procedures, it actually isn’t surprising that store mannequins in the nation now feature augmented busts as well.

According to a New York Times report, plastic surgery is so common in Venezuela that women freely talk about their operations. Even low income women save up to get operated and become what is now considered normal. Mannequin manufacturers claim that they simply had to catch up with these women, or risk bankruptcy. Many factories were in fact struggling to make ends meet until they decided to redesign their mannequins to reflect the nation’s changing beauty standards.

Mannequin factory owner Eliezer Alvarez did just that a few years back – he created a new kind of mannequin with a “bulging bosom and cantilevered buttocks, a wasp waist and long legs,” and experienced an immediate boost in sales. “The mannequins were natural just like the women were natural, (but now) the transformation has been both of the women and of the mannequin,” said Nereida Corro, Alvarez’s wife and business partner.

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90-Year-Old Watchman Turns Russian School into a Veritable Art Gallery

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After 25 years of teaching art at several schools, Valery Khramov finally retired from his job, but not from art. The 90-year-old spent the entire summer painting the walls at the school where he currently works as a watchman. He singlehandedly managed to transform the boring institution into an ethereal space, just in time for the new academic year.

“I spent the last three months at school,” Valery told the local media. “All I did was paint and draw. It has been 10 days since I slept – it was necessary to have time to finish everything for the new academic year.” And now that the kids are back in school, they’re absolutely thrilled with the new decor. In fact, first graders are actually being taken on tours of the ‘gallery’. What a fantastic way to beat back-to-school blues!

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Thai Collector Uses Ancient Ritual to Create Souls for Creepy ‘Child God Dolls’

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A creepy new trend in Thailand has people caring for supposedly haunted dolls, for good luck and prosperity.

The Look Thep (Child God) dolls are believed to be inhabited by children’s spirits, created through special rituals. They’re considered to be an updated version of the ancient kuman thong, the practice of worshiping human fetuses that died in the womb. Look Thep allows people to revere the spirits of children without having to actually obtain dead fetuses.

Several locals, including Thai celebrities, are vouching for the effectiveness of Look Thep dolls. Like DJ Bookkoh Thannatchayapan from 94 FM, who claims that his doll Wansai has made him successful in show biz. “The first day I got him, I took him out shopping for clothes in the baby section,” Bookkoh said. “Right after I paid for his clothes, I got a call that my canceled job was back on!”

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Homeless Couple Clean Up Brooklyn Park, Keep It Safe for Everyone

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They might be homeless, but that’s not stopping this Brooklyn couple from doing their bit for the city. They spend their nights at a tiny park and during the day, do a better job of cleaning it than the local administration!

57-year-old Chris and 54-year-old Tammy are from Pennsylvania, but they drifted to Brooklyn after falling on hard times. Since then, they’ve been living on this small traffic island in the heart of Bay Ridge, and are doing everything they can to keep their surroundings clean.

“I’m homeless, my wife is homeless and what we do is we clean up the park,” Chris told Pix11 news. “We like to make it clean. We’re keeping it clean in many ways.”



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