Woman Has Ingenious “Robot” Standing in Line at an Apple Store in Australia

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Believe it or not, the day has finally come when people can have their iPads wait in line every time a new iPhone is released! A woman named Lucy Kelly was the first to try it out – she sent an iPad robot to stand proxy for her at an Apple store in Sydney, just before the launch of the new iPhone 6s.

The robot, also named Lucy, consists of an iPad attached to a Segway-type device. Created by Californian company Double Robotics, it allows a person to be virtually present anywhere without actually having to be there. And the company that Kelly works for – Atomic 212 – happened to order six of these robots to play with at their office.

“We use them for everything, just to show new technology,” Kelly said. “It is a cool demonstration of what the future of technology will be. We are obsessed with them.” So on the eve of the iPhone 6s release in Sydney last Thursday, Lucy the robot arrived to take the fourth place in the long line of Apple fans.

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Russian Teen Has Detailed Skull Tattooed on Side of His Face

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This Russian teenager is turning heads in his hometown of Krasnoyarsk for looking like a walking, talking X-Ray. The entire right side of his face is covered with a skull tattoo, complete with gaping eye sockets, blackened nose, and perfectly traced bones and teeth. He’s even colored his right eyeball black for a hollow effect!

Nikita Lesnoy was fascinated by tattoos as a child, ever since he saw one made by his father. As he grew older he began to research the subject more, eventually getting his first tattoo at age 15. And now at 18 years, half of his face is inked with a skull. He works at a tattoo parlour himself, so his bizarre face hasn’t affected his career.

“Nobody worries about my look too much in my line of work, because I also have my dream job working in a tattoo studio,” he said. But he admitted that people on the streets are often shocked by his appearance. Nearly everyone gapes at him, some in admiration, others in disgust.

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Landscaping Company Carves Live Trees into Beautiful Artworks, Sparks Controversy

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A landscaping company in China recently angered nature lovers by carving dragons and other art forms on live camphor trees. Workers apparently cut off all the branches and stripped the top layer of bark before carving intricate figures into the soft wood underneath. The sculptures were then painted in gold.

About a dozen such trees are currently located on a roadside plot of land in Xiangshan county, in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province. The owner of the company, who prefered to remain anonymous, said it took 100 days to carve each tree. He also admitted that most of the trees couldn’t withstand the carving process and died soon after. As pretty as the carvings are, not many people are impressed with the cruelty involved.

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The Dominican Village Where Some Children Only Grow Penises at Puberty

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Physical changes during puberty are completely normal, but in Salinas, a remote village in the southwestern Dominican Republic, they are downright extreme. For some of the boys living here puberty is the time they actually grow a penis. Many of the children are born without male genitalia and are raised as girls, but they eventually become men in their teenage years. The phenomenon is so familiar to the people of Salinas that the children – called ‘guevedoces’ (penis at 12) – are not considered abnormal at all.

The condition is apparently the result of a rare genetic disorder that occurs due to a missing enzyme. This prevents the production of dihydro-testosterone – a type of male hormone – when the baby is in the womb. All fetuses have internal glands called gonads and a small bump between their legs called tubercle. At around eight weeks, the enzyme 5-α-reductase triggers a huge surge of dihydro-testosterone in male fetuses, converting the tubercle into a penis. In female fetuses, the tubercle becomes a clitoris. But in many babies born to Salinas women, the enzyme is missing entirely.

So these babies are born with the tubercle intact and no testes, and are often mistaken for female babies. It isn’t until they reach puberty that another surge of testosterone is produced, which is when the male reproductive organs are formed. As their voices deepen, their penises begin to emerge as well.

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Goodbye, Potholes! “Thirsty” Concrete Sucks Up Hundreds of Gallons of Water in Mere Seconds

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Topmix Permeable is a new type of super-absorbent concrete designed to soak up nearly 900 gallons of water in only one minute! Streets paved with this special, ‘thirsty’ concrete will not flood during storms, and they’ll also remain free of puddles and potholes.

Lafarge Tarmac, the company that developed the technology, uses relatively large pebbles to make a permeable top layer of concrete. Water that hits the surface will seep through the matrix into a loose base of rubble underneath. Drainage channels are worked into the rubble, to help increase the amount of water absorbed.

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Self-Taught Ethiopian Aviation Enthusiast Builds His Own Airplane

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In a bid to fulfil his childhood dream of flying a plane, an Ethiopian man has taught himself how to build one mainly by reading aviation books and watching YouTube tutorials!

Public Health Officer and Ethiopian Airlines Aviation Academy reject Asmelash Zerefu set about learning to build his own aircraft over a decade ago. It was a daunting challenge, but he has managed to achieve the unthinkable – he single-handedly constructed Ethiopia’s first ever home-built aircraft from scratch.

“I call it the K-570A,” he said. “K representing my mother’s initial of her name, Kiros, and 570 signifying the number of days it took me to complete my aircraft. And A is for Aircraft.”

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Curvy Yogi Proves You Don’t Have to Lose Weight to Stay in Shape

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Busting the myth of the perfect-bodied yoga poster girl is San Francisco plus-sized yogi Valerie Sagun. For the past three years, she has been photographed performing a range of complicated yoga poses, including headstands and handstands.

Valerie has a massive Instagram following of over 80,000 people, with whom she regularly shares videos of her yoga journey. “I just want to make sure that people don’t feel like they have to be scared or intimidated by learning yoga from someone who doesn’t look like them,” she wrote on her Tumblr page. “All of us have body issues whether you are big or small, but it’s good to just take the time to look at yourself and just love it as it is now.”

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New Service Saves and Frames Tattoos of Loved Ones after They Die

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Thanks to a new service called ‘Save My Ink’, your tattoos can now last forever. Launched by American tattoo artist Charles Hamm, the bizarre service involves slicing inked skin off dead people and preserving it through a bunch of chemical processes.

Hamm, 60, said he got the idea for Save My Ink – a.k.a National Association for the Preservation of Skin Art (NAPSA) – when he realised how much time and money people put into their tattoos. “You would never burn a Picasso or any piece of art you invested in and had a passion for,” he explained. “Your tattoo is also art with a unique story, just on a different canvas. It’s just like a house, wedding ring, or any other cherished possession.”

“I have over 150 hours of tattoo work on me, and I have almost covered my entire upper-body, excluding my neck and face,” Hamm said. “When I was getting more tattoo work completed on my back piece, a 10,000 dollar investment, I began considering all of the money I had put into my tattoos. I had also read an article in which Johnny Depp stated his intent to have his tattoos preserved, and it all inspired me to begin fully developing Save My Ink.”

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Australian Couple Experience Life with Almost No Money for a Year

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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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Stressed Japanese Women Can Now Rent Handsome Men to Wipe Away Their Tears at the Office

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A cool new service in Japan is meant to help busy career women cope with the stress of their hectic lifestyles. For about 7,900 yen ($65), they can hire ‘Ikemeso’ – cute men – to wipe away their tears, quite literally!

Here’s how it works: You call the company and pick one of seven Ikemeso, who will then arrive at your workplace to help you release stress through crying. If you’re in tears already, the licensed “crying therapist” will simply wipe your tears away with the softest handkerchief and comfort you with kind words. If work-related stress hasn’t pushed you to tears yet,  the Ikemeso will play an emotional film meant to induce crying. After the video is over, he’ll wipe your tears away.

There are different types of guys you can choose from, depending on your taste – the little brother, the intellectual, the bad boy, the slightly older hot guy, and more. The service is all set to launch on September 24.

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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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