No Shoes for a Year – Kentucky Man Goes Barefoot for Charity

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This winter has been one of the toughest in years, which makes this Kentucky man’s initiative all the more special. Richard Hudgins has decided to go barefoot for an entire year to create awareness about the plight of shoeless children around the world. He also hopes to raise money for the cause.

“For 365 days I’m going to wear no shoes to collect new shoes and raise money to buy shoes for children who have never had the luxury of owning a pair,” Hudgins wrote on his Facebook page ‘No Shoes for a Year’. “At the end of the year I’m going to take all of the money that I’ve raised and talk to as many shoes companies as I can. Hopefully, I can raise enough money that they really really want it and they’ll make a contribution as well.”

Hudgins, a hairstylist from Louisville, started the charity campaign in December. His first day barefoot was the hardest. “After that first hour-and-a-half, I was like no way, I can’t do this, there’s no way.” He even abandoned his workout and left the gym when he saw the manager approaching him. “It was kind of humiliating, I didn’t expect that at all,” he said. He almost gave up after that, until he saw his first $5 donation on the website. “That really inspired me and I said I’m going to keep doing it, I’m going to keep going.”

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Inmates in Thailand Can Reduce Their Sentences by Beating Foreigners in Muay Thai Prison Fights

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In a world where prisoners’ sentences are reduced for good behavior, the rules at Klong Prem Central Prison, in Thailand, come across as bizarre. They basically have it the other way around – inmates battle foreign fighters in a tournament called ‘Prison Fight’, a charity event organized by Thailand’s Department of Corrections. The organized boxing matches, held regularly across various Thai prisons, give them a shot at reducing their sentences or even gaining their freedom.

Winning inmates receive prize money as well as the chance to meet with the warden to have their sentence reduced. Needless to say, the Thai prisoners win at least 9 out of 10 fights, both because they are eager to get out of confinement and because most of them have years of experience. But they also need to have a track record of good behavior to be let off the hook.

“Prison fights are done to help the prisoners. It lets the prisoners fight so they can earn money,” said Mr. Pek, Prison Fights coordinator. “They also fight to reduce the time of their sentences. To reduce their sentence and to bring honor and fame to Thailand, if they can defeat foreign fighters and fight a lot. Some of the fighters are in for drugs, robbery or murder. There are boxers doing life or 50 years. There are boxers who can never get out.”

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Chinese Girl Agrees To Leave Disabled Boyfriend If He Doesn’t Start Walking Again in Three Years

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A 23-year-old Chinese girl is being forced to leave her boyfriend for a weird reason – he can’t use his legs. Yang Nan’s parents permitted her to live with Yan Hongbo for three years, in which time he had to start walking again. But the time is up now and the boy is still wheelchair-bound.

Yang has begged her parents for more time, and they’ve allowed her another 6 months. But she has almost no hope that things might improve. “I don’t know what to do, I know that he can be cured but we don’t have any money now for medical treatment. We don’t even have enough money to properly get by day-to-day. We need a miracle,” she said. Yan on the other hand is being the sacrificial lover – he wants Yang to listen to her parents and leave him. “I don’t see any future for her with me, she has a bright future ahead of her,” he said. “If we can’t get my legs fixed I have made her promise that she will do as her parents want if we don’t get things sorted in the next six months.”

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Barbie-Obsessed Woman Uses Hypnotherapy to Make Herself a Brainless Doll

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All this while I thought it was offensive to stereotype blonds as ditzy, but it turns out there is a blond who actually wants people to see her that way. She’s even going through online hypnotherapy to make herself a more like a brainless, plastic doll.

38-year-old Blondie Bennett from California has been obsessed with Barbie dolls ever since she was a little girl. As a teenager, she often dressed like one to gain attention from men. But now she’s taken her obsession to a whole new level. Her weekly sessions actually help her get more confused and vacant. Just like a doll. “I just want to be the ultimate Barbie. I actually want to be brainless. I don’t like being human, if that makes sense. I’m sacrificing a normal life to look like this,” she said. “I always hear like, ‘natural’s better, natural’s better’. But natural’s boring, I’m sorry. I would love to be like, completely plastic.”

Blondie isn’t even her real name, as you might have guessed. The former model had her name changed a year ago to suit her new personality. She has spent over $40,000 on five breast enhancements. Her breasts are now a whopping size 32JJ. She had a chin liposuction as well, to contour her face to resemble Barbie.

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Business Brilliance – Chinese Sell Miniature Snowmen as Cartop Decorations

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When snow is free of cost, who’s going to pay for snowmen, right? Wrong! Apparently, people will buy anything if you sell it right. These two Chinese men have hit the marketing jackpot – making the most of heavy snowfall, they’re selling snowmen by the dozen.

The two men (we don’t know their names or who they are), make snowmen for cars in the suburb of Chengdu, in Southwest China’s Sichuan province. A photograph taken on 10 February shows them placing snowmen with orange eyes, noses and buttons, on top of a customer’s car.

According to some reports, they had sold over 100 snowmen before noon that day. Other pictures show several cars lined up in a street, all sporting snowmen on the roof. It certainly made for a festive display. It was as though the frozen figures were cheering on the traffic.

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Summum Mummification Services – Who Needs Coffins When You Can Spend Eternity as a Mummy?

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If the mummies of ancient Egypt fascinate you, then you are going to love this – you can sign up to be a mummified too. Summum Mummification Services is the only company of its kind in the world, perfectly preserving human and animal bodies after death.

The company, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, was set up in 1975 by Claude Nowell. He now goes by Summum Bonum Amon Ra, or Corky Ra, for short. “We’re the only ones worldwide who do modern mummification,” he said. Summum’s mummification method is actually a lot more advanced than the ancient Egyptians’, taking only 90 days to complete. First, the blood is drained out of the body and the organs are taken out and cleansed. Then the body is hydrated for over 70 days in a tank full of chemicals that Corky Ra calls his ‘secret formula’.

After the soaking is complete, the body is doused in lanolin and wax, and covered in layers of cotton gauze. About a dozen coats of polyurethane rubber are put on, which dry as tough as a tire. Then come the layers of fiberglass bandages, which set the body in the desired position. Once the mummy is ready, it is encased in a bronze or steel casket.

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What’s the World’s Most Beautiful Flower? Why, Money, Of Course!

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They say money can’t buy love but this Chinese couple have proven all that nonsense wrong. Chen Li, a software programmer, proposed to his girlfriend with 999 roses made of bank notes. Needless to say, she happily accepted.

As romantic as it sounds, it turns out that 27-year-old Chen was provoked into inventing the bizarre proposal. When he visited the girlfriend’s parents during the recent Spring Festival, the young couple spoke about their marriage plans. The parents, however, weren’t amused. Chen was told in no uncertain terms that he had to have a house and a car to even think about marrying their daughter. “Renting an apartment is acceptable before marriage, while marriage without a home isn’t appropriate,” said the girl’s mother.

Chen was clearly stung; the fact that his girlfriend said nothing to support him added to his disappointment. So when he got back home, he went straight to the bank to empty his account of all his life savings – 200,000 yuan. He then spent the next four days folding the notes into 999 flowers. Each flower contained two notes and took 5 to 6 minutes to create. He would begin after dinner every night and keep working until two in the morning.

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Evidence Suggests World’s Largest Solar Farm Burns Birds That Fly over It

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Environmentalists might swear by solar energy, but it turns out that the alternative source has its pitfalls too. Ivanpah, a giant solar farm in California’s Mohave Desert, is actually producing such high levels of heat that birds flying over it are burning to death.

The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System that opened last Thursday is a joint effort by NRG Energy Inc., Google Inc. and BrightSource Energy. It can produce electricity that is sufficient to power 140,000 homes. The project is supposed to be the beginning for the United States’ emerging solar industry. It uses a technology that is different and more expensive to build than a similar-sized conventional solar power plant.

The Ivanpah site is located 45 miles southwest of Las Vegas, with virtually unbroken sunshine for most part of the year. It is also close to transmission lines that carry power to consumers. The project makes use of technology called solar-thermal – more than 300,000 computer-controlled mirrors (each roughly the size of a garage door) reflect sunlight to boilers on top of 450-foot towers. The sun’s power heats the water in the boilers’ tubes and the steam drives turbines to create electricity.

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The Human Brewery – Man’s Stomach Turns Starchy and Sugary Foods into Alcohol

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34-year-old Matthew Hogg has a rare condition – auto-brewery syndrome. Every time he eats starchy or sugary foods, his body converts the food into alcohol that is released into his blood stream. This alcohol is so strong that he ends up intoxicated without even touching a single drink.

While this might sound like an alcoholic’s dream, for Matthew, it’s nothing short of a nightmare. He’s been suffering from the rare condition since primary school and his parents have spent their entire life savings of over $80,000 on diagnosing his illness. After seeing several specialists, the condition was finally identified when a test by Dr. Keith Eaton in London revealed high levels of ethanol in his blood and indicated bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine. It is this yeast overgrowth that converts his meals into alcohol.

“I have experienced symptoms from birth and during my childhood there were countless times I suffered drunkenness without having consumed an alcoholic beverage,” said Matthew. “Every time I eat bread, potatoes or starchy rice I produce 100 percent proof drinking alcohol that travels around my body through my bloodstream – if I eat a portion of rice I would suffer a hangover equivalent of having glugged three bottles of red wine the night before.”

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70-Year-Old Bodybuilder Is Fitter Than Most Men Half His Age

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Sam ‘Sonny’ Bryant Junior doesn’t look a day over 40. He’s a bodybuilder with a perfectly ripped body that puts younger men to shame. Especially when they get to know about his real age –70 years and still going strong. Very strong.

“They ask me when I’m going to retire. I say never. I say more people die retired than they do when they are working. I’ve been doing this for 27 years.” Sonny says. He started working out at age 44, when he was in a bad marriage. Initially, he just went to the gym to relieve stress; he knew nothing about working out or lifting weights.

But he never gave up and just 11 months later, Sonny’s instructor asked him if he wanted to take part in a bodybuilding contest. “I said, ‘You think so?’ He said, ‘Yeah.’ So I went to a contest in Georgia. I’d never been in a contest or competed for anything, you know. I won third in the novice, fourth in the master. And then I was hooked.” Before he knew it, Sonny was addicted to the gym. “I love to work. I love to work out,” he said. As for age, well, he says that it’s all in the mind. “People have a misconception that age makes you old. I realize that it’s the state of mind that makes you old. Age is just a number, you know.”

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Meet James Harrison, the Man Whose Extremely Rare Blood Has Saved Millions of Babies’ Lives

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74-year-old James Harrison is a superhero in his own right. Granted, he doesn’t wear a cape or spin webs, but he has saved over two million babies’ lives in the past 54 years. And in real life, it doesn’t get cooler than that.

Australian-born James has a very special type of blood – the plasma contains an antibody that cures babies of Rhesus disease, a severe form of anemia. He has been donating blood every few weeks since he was 18 years old, and has done it over 1,000 times now. James never fails to make a donation; even when he’s holidaying, he makes sure to stop by a donor center. “I’ve donated on the Sunshine Coast, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, NSW, wherever I go and I get around the place with the caravan club I’m in.”

“I’ve never thought about stopping. Never,” he said. His initial motivation for donating was a major chest surgery that he underwent at age 14, for which he needed 13 liters of blood. “I was in the hospital for three months. The blood I received saved my life so I made a pledge to give blood when I was 18. I said to my father that I would give blood myself as soon as possible and I stayed true to my word.”

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Blind Card Shark Will Amaze You with His Incredible Card Tricks

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Richard Turner is one of the world’s greatest card cheats in the world. He’s so quick with cards that if you ever played with him, you just couldn’t see him cheat. But then, neither could he. That’s what makes his skill even more special – he’s completely blind.

The card shark, or ‘Card Mechanic’ as he prefers to call himself, has been cheating at cards since the age of seven. “A mechanic is somebody who could control the outcome of a card game,” he says. He never loses at cards. Not even when someone else is shuffling. And the only way he got that good is by practice. “For years, I practiced 10 to 20 hours a day, 7 days a week, which boils down to around one-third of my entire life 24×7,” he said. Kim, his wife, added: “There are times when he’s doing like a one-handed shuffle and he makes a little ‘prr’ sound. You might be at church and then you just have to do the gentle touch like – not now.”

Richard, a native of San Antonio, hasn’t had an easy life. He began to lose his eye sight at the age of nine and was bullied by his school mates. He’s also struggled with drug and alcohol problems. But none of these obstacles got in the way of his passion. “I’m always practicing,” he says. “Liberace couldn’t carry his piano with him, but my act can fit in my pocket.”

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Baring More than Their Souls – Virginia Church Congregation Worship in the Nude

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White Tail Chapel, located in Southampton County, Virginia, has recently made a bizarre decision to welcome its congregation the way they were made – nude. Pastor Allen Parker, the leader of the church, said that he found the clothing requirements of other churches overly pretentious. So he wanted his own flock to be able to let go of such materialism if they desired to.

He argues that many of the Bible’s most defining moments occurred when people where nude, including the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. “When he was born he was naked, when he was crucified he was naked and when he arose he left his clothes in the tomb and he was naked. If God made us that way, how can that be wrong,” said Parker, in an interview with CNN.

The pastor’s theory is that nudity is the ‘great equalizer’ that reminds the people gathered in church that they are all simple human beings. His goal is to drive the fact that beneath all the personal wealth and glamorous clothing, everyone is more or less the same. “There’s not a feeling that you have to be better than one another, physically,” he said. We’re humans, we have scars, we have what we have. It’s learning to love and accept that.”

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Real-Life Spider-Man Climbs 1,500-Foot Rock Wall without Any Safety Equipment

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American rock climber Alex Honnold has had an incredibly good (and miraculously lucky) start to 2014. He managed to climb El Sendero Luminoso, a 1,500 foot wall, without the use of any safety gear.

Alex is being dubbed a ‘real-life Spiderman’, but I wouldn’t agree with that moniker because even Spiderman spun a web and used it to swing across walls. But Alex uses just his bare hands and fingers to climb.

He recently ascended a 1,500 foot limestone big-wall route called El Sendero Luminoso in Mexico. While most parties generally take two days to complete the climb, Alex completed it in just three hours, by clinging to tiny crevices all the way up. “I would stop at the occasional good foothold and shake it out, but for the most part I kept a very steady pace,” he said.

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Ski Resort Has Been Using Contaminated Sewage Water to Make Artificial Snow

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Arizona Snowbowl, a resort in Flagstaff, Arizona, has resorted to the worst kind of commercialism seen in modern times. Since 2002, they’ve been using the city’s treated sewage effluent to make fake snow. Environmental groups, concerned citizens and the indigenous people of the region have been opposing this for years.

For the Hopi Tribe, the San Francisco Peaks, where the resort is located, are a spiritual and holy land. The tribe has been trying to get the city to stop selling its waste water to the resort for almost a decade. They recently got permission to file a lawsuit against Arizona Snowbowl in November 2012, due to the threats posed by the reclaimed water to an endangered plant found only on the Peaks. But it appears that the resort has turned a deaf ear to all protests.

According to a news report on Elite Daily, “Skiing is big business in Flagstaff. Resorts bring in about $35 million to the local economy during snow season. But since the climate has been changing, there isn’t enough snow.”

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