Noodle Fan Has Tasted Over 5,600 Types of Ramen in the Last 20 Years

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In his quest to discover the perfect instant noodle, Japanese ramen lover Toshio Yamamoto has tasted over 5,600 varieties from 40 countries, in the past two decades. He reviews every kind ramen he tries on his website and scores them on a scale of 1 to 5. The best rating he’s given out so far is a ‘4’.

On i-ramen.net, 55-year-old Yamamoto offers detailed information on each of the 5,600 varieties of noodles he’s tasted, including the country of origin, cooking time, sodium content, calories, texture, and flavor. The website is hugely popular with thousands of fans around the world, and has recorded over 1.4 million hits since 1996. Some of his fans even send him packages of noodles from overseas.

“When you finish eating the noodles, the content will be gone even though the packaging remains,” Yamamoto explained. “I want to keep records of the content.” He also produces video reviews of instant noodles that he puts up on YouTube – they’ve gotten millions of hits as well. And his book, titled ‘Sokuseki Mencyclopedia’, features info on packets of instant noodles from around the world.

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Japanese Monk Goes Nine Days Without Food, Drink and Sleep in Grueling Religious Ritual

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Can you imagine going without food, drink and sleep for nine straight days and nights? It sounds impossible, but a Japanese Buddhist monk proved that it can be done, after recently completing a grueling ritual.

Last Wednesday, 41-year-old Kogen Kamahori, one of the “marathon monks” of Mount Hiei, a holy mountain that straddles Japan’s Kyoto and Shiga prefectures, became one of only 13 monks to have completed the endurance test since the end of World War 2. He emerged from a training facility, assisted by fellow monks, after spending nine days without eating, drinking, sleeping or even lying down. During this time, he was also required to chant sutras 100,000 times. Just keeping count under these conditions sounds like a superhuman task.

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French Couple Spend Over $300,000 on Plastic Surgery to Look Like Barbie and Ken

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A couple from France are so obsessed with dolls that they’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to transform themselves into real-life Ken and Barbie. They’ve had over 15 procedures between them so far and plan to keep going until they achieve perfect doll-like appearances. And to complete the effect, they’re legally changing their names to ‘Ken’ and ‘Doll’!

Anastasia Reskoss, 20, and Quentin Dehar, 23, met at a boat party in 2013, and they quickly bonded over their fondness for the plastic lives of dolls. “When I’d laid eyes on Quentin for the first time, I knew that I’d found the love of my life,” Anastasia said. “Quentin walked over to me and said: ‘I’ve found the Barbie to my Ken.’ It was so straightforward. We both knew we had met a partner who was going to enable us to become the Ken and Barbie we had always dreamed of being.”

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Hamburgirl Z – Japan’s Hamburger-Themed Girl Band

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When it comes to idol groups in Japan, good ol’ music just doesn’t cut it anymore. They’ve got to throw in an additional gimmick or two, just to standout among the massive competition. And Hamburgirl Z is doing just that – it’s the world’s only hamburger-themed girl band!

In the words of Japanese culture blogger Tofugu, the new West Japan band is a “group of cute, smiling girls dancing and singing in hamburger costumes. Their sole purpose is to serenade hamburger lovers, by singing only about, well, burgers.

The girls are dressed like different hamburger ingredients – there’s beef, lettuce, egg, tomato, fish, chicken, onion, pork/bacon, avocado, pineapple, and even eggplant. There are a total of 15 members in the band sporting 14 ingredients. They perform at a variety of events across West Japan, and sell merchandise after the concert is over.

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Spanish Couple Have Lived Alone in Abandoned Village for the Last 45 Years

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For the past 45 years, Martin and Sinforosa Colomer have been the only two residents of La Estrella, an abandoned village in Spain. The only living beings they have for company are three dogs, four hens, a rooster, about 25 cats, and a few bees. The closest inhabited town is at least 25 kilometers away!

It’s a strange way to live, without any human contact, almost like they’re the last two people on earth. But the tiny village was not always this isolated. It was once bustling with life, with hundreds of inhabitants, a church, two schoolhouses, and several bars. In fact, La Estrella has an interesting past – legend has it that the village was constructed exclusively for the mistresses of many wealthy men.

According to various sources, a torrential storm in 1883 killed nearly half the inhabitants and destroyed at least 17 houses. The village square, vicarage and church remained unharmed, and a memorial was erected for all those who died. The place lost its charm after that and locals slowly began to abandon their homes.

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Animal Lover to Sell Her Apartment in Order to Save Pet Dog’s Life

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A Serbian woman recently announced her decision to sell her apartment and all material possessions so she can afford medical treatment for her dog. Tanja Jankovic, 35, from Jagodina city, wrote that her dog Leo is battling a life-threatening disease and she needs all the money she can get to save him.

“Please help me,” she wrote in the forums of a popular Serbian pet site. “A girl who is doing everything to save the life of a dog.” Vets say that the dog is suffering from aortic valve stenosis, which causes the narrowing of the aortic valve. When the valve doesn’t open properly, the heart has to work harder to pump blood through it. The only way to treat the condition is through surgery.

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Bride-to-Be Turns Wedding Reception into Feast for the Homeless After Groom Gets Cold Feet

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When 27-year-old Quinn Duane’s finance dumped her just a week before their wedding, the young woman decided to make the best of the situation. Instead of cancelling the wedding venue and catering, she invited the city’s homeless to partake in the elaborate feast.

Quinn herself was too devastated to attend what should have been her own wedding reception, but her family stood in for her to welcome the guests at Sacramento’s Citizen Hotel. “When I found out Monday that the wedding would not be taking place, it just seemed like, of course, this would be something that we would do to give back, Quinn’s mother Kari told local media. “I feel a lot of heartache and heartbreak for her, but I will take away something good from this.”

The meal, prepared by the hotel’s four-star restaurant ‘Grange’, consisted of salad, appetizers, gnocchi, salmon, and steak. It was originally intended to feed 120 guests, after the $35,000 ceremony at the hotel. The wedding, sadly, was not meant to be, but Quinn and her family decided to go ahead with the meal, only with an entirely different guest list.

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Guy Dubbed “King of Chillies” Eats Over 5 Pounds of Chillies Every Day

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Li Yongzhi, 48, is fondly known as the ‘king of chilli’ in his home village of Shawoli,  Henan Province. He starts his day with a chilli mouthwash and continues to eat copious amounts for breakfast, lunch and dinner. He recently told local media that he’s loved spicy food since childhood, and that chilli is his staple food – he could eat meals without meat or eggs, but never without a handful of chillies.

“Most people brush their teeth in the morning, I just eat chillies to freshen up my breath,” he proudly stated. “Without chillies, any meal is tasteless.” In fact, Li’s chilli needs are so great that he grows his own supply of eight different types of peppers in his backyard.

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Guy Has His Ears Cut Off to Better Resemble His Pet Parrots

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British man Ted Richards is so in love with his pet parrots that he wants to look just like them. So he actually went through a six-hour operation to have his ears removed. And now he’s planning to turn his nose into a beak, as well!

The 56-year-old retired shoe factory worker from Hartcliffe, Bristol, is passionate about extreme body art. He sports 110 tattoos, 50 piercings, a hot iron branded peace sign on his shoulder, and even has a split tongue. The tattoos on his face are like birds’ feathers, and he’s got two magnetic horn implants on his forehead. His eyeballs are tattooed too, and with the ears removed, he feels he’s getting closer and closer to resembling his parrots – Ellie, Teaka, Timneh, Jake, and Bubi.

“I think it looks really great,” he said. “I love it. It’s the best thing that has happened to me. I’m so happy, it’s unreal, I can’t stop looking in the mirror.” To keep his glasses in place, he has had small metal pins added to the side of his head.

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Kind-Hearted Woman Organizes Birthday Parties for Homeless Children

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Texas-based Paige Chenault loves birthdays, and believes everyone should have a chance to celebrate theirs. So she hosts beautiful parties for homeless children, giving them birthday celebrations they’ll remember for the rest of their lives. She started with a few parties in Dallas and went on to found a non profit called The Birthday Party Project, with chapters across the US.

Chenault, a former wedding planner, is perfect for the job because of her extensive experience. It all started when she read a magazine on a plane about kids’ birthday parties, when she was pregnant with her daughter. “I was just dreaming about all the great stuff that I could do for my daughter, just because I was an event planner, so I thought, ‘If anybody could throw a big bash, it was going to be me for my kid,’” she said.

And then she picked up another magazine and read about poor children in Haiti who didn’t have anything. That’s when it struck her that there are millions of children in the world who not only have shelter or food, but would never be able to enjoy the kind of celebration she had in mind. “That’s where the idea came from, and it really started stirring in me,” she said.

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ALS Sufferer “Writes” 150,000 -Word Autobiography by Blinking Billions of Times

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Meet Gong Xunhui, a 62-year-old Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) patient who recently wrote a detailed autobiography using only her eyes!

Gong Xunhui has been suffering from ALS for the past 12 years. She’s been confined to a wheelchair since 2006, but despite her almost complete paralysis, she has actually managed to write a 150,000-word book on her life – something that even able bodied people might struggle with. And she did it with the only part of her body she still has full control over, her eyes. 

It all started about three years ago, when Xunhui’s family bought her an eye-tracking assistive device that she could use to communicate and also control a computer. After it was installed, the first line she typed was: “I am very happy today, and after I get better at typing with my eyes, I will probably write an autobiography.”

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Two Year Old Girl Becomes World’s Youngest Person to Be Cryogenically Preserved

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Scientists and doctors have made a huge leap in cryonics – the effort to save lives through sub-zero temperatures – by freezing the body of a two-year-old child. Matheryn Naovaratpong is now the youngest person in the world to be cryogenically preserved.

Fondly known to her family as ‘Einz’, the little girl was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer shortly after her third birthday. She died in January this year, just before she turned three. But her parents – both medical engineers – have decided to give her another chance at life using cryonics. 

Through cryonics, it is possible to preserve the bodies of humans and animals who cannot be cured through contemporary medicine, with the hope that they may be healed and resuscitated if extraordinary medical advances take place in the future. “As scientists, we are 100% confident this will happen one day – we just don’t know when,” Einz’s father Sahatorn said.

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This Environment-Friendly Bathing Suit Cleans Polluted Water as You Swim

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Thanks to this cool new two-piece bathing suit, cleaning up the world’s oceans might actually become the ‘in’ thing to do during the hot summer months!

The 3D-printed Sponge Suit bikini is made of flexible, carbon-based filler materials that function like a sponge, absorbing all sorts of pollutants from water. So you put it on, wade into the water, and end up cleaning the seas “one stroke at a time”. It’s supposed to be absolutely safe for the wearer. 

The sponge filler was invented by a group of engineers led by electrical engineering professor Mihri Ozkan. But instead of just dumping it into water, they wanted to find a fun way of getting people involved in the cleaning process and add an eco-friendly element to the leisure activity of swimming. So they enlisted the help of design firm Eray Carbajo to convert the material into a functional, wearable swimsuit that’s economically sustainable and environmentally friendly. 

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Australian Chicken Restaurant Has an Actual Chicken Handling Its Twitter Account

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An Australian takeaway place is trying to win a Guinness World Record by having their mascot Betty become the first chicken to ever send a readable tweet! The marketing campaign is a lot like shooting in the dark – they’re letting Betty peck away randomly at a keyboard, hoping that she will accidentally tweet something meaningful by the end of October. 

Perth marketing agency Marketforce came up with the idea for their client ‘Chicken Treat’, who operate over 70 franchises in Western Australia. “Betty will be tweeting away until she sends a proper five-letter word in English,” the promotional video states. “Follow her as she makes history at the Chicken Tweet Twitter page.”  

According to independent brand analyst Michel Hogan, it’s great that a company is using humour in its marketing. “This isn’t a new idea by any means, but I can see it working – depending on where they go with it and how they do it,” she said. She added that smaller chains need such stunts and tricks to grab eyeballs in an industry that is dominated by larger corporations.

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Finish This 30-Pound Burrito in One Hour And You Become Part-Owner of a Brooklyn Restaurant

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If you ever dreamed of co-owning a restaurant for free, this may be your best shot. A New York chef is offering a lifetime 10% of his restaurant’s profits to whoever completes his crazy food challenge. All you have to do is polish off a ginormous 30-pound burrito worth $150 in under one hour!

The offer is currently on at At Don Chingon, a restaurant in Park Slope Brooklyn, where chef German Villatoro created the monster wrap aptly named ‘Gran Chingon’ (huge badass). It consists of a handmade tortilla about three-and-a-half-feet in diameter, filled with chicken, steak, carnitas, chorizo, cheese, rice, beans and salsa. Only one Gran Chingon burrito is made every day, and the order must be placed 24 hours in advance, because it takes two hours just to prepare.

To win the contest, you have to finish the giant Mexican dish in under 60 minutes and as if that wasn’t hard enough for anyone with a normal appetite, there are a few other rules challengers must abide by – contestants must have a ghost pepper margarita along with the meal, any bathroom breaks or “discharge of bodily fluids” (vomiting) will result in a forfeit, the restaurant is not to be held accountable for any sort of health complications or the death of daredevils attempting the Gran Chingon challenge, and ownership of the prize is not transferrable. But follow the rules, eat everything in an hour, and in the words of co-owner Vic Robey, “you’ll have free food for life, in addition to 10 percent of the profits.”

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