Blind Followers Keep Dead Cult Leader in a Freezer, Claim He Is Just Meditating

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Swami Ashutosh Maharaj, a religious cult leader in India, was pronounced clinically dead, after doctors confirmed he died of heart disease. However, his followers are unwilling to accept the verdict. Instead, they claim that he’s simply meditating. They’ve put him in a freezer for now, and they say he’ll be returning to them soon.

Ashutosh Maharaj, over 70 years of age, was the founder of the Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan (DJJS) in Jalandhar city, Punjab. On January 29, he complained of severe chest pain, and is believed to have suffered a heart attack. Dr. Harpal, who examined Ashutosh along with a team of doctors on February 3, said: “After several check-ups, including an ECG test, the team concluded that Ashutosh is clinically dead.”

But his disciples have yet to be convinced. They insist that he is in a deep state of meditation, called ‘samadhi’. So he has been kept ‘spiritually alive’ on the sprawling, 100-acre DJJS premises, in a commercial freezer. “Maharaj has been in deep meditation,” said one of his followers. “He has spent many years meditating in subzero temperatures in the Himalayas, there is nothing unusual about it. He will return to life as soon as he feels, and we will ensure that his body is preserved until then.

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Woman Sick of Mowing the Lawn Turns Her Yard into a Giant Sandbox

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66-year-old Georgianna Reid, a resident of Kansas City, got so fed up of mowing her lawn that she converted it into a giant sandbox. She actually replaced her green lawn with 80 tons of sand, after contractors tore up her yard. The conversion cost her $4,000, including a low fence all around the perimeter of the sand-covered lawn.

“Now, being over 60, I’ve decided that I’ve owned the house for 33 years and that I wasn’t going to mow anymore or water,” she said. Georgianna’s corner house at East Meyer Boulevard and Walnut Street is so conspicuous now, passersby just cannot miss it. Unfortunately, not all the reactions are positive. A lot of her neighbors don’t think the house ‘fits in’ to the Brookside area.

Some of them have actually filed complaints with the city officials. A few went as far as stealing her volleyball net, lawn ornaments and a life-sized chest. “I think the house looks revolting with all that is out there,” said neighbor Edwin Bisby. “I’m sure it’s going to hurt the property values in this neighborhood.”

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Who Needs a Car When You Have a Drivable Suitcase?

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If you thought suitcases with wheels were handy, wait till you check out this new invention. It’s an electric suitcase that not only has wheels, but is also equipped with a small motor – so instead of carrying or dragging it, and you actually get to ride it wherever you need to go. Getting by in an airport will seem a breeze with this bad boy. You just sit on it, start it up, and go!

The 15-pound, battery-operated, drivable suitcase is the brainchild of Chinese amateur inventor He Liangcai. On a full charge, the suitcase can transport two adults at 12 mph for a distance of up to 37 miles. It also has GPS navigation and a burglar alarm.

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Legally Blind Football Player Signs with Top College Team

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17-year-old Aaron Golub from Newton, Massachusetts, is legally blind. His right eye does not function at all, and he has very little vision in his left. But what he lacks in vision, the boy makes up with sheer determination. He recently achieved his lifelong dream – a chance to play football at university.

Getting a spot on a college football team is no joke, a lot of kids with perfect vision can’t make it. But Aaron, a senior at Newton High School, has gone and done it despite all the odds against him. Through sheer hard work, he’s managed to secure a preferred walk-on spot at Tulane University, one of the top college football teams in the United States. He has been signed on as a long snapper, a position that requires tremendous speed and accuracy.

While most people believe you need natural talent to be good at sports like football, Aaron was quite mediocre when he first started to play. According to his coach Chris Rubio, “He was very, very, very, we’ll say ‘average at best’ when he started. But the kid is just so determined. You tell him what to do, and consider it done.” For several years, Aaron relentlessly practiced snapping a ball into a target every morning before school and on weekends.

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Real Estate Magnate Hides Envelopes of Cash around San Francisco as a Way of Giving Back to the Community

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A mysterious San Francisco philanthropist has found a unique way of giving back to the community –  leaving hidden cash all over the city.

According to a Bay Area online magazine called The Bold Italic, an ‘anonymous real estate magnate’ emailed them to “say that they’d launched a campaign just last night where they’re hiding cash all over San Francisco, including outside our office.” The email stated that the gesture would continue indefinitely, with no commercial interest whatsoever.

“There is nothing commercial about this,” wrote the benefactor. “It is a social experiment. Our Twitter page will show people where the money is hidden. There are a few hundred dollars hidden last night already, and this will continue. We have two $100 bills hidden and some $20s.”

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Elderly People in China Are Committing Suicide to Make Sure They Get Buried in a Cemetery Instead of Cremated

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Many cultures view old age as a time for peaceful reflection and a preparation for the final journey of life. However, a few elderly people in China are being forced to hasten the process of ‘passing on’. Dozens have been voluntarily taking their own lives for a chance to be buried in a cemetery, before a government ban on burials takes effect.

The authorities of China’s Anhui province plan to close all cemeteries after June 1, simply because there isn’t any space left. The public was informed of the new rule on April 1: “Before June 1 people can still consign their bodies for burial, but after that the only option offered will be cremation.” The announcement has caused quite a stir among the elderly residents, especially in rural areas.

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Izhikhothane – South Africa’s Bizarre Money-Burning Sub-Culture

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Izikhothane, which loosely translates to ‘brag it’, is a South African subculture of youths who dress themselves in designer clothes they can barely afford. They arrive in minivans at public spots and participate in elaborate dance-offs against rival gangs. During these performances, they indulge in burning wads of cash, destroying their clothes and spilling expensive food and alcohol on the streets. Why, you ask? To show off, obviously.

“To be Izikhothane, you have to be like us. Buy expensive clothes, booze, fame, girls, driving, spending. And when you are dressed in Italian clothing it shows that you’re smart,” said one gang member. In a nation where almost 50 percent of youths are unemployed, this sort of blatantly extravagant act is rather surprising. Most of the Izikhothane are funded by their working class parents with modest incomes.

There’s also a huge generation gap between these youths and their parents. Most of the Izikhothane belong to a generation that grew up after the end of white minority rule, unlike their parents. According to one kid, “Being born free means we can shop where we want and the country is no longer under oppression. We can express our views without being imprisoned.” Some use the extravagance as a means to escape their poverty, and for others it is just a culture of bling.

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Chinese Monk Who Has Been Praying for Up to 1,000 Times a Day for 20 years Leaves His Footprints Ingrained in Wooden Floor

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HuaChi, a simple monk from China, has achieved something that only few are able to – he has left a mark in this world, quite literally. The pious man has knelt to pray in the exact same spot for nearly 20 years now. He’s performed the ritual so many times that his footprints are deeply ingrained in the wooden floor of his temple, in the monastery town of Tongren, in Qinghai Province.

The highly disciplined monk follows a never-changing routine – he arrives at the temple steps every day before sunrise, places his feet on the footprints and prostrates a few thousand times in prayer. Having done this for two decades, the wood beneath his feet has softened considerably, transforming into perfect footprints that are 1.2 inches deep.

When Hua Chi was younger, he would prostrate 2,000 to 3,000 times a day. “But I have grown older, so in recent years I have only done around 1,000 each day,” he said. Sometimes, during winter he can only manage 500. But even that is seriously impressive; I couldn’t imagine doing a handful of prostrations without exhausting myself. After completing his prayers, he walks around the temple as well.

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Philippines Zoo Offers Adrenaline Junkies Snake Massage from Four Giant Pythons

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Everybody loves a good massage, but this snake massage at the Cebu City Zoo in Philippines is really something else. It involves 15 minutes of hardcore action, with four enormous Burmese pythons slithering all over brave participants.

According to zoo manager Giovanni Romarate, the free massages are a part of a new theme that encourages visitors to interact more with the animals. “We are going to change the zoo into an interactive one,” said Giovanni. “Everybody could have an experience and have a chance to hold and pet some of the animals here, including the snake massage that we newly introduced.”

The four snakes – Walter, EJ, Daniel and Michelle – are fed about 10 chickens each before the massage to avoid last minute hunger pangs. Obviously, the zoo authorities don’t want the reptiles snacking on their clients. The participants are given a set of safety instructions as well. According to tourist Ian Maclean, “They tell you not to blow air on the snake, because this is like being pinched on the bum. You can’t shout for help as the snake can feel your vibrations and thinks you’re a prey or a predator, depending on the environment.”

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The ‘Avatar Fare’ – Russian Taxi Drivers Are Punishing Clients Who Refuse to Pay by Painting Them Blue

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Taxi drivers in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod have taken it upon themselves to punish misbehaving clients. These drivers simply pour blue paint all over passengers who complain about the taxi fare or flat out refuse to pay. Their idea is to make the customers resemble Avatar characters, with a sign on the back that says: “Avatar Fare”.

Cabbies all over Nizhny have been struggling for quite some time now with non-paying customers. “We have repeatedly brought them to the police station, they were released there,” one driver said. So the drivers decided to dole out some ‘harmless’ punishment themselves. They force bad customers to strip, douse them with blue paint, stick a sign on their backs, and release them on to the street.

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Kazakh Village Affected by Mysterious Condition That Causes People to Suddenly Fall Asleep for Up to Six Days

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Residents of the almost abandoned Soviet town of Krasnogorsk and the areas around Kalachi village, in Kazakhstan, are prone to a mysterious ‘sleeping beauty’ syndrome. The bizarre condition has people suddenly dozing off for as long as six days at a time. It’s like a bad horror film – the illness has gripped these regions and no one knows the reason behind it. Scientists and experts are truly perplexed by the phenomenon.

The weird sleeping illness isn’t prevalent all the time. Instead, it comes in waves – the first one occurred in March 2013 and the second in May 2013. There have been three more since then – around New Year 2014, just after the winter holidays this year, and now again in May. A total of 40 to 60 people have suffered in the scarcely populated region. In most of the cases, the sleep is accompanied by temporary memory loss.

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For Some Strange Reason the Nurses at This Chinese Hospital Dress Like Flight Attendants

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A hospital in eastern China has decided to do away with plain white nurse uniforms. Instead, they have their nurses dressing up like flight attendants. The new initiative began earlier this month at the Lianshui Traditional Chinese Medicine hospital in Huai’an city. Their idea is to glamorize the otherwise thankless profession of nursing, and also provide patients with superior customer service.

Bu Haijuan, head of the hospital’s nursing unit, came up with the idea as a way to remind her nurses to improve their bedside manner. “If you think of all the professions of the world, which one comes to mind when you think of good customer service?” she asked. “It’s airline stewardesses, isn’t it? Nurses learn all sorts of technical skills at college but customer service can be easily overlooked. But flight attendants are specifically trained to have a good attitude and manners.”

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Chinese City Tries to Create Artificial Lake Ends Up with Sahara-Like Desert Instead

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Zhengzhou, the capital city of north-central China’s Henan Province, is currently a sandy mess. Officials wanting to create an artificial lake on the outskirts of the city have botched things up so bad that it’s turned into a sprawling desert instead. The sand is everywhere – about 10 meters high and covering an area as large as four football fields. Naturally, Zhengzhou’s residents aren’t pleased.

The idea was nice to begin with – the officials planned to make a beautiful lake on the outskirts of the city by tapping a natural water source called Dragon Lake and removing hundreds of thousands of tons of sand around it. Unfortunately, nature did not play along with the plan. The underground water source dried up and all the dug-up sand began to spread. It has now resulted in a large wasteland of parched earth in the area.

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Meet the Human Punching Bag Who Makes a Living by Getting Punched in the Stomach

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Thankfully, I’ve never been beat up, but I imagine it must be a horrible thing to go through. Which is why I find this 48-year-old Chinese man’s choice of career strange, to say the least. Xie Shuiping actually volunteers to take punches from random strangers, for a fee. Surprisingly, taking a beating is a rather decent source of income, earning him about $3,500 a month.

Xie, who is also known as the ‘human punching bag’, hangs around streets, bars and nightclubs, just waiting to get punched. Each person who comes forward is allowed to punch him three times in the stomach, as hard as possible. The ‘performance’ lasts about 20 minutes, and those who beat him or shake him can receive free drinks at the bar. Financial rewards aside, the human punching bag also likes to think he helps people let off some team as well. “If you are upset by your boss or your wife, don’t blame them. Vent your anger on me. Let society be harmonious,” he said.

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Man Tries to Find Love on Facebook Gets Rejected by 5,000 Women

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Some people just can’t seem to catch a break. Predrag Jovanovic, a single man from Serbia trying to find love online, hasn’t gotten a single positive response after contacting 5,000 different women on Facebook.

Desperate for love, the 34-year-old Serbian had turned to Facebook to find his soulmate. He sent individual messages to 5,000 different women, asking if they would consider being his girlfriend. Unfortunately, none of the responses were favourable. “I got only 15 responses and they were all negative,” he said. “All 15 politely refused to be my girlfriend, while the rest of them simply ignored me. When someone ignores you, that’s the worst thing of all.”

But Jovanovic hasn’t lost hope yet; he vows to continue his mission to find his perfect woman online. Well, he actually doesn’t have any other options, as most of the women in his tiny village (near Belgrade) are either married or grandmothers. He also said that he finds speaking to women online easier, owing to his shy nature. He admitted that he doesn’t laugh much, and that his behavior towards strangers can be stiff at times.

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