Woman Turns Her Brooklyn Home into a Lush Urban Jungle

Fashion Model Summer Rayne Oakes has been living in a 1,200-square-foot converted industrial space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, for 11 years, and during in that time she has managed to turn it into a stunning oasis filled with 500 plants, including a living wall, an irrigated vertical garden, a closet garden, edibles and exotic species.

“I think that the only way I’ve really been able to survive in New York is by surrounding myself with plants,” Oakes told Modern Farmer Magazine, which makes sense considering she grew up in a country house on five acres of land in rural northeastern Pennsylvania, surrounded by domestic animals and lots of plants. It was fashion modelling that first brought her to the Big Apple, but that, and everything else she has been involved in since relocating to the big city, has been about raising awareness to the environment.

“It was the modeling at start because at that point in time I wanted to look at how I could bring environmental awareness out to a wider audience,” Summer said in an interview with 6sqft. “I got kind of stuck on the idea that I could do it through fashion. Not that I had ever really been involved or interested in it, and I didn’t even know how to get there other than by meeting people. Putting myself back into my 18-year-old self, it was the idea of wow, I think fashion could be a really cool way to disseminate environmental awareness.”

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Man Swallows 40 Knives on Purpose, Lives to Tell the Tale

42-year-old Jarnail Singh was recently admitted to The Corporate Hospital in Gurdaspur, India, after complaining of severe stomach pains and general weakness. What he failed to mention was that he had voluntarily swallowed 40 sharp metal knives over the past couple of months.

After asking Singh a few questions and performing the routine checkup, doctors were puzzled about the cause of the pain, so they did an ultrasound. That revealed a large solid mass in the man’s stomach, which led medical staff to believe he was suffering from cancer. To confirm the diagnostic, they performed a gastroscopy – inserting an endoscopic camera in his stomach. The mass appeared metallic and doctors could identify shard of blades and wood, which was very unusual.

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Chinese Woman Claims She Was Pregnant for 17 Months

An expectant mother from Tianping City, China’s Hunan province, may have set a new world record for the longest pregnancy. She claims that she was supposed to deliver her baby in November of last year, but eight months past her due date she was was still pregnant because her placenta was underdeveloped. The woman finally gave birth in her 18th of August.

Local media reports that Wang Shi became pregnant in February 2015, but when she turned up at the hospital nine months later hoping to have the baby delivered, doctors informed her that she was not ready to give birth due to an underdeveloped placenta, also known as placenta previa. Worried about the condition, Wang and her husband went to the hospital every 7 to 10 days after her due date passed for check-ups. By her 14th month of pregnancy, the woman was more than ready to welcome her baby into the world, but doctors once again told her that she needed to wait because the fetus was not developed enough for a C-section operation.

“I feel ashamed of being pregnant for so long. I hope I can successfully and safely deliver my baby next month,” Wang recently told reporters. “It has cost us more than 10,000 yuan ($1,500) just for the check-ups alone, and we’ve now lost our patience.” Because of her prolonged pregnancy she had gained around 26 kilograms, going from 52.2 kg to 78 kg, but she was otherwise in good physical condition.

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The NodPod – Finally, a Hammock for Your Head

Getting a good, relaxing nap while travelling over long distances has always been an impossible dream, but now someone claims to have come up with “the ultimate sleep travel solution”. Introducing the NodPod.

After deciding she’d had enough of sleepless commuting for work, Kentucky-based designer Paula Blankenship decided it was time for a superior alternative to the common travel pillow or a sweatshirt mashed up against the car window. After several prototypes, she came up with the NodPod, a sort of hammock for your head that sits under your chin and attaches to the headrest of a plane, train or automobile with Velcro. “It looks ugly, but it feels fantastic,” Blakenship says.

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The Walmart Diet – Man Loses Hundreds of Pounds by Walking to Walmart for Food

A formerly-obese man from Arizona managed to shed 300 pounds of excess weight in three years after he challenged himself to walk to the nearest Wallmart every day to collect his food.

31-year-old Pasquale “Pat” Brocco used to weigh a whopping 605 pounds, but after his doctor warned him that his high blood pressure and high cholesterol were putting his life in serious danger, the Avondale man decided it was time to do something about his weight. He went home from his doctor’s appointment and took a photo of himself in the mirror. “My stomach was down to my thighs. My chest was hanging down here,” he told ABC News. “I was disgusted”.

Pat knew he needed to start exercising, but the gym was not an option. “I mean, at 600 pounds, I couldn’t even go to the gym,” he said. “I didn’t fit on the machines.” So instead, he decided that every time he was hungry, he would walk 1 mile to his closest Walmart to buy his food, then back home to eat the meal.

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Indonesian Man Returns Home One Year after Being Confirmed Dead by His Family

An Indonesian family got the shock of their life after their husband and father, 62-year-old Waluyo, just showed up at their doorstep one year after they had buried him. He was pronounced dead on May 15, 2015, after supposedly being involved in a car accident.

This bizarre story started last year, when Waluyo, from Suryoputran Panembahan village in Jogyakarta, left his home to work as a street cleaner in the city of Semarang, in order to support his family. It wasn’t long after his departure that his wife, Alim Eskatinah, got a call from the police who told her that Waluyo had been the victim of a serious car accident and was in critical condition at the emergency room. The whole family and even some of their neighbors rushed to the hospital to be by his side, but the injured man died after a few days. “In the hospital he was in a coma. Relatives and neighbors all visited him. He then died on May 7, 2015. Many came to his funeral, all the neighbors came,” Waluyo’s daughter, Anti Ristanti told Indonesian newspaper Detik.

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86-Year-Old “Iron Nun” Is Living Proof That Age Is Just a Number

There’s a good reason people call Sister Madonna Buder the “Iron Nun”. She competed in her first triathlon at age 52 and went on to complete over 340 of them since then, including 46 Ironman triathlons. At age 86, she is still participating in the grueling endurance events and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

Born in July 1930, in St. Louis, Missouri, Marie Dorthy Buder was never really into running as a child. She was an active girl and even recalls winning a national championship in equestrian events as a 16-year-old, but sport was always just a hobby. At 14, Buder had already decided to become a nun, under the influence of the Visitation Sisters at the all-girls Visitation Academy in St. Louis, Missouri, that her parents put her in after sixth grade. At 23-years-old, Marie Dorothy fulfilled her calling in life and became Sister Madonna. In 1970, she left her congregation to join 38 other nuns from different backgrounds to found new and non-traditional community of Religious Sisters, independent from the authority of the Roman Catholic Church. This move gave her the freedom to choose her own ministry and lifestyle and would later lead her to discover her second calling – running.

Sister Madonna Buder only started running for fun at age 48, at the suggestion of a priest, who told her it was good for her body and mind. Before running her first official race, she consulted with Father John about whether it was a good idea, since people weren’t used to seeing a nun competing in running events. She told him she wanted to run for a good cause – Multiple Sclerosis (MS) – but wasn’t sure how the world would react to a nun running a race. The priest told her “Sister, I wish some of my priests would do what you’re doing,” and gave her his blessing.

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Indian Engineering Student Builds Functional Ironman Suit

Vimal Govind Manikandan, an engineering student from Kerala, recently made international headlines after building a fully-functional exosuit inspired by Marvel superhero, Ironman.

People have been building their own Ironman suits for years, but while those are all just good-looking replicas, Vimal’s version actually works. The 100-kg-heavy suit doesn’t fly, or shoot energy beams like that of the actual Ironman, but it can move at a decent pace, perform basic actions and even lift up to 150 kg, thanks to battery-powered pressurized air chambers. And it only cost $750 to make.

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Chinese Teen Sentenced to Life in Prison for Buying Toy Gun Replicas Online

When 18-year-old Liu Dawei ordered 24 toy gun replicas from a Taiwanese website, in July 2014, he never imagined the purchase would soon land him in prison for the rest of his life.

Liu never even got the fake firearms he paid 30,540 RMB ($4,600) for, as his mail order was held at customs. Instead, police soon arrived at the front door of his home in Quanzhou city and arrested him for arms trafficking. According to the official police statement, they had intercepted his package and found that 20 of the 24 gun replicas were actually real guns. That sounds like a perfectly good explanation for the boy’s arrest, but only until you learn about what qualifies as a real gun in China.

Chinese law classifies any weapon with a barrel that can fire an object at 1.8 j/cm2 as a real gun. During Liu Dawei’s trial, his lawyer argued that that is roughly the speed at which he could throw a handful of beans at someone’s face, and that the country’s current definition of an actual firearm simply makes no sense. Liu himself claimed that he had no idea that he would be breaking the law when he ordered the replicas, and that he thought he was merely buying a bunch of toys.

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19-Year-Old College Student Cuts Out Her Tongue as Offering to Hindu Goddess

In a shocking incident that occurred recently in India’s Madhya Pradesh state, a 19-year-old college student sliced off her own tongue as an offering to the Goddess Kali, in exchange for the fulfillment of her wishes.

Aarti Dubey, an undergraduate student at TRS College in Madhya Pradesh, apparently dreamed about Kali asking her to cut off her tongue in exchange for her heart’s desire, and the next day she went to the goddess’ temple in the town of Reeva, to do just that. While it’s not unheard of for devotees to offer their body part to the goddess Kali, Aarti’s sacrifice is considered highly unusual because she is an educated young woman.

“There have been incidents of people offering their organs to the gods, expecting to get their wishes granted by the supreme power. What is startling in this case is the girl in question is educated. Illiterate people are bound to be superstitious, but when educated people become superstitious it does not bode well for the society as a whole,” local journalist Shyam Mishra told The Daily Mail. Read More »

Obsessed Audiophiles in Japan Are Installing Their Own Utility Poles for Better Sound Quality

Japanese audiophiles are so obsessed with perfect sound quality that they not only invest tens of thousands of dollars in high quality audio technology, but also install private utility poles to makes sure their setups have enough electricity to work perfectly.

There is currently no definitive proof that having your very own utility pole and an ample amount of electricity makes any meaningful difference on sound quality, but die-hard audiophiles insist that they are critical for a pure audio experience. “Electricity is like blood. If it is tainted, the whole body will get sick,” Takeo Morita recently told the Wall Street Journal. “No matter how expensive the audio equipment is, it will be no good if the blood is bad.” He recently paid around $10,000 to have a concrete utility pole installed in his yard. It comes complete with his own personal transformer, which feeds power more directly from the grid.

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Woman Dies after Pastor Sets Heavy Speaker on Top of Her in Failed Miracle Attempt

Congregates of Mount Zion General Assembly, a Christian church in Polokwane, South Africa’s Limpopo province, were left in shock last Sunday, after a woman lost her life during a failed miracle attempt by pastor Lethebo Rabalango.

The controversial South African pastor and founder of the Mount Zion General Assembly church was apparently teaching congregates about the demonstration of power and was trying to emphasize that if Jesus could walk on water, then he too could do anything with the power of faith. To get his point across, Rabalango invited a young woman from the crowd to take part in a real-life miracle. He asked her to lie down on the floor and then ordered his ushers to pick up a giant speaker and lay it on top of her body. Read More »

Introducing Dødsing – The Craziest Sport to Ever Come Out of Norway

When jumping off a diving board, a belly flop is not the outcome most people are looking for, but for those competing in the crazy Norwegian sport of Dødsing, hitting the water belly first is a risk that comes with the territory.

Dødsing, or “Death Diving”, is a Norwegian extreme sport that has daredevils jumping from a 10-meter-high board with their arms and legs spread out in an x-formation. The goal is to keep the pose for as long as possible and curl your body slightly right before hitting the water to prevent injuries. At the World Dødsing Championship, a wacky competition held every summer since 2008, the diver who manages to remain flat the longest during their jump is pronounced the winner.

But there are plenty of fearless dødsing divers at the world championship, so in order to determine the winner, judges also take into account other factors, such as the speed, height and power of the jump, the originality of the jumping style and the spray produced when hitting the water.

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Stolen Rubber Duck Returned to Family after Mysterious 5-Year-Long Globetrotting Adventure

Five years after it was stolen from the yard of a home in the Hamptons and taken on an epic journey around the world, a large rubber duck has finally been returned to its rightful owners, although the mystery of who abducted it in the first place remains a mystery.

The large, yellow rubber duck came to the Troiano family about 10 years ago, when their daughter Alicia received as a gift from a neighbor for whom she babysat. She name it Baldie and enjoyed putting it in a makeshift pond that filled up on rainy days, as a lawn decoration. One day, five years ago, Baldie mysteriously disappeared, but the Troioanos didn’t think too much of it. At least not until a few months later when they received a postcard supposedly written by the ducky, postmarked from Kuwait City. In it, the rubber duck told the family of her travels to Amsterdam , Honduras and various other locations around the Middle East, instructing them to follow its travels on a Facebook page called “Gale Ducky”.

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This Man Is Cycling Across the UK from the Comfort of His Own Home

Bored with his daily exercise bike routine, a crafty video game developer from the United Kingdom has come up with a way of spicing up the experience while enjoying the beauty of his country from the comfort of his own home.

Pedaling on an exercise bike may keep you in decent physical shape, but it can get pretty boring after a while. Aaron Puzey had been toiling away on his exercise bike for half an hour a day for years when he decided to look for a way to make it a bit more fun. With virtual reality technology widely available nowadays, all he needed to do was find a way of applying it to his needs. So he set out to build an app for the Samsung Galaxy Gear VR headset which would allow him to hook it up to Google Streetview and make it seem like he’s cycling through different real-life locations. His ultimate goal? To cycle the entire length of the UK – 1,500 kilometers from Land’s End to John o’ Groats – without actually leaving his home.

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