The Amazing Story of a Blind Professional Photographer and Rock Climber

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Justin Salas was only 14 when he lost his sight almost completely and was declared legally blind. Now 22, the ambitious young man is a living example that nothing is impossible – even though he can’t see, Justin is a professional photographer and skilled rock climber.

Justin’s blindness wasn’t the result of an unfortunate accident or a sudden occurrence where he woke up one morning to find that he couldn’t see anymore. His eyesight had always been poor and he started wearing glasses when he was 5-years-old. But it wasn’t until his freshman year of high-school that his vision started deteriorating at a rapid pace. His glasses no longer helped and tests revealed that his optic nerves were dying, although the cause was a mystery for all the doctors he’d seen.

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Boston Man Commits to Never Telling a Lie Again, Ever

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Can you imagine never telling another lie – not even an innocent one – for the rest of your life? How about for a whole day? Yeah, me neither, which is why Keith Frankel’s commitment to a no-lie lifestyle is so intriguing.

Up until six months ago, Keith Frankel, a product design executive at Boston education software startup Firecracker, was no different than the rest of us – he would lie on a daily basis, and he was fully aware of it. He admits he had been aware of his ability to lie both persuasively and effectively and that his skills only got better with age. “Sometimes, my career necessitated that I play my little trump card in order to succeed at ‘the game’. Other times, my personal life could be made just a bit more convenient with a little fib here or there. To no surprise, the more I lied, the better I became at lying in the future. Lying, like any other skill, only gets stronger the more you use it,” Frankel says.

He didn’t really see the harm in lying, at first, especially since his little white lies didn’t really have disastrous consequences on the lives of those around him, they were just “little deceptions, teeny, tiny misdirections.” But at one point, Keith realized that having his friends and family seeing him constantly lie to other people had planted seeds of distrust in them – they knew that he could very well lie to them if he so wished (and he admits he did). He felt these ‘tiny erosions of trust’, as he calls them, not only weakened his relationship with his loved ones, but also called into question everything he claimed to be and will eventually become. Worse still, once plated, these seeds of doubt slowly whether relationships and are almost impossible to address effectively.

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Spiderman Got a Job as a College Professor in Mexico

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When he’s not too busy fighting crime and battling super-villains in New York, Spiderman teaches computer science at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, in Ciudad de Mexico.

It all started in 2002, when the blockbuster movie Spider-Man, featuring Tobey Maguire, started screening in Mexico. 12-year-old Moises Vazquez Reyes instantly fell in love with the Marvel superhero and even started working on his own Spiderman outfit, after failing to find one that fit his high standards. He used online tutorials as inspiration, but it wasn’t an easy job for a young boy. Moises finally finished his dream Spiderman costume in 2014, the same year he started reading more comics about his favorite character. One day he stumbled upon the Amazing Spider – Man # 661 in which the popular superhero offers to be a substitute teacher at the Avengers Academy. He thought to himself “not a bad idea, wouldn’t it be great if Spiderman gave classes in computer science?” 

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Stunning Kim Kardashian Doppelganger Has Everyone Rubbing Their Eyes in Disbelief

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As hard as it may be for you to believe, the woman in the photos below is not reality TV star Kim Kardashian, but a 24-year old talented makeup artist from Croatia.

Jelena Peric has attracted over 700,000 followers on Instagram thanks to her uncanny resemblance to socialite Kim Kardashian. It’s nowhere close to the celebrity’s 74 million followers, but for a young makeup artist from Zagreb, Croatia, it’s pretty impressive. Jelena says she is not very surprised by the high number of followers she’s been getting ever since she started posting photos of herself online, considering how popular her inspiration is, and the “very big effort” she has put into nailing not only her facial features, but also her curvy figure and clothing style.

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Amazing Human Being Has Laid Over 550 Unclaimed Bodies to Rest in the Last 60 Years

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Mithalal Sindhi, from the Indian city of Ahmedabad, is not a rich man, by any means. He has been living on the streets for the last six decades, earning a modest living by selling Bajra (pearl millet) from his pedal rickshaw. Most of what he makes, Mithalal spends on performing the last rites for unclaimed dead bodies that no one else takes responsibility for. He is without a doubt one of the most kindhearted people we have ever written about.

During the partition of the British Indian Empire, 15-year-old Mithalal moved from Pakistan to Bombay, with his family. He did a number of odd jobs to make ends meet and survive in the big city, but in 1957, he moved to Ahmedabad where he started a small fruit selling business using what little savings he had. It was during this time that he met Nyaldas Sindhi, a vegetable vendor, with whom he became very close friends. They would eat lunch together and even sleep next to each other on the footpath, at night. Their friendship came to an abrupt ending in just two years, after Mithalal tried waking his friend one morning, but he didn’t respond.

Devastated by Nyaldas’ death, the young fruit vendor realized his friend had no close families or relatives to take care of the last rites. Mithalal asked the Mukhya (Leader of Vegetable Market) for help, but he refused, telling him it was not his concern. No one was willing to take responsibility for his friend, so he stepped up and had his body cremated near Callico Mill. It was this experience that made him realize that there were so many people dying every day in Ahmedabad that had no one to perform their last rites. He decided he was going to be the person to do it.

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Filipino Man Turns His Home into a Public Library to Help Kids Learn to Read

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Retired Filipino accountant Hernando Guanlao has found a wonderful way to spend all his free time – he’s set up a public library right outside his home and he regularly hands out books to poor children for free.

Hernando’s little library is very relevant to the society he lives in, where many children drop out of school to support their families. He says that he set up the library to honor his parents and the only inheritance they left him – an insatiable love for learning. “As a Filipino who didn’t have the opportunity to go to other places, I wanted to do something before I turned 70 that would help other Filipinos,” he added.  “And books are my means to do that, so I can bring people joy, and help them not feel left behind. It seems to me that the books are speaking to me. That’s why it multiplies like that. The books are telling me they want to be read… they want to be passed around.”

Readers are allowed to take as many books as they like, and return them whenever they please. According to Hernando, “The only rule is that there are no rules.”

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Meet the Plus-Size Male Dancer Challenging Ballet Stereotypes

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American ballet dancer Erik Cavanaugh is proving to the world that plus-size performers can be just as agile and graceful as their slim counterparts. His Instagram is filled with photographs and videos of himself performing ballet and other contemporary dance routines. He hopes to appear in music videos and on the Ellen Show, and his ultimate goal is to “change the mind and shape of dancers”.

Erik, 23, works at a pizza parlor by day and spends all his spare time dancing and choreographing. He learned the basics of dance at the Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts School when he was much younger, and was encouraged to post videos of his performances online by his dance coach at his alma mater, Slippery Rock University.

Some of his short video clips feature him pulling off incredibly difficult and impressive moves, like multiple pirouettes, set to contemporary music like Justin Bieber’s Purpose and Jordan Smith’s Settle. The New York Post featured a compilation of Erik’s moves in a Facebook video, which went viral, inspiring millions around the world.

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Rare Genetic Condition Allows 53-Year-Old to Run 350 Miles without Stopping

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Most athletes would agree that lactic acid build-up in the muscles is the bane of all long-distance runners – but not American jogger Dean Karnazes. The 53-year-old has a rare genetic condition that rapidly flushes lactic acid from his system, allowing him to run indefinitely without ever experiencing a cramp or a seized muscle. The extreme runner has completed a marathon to the South Pole at -25C, and completed 50 back to back marathons in 50 days. He’s also jogged a whopping 350 miles in just 80 hours and 44 minutes, without any sleep!

When people exercise, glucose is converted into energy and a by-product of this reaction is lactic acid. As it builds up in the muscles, it causes cramps and fatigue, and signals the brain to stop. But in Dean’s case, he never receives those signals because lactic acid never builds up in his muscles. So he’s able to run for long distances over very long periods of time, giving him an edge in some of the toughest endurance competitions in the world.

“At a certain level of intensity, I do feel like I can go a long way without tiring,” Dean said, speaking to The Guardian. “No matter how hard I push, my muscles never seize up. That’s kind of a nice thing if I plan to run a long way. To be honest, what eventually happens is that I get sleepy. I’ve run through three nights without sleep and the third night of sleepless running was a bit psychotic. I actually experienced bouts of ‘sleep running’, where I was falling asleep while in motion, and I just willed myself to keep going.”

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Man Has Been Eating Sausages and Potato Chips Every Day for the Last 22 Years

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British lifeguard Daniel Pennock has been eating sausages and chips for dinner every night for the past 22 years. But the 26-year-old father-of-two is now so desperate to kick the habit that he’s pleading for someone to come forward and help him in any way possible.

Daniel says he ate a normal diet as a baby, but his obsession with junk food began at age four, when he simply refused to have anything else for dinner. Worried that he might give up eating all together, his mother agreed to give him sausages and chips every evening, and the habit stuck. “I don’t eat anything apart from junk and I’m fed up,” he said. “I don’t think I have ever eaten a vegetable in my life. I do eat bananas and apples, but anything else makes me physically sick. I have sausage and chips every day. I’ve tried eating other things, but I just can’t keep them down. I want to get it sorted out, once and for all – not just for me, but for my family.”

His current diet consists of toast for breakfast, a chip sandwich for lunch, and four sausages, fries, and bread for dinner. This has caused his weight to balloon up to 266 pounds in the past, although he has managed to lose some weight recently. His bad eating habits have also affected his romantic relationships because he wouldn’t take any of his girlfriends out for meals. “My ex-partner and I have spoken about it and she said ‘if you were normal and we could have gone out for meals and stuff it might have been different,” Daniel told the Pontefract and Castleford Express. “But I was coming home and she was having her food, and I was making mine – it wasn’t really like we were a family.”

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The Inspiring Story of a Blind Boy Who Built a Company Worth Millions

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At age 23, Indian entrepreneur Srikanth Bolla is the CEO a company valued at INR 50 crore (over $7.5 million) . That’s a wonderful achievement in itself, but what’s truly inspiring is that he managed to do it despite being born completely blind. Today, he considers himself the luckiest man in the world, not for his success, but for having supportive parents who always stood by him.

When Srikanth was born blind, several of his parents’ friends and relatives advised them to abandon him. That would indeed have been the easier thing to do, given the fact that they were poor and uneducated, earning a mere INR 20,000 ($300) a year. But they chose to not only keep the boy, but also raise him in a positive, loving environment. “They are the richest people I know,” he often says.

And their excellent parenting has paid off – today, Srikanth is the CEO of Bollant Industries, a Hyderabad-based company that employs physically challenged staff to manufacture eco-friendly consumer packaging solutions made from leaves and recycled paper. The company has four manufacturing units in three states in southern India – Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka. Srikanth’s hard work and unprecedented success has impressed the business world, attracting investments from the likes of Indian business tycoon Ratan Tata.

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Man Runs 370 Marathons in One Year, Proves Nothing Is Impossible

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For most people, running one or two full marathons a year is quite the feat,  but for 33-year-old Rob Young it’s merely a short warm-up. This British superhuman did the unthinkable last year, completing a whopping 370 marathons, which basically means he ran more than one marathon per day!

It all started as a silly bet with his partner Joanna Hanasz on a Sunday morning, in April 2014, as they watched the TV coverage of the London Marathon. It was, in fact, Young who had insisted that he’d rather stay in and watch TV than go for a walk in the park with their son. He obviously wasn’t very interested in running at the time, and actually considered it ‘boring’.

But something changed that morning, when Hanasz teased him that he couldn’t run marathons, even if he tried. Young jokingly replied that he would bet her ‘twenty pence’ that he could run 50, a challenge that he later took seriously. The very next morning he woke up at 3.30 am, printed out the route of the Richmond Marathon, and completed it before work. And he felt so good that he returned to it every day, running the equivalent of 10 marathons by the end of the week.

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The Amazing Story of a Gambler-Turned-Conservationist Who Spent $90 Million Saving Nature

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Former gambler and businessman M.C. Davis placed the biggest bet of his life about 20 years ago when he decided to spend a considerable chunk of his fortune on nature. Over the past two decades, he spent $90 million purchasing thousands of acres of land all over Florida. And the risk paid off – he managed to revive forests and swamps across the state, saving several wildlife species in the process. Although he tried to do his conservation work without attracting too much attention, the positive effects of Davis’ efforts could not go unnoticed forever. Last year, he was featured in Smithsonian Magazine and on the National Public Radio website, and his story went viral.

Having grown up in a cramped trailer on a dirt road in the Florida Panhandle, Davis set out to make a fortune at a very young age, becoming a self-proclaimed gambler and hustler. He made hundreds of millions of dollars, but it took a simple traffic jam to bring about the epiphanic moment that would change the course of his life forever. “It’s drizzling rain, and I was just sort of frantic with exasperation,” he told NPR. “Stuck in traffic, and I looked up, and I saw on the marquee of the high school, ‘Black Bear Presentation’. Intrigued, he decided to pull over and attend the event.

At the time, Davis didn’t even know that Florida had black bears, but the lecture made by two women of the Defenders of Wildlife piqued his interest – the very next day he donated enough money to keep the Defenders campaign alive for two years. He also began to read more books written by environmentalists, and kept in touch with Laurice MacDonald, one of the Defenders that had oipened his eyes. “He had the steepest learning curve,” MacDonald later said. “We would begin with little debates. They were a little testy but fascinating.”  

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The Inspirational Story of a 545-Pound Man Running 5K Races Like There’s No Tomorrow

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Meet Derek Mitchell, an inspiring 35-year-old race runner who weighs a whopping 545 pounds. Despite his heavy frame, he’s spent the past year walking and running a total of 21 5k races and two 10k events. He even made it halfway through a muddy, 10-mile obstacle course!

Mitchell, a Kansas City native, was diagnosed with a noncancerous tumor on his pituitary gland five years ago, a condition that slows down his metabolism and is the primary cause for his obesity. Although he was put on medication to shrink the tumor, Mitchell felt that “at one point, I was using that condition as a crutch, telling myself, ‘I’ll wait for the pills to start working before I start working out or change my eating habits.’”

But he realised that wasn’t a very good plan in November 2014, when his body weight reached an all-time high of 625 pounds. “That’s when I knew I needed to make a change, and decided to start with a new year’s resolution.” So in the beginning of 2015, he cut soda from his diet, switched to more nutritious food options, and tried switching to a healthier lifestyle.

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Restaurant Owner Installs Outdoor Fridge for the Homeless to Pick Up Free Food From

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Minu Pauline, a restaurant owner from Kochi, in southern India, recently made news headlines not for her culinary expertise but her awe-inspiring generosity. She maintains a fully stocked, unlocked refrigerator outside her restaurant, filled with free fresh meals for the homeless.

Minu, whose popular food joint Pappadavada has been operating since 2013, was struck by the sight of homeless people digging for food from the garbage bins behind her kitchen. “I have often seen the homeless and the hungry, especially the aged, rummage through garbage scouring for food,” she told The Hindu. “They are looking for some leftovers or stale food to quell their hunger, and it disturbs me.”

So when she opened a second branch in another part of the city last week, she also installed a fridge outside and named it ‘Nanma Maram’ (the tree of goodness). The fridge is always stocked with about 50 packets of freshly cooked food from the restaurant, for people to reach for when they are hungry. “I was asked, ‘What if someone, not necessarily needy, took the food?’” she said. “My answer was, ‘I’ll just put my faith in the goodness of the folks.’”

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The Sisters of the Valley – California’s Famous Pot-Growing Nuns

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The Sisters of the Valley is a highly unusual ‘order’ of cannabis-growing nuns, made up of only two members – Sister Kate and Sister Darcy. Their ‘abbey’ is a three-bedroom house on the outskirts of Merced, California, where they actually cultivate weed in a garage.

Although they aren’t members of any religious order, Sister Kate and Sister Darcy call themselves nuns. They dress modestly – in long denim skirts, white collared shirts, and nun’s habits – and for the past one year, their self-determined spiritual quest has been to heal illnesses with the help of marijuana. Using cannabinoids (CBD, the medicinal component of weed that is not psychoactive), they have been making tinctures and salves in their kitchen and selling the products through their Etsy store.

“We make CBD oil which takes away seizures, and a million other things,” said Sister Kate, who originally set up the business and later took on Sister Darcy as an apprentice. “And we make a salve, that’s a multipurpose salve… and we found out that it cures migraines, hangovers, earaches, diaper rash, toothaches. We spend no time on bended knee, but when we make our medicine it’s a prayerful environment, it’s a prayerful time.”

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